For Better or Worse - Rob Roy and the Baillie, John Watson, Nicol, 1886
Birthday Rob Roy
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Rob Roy, frae the high Highlands,
Came to the Lawlan border;
It was to steal a lady away,
To keep his Highland house in order."
~ Traditional Ballad
A model of the kilted Scottish hero Rob Roy, has been in place on the rocky bank of Culter Burn, since around 1850, at the west of the village of Peterculter, just outside Aberdeen, Scotland. Legend has it that right as this point, Rob Roy leapt across the stream in pursuit of Hanoverian troops. At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 when the population was issued with gas masks, the Rob Roy statue was kitted out with his own mask! As each of the original statues have weathered, they have been replaced. This newest statue was unveiled in 2017.
March 7 marks the birthday/baptism of Rob Roy MacGregor as noted by his namesake dance.
"Rob Roy" is a dance in which each couple starts with a unique figure. It is a favorite challenge dance and a thrill to complete.
Robert Roy MacGregor (Gaelic: Raibeart Ruadh MacGriogair; baptised 7 March 1671 – died 28 December 1734) was a Scottish outlaw, who later became a folk hero. He is sometimes referred to as "the Scottish Robin Hood".
A fictionalised account of his life, The Highland Rogue, published in 1723, helped to him a legend in his own lifetime, perhaps influencing George I to issue a pardon for his crimes just as he was about to be transported to the colonies.
A subsequent publication, "Rob Roy," by Sir Walter Scott in 1817, further added to his fame and gave more detail to his biography.
Adaptations of his story have also been told in film including the 1922 silent film Rob Roy, a 1953 film from Walt Disney Productions "Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue" and the more recent 1995 Rob Roy.
In 1894, a bartender at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City created the Rob Roy cocktail in honor of the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta by composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith. The Rob Roy cocktail is similar to a Manhattan but made exclusively with Scotch whisky.
And see below for a video of the dance performed by the Eagle Rock Class of the San Gabriel Branch of the RSCDS.
For more on the life of Rob Roy, click the statue residing on the rocky bank of Culter Burn. Statues have sat on this site since around 1850, at the west of the village of Peterculter, just outside Aberdeen, Scotland. The Rob Roy Preservation Trust, which is a non profitable organisation, commissioned sculptor David J Mitchell to create this new replacement statue for 2017.