Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch

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" X:1 T:Roy's Wife M:C L:1/8 Q:"Slow" B:Gow – 3rd Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels, 3rd ed., p. 13 (orig. 1792) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F c>AA>G {B}TAGA<d|c<AA>F G>FGA|c>A {A}G>F f>g {f}a>g| {g}f>d c>{d/f/}A TG>FG<A:|Tc>dfa {a}g/f/g/a/ f>c|cd/e/ f>A {A}G<FG<A| cd/e/ f>a g/f/b/a/ g>f|{f}a>gf>A TA>G Af/d/|c>AA>G TA>GA<d| c<AA>F TG>FG<A|c>A {A}G>F f>g {f}a>g|{g}f>dc>{d/f/}A TGFGA||



ROY'S WIFE OF ALDIVALLOCH. AKA and see "Ben Nevis," “Am Caimbeulach Dubh,” "Coig na Scalan," "I'm Over Young to Marry Yet (1)/I'm Owre Young to Marry Yet (1)," "Kilt is My Delight (The)," "Lady Francis Wemys' Reel," "Old Virginia Reel (1)," "Ruffian's Rant." Scottish, English; Slow Air, Strathspey, Fling or Reel. England, Northumberland. F Major (Gow): G Major (Cole): D Major (Bayard, Cole, O’Farrell): A Major (Shears). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bayard, Cole, O’Farrell): AAB (Gow, Shears): AABB (Cole). "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" is the title of the song to the tune known as "Ruffian's Rant" and other titles, and was one of the favorite songs of the early 19th century, at least in Lowland centers, as mentioned by Peter Mackenzie, the "genial reminiscer of Glasgow" (Emmerson, 1971). It was written by Mrs. Elizabeth Grant of Carron (1745-1814), whose maiden name was Grant, born, near Aberlour and Elchies, on the river Spey, about 1745; it was the only song she is known to have written. Mr. Grant of Carron, whose wife she became about 1763, was her cousin. After his death she married, a second time, an Irish physician practicing at Bath, of the name of Murray, and died in that city in 1814. The first stanza and chorus go:

She vow'd, she swore she wad be mine;
She said she lo'ed me best of onie;
But O the fickle, faithless quean,
She's ta'en the carle and left her Johnnie!

CHO:
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Wat ye how she cheated me,
As I came o'er the braes of Balloch?

The music was composed by Robert Bremner (c. 1713-89), famous for publishing the first collection of specifically Scottish dance music (1757-61) and was published in his Scots Reels or Country Dances. Other 18th century titles (and dates of publication) are "Lady Francis Wemys' Reel" (1742), "Ruffian's Rant (The)" (1759), and "Coig na Scalan" (1780). Samuel Bayard (1981) states there is some indication that the "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" group of airs belongs to an extended tune--family, which collectively "have considerably more than a passing resemblance to the first strain of 'Moniemusk.'" The fact that the tune has been a reel, fling, strathspey, vocal air, and march indicates to him it has "some respectable antiquity." The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800. The tune was known in America in the 19th century and played as an accompaniment for dances, as attested in a diary found by New York researcher Jim Kimball of one Hod Case, a Bristol, N.Y., fiddler and journalist who maintained diaries from about 1868 to 1940. In his entry for October 8, 1878, Case noted:

...Ike Benson and I played to a dance [at Hank Trafton's] Irish Trot danced for first time in the state I think. Mrs. Trafton called it. "Roy’s wife" an old Scotch ballad is the tune we played.


Cape Breton piper Barry Shears gives the alternate title “Am Caimbeulach Dubh.”

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Hiram Horner (fifer from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, Pa., 1944) [Bayard].

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 100, p. 40. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 308, p. 260 (appears as an untitled march). Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; pp. 26 and 123 ("As performed by Niel (sic) Gow"). Gow (Third Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels), 1792; p. 13 (3rd ed.). Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 4) [1], 1792; Song 342, p. 352. O’Farrell (National Irish Music for the Union Pipes), 1804; p. 44. O’Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 1), c. 1805; p. 35. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; pp. 162 (strathspey) & 170 (fling). Shears (Gathering of the Clans Collection, vol. 1), 1986; p. 42 (pipe setting). Mulhollan (Selection of Irish and Scots Tunes), Edinburgh, 1804; p. 25.

Recorded sources: -

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]



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