Niel Gow - Encyclopedia

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NIEL GOW (1727-1807), Scottish musician of humble parentage, famous as a violinist and player of reels, but more so for the part he played in preserving the old melodies of Scotland. His compositions, and those of his four sons, Nathaniel, the most famous (1763-1831), William (1751-1791), Andrew (1760-1803), and John (1764-1826), formed the "Gow Collection," comprising various volumes edited by Niel and his sons, a valuable repository of Scottish traditional airs. The most important of Niel's sons was Nathaniel, who is remembered as the author of the well-known "Caller Herrin," taken from the fishwives' cry, a tune to which words were afterwards written by Lady Nairne. Nathaniel's son, NIEL Gow junior (1795-1823), Was the author of the famous songs "Flora Macdonald's Lament" and "Cam' ye by Athol."

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