Mrs. Crawford's Favorite

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MRS. CRAWFORD'S FAVORITE. AKA - "Mrs. Crawford," "Miss Crawford." AKA and see “Forneth House.” Scottish, Slow Strathspey or Air. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Carlin, Stewart-Robertson): AABB’ (Cranford). The tune was first published twice by Robert Petrie, originally in his First Collection (1790) under the title “Forneth House,” and again, this time claimed as his own composition in the Third Collection (1800). This was perhaps due to its appearance the same year in Nathaniel Gow’s Fourth Collection (1800) where the melody appeared in a slightly different setting as “Mrs. Crawford’s Favourite Strathspey,” with no attribution. The Gows must have known it was composed by Petrie, for the London branch of the Gow publishing family (Nathaniel’s brothers Andrew and John) used the “Forneth House” title earlier in their Collection of Slow Airs (c. 1795). Poet Robert Tannahill (1774-1810) composed a song to the (“Forneth House”) melody, beginning “Now Winter, wi’ his cloudy brow, is far ayont yon mountains.” The strathspey, as set by Nathaniel Gow, was played by influential Cape Breton/Boston fiddler Bill Lamey (1914-1991).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 176. Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 30. Cranford (Jerry Holland’s), 1995; No. 105, p. 31 (appears as “Mrs. Crawford”). Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 156.

Recorded sources: Rounder 82161-7032-2, Bill Lamey – “From Cape Breton to Boston and Back: Classic House Sessions of Traditional Cape Breton Music 1956-1977” (2000). Rounder Records 7057, Jerry Holland – “Parlor Music” (2005).

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]




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