Tune of the Day: Jenny Dang The Weaver
This tune has been credited to the Rev. Alexander Garden (1688–1778), minister of Birse, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In The Fiddler Music of Scotland (1988), Hunter relates that around 1746 “the minister's 'handy-man' and ex-weaver from Mary well called Jock, hotly refused to clean the parson's boots when requested to do so by Mrs. Garden. The enraged minister's wife gave him such a beating with her 'tattie-beetle' that he soon performed the task”. Another explanation for the title stems from the fact that an engine or a machine was often called a “jenny”; thus a “jenny” that replaced a weaver to produce cloth could be said to 'dang' (beat) him.
The reel was first published in the 2nd edition of William Thompson's Orpheus Caledonius (1733), where it appeared as “Jenny Beguil'd the Webster”. The earliest appearance in print under the title “Jenny Dang the Weaver” is in Robert Bremner's 1757 Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances.