Mrs. Menzies of Culdares (1)

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MRS. MENZIES OF CULDARE(S) [1]. AKA - "Mrs. Minzies of Culdare's Strathspey." AKA and see "Miss Menzies of Culdares (1)." Scottish, Slow Strathspey. B Flat Major (most versions): D Major (Aird). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Aird, Athole): AABCCD (Campbell). Composer credit given variously to Niel Gow {1727-1807, in Gow, Perlman}, A. Duff {in Hunter} or Robert Petrie (b. 1767, Kirkmichael, Perthshire) {in Skye}. It was first printed in Gow’s First Repository (1784) followed by appearances in Joshua Campbell’s 1789 collection and Archibald Duff’s First Collection (1794). The tune was copied by Setauket, Long Island, painter and fiddler William Sidney Mount [1] (1807-1868), and included in his manuscript copy-book of tunes, along with many other Scottish dance tunes. The melody appears in Stewart-Robertson's Athole Collection (1884) as "Miss Menzies of Culdares (1)" with the strains reversed.

The name Menzies is pronounced Ming-ess or Minges in Scotland. They were a Jacobite family, having turned out in 1715, and, although the scion of the family at the time was too old to fight, he sent Bonnie Prince Charlie (the ‘Young Pretender’) a fine white horse in 1745. Gow composed other tunes for the family: see “Mr. Menzies of Culdares."

Source for notated version: Kenny Chaisson (b. c. 1947, Bear River, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island; now resident of Rollo Bay) [Perlman]; Winston Fitzgerald (1914-1987, Cape Breton) [Cranford].

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 146, p. 56. Joshua Campbell (A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys), Glasgow, 1789; p. 20. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 187. Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald), 1997; No. 102, p. 43. Gow (First Repository of Strathspey Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 6. Gow (Beauties of Niel Gow). Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 177. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 137. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 199. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 295.

Recorded sources:

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [2]
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]

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