Annotation:Wood of Fyvie (The)

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X:1 T:Wood of Fyvie, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:David Young - A Collection of the Newest Country Dances Danced in Scotland (1740, p. 44) F: Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Amix f|eATcA Bcdf|eATcA eATce|dBTcA Bcd(f|e)f/^g/ ac Te2 A:| |:f/^g/|a/^g/f/e/ ac Bcdf|eaca ecac|f/^g/a/f/ ec Bcdf|e/f/^g/e/ ac Te2A:|]

WOOD OF FYVIE, THE. AKA - "Thro' the Wood of Fyvie." AKA and see "Bere Meal is Cheap Again (Da) (The)," “Càill a Chailag Ladhach (Na),” “Keep the Country Bonny Lassie,” “Let's shak her Weall.” Scottish, Reel or Country Dance Tune (whole or cut time). A Mixoldyian (Young): G Major (Gow, Lowe). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Gow, Kerr, Lowe): AABB (Young). The melody appears in the Bodleian Manuscript (in the Bodleian Library, Oxford), inscribed "A Collection of the Newest Country Dances Performed in Scotland written at Edinburgh by D.A. Young, W.M. 1740" (p. 44), and in the Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle), 1734, inscribed "A Collection of the best Highland Reels written by David Young, W.M. & Accomptant" (p. 83). It had earlier been published by Daniel Wright in his Aria di Camera (London, 1724) under the title "Let's shak her Weall." In the mid-18th century the tune was published by Robert Bremner as "Keep the Country Bonny Lassie," a title retained by the Gows when they published it toward the end of the century.

Pete Stewart, in his article "Digging the Dird"[1] (2011) argues that early reels such as Young's "Wood of Fyvie" were played slower than today's reels, about 30 bars per minute, or strathspey speed.

The reel is played on Shetland island of Whalsay under the title "Bere Meal is Cheap Again (Da) (The)". Peter Cooke[2] gives the following text to this dance tune, collected in oral tradition in the Shetlands in the 1970's:

Da bere meal is cheap again,
Eight pence a peck again.

("Dear Meal (The) is Cheap Again" is a similar title, but musically different).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Anonymous (A Companion to the reticule), 1833; p. 3. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 1), 1799; p. 11. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2); No. 107, p. 14. Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 4), c. 1880's; No. 130, p. 16. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 5), 1844-45; p. 9. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 64 (appears as “Thro’ the Wood of Favie”).

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  2. Peter Cooke, The Fiddle Tradition of the Shetland Isles, 1986.