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Emmet 
Posted: 11-Aug-2005, 12:12 PM
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Here's an article I've just completed. Comments, suggestions?

PROTOCOL FOR PIPING A FORMAL DINNER A Ceremonial Guide For Highland Bagpipers


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 11-Aug-2005, 12:35 PM
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How totally cool, I never knew any of that stuff! (So that's where "paying the piper" comes from. Nice! smile.gif )

May I send it to someone, or are you publishing it and don't want it shared yet? My gaidhlig teacher is a piper, and I think he would find it wonderful, and might even have comments. (Poor guy. He is presently trying to figure out how to fly to Edinburgh for the tattoo and bring his sgian dubh on the plane. Says he feels naked without it, if he's kilted.)

(Oh -- down under "paying the piper," where you have the gaelic toasts -- since you have the pronunciation as "Slanjervaw" with a "v", the gaelic spelling would be "slainte mhor," not "mor." Sinece you have it correct further down, I guess this is just a typo.)

Any particular tunes for piping in a haggis, or would it be the same as the beef or main course, whatever?
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Emmet 
Posted: 11-Aug-2005, 12:51 PM
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You're welcome to pass it around to anyone who has an interest in such things.

Haggis is traditionally piped in to the Robert Burns tune "A Man's A Man For All That" (particularly on Burns Night, of course), a great tune and a great sentiment;

QUOTE
A Man's A Man For A' That


Is there for honesty poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave -- we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that?
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that,
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that,
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that,
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that,
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that
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sorbus 
  Posted: 11-Aug-2005, 04:22 PM
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I` m about to be declared an Apostate
and considering I`m a descendant of the man himself
A Heretic But I`ll be honest Folk
I do not like Haggis
So Once I was perusing The Bards Works
and I started to read it The Address
and I rememebered having previously
read that Burn`s Address To The King
if read backwards I do not mean Letter by letter
but word by word becomes A Tirade rather than a Eulogy
So as I was reading This "Address To The Haggis
if Read in a Similar Way as You Read Holy Willies`s Prayer
It becomes a Satire.
Anyway Back to The Subject
The Idea of The Piper at The High Table owes it`s Origins
Not To The British Army
But The Clans as Previous to The Formation of The Black Watch
The Piper was Alien to Engand
In fact The Pipes Were Instruments of Terror
Which may explain Englands Distaste towards The Pipes.
It was The Clan Chiefs who employed the Piper
and The Position was passed down from Father To Son
The Most Famous Being The Macrimmons Holders of The The Faery Flag of Dunveagan cool.gif
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Emmet 
Posted: 12-Aug-2005, 07:45 AM
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While the tradition of having a piper at high table may have it's origins in the clan system in Scotland & Ireland, the formal dinners and dining in ceremonies as we know them today are directly attributable to the traditions of the officers mess in the British Army and Royal Navy. Originally fife & drums or trumpeters were employed to sound the calls; as Highland regiments were organized, pipers were employed not only for this purpose, but to celebrate great battles and victories in the history of the regiment and to memorialize their dead, quite in keeping with the Celtic bardic tradition. Originally, Army pipers were outfitted and paid not by the MoD, but by the officer's mess; without their patronage, modern Highland regiments wouldn't have ever had pipers. Bagpipes were not at all unknown in England, and there were varieties of both great pipes and smallpipes indigenous to the country (read Chaucer, for instance), as there were for most of Europe. Watch and listen to the next pipe & drum band you see at the Highland Games; they are almost all playing what many manufacturers refer to as a "Military pattern" bagpipe (British military), their marching drill is based entirely upon that of the British Army (the pipe & drum band is entirely an invention of the British Army, modeled after their military brass bands), their uniforms quite often as not are adaptations or direct reproductions of those of the British Army, and the vast majority of their tunes are those of the British Army. Without the British Army, the great Highland bagpipe would be about as familiar to most people today as the zampogna.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 14-Aug-2005, 11:07 AM
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I'm a little ashamed to say I don't know the history better, but isn't that a kind of turnabout? At what point were the pipes banned (or were they? I always thought so, and that's why the mouth music for the dance rose to such a practice), and then when did the military "rehabilitate" and adopt them into the regimental tradition?
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Emmet 
Posted: 14-Aug-2005, 01:37 PM
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The Acts of Proscription of 1746 and 1747 prohibited Scots "to have in his or their custody, use, or bear, broad sword or target, poignard, whinger, or durk, side pistol, gun, or other warlike weapon" (the aristocracy and soldiers in the royal Highland regiments were exempt); and banned the wearing of traditional Highland dress, specifically tartan and the kilt (except by officers and soldiers in royal Highland regiments) under penalty of seven years transportation. There was no mention of bagpipes anywhere in the Disarming Acts, and there's no record of any attempt to prosecute anyone for possessing or playing pipes pursuant to the Acts. The myth of pipes being banned probably stems from the trial of piper James Reid, captured at York following the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. On trial for treason, he claimed innocence by reason of being merely a musician, having never actually borne arms in rebellion against the Crown. The judge was less than sympathetic, noting that as in his experience a Highland regiment never marched without a piper, therefore bagpipes were "an instrument of war". While "the great war pipe of the north" is certainly an instrument of war, they were never adjudicated to be a weapon of war, therefore didn't fall under the purview of the Disarming Acts. Unfortunately for James Reid, that distinction was entirely lost upon the court, and he was ordered hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Besides banning the ownership of weapons and the wearing of Highland dress, the Disarming Acts abolished the heritable jurisdictions and wardholdings upon which the tribal clan system of Scotland was based. Jacobites such as Lord Lovat were stripped of their titles and lands which were then handed over to loyalists, extending the English feudal system to the Highlands and setting the stage for the great socioeconomic devastation of the Highland Clearances. At the same time, England's global colonial empire was at it's zenith, requiring an insatiable supply of British regiments to maintain, defend, and expand her colonies around the world, and the legendary fighting capabilities of the Highland Scots certainly hadn't gone unnoticed. An obvious enticement to recruiting in the Highlands was not merely pay but the institutionalization of cultural icons and traditions such as Highland dress and the great Highland bagpipe. Ever since then until the present day, the British Army has not only offered an escape from the poverty of the Highlands, but their regimental system has provided a cultural identity in their Highland regiments that is distinctly Scottish in nature, and an espirit de corps that is second to none.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 14-Aug-2005, 05:55 PM
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I remember my father telling me about their being called "Ladies from Hell" by the Turks at Gallipoli. That they took one listen, had no idea what it was and thought it was some kind of demons, and ran away. Well, that's what my dad said. smile.gif

