White Cockade, The | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

A tune with deep Scottish and North American roots, The White Cockade is still widely played in Kings County. Some versions from northeast Kings – notably those of “Young Peter” Chaisson and George MacPhee - have been elaborated to allow for more intense bowing accents. Many Kings County fiddlers call the tune The Rose in the Garden.

The title, White Cockade may refer to a rosette of white feathers worn as a hat decoration by supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Rebellion of 1745. The melody itself goes back to at least the last quarter of the 17th century; a version entitled merely “Scots Tune” was printed in a collection by John Playford called Apollo's Banquet (1687). As White Cockade, the tune appeared in the Gow Repository and numerous other Scottish tune books around the beginning of the 19th century; it later appeared in both The Athole Collection (1884) and The Skye Collection (1887). Its first publication in North America dates to the 1790s.

Notation for Francis MacDonald’s version of the tune is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.

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