SMM 290 For a’ that an’ a’ that
Lady McIntosh’s Reel
Robert Bremner A Collection of Scots Reels 1757-61
In Early Scottish Melodies (1900), John Glen noted the similarity between the tune given in SMM for the song ‘For a’ that and a’ that’ and the dance tune ‘Lady McIntosh’s Reel’. The tune first appeared in print in David Rutherford’s London collection 24 Dances for the year 1754 in two variants, as ‘Lady McIntosh’s Rant’ and ‘The Prince’s Reel’. The latter appears as a very close concordance with the version we have recorded: ‘Lady McIntosh’s Reel’, from the the first part of Robert Bremner’s A Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances.
This collection published in Edinburgh between 1757 and 1761 as a series of fourteen eight-page prints. Apart from James Oswald’s (untraced) 1736 A collection of minuets, this was the first collection of dance music published in Scotland, and ushered in a new boom of Scottish dance music publications in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It is also the first printed collection from Scotland to adopt simple four-beat bass-lines, rather than the more genteel, melodic Italianate basses popular in ‘Scots tune’ collections such as those by Adam Craig and William McGibbon.
Aaron McGregor, October 2016
Recorded by Neil McDermott
Produced by David McGuinness
Recordings ©2016 Concerto Caledonia
Licensed to University of Glasgow for non-commercial use by the Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century project, and associated projects