Reel of Thulichan

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X:1 T:Reel o' Thulichan M:C L:1/16 R:Strathspey B: Joseph Lowe - Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, B:book 1 (1844–1845, p. 1) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A f2|{f}e4 A2cd ec3Aa3|{f}e4 A2Bc dB3=GB3|{f}e4 A2cd eA3cA3|B2E2 cde2 dB3=G2B2:|| c2A2 cde2 {d}T(cA3)A3B|c2A2 cde2 (dB3)=G2B2|c2A2 cde2 {d}T(cA3){d}(cA3)|B2E2 cde2 dB3=G2B2| c2A2 cde2 {d}T(cA3)A2B2|c2A2 cde2 (dB3)=G2B2|c2A2 cde2 (c2A2) cde2|(B2E2) cde2 d2B2=G2B2||



REEL O' THUILLEACHAN. AKA and see "Hulichan," "Reel of Tulloch (The)," "Tulloch." Scottish, Reel. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Lowe): AABBCCDD (Skinner). Inverness/Edinburgh musician, bandleader and dancing master Joseph Lowe recalled the still-fresh visit by the monarch in his remarks with the tune:

It was this Reel which so especially delighted her Majesty, Queen Victoria, when on a visit to Scotland, in 1842. At the Ball given by the Marquis of Breadalbane, at Taymouth Castle, the original figure of the Reel o’ Thulichan was danced in the Royal presence, with admirable characteristic spirit, by the Marquis of Abercorn, the Hon. Fox Maule, Cluny MacPherson, and Davidson of Tulloch: the Queen seemed quite elated during the performance of this ancient Reel, and expressed herself much delighted and astonished at the lively execution displayed by the Dancers.

Fiddler-composer and dancing master J. Scott Skinner (Harp and Claymore, 1904) noted: "'Hoolichan' is danced in Reel time, and the steps used are not Strathspey or Highland Fling steps, but all cutting and shuffling--quick time throughout, and no Figure 8.” The melody is similar to “Reel of Tulloch (The)." Skinner also included a long poem by Robert Ford with the tune in his collection, entitled “The Reel o' Hoolichan,” whose refrain is:

The auld reel o' Hoolichan,
The bauld reel o' Hoolichan;
They need be fleet upo' the feet
That dance the reel o' Hoolichan.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 1), 1844–1845; p. 1. Skinner (The Scottish Violinist), 1900; p. 25. Skinner (Harp and Claymore), 1904; p. 118. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 90.






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