This dance is commonly associated with a fairly idiosyncratic tune that no two CDs seem to be able to agree on what it is called. Also, some people claim that it is actually from Germany. What gives?
This is what the deviser of the dance, Mr. James MacGregor-Brown, himself wrote via email (dating April 6, 2011):
And continuing (dating April 19, 2011):
And, continuing again (dating April 21, 2011):
Edwin Werner Netherlands
The tune in question appears on CD inlays both as »Hamish's Tune« and »The Remmerts of Herford« (often spelled »Remots«, among other varieties). Usually credited to Hamish Menzies, it bears an uncanny resemblance to a German song, Die Fischerin vom Bodensee (The Lake Constance Fisherwoman), which was written by Franz Winkler in 1947 and used in 1956 as part of the soundtrack of a (cheesy) eponymous film.
Hamish Menzies was a Scottish fiddle player and dance band leader; some of his recordings, including a version of The Dashing White Sergeant with the »Remmerts of Herford« tune as an alternative, have recently been re-issued on a compilation CD (»Scottish Sounds of Yesteryear, Volume 2«, from Beracah Music).
Herford is a town in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. »Remmert« is a fairly plausible German family name, and indeed the Herford local telephone book includes 20 entries for people or businesses named »Remmert«. We have no information about the connection between any of those people and Hamish Menzies.
The alternative title »Hamish's Tune« is said to go back to Andrew Rankine, who when recording the dance on his album, »Barn Yard Party«, couldn't remember the original title, only the composer's name.
Thanks to Mike Briggs for doing most of the leg-work on this one.
answered 31 Oct '11, 19:12