Scots Sangs Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs for use in Scottish schools

JOHN MCALPINE

This tune is very versatile.

Here it is played as a strathspey by Colin Campbell, fiddle, and Katherine Campbell, piano. 

It is indeed popular as a strathspey, but when the rhythm is ‘ironed out’ it is also used as a march, a polka, and as a song tune.

The ballad The False Knight On The Road is sung to this tune. A school boy meets the devil in disguise as a knight. He tries to trick the boy with hard questions.

Another song sung to the tune is The Bog Down In The Valley, which begins with a 'tree in the bog' and adds all kinds of other things like the branch on the tree, the limb on the branch, eventually on into a nest with an egg, a bird inside it, a feather, a spot on the feather, and all the elements are added together to make a very long 'cumulative' song.