This is my setting of a tune I often played with harmonica player Tommy Basker (1923-99). He had learned it from his father Alex who likely learned it by ear from his friend, fiddler Joe Confiant (1900-85). The tune was widespread in Cape Breton's Northside. Some play a setting closer to Duntroon (see explanation below). Since the setting differ from the common pipe tunes I use the title from the earliest fiddle setting.
I revisited this tune while researching The Cape Breton Highland Collection. There I hypothesize that the original was likely a 2 part pipe tune perhaps close to the setting published as Oh She's Comical (see Gow, Skye Collection etc.). Perhaps there was a funny Gaelic song hence different titles both relating to humour
My setting is a composite assembled from both aural and written sources, somewhere between, Duntroon, The Rejected Suitor and The Glen Where My Love Is.
It appeared in print late 18th century in fiddle compilations by Gow and McGlashan The first printed setting had six turns (as Oh But Ye Be Merry, McGlashan 1786) but only the 1st four were strong. The 5th and 6ths were likely added with a violinist not a piper in mind. McGlashan himself was a trained Baroque violinist.
In the 19th century, the piping world added a number of different 3rd and 4th turns as well as melodic variation to the first couple of bars. Titles for 4-part settings included Duntroon, The Glen Where My Love Is, and The Rejected Suitor. The title Duntroon likely started with McPhedran as did the 3rd and fourth turns of that setting. see: MacPhee, 1876 where McPhedran was credited as the composer of the whole tune. Given the history, it seems more likely that McPhedran simply came up with a title and a new 3rd and fourth part.
last update 2/8/15