Tibby Fowler o' the Glen (1)

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X:1 T:Tibby Fouller o’ the Glen [1] M:C| L:1/8 R:Strathspey S:McGlashan – Collection of Strathspey Reels (c. 1781) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Dmin A|D/D/D D2 F>G A>F|G<GG<G A>GA>G|D/D/D D>D F>GA>c|d<f d>c A>G G<A| D/D/D D/D/D F>GA>F|G<G B<G c>G B<G|D/D/D D/D/D F>G A>c|d<f c>A A>G G|| e|f<dc<A f>ga>f|g<gg<g b<g a>g|f<dd<f A>GG>e| f<d c>A f>g a<f|g/g/g g/g/g b<g a>g|f<dc<A f>ga>g|d<fc<f A>G G||



TIBBY/TIBBIE FOWLER/FOULLER O'/IN THE GLEN [1]. AKA and see "Dunrobin Castle (1)." Scottish, English; Strathspey or Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). England, Northumberland. D Minor/F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune appears in one of the earliest Scottish fiddler's MS repertory books, c. 1705, in the private collection of Frances Collinson (1966). An country dance version is also included in the Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle, for which see "Tibby Fowler o' the Glen (2) (The)"), inscribed "A Collection of Country Dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734,." Somewhat later, a similar version was published by Alexander McGlashan in his 1780 collection (p. 3). 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.

“Tibby Fowler” is also a Scottish Borders song whose singing was mentioned by Alexander Jaffray in his sketch of the assembly at Aberdeen in 1777 in Recollection of Kingswells. Jaffray gives an account of the various assemblies or country dances and recalls them as convivial affairs:

After the dance, followed a supper, where cheerfulness and good humour prevailed. Those who could sing entertained the company, which remained to a late, or rather early hour...I particularly noticed Mrs. Grant of Caron, a very pleasant sensible woman. Her two songs were "Yowie wi the crookit horn," and "Tibby Fowler in the Glen."

A song "Tibby Fowler o' the Glen" was printed in the fifth volume of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (for which see "Tibby Fowler o' the Glen (2) (The)"). The poem below is the work of English poet Miss Susanna Blamire (1747–1794), 'The Muse of Cumberland', and tells of the travails of a wealthy woman, who knows her suitors are more interested in her money than herself:

I'm Tibby Fowler o' the glen,
And nae great sight to see, sirs;
But 'cause I'm rich, these plaguy men
Will never let me be, sirs.

There's bonny Maggy o' the brae
As gude as lass can be, sirs;
But 'cause I'm rich these plaguy men
Hae a' run wud for me, sirs.

There's Nabob Jock comes strutting ben,
He thinks the day's his sin, sirs;
But were he a' hung round wi' goud,
He'd find himsel mista'en, sirs.

There's Wat aye tries to glowr and sigh
That I may guess the cause, sirs;
But Jenny-like I hate to spell
Dumb Roger's hums and ha's, sirs.

There's grinning Pate laughs a' day through,
The blithest lad ye'll see, sirs;
But troth he laughs sae out o' place,
He'd laugh gin I did die, sirs.

There's Sandy, he's sae fou o' lear,
To talk wi' him is vain, sirs;
For gin we a' should say 'twas fair,
He'd prove that it did rain, sirs.

Then Jamie frets for good and ill,
'Bout sma' things makes a phrase, sirs;
And fears and frets, and things o' nought
Ding o'er his joyfu' days, sirs.

The priests and lawyers ding me dead,
But gude kens wha's the best, sirs;
And then comes in the soldier brave,
And drums out a' the rest, sirs.

The country squire and city beau,
I've had them on their knee, sirs;
But weel I ken to goud they bow,
And no to downright me, sirs.

Should like o' them come ilka day,
They may wear out the knee, sirs;
And grow to the ground as fast as a stane,
But they shall ne'er get me, sirs.

'Tibby Foweler' is thought to refer to Isobel Fowler of Sheriffbrae, Leith. Robert Ford, in Song Histories (1900), explains:

There is some reason for believing that "Tibbie" was a real personage, and tradition at Leith points to the person in a certain Isable Fowler, who was married to a song of Logan of Restalrig, the conspirator, in the seventeenth century. A house which is believed to have belonged to the pair, having the date 1636, is pointed out in the Sheriffbrae in Leith. It happens that tradition here indicates persons who at least actually existed. That George Logan, son of the conspirator, wedded Isobel Fowler, daughter of Ludowick Fowler of Burncastle, is stated on authentic grounds by Nisbet ("Heraldry," i. 202). Whether, however, Isobel had previously been the subject of the extensive competition among the opposite sex, or sank into the arms of Logan without a sigh from herself or others, there is no evidence. Neither is there any authentic account of the date of the composition.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - George H. Coes (Coes Album of Jigs and Reels for the Violin), 1876; p. 62. Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Music, vol. 1), 1891; p. 18. McGlashan (Collection of Strathspey Reels), c. 1781; p. 3.

Recorded sources : - Maggie’s Music MMCD222, Bonnie Rideout – “Scottish Fire” (2000).




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