Lasses of Glenalladale, The | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

This tune is played primarily in Northeast Kings County. Its modern manifestation was borrowed from Cape Breton via recordings and broadcasts. Two such recorded sources were Five MacDonald Fiddlers (who used the Gelnodale title), and Joe Cormier (who used Glenaodale). The earliest version of this tune in print seems to be in Dunlay and Reich, Traditional Celtic Fiddle Music of Cape Breton (c. 1985).

Neither Glenaodale nor Gelnodale seem to be a valid place names, and I would argue instead that the lasses in question probably haled from a site in Scotland known as Glenalladale.

Capt. John MacDonald (1742-1811), eighth Laird of Glenalladale, helped found the first settlement of Highland Scots on Prince Edward Island. Many members of the original party, which landed at Tracadie Bay in 1771 aboard the Alexander, were his tenants or retainers, and some of their descendants later helped establish or extend Scottish settlement in Cape Breton.

Some fiddlers play this tune in three parts: the usual low turn and high turn, plus an octave-lower variant of the high turn.

Notation for this tune as played by Gus Longaphie is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.