Annotation:Ripe the Ribs

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X:1 T:Ripe the ribs, a Strathspey M:4/4 L:1/8 R:Strathspey B:John French – Collection of New Strathspeys, Reels, etc. (1801) N:Dedicated to Mrs. Boswell of Auchinleck N:Published by Gow & Shepherd, “for behoof of Mr. French’s widow and children.” K:A C|A,<A,E>C E>FE>C|A<A {Bc}d>c BB,B,C|A,<A,E>C E>FAd|c<eB>c AA,A,:| f|e<ea>c e>A {d}c>A|B<Bc>A F>BBf|e<ea>c e>Acf|e<ag>b eaac'| e<ea>c e>A {d}c>A|B<Bc>A F>BBc|A<cF>A E<AEC|D<FE>C A,AA||

RIPE THE RIBS. Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Ayrshire fiddler-composer biography:John French (1752-1803). It appears in his A Collection of New Strathspeys, Reels &c. (c. 1801), dedicated to Mrs. Boswell of Auchinleck, and published by Gow & Shepherd, “for behoof of Mr. French’s widow and children.” The phrase may indicate that French was incapacitated, or perhaps dead, in which case either the date of publication or the date of his death are faulty.

The expression to 'ripe the ribs' refers to clearing out ash from the bars of a fireplace, as in Thomas Henderson’s Lockerbie (1937), where: “Mrs. Johnstone riped the ribs of the big grate and poked the peats …”. Similarly, it can be used of clearing out the tobacco ash from the bowl and stem of a pipe, as in “Robin rypit the dottle oot o’ his pipe” from John Service’s Dr. Duguid (1897).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - John French (Collection of New Strathspeys, Reels, etc.), 1801.

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