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Dance Dumbarton Drums 1799

Reel · 32 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 213)

Devised by
Thomas (19C) Wilson (1816)
888 800 880 888 = 75% (1 turn), 56% (whole dance)
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
Dumbarton's Drums

Dumbarton’s Drums beat bonnie, O,
When they mind me of my dear Johnnie, O.
How happy am I
When my soldier is by.
While he kisses and blesses his Annie, O.
Tis a soldier alone can delight me, O,
For his graceful looks to unite me, O.
While guarded in his arms,
I’ll fear no war’s alarms,
Neither danger or death shall e’er fright me, O.

My love is a handsome laddie, O.
Genteel but ne’er foppish nor gaudie, O.
Tho’ commissions are dear,
Yet I’ll buy him one this year,
For he shall serve no longer a cadie, O.
As soldier hs honour and bravery, O,
Unacquainted with rogues and their knavery, O.
He minds no other thing
But the ladies and the King,
For every other care is but slavery, O.

Then I’ll be the Captain’s lady, O.
Farewell all my friends and my daddy, O.
I’ll wait no more at home,
But I’ll follow the drum
And wherever that beats I’ll be ready, O.
Dumbarton’s Drums beat bonnie, O.
They are sprightly like my dear Johnny, O.
How happy I shall be
When on my soldier’s knee
And he kisses and blesses his Annie, O.

William Stenhouse says, “This song is inserted in the second edition of Thomson’s Orpheus Caledonius, published in 1733. It also appeared in Daniel Wright’s Miscellany for December 1733, under the title of ‘DUMBARTON’S DRUMS, never before printed to music.’ The words were inserted in the Tea-Table Miscellany in 1724, but the author is unknown.” It also appears in James Johnson’s The Scots Musical Museum, Voume 2 (1788).

‘Dumbarton’s Drums” is the regimental march of the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment). This, the oldest regiment in the British Army, had its beginnings when Scottish troops under John Hepburn entered the service of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, “The Lion of the North”, in 1625. A few years later these mercenary troops were amalgamated with the Scottish Brigade in French service to Louis XIII during the Thirty Years War and was called “Le Regiment d’Hebron”, a corruption of the name Hepburn. After Hepburn’s death at the siege of Saverne in 1636, the regiment was called “Le Regiment de Douglas” for its new colonel, Lord James Douglas (1617–1645). Its next colonel was Lord George Douglas, the Earl of Dumbarton, and in 1678 it was know as “Dumbarton’s Regiment”. In 1684, then in British service, it was designated as “The Royal Regiment of Foot”, in 1751 as the 1st or Royal Regiment and in 1812 the 1st or The Royal Scots.

The Earl of Dumbarton (1636–1692) was the second son of William Douglas (1589–1660), 11th Earl of Angus and 1st Marquess of Douglas, and his second wife, Lady Mary Gordon.

Lord George’s grandfather, William, 10th Earl of Angus, of the line of the “Red” Douglas, was a convert to Roman Catholicism and a conspirator against the government. The eleventh earl, created marquess in 1633 by Charles I, joined James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, at the battle of Philiphaugh near Selkirk on 12 September, 1645, when the troops of Montrose were defeated by the Protestants under Lord David Leslie. He was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and released only after he had signed the Solemn League and Covenant.

The first marquess had four sons. The eldest, by Lady Margaret Hamilton, daughter of the Earl of Abercorn, was Archibald, Earl of Ormond, Lord Bothwell and Hartside, who predeceased his father. The second son of that first marriage was James, Lord Angus, who also died before his father. The third son was William, Earl of Selkirk (1635–1694), elder son of the Gordon marriage, who married Anne (1636–1716), eldest daughter of James, 1st Duke of Hamilton, who inherited the title in her own right upon the death of her uncle, William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton, at the battle of Worcester in 1651. In 1660 Duchess Anne petitioned that the title be conferred upon William Douglas, as 3rd Duke of Hamilton. (See “The Duke of Hamilton’s Reel”)

The younger son of the second marriage was Lord George Douglas. He spent much of his youth in France and was Page of Honour to Louis XIV. His half-brother, Lord James, ceded to him the colonelcy of “Le Regiment de Douglas”. In 1661 Lord George returned to England from Flanders and offered his services to Charles II, only to be returned to the Continent in 1662. In 1666, at the head of his regiment, Lord George again returned to England. A year later charles ordered them abroad once more and since such rapid changes of allegiance were heartily disliked by officers and men alike, their colonel interceded with both Charles and Louis, but it was to no avail, for the regiment’s foreign service continued. Lord George fought with great honour and valour in the Netherlands and on the Rhine and was made a major general in the French Army. For his service in the Dutch and French wars, he was created Earl of Dumbarton and Lord Douglas of Ettrick by Charles in 1675, both titles only, with no grants of land or estates. In 1678 Dumbarton’s Regiment was finally withdrawn from France and it became a permanent part of the British Army, stationed in Ireland. Unfortunately, the earl as a Roman Catholic was prohibited from holding a commission in the British Army and, thus, he was not present when twenty-one companies of the Earl of Dumbarton’s Late Regiment of Foot mustered at Kinsdale in County Cork in April, 1679.

When James VII (II), himself a Roman Catholic, succeeded to the throne upon the death of his brother in 1685, the Earl of Dumbarton was commissioned lieutenant general. On 28 November, 1685, he was recommissioned as “Colonel of Our Regiment of Foot”. As commander-in-chief of the army in Scotland he suppressed the rebellion of Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, who had taken the side of the Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II, against his uncle, James II. (See “Dalkeith’s Strathspey”) Dumbarton’s reward from the king was a grant of escheat of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun who had been an adviser to Monmouth. He stood high in the favour of the king and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Thistle. When James was exiled in 1688 Dumbarton followed him to France and was Lord of the Bedhcamber at St. Germain-en-Laye. He died on 20 March, 1692.

“Dumbarton’s Drums” as a regimental march dates from 1687. It is a very old tune and has been known as “I Serve a Worthie Lassie” in honour of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James VI (I), who married Frederick V, Elector of Palatine and King of Bohemia, in 1613. It was also called “The Scots March” which was beaten to rally the smoke- and dust-blinded troops of Hepburn’s regiment in their victorious battle of Leipzig (Breitenfeld) in 1631 between the army of the Protestant Gustavus Adolphus and the forces of Count Johan Tully, commander of the Catholic League during the Thirty Years War.

While pipers were nothing new to any Scots forces in battle the first pipe-major on record was Alexander Wallace who belonged to Dumbarton’s Regiment as early as 1679.

Dumbarton Drums 3/4L · R32
Rsh Reels3 on the sides
1c lead down the middle and up (1,2,3)
1c+2c Allemande, finishing in lines across, 1W between 2c facing 1M between 3c
All set | All set, 1c moving to 2pl ; all set twice (2,1,3).
Dumbarton Drums 3/4L · R32
1s dance RSh reels on own sides
1s lead down the middle & back to top
1s+2s dance Allemande 1s end with Lady between 2s facing down & Man between 3s facing up
All set twice 1s turning to left to 2nd place own sides (reverse petronella turn), all set twice

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Added on: 2017-06-12 (Linda Mae Dennis)
Quality: Animation

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