Mrs. Rait's Strathspey

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X:1 T:Mrs. Rait of Anniston's Strathspey C:James Boick M:C L:1/16 R:Strathspey B:Robert Purdie - "Tom Thumb: A Favorite Dance" (Edinburgh, c. 1810, B:a single-sheet issue of 2 pages). Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A E2|AA3Tc3A F4 F3E|AA3Tc3A e3Ac3e|c3e {d}Bc2BA {G}F4 F2E2|(AB).c.d e2c2 A4 A2:| cd|e3ATc3e {d}c2BA TB2cd|e3Ac3e Ta3ec2d2|eA3c3e {d}c2BA TB3c|.A.B.c.d e3c {B}A4 A2cd| eA3c3e {d}c2BA B2cd|.e2.A2.f2.A2 .g2.A2.a2.f2|e3Ac3e {d}c2BA TB3c|.A.B.c.d e3c A4 A2||

MRS. RAIT'S STRATHSPEY. AKA - "Mrs. Rait of Anniston's Strathspey." Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "Mrs. Rait of Anniston's Strathspey" was first printed around the year 1810 by music seller Robert Purdie for his Princes Street, Edinburgh, shop on a single sheet issue (2 pages) entitled "Tom Thumb, A Favoirite Dance", together with "three new strathspeys and a reel" by James Boick (Boick's name is not attached to "Tom Thumb" as it is the other tunes, although he may also have been the composer of the title tune). Boick's name crops up as the composer of tunes in the collections of Robert Petrie, and, later, in Hamilton's Universal Tune Book (1843) and Köhler's Violin Repository (1881-1885); John Pringle composed a strathspey for him. David Baptie (Musical Scotland, 1885), however, makes no mention of him.

'Mrs. Rait', of the strathspey title was Elizabeth Guthrie, who married John Rait (1748-1823) who inherited Anniston House, Angus, Scotland, from his grandfather, Dr George Rait. When they were married (on March 26, 1799) he was age 51, but they quickly produced a family of six sons and three daughters. She expired 15 years after her wedding, in 1814, perhaps worn out by they cycle of pregnancy and birth every 20 months or so. Boick composed another tune in his small "Tom Thumb" collection, "Mr. Guthrie of Craigie's Strathspey," in honor of Elizabeth's father, James Guthrie Esq. of Craigie in Forfarshire.

See also Boick's companion tune "Mr. Rait of Anniston's Reel."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Milne (Middleton’s Selection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. for the Violin), 1870; p. 30. Moffat (Dance Music of the North), 1908; No. 20, p. 8.

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