An Odd Choice of Wedding Tunes

We went to a wedding last night not too far from where we live. It was supposed to be an outdoor wedding, but the weather being mighty blustery, it got moved indoors. It was held at the groom’s parents’ home, which was a fairly large house. Until you cram 150 people into it. We were told by the bride’s mother, our neighbor, that 150 people were expected to come, and I have to say, I believe they all showed up, bringing additional friends with them.

Anyway, so there we are, crammed in like sardines into this very lovely home when the wedding proper began. The only music they had was a lone fiddler who was quite good. He began playing and the wedding party starts processing to the lovely antique arbor they had setup in the living room for the vows. Just as the bride comes down the stairs, I realize what the fiddler is playing. It’s a gorgeous tune, but the name and sentiment are what make it an odd choice. The tune? “Neil Gow’s Lament for the Death of this Second Wife” (emphasis mine). Now, I absolutely love that tune. It’s a beautiful slow air that brings tears to your eyes. I can play it on the low whistle and mandolin (not at the same time, of course) and each imparts it’s own beauty. But where it is most at home is on the fiddle. This makes since because Gow was a fiddler. The only recording I’ve heard of this is by Dougie MacLean on his Tribute record. Dougie really knows how to coax the beauty out of that tune on the fiddle. I’m listening to him play it now. Ahh…

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