Brig of Balater (The)
BRIG(G)/BRIDGE OF BAL(L)ATER, THE. AKA and see "Mr. Fletcher's Delight." Scottish, ("Very Slow") Strathspey. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Skye): AAB (Athole, Gow, Glen): AABB' (Kerr). Brig is the Scottish for 'bridge.' The Bridge of Ballater, spanning the river Dee, was built by James Robertson of Banff and was completed in 1783. It was a five-span masonry structure, however, it did not last long for in 1799 the Dee was in spate and it was totally destroyed. It is this bridge that was referenced in the title. A replacement structure was not completed until 1809, built on plans from the great engineer Thomas Telford. It was again a five-span bridge, but this time built of granite. It too was carried away, this time in the "Great Spate" of 1829. The present bridge is the 4th Bridge of Ballater, a Victorian span dating from 1885. The melody is attributed to Dunkeld, Perthshire, fiddler-composer Niel Gow (1727-1807) in his First Collection (1784/1801).
Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 16. Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Music), vol. 2, 1895; p. 17. Gow (The First Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 24. Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 2; No. 84, p. 11. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; pg. 186. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 67.
Recorded source: Smithsonian Folkways Records, SFW CD 40507, The Beaton Family of Mabou - "Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music" (2004). See also listing at: Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index .
X:1 T:Brig of Balater, The M:C L:1/8 R:Stathspey B:Stewart-Robertson - The Athole Collection (1884) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C E|C>EG>A c>G A<a|g<c g>e d2 d>e|C>EG>A c>G A<a|g<c g>e c2c:| e/f/|g<c e>c g<c f>a|g<c g>e d2 de/f/|g<c e>c g<c f>a|g>ce>d c2 ce/f/| g<c e>c g<c f>a|g<c g>e d2 d>e|C>EG>A c>G A<a|g<c g>e c2c||
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