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Dance Maggie Lauder 4068

Strathspey · 32 bars · 2 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 21)

Devised by
Thomas (19C) Wilson (1816)
88 88 80 88 = 87% (1 turn), 60% (whole dance)
  • Strathspey setting, Strathspey travel
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
Maggie Lauder

Wha wadna be in love
  Wi’ bonnie Maggie Lauder?
A piper met her gaun to Fife,
  And spier’d what was’t they ca’d her;
Richt scornfully she answer’d him,
  Begone, you hallanshaker!
Jog on your gate, you bladderskate!
  My name is Maggie Lauder.

Maggie! quoth he; and, by my bags,
  I’m fidgin’ fain to see thee!
Sit doun by me, my bonnie bird;
  In troth I winna steer thee;
For I’m a piper to my trade;
  My name is Rob the Ranter;
The lasses loup as they were daft,
  When I blaw up my chanter.

Piper, quo’ Meg, hae ye your bags,
  Or is your drone in order?
If ye be Rob, I’ve heard o’ you;
  Live you upo’ the Border?
The lasses a’, baith far and near,
  Have heard o’ Rob the Ranter;
I’ll shake my foot wi’ richt guid will,
  Gif ye’ll blaw up your chanter.

Then to his bags he flew wi’ speed;
  About the drone he twisted;
Meg up and wallop’d ower the green;
  For brawly could she frisk it!
Weel done! quo’ he. Play up! quo’ she.
  Weel bobb’d! quo’ Rob the Ranter;
It’s worth my while to play, indeed,
  When I hae sic a dancer!

Weel hae ye play’d your part! quo’ Meg;
  Your cheeks are like the crimson!
There’s nane in Scotland plays sae weel,
  Sin’ we lost Habbie Simpson.
I’ve lived in Fife baith maid and wife,
  This ten years and a quarter;
Gin ye should come to Anster Fair,
  Spier ye for Maggie Lauder.

Ths song was written about 1642 by Francis Sempill of Beltrees (1616–1682). Sempill came from a line of literary and political figures. His father, Robert (1595–1668) wrote The Life and Death of Habbie Simson, the Piper of Kilbarchan. Sempill’s grandfather, Sir James (1566–1625), was educated with the young James VI (I) and studied with the Scottish humanist, George Buchanan. John, Sempill’s great-grandfater, was known at Court as “The Dancer” and it was he who married one of Queen Mary’s “Four Maries”, Mary Livingston, who was known as “The Lusty”. Although Mary Livingston’s nickname came from her exuberant manner of dancing, she and Sempill were not a couple highly approved of by John Knox before their marriage.

In 1816 there appeared a sequel to “Maggie Lauder” written by Captain Charles Gray, R. M. (1782–1851), anative of Anstrutherwester.

The cantie spring scarce rear’d her head,
  And winter yet did blaud her,
When the Ranter cam’ to Anster fair,
  An’ spier’d for Maggie Lauder;
A snug wee house in the East Green,
  Its shelter kindly lent her;
Wi’ cantie ingle, clean hearthstane,
  Meg welcom’d Rob the Ranter.

Then Rob made bonnie Meg his bride,
  An’ to the kirk they ranted;
He play’d the auld “East Nook o’ Fife,”
  An’ merry Maggie vaunted,
That Hab himsel’ ne’er play’d a spring,
  Nor blew sae weel his chanter,
For he made Anster town to ring;
  An’ wha’s like Rob the Ranter?

For a’ the talk an’ loud reports
  That ever gaed against her,
Meg proves a true an’ carefu’ wife,
  As ever was in Anster;
And since the marriage knot was tied,
  Rob swears he couldna want her,
For he lo’es Maggie as his life,
  An’ Meg lo’es Rob the Ranter.

“Anster fair” was the Lint Fair helt on the first Tuesday after 11 April, on 5 July and on 12 November and was attended by merchants from all of the commercial centres of Europe.

The tune appeared in Adam Craig’s A Collection of the Choicest Scots Tunes of 1730, but some 19th century literary authorities state that the old original tune was Irish. John Gay (1685–1732) used the tune “Maggie Lauder” in his opera “Achilles”, produced posthumously at Covent Garden in 1733. Robert Burns used the tune for his song “When First I Saw”. The “Maggie Lauder” mentioned in Burns’ poem “The Ordination” was the wife of William Lindsay, the minister of the Parish Kirk of Kilmarnock and had no connexion whatsoever with the “Maggie” of Sempill’s song of the previous century.

Maggie Lauder 2/4L · S32
1c+2c set twice ; half RHA {4}
2c+1c set twice ; half LHA {4}
1c lead down {3}, up {3}, cast off to 2pl (2c up)
2c+1c R&L
Maggie Lauder 2/4L · S32
1s+2s set twice & dance RH across 1/2 way
1s+2s set twice & dance LH across back to places
1s lead down the middle, back to top & cast to 2nd place
2s+1s dance R&L

Sorry, this browser doesn't seem to do SVG graphics :^(

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