Music from or about Scotland

About 1854 Douglas Dale published in Sacramento a song for famous singer Anna Bishop entitled "Take Back the Ring, Dear Jamie." The song was written by Stephen Massett and lithographed (with rather poor notation) by B. F. Butler, later an important lithographer in San Francisco.

The Scots dialect was popular in 19th-century book and song. Another song directed to a Jamie is "When ye gang awa, Jamie" by John Demar, published in the 1870s in San Francisco by Matthias Gray. J. L. Gilbert wrote many songs about Scottish lassies including Bonnie Sweet Bessie the Maid o' Dundee published in San Francisco in 1873.

The famous poem by William Douglas, Annie Laurie, was altered and set to music by Lady John Douglas Scott (born Alicia Anne Spottiswoode), who was married to the brother of the 5th duke of Buccleuch. It was popular with Scottish troops during the Crimean War. It was published as Annie Lawrie in San Francisco in the 1880's on single sheets of letter paper.

The schottische was a popular dance across America and the world and 75 of them were published in California in the 19th century. Titles include Bonnie Little Belle Schottische by Charles Schultz (1873). Schottisches were written to commemorate visitors (Edwin Booth Schottische, Kentucky Jubilee singers' Schottische) or places (Yosemite, Golden Gate). Versions of popular songs were published as schottisches to dance to: Slightly on the Mash, Imp, La Querida, Pigmy Ditti.

Virtuoso pianists often wrote fantasias on popular songs. Brinley Richards used Blue Bells of Scotland as the theme of a publication of Matthias Gray in San Francisco. Local composer Wilhelm Kuhe used the same theme for a study on scales, also published by Matthias Gray.

A captivating lithograph of a young lady is on the cover of "Scotch Lassie, Jean," written and sung by Harry Miller in the production "Tourists in a Pullman Car."

The characteristic Scottish snap begins the Highland Polka as taught by J. W. Fuller and Sister, arranged by local German immigrant violinist and conductor Charles Schultz. Another edition published in San Francisco, "As Performed by C. Andres' Band" but still arranged by Schultz, replaces the Scottish snap.