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Lament for the Death of his Second Wife

World / Ethnic

For guitar with tab

Printable sheet music file, 1 copy • 2 pages, ID: SM-000204469
Classical guitar
Type of score
“Lament for the Death of his Second Wife” is a 3/4 time waltz by the 18th century Scottish fiddle player Neil Gow. He penned this air after the death of his wife Margaret Urquhart in 1805, after three decades of a happy marriage. Out of all the pieces composed by Gow (and there have been dozens of Scottish dance tunes), the Lament is perhaps the best-known and the most widely-performed. Performers love it for the lively, graceful, yet sad and tender nature. The original manuscript of the waltz had three versions of part 2, each with a different ending. According to a theory, Gow’s melody might have been inspired by the Irish tune “Miss Graham Delight” by Malcolm MacDonald. This is the piece that he heard after the funeral of his brother in 1789. Some scholars also believe that composer used to call his favourite fiddle “my second wife” and that the piece might actually have been dedicated to it after he dropped the instrument by accident. Whatever the lament is for, you can play and enjoy this beautiful air on the instrument of your choice.
  • Comments

For solo piano

Title by uploader: Neil Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife (solo piano)

3.95 USD

Seller Jordan Grigg
PDF, 191.8 Kb ID: SM-000267323 Upload date: 16 Dec 2016
Scored for
Type of score
Piano score
D major
Jordan Grigg
Jordan Grigg
Year of composition
World / Ethnic/Scottish
  • Comments
comments Laurie 08 Jul 2019 14:33

I hear that was another piece by Gow that he did write for his fiddle, but it was titled shorter, something like "Niel Gow’s Wife" or sort of. I still rather believe that this particular lament does sing the sorrow for the loss of the woman he loved. It's easily played and combines a lot of bright emotions. Whatever the story is behind all this, what matters the most is the amazing music that we can play today.

0:00 Neil Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife (solo piano)