Annotation:Mrs. Menzies of Culdares (1)

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X:1 T:Mrs. Minzies of Culdare's [1] Strathspey M:C L:1/8 Q:"Slow" R:Strathspey B:Joshua Campbell – A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys (Glasgow, 1789, p. 20) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb (d/c/)|BF (G/F/)(E/D/) BFBd|B(F/B/) (G/F/)(E/D/) {D}CC(dc)|BF (G/F/)(E/D/) (F>G) B>g|(f<d)(c>d) B2:| |:(g/a/|b>)fgb (f>d)(B>d)|T(c>B)(d>B) {F}G3 (g/a/|b>)fg>b (f>d)(B>d)|T(c>B)(c>d) B3 (g/a/| b>)fg>b (f.>d)(B>d)|(cB){e}d{c}B {F}G3B|(F>G)(B>c) B>cB(b/g/)|(f<d)(c>d) B3|| |:(d/c/)|B(F TF)E/D/ (B/G/F/E/) D/(d/c/d/)|(B/F/)(d/B/) (G/F/)(E/D/) TD>(CC)d/c/|(B/d/)(F/B/) (G/F/)(E/D/) (F/G/A/B/) (c/d/f/g/)| (f/b/a/b/) (f/d/c/d/) B3::(g/a/)|(b>f) (g/b/a/b/) (g/f/)(a/g/) (b/f/e/d/)|T(c/B/c/d/) (e/d/c/B/) {F}G3 (g/a/)| (b/a/g/f/) (g/f/e/d/) (e/d/c/B/) (c/d/e/f/)|(B/G/F/E/) (D/B/c/A/) B3 (g/a/)|(b/f/g/b/) (f/b/a/b/) (g/f/b/f/) (g/f/e/d/)| (c/B/f/d/) (e/d/c/B/) {F}G>FGB|(F/E/D/E/) (F/B/d/B/) (e/B/)(f/B/) (g/B/)(a/B/)|(b/f/)(g/e/) (f/d/)(c/d/) B3||

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. The Culdares branch of the family was established in the 1600's at Meggernie Castle in Glen Lyon. They were a old Perthshire Jacobite family and turned out in 1715, and later, 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, delivered by his servant, MacNaughton[1]. "Old Menzies" was captured after the 1715 Jacobite rising and was exiled to North America, although later pardoned for his participation in the rebellion; he repaid the courtesy when he brought the first larch trees from the Austrian Tyrol in 1737 and presented them to the Duke of Atholl. It now flourishes all over the Highlands.

Gow and others composed several tunes for the family: see “Mr. Menzies of Culdares."

Additional notes
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 : - Celtic CX-20, "The Five MacDonalds" (1962). Celtic CX-23, Little Jack MacDonald - "Bard of the Scottish Fiddle" (1963).

See also listing 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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  1. The servant, Macnaughton, who conveyed the present, was taken and tried at Carlisle. The errand on which he had come was clearly proved, and he was offered pardon and life if he would reveal the name of the sender of the horse. He asked with indignation if they supposed that he could be such a villain. They repeated the offer to him on the scaffold, but he died firm to his notion of fidelity. His life was nothing to that of his master, he said.