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Updated 03/20/2020


Young Rory

Young Rory may refer to Rory MacKay. Rory, was probably born at Tongue, and was almost certainly piper to the chiefs of Mackay, before being forced to flee his home territory in 1609. Rory Mackay was married to an illegitimate daughter of the first Lord Reay. According to tradition, Rory cut the hand off a gentleman's servant in a tussle for the use of a boat. The Mackenzie chieftain of Gairloch was present and invited the piper to come to work for him, rather than face punishment. In exchange, Mackenzie sent Lord Reay a shepherd, whose descendants were living at Halladale, Sutherland, until recently.

The tune, Young Rory, also known as Stumpie Strathspey, was used, as were so many famous Scots melodies, by poet Robert Burns (17591796) for one of his revisions of a Scots song.

Hap and row, hap and row,
Hap and row, the feetie o',t
I thocht I was a maiden fair
Till I heard the greetie o't.
My daddy was a fiddler fine,
My minnie she made mankie-o;
And I mysel' a thumpin' quean,
Wha danced the reel o' Stumpie O.

Gossip cup, the gossip cup,
The kimmer clash and caudle-O;
The glowin moon, the wanton loon,
The cuttie-stool and cradle-O.
Douce dames maun hae their bairn-time borne,
Sae dinna glower sae glumpie-O,
Birds love the morn and craws love corn,
And maids the reel o' Stumpie-O.