At the beginning of the second line of the ground, is what appears to be a rare explicitly written cadence. If taken at face value, this might suggest shifting the second pulse to the B rather than the usual D. This in turn suggests a pleasant symmetry with the second phrase of the first line. Cadences are also usually played, following Angus MacKay's setting in the crunluath singling, but not in the taoluath.
An attractive feature is the alternate ending on A the first time through the first line of the ground. If we abandon the practice of putting a cadence at the beginning of the line, or do so but make it quite brief, the melody leads naturally back to the G at the beginnig for the repeat. Only the second time through does the line end on the dissonant G. Donaldson marks this with sic , a suspected error, but it may not in fact be for this reason.
There is a curious figure, that has been written about elsewhere, and even caused controversy, that appears in the canntaireachd as "lal". This is written as a sort of D-doubling where the first note is an F rather than the usual G. Often this F is played long, see discussion on the main Lament for the Viscount of Dundee page for more detail.
The tone line in the taorluath and crunluath is also different from what is often heard nowadays following MacKay's setting. There are no AD figures ("hindaenda", "hindadre"), only GD ("himbabemba", "himbadre").
- Scanned copies of the original:
- Transcription into staff notation: ABC Notation and PDF
- W. Donaldson, Set Tunes Series, 2006, http://www.pipesdrums.com/wp-content/docengines/E6646B65E3A74915B1B95273EC0FD927.pdf