the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

early 19th century Scottish Poets


researched by Frances

Christian Ross Milne (b. 1773) Wife of a journeyman ship-carpenter in Footdee, Aberdeen

1805 The Captive Sailor in 'Simple poems on simple subjects' printed in Aberdeen

"If Fortune crown with wealth my labour--
    "If Heav'n propitious be my guide;
"At my return, with pipe and tabor,
    "With joy I'll make sweet N AN   my bride.

"When peace shall come, and Britain's navy
    "Unrigg'd, shall rest from hostile harms--
"If I'm preserv'd from France, and D AVY   ,
    "I'll happy rush to N ANCY   's arms."

Copyright (c) 2001, Nancy Kushigian (This edition is the property of the editors. It may be copied freely by individuals for personal use, research, and teaching (including distribution to classes) as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. It may be linked to by internet editions of all kinds.)


Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832)

Scottish historical novelist and poet who had an interest in old Border tales and ballads. The pipe and tabor is mentioned in:

1816 Old Mortality (chapter2)

"instead of giving way to the terrors of authority; and the youth of both sexes, to whom the pipe and tabor in England, or the bagpipe in Scotland, would have been in themselves an irresistible temptation"

1820 The Abbot (chapter 14)

on morris dancing:

"The morris-dancers stood still--the hobby-horse surceased his capering--
pipe and tabor were mute, and silence, like a heavy cloud
seemed to descend on the once noisy rabble ....
The rabble, mutable as usual, huzzaed, the pipe and tabor struck up,
the hobby-horse pranced, the beasts roared, and even
the repentant dragon began again to coil up his spires"

1822 Peveril of the Peak (chapter 7)
used to flirt to entice a lady out into the garden

"Aha, Mistress Deb, if you are so ready to dance after my pipe and tabor, I will give you a couranto before you shall come up with me...
she did not follow me-Gad .. What! when I thought I had the prettiest girl in the Castle dancing after my whistle"

*1826 Woodstock; or, The Cavalier (chapter 3)

"but where was the edification of all this?--
what use of doctrine could be derived from a pipe and tabor?
or was there ever aught like wisdom in a bagpipe?"

on maypole dancing:

"Were you now, in your bodily self, to light suddenly on a Maypole,
with all the blithe morris-dancers prancing around it
to the merry pipe and tabor, with bells jingling, ribands fluttering,
lads frisking and laughing, lasses leaping"


John Galt (1779 - 1839) Scottish poet wrote later in his life:

"In my youth I wrote a poem called the 'Legend of St. Anthony,'
which I undertook with the intention of depicting comical phantasms; ...I (now) give up all pretension to belonging to that class who deal in the wild and wonderful"

from A Legend of St Anthony referring to the Devil

"But now another guise they take,
The old one still them heading,-
Like hinds and maidens, two and two,
With pipe and tabor on they go,
A merry village wedding.
I need not tell who play'd the priest"

November 2009


top of page