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    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.
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The King of the Fairies

Played by: Mtpa06
Source: Soundcloud
Image: The King of the Fairies

The King of the Fairies (Rí na Sideog).

Also known and see Rí na Sideog, Bonny Charlie (1), King William of Orange, Lonesome Wedding (The), Your Old Wig is the Love of My Heart, Briton's Glory, Scollay's Reel."

"King of the Fairies" appears to be derived from a Jacobite tune called "Bonny Charlie (1)," appearing in many 18th century Scots and Northern English publications, such as Aird (1783). "King William of Orange" is a British title for the melody, while "Briton's Glory" is Glasgow Highland bagpiper, pipe teacher and pipe-maker William Gunn's adaptation of the tune as a pipe quick step.

The set dance was collected in Ireland c. 1840 by John Edward Pigot (published by P.W. Joyce in Old Irish Folk Music and Songs, 1909, No. 690) under the title "Your old wig is the love of my heart." Collector George Petrie also had it as an untitled air (Stanford/Petrie, Complete Collection, No. 1281), and it appears as "Lonesome Wedding (The)" in Frank Roches' third volume (1927). The tune is played by Cape Breton fiddlers with the Irish title ("King of the Fairies"), but as a march. Shetland fiddler John Scollay was recorded in the 1950's by Pat Shuldham-Shaw playing a reel setting of the tune, now known as "Scollay's Reel," popularized in America in the last quarter of the 20th century by John McCutcheon and New England contra dance musicians.

One tale attached to the tune (albeit perhaps a modern piece of 'blarney', as there is no folkloric connection) has it that "The King of the Fairies" is a summoning tune, and if played three times in a row during a festivity the King must appear. Once summoned, however, the King assesses the situation, and if the gathering is to his liking he may join in; if however, he does not find it to his liking he may cause great mischief.

...more at: The King of the Fairies - full Score(s) and Annotations


X:1 T: King of the Fairies, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe K:Edor |:B,|EDEF GFGA|B2B2 G3A|B2E2 EFGE |FGFE DE ((3FED)| EDEF GFGA|BAGB d3=c|B2E2 GFED|E2 ED E3:| B|e2e2 Bdef|gagf e3f|e2B2 BABc|dedc Bc d/c/B| e2B2 Bdef|gagf efed|Bdeg fedf|e2 ed e3f | g3e f3d|edBc d3e|dBAF GABc|dBAF GFED| B,2E2 EFGA|B2e2 edef|e2B2 BAGF | E2 ED E3|]

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Who Builds The Archive

Who Builds The Archive

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
Above all, the developers wish you joy in the use of the TTA.

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  • Search. The Search function is located at the top right, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word. See Search help pages
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  • Query the Archive. The “Query the Archive” function under “The Archive” in the sidebar can be used to draw down reports from the TTA in either in single items or in a number of combinations. One might, for example, use a single item query to run a report in the TTA for a particular composer/core source. Clicking on the arrow at the right of the bar draws down a list of composer/core sources, or one may be typed in. For example, clicking on “Bill Pigg” and then the “Run Query” tab at the bottom left will result in a list of all compositions listed in the TTA that the Northumbrian piper either composed or is the core source for. Reports may also be run in combinations, as, for example, by selecting “William Marshall” as a composer/core source, “Three Flats” for the number of accidentals, and “Major” for the Key/Mode. This will result in a report of all Eb Major compositions of Scottish fiddler/composer William Marshall that are indexed in the TTA.
  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Publications” in the left side bar. These are reproductions of publications for which access has been granted to the TTA by the copyright holder, under the Creative Commons license.