Three Girls of Portree (The)

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X:1 T:Three Girls of Portree, The M:C L:1/8 R:Air N:”Communicated by Miss MacLean of Cull” N:”A Skye Air.” B:Gow – Sixth Collection of Strathspey Reels (1822) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F F|c2 cA {A}c2 FA|c2 cA G<G d2|c2 c>B AfcA|dG G>A G<G d2| c3 cA {A}c2 FA|c2 cA G<G d2|c2 c>B AF cA|dG G>A G<G de|| {e}f2 cA f2 (3cde|f2 cA G<G d>e|f2 (3cde f>g a>g|fd cA G<G d>e| f2 cA f2 ca|f2 cA G<G d>e|f.g a>g fdd>f|c>dcA GG d2||



THREE GIRLS OF PORTREE, THE. AKA – “The Boat Leaks,” “Boat is Leaking (The),” “Tha toll air a bhàta” (There is a hole in the boat). Scottish, Air (whole time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Identified as a Isle of Skye air, “communicated by Miss MacLean of Coll.” Coll is one of the western isles, Argyleshire. The air is popular in Highland bagpiping repertoire. Alexander MacLean of Coll, 14th Laird, was a host for Dr. Johnson and Boswell on their trip to the Hebrides in 1775, and Miss MacLean may have been a member of his household. Johnson was most impressed with the young laird, who eschewed fancy dress, only sporting a feather in his hat, and who had the good will of the population. Unfortunately, the laird was drowned soon after their visit. “The bagpiper played regularly when dinner was served,” wrote Johnson, “whose person and dress made a good appearance, and he brought no disgrace on the family of Rankin, which has long supplied the lairds of Coll with hereditary music.”


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Gow (Sixth Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1822; p. 30. MacDonald (The Gesto Collection of Highland Music), 1895.






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