Teribus

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X: 1 T:Teribus M:2/4 L:1/8 R:March O:Scotland K:D A|dA d>e|fa fd|g>f ed|ce cA|dA d>e|fa fd| g>f ea|fd d :||: g| a2 a>g|fa fd|g>f e>d|ce cA | |1 a2 a>g|fa fd|g>f da|fd d:||2 dA d>e|fa fd|g>f ea|fd d||



TERIBUS. Scottish, March (2/4 time). Scotland, Borders region. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B. The title is thought to be a pre-Christian invocation to the Viking gods Thor and Odin, states J. Murray Neil (1991). The tune is particular to the Scottish Borders town of Hawick (pronounced hoick), whose natives are known locally as "Teries" (pronounced teeries). Both references are dialect survivors from the burthen of an ancient song of the gleomann or scald, or the heathen Angle warrior, and related to the slogan Teribus ye teri odin or Tyribus ye Tyr, ye Odin and Tyr halb us, ye Tyr ye Odin (Tyr keep us both Tyr and Odin).

The Dictionaries of Scots Language[1] casts doubt upon this etymology, however:

The source of the phrase has not been traced back to much before the beginning of the 19th century and its origin is obscure. The explanation given by Jam. and accepted by Murray in D.S.C.S. 18 that the words represent O.E. Týr hæbbe us, ȝe Týr ȝe Oðinn, “May [the god] Tyr keep us, both Tyr and Odin”, fails on the grounds that the gods' names are given in their O.N. forms, not the O.E. Tīw and Wōdan, that the normal phonological development would not result in the modern pronunciation and that in any event the survival of a supposed O.E. sentence in its near original form for more than 700 years is barely conceivable. The explanation seems to be a piece of dubious 18th century antiquarianism. The phrase may well be a succession of meaningless syllables meant to represent the sound of a march played on drums and bagpipes as some of the quots. suggest and as may be paralleled in the similar "Hey tutti tatie" as the title of an old military march.

Christine Martin (2002) prints the tune along with “Sweet Maid of Glendaruel (The)” and “Corriechoilles Welcome to the Northern Meeting” as a set for the dance The Gay Gordons.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Martin (Ceol na Fidhle, vol. 2), 1988; p. 44. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 73. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 23, p. 33. Scots Guards Standard Settings’ vol 1, London 1954.






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  1. "Teribus n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jun 2021 [1]