Archie Menzies | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

Archie Menzies may well have been played on PEI prior to the recording era, but its wide contemporary circulation is owed in great part to a popular recording released in the 1950s by Cape Breton fiddle great Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald recorded the tune in medley with the Key of F-setting of the popular tune Fisher’s Hornpipe, a pairing that has been maintained in most of the selections available here.

The Menzies family originated in Normandy and has resided for centuries in Menzies Castle, Aberfeldy, Scotland (pronunciation of the name in Scotland is "Mingus"). The most likely person for whom John Lowe might have named the tune was Archibald Menzies (1754-1842), a well-known medical doctor, botanist, and explorer. According to The Scottish Tune Index, it first appeared in print in Lowe’s Collection of Reels, Strathspeys, Jigs [. . .] vol. 1 (1844), compiled by the composer's son Joseph Lowe (1797-1866).

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