Perrie Werrie (The)
X:1 T:Perrie Werrie, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:The Athole Collection (1884) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G c|BGGA GAGc|BGGB gdec|BGGA GAGB|A=FFA c3:| A|Bdde dedc|Bdde gdec|Bdde dedB|A=FFA c3A| Bdde dedc|Bdde g2 d|gbeg dgBg|A=FFA c3||
PERRIE WERRIE, THE. AKA – “Peerie Weerie,” "Pirrie Wirrie." AKA and see “Avonmore (The),” "Blackwater Foot," "Blackwater," "Banks of Avonmore (The).” Scottish, Reel. G Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Perrie or Peerie is dialect in the Shetlands and some parts of the Orkneys, meaning ‘little.’ Its origins are unclear, although the word may have derived from the Norwegian dialect word piren, meaning niggardly or thin. Weer is sometimes used as a superlative of wee or small. In this context the title may mean “the smallest of the small.” The AUP Scots dictionary gives the meaning of the phrase peerie-weerie as a ‘small creature’ and says the it dates from the 19th century, found in Shetland and Perthshire. Irish variants go by the titles “Avonmore (The)” and “Blackwater Foot” or “Blackwater Reel.” Cape Breton fiddler Bill Lamey played the tune with a raised 7th tone, similar in mode to the Irish variants rather than the mixolydian (lowered 7th) mode of Scottish settings.
The tune was entered into the large 1840 music manuscript collection of multi-instrumentalist John Rook, of Waverton, near Wigton, Cumbria .