Here is a nice video clip with World War I footage.

http://www.96th.ca/Warpipes_LowSpeed.htm
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Emmet 
Posted: 15-Aug-2005, 05:31 AM
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It's hard to nail down the genesis of such folklore; I was always under the impression that it was the Germans during WW I that gave them that sobriquet; at least it was according to an interview I've seen with Harry Lunan, the last surviving piper to have played in battle during"war to end all wars", prior to his death in 1999.
QUOTE
Harry Lunan joined the Gordon Highlanders in 1913 as a a piper, for which he received one penny a day extra pay. During the First World War he took part in the horrendous carnage of the Battle of the Somme, in 1916, and in which the British Army lost 60,000 men on the first day. At the attack on High Wood, Harry Lunan, armed only with his bagpipe, led a suicidal charge into machine-gun fire to reach the enemy trenches. This is how he described the action, "I just played whatever came in to my head, but I was worried about tripping on the uneven ground, which interrupted my playing. The enemy fire was murderous, the men were falling all around me, I was lucky to survive. Hearing the pipes gave the troops courage."


Of the 50,000 Gordon Highlanders who served In the First World War, approximately 27,000 were killed or wounded.

In any event, it couldn't possibly have been very encouraging for the enemy to hear the officer's whistles through the smoke, and the pipes strike in to "Highland Laddie".



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stoirmeil 
Posted: 22-Aug-2005, 12:10 PM
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Hi again, Emmet --
I will put this here, since it seems to fit general pipe lore. It's a creepy sad legend about needing three hands -- two for the pipes and one for a sword. It does give you the idea how vulnerable a piper is.


Uamh 'n ir (The Cave of Gold)
Mo dhth, mo dhth, gun tr lmh-an,
Mo dhth, mo dhth, gun tr lmh-an,
D limh, ?sa phob, d limh ?sa phob,
D limh, ?sa phob, ?s lmh ?sa chlaidh-eamh

Source: F Tolme, 1911,One Hundred And Five Songs of Occupation from the Western Isles of Scotland


tes:
Translation:

My loss, my loss, that I lack three hands! [twice]
Two hands to the bagpipe [thrice]
and one to the sword!

A second verse is given in the translation, but apparently not in the Gaelic:
Grevious my state without three hands! [twice]
Two hands, etc


===
Listed as 'A Nursery Recollection', Skye, 1845 -FT.

This is one of several versions provided, all with quite distinct lyrics and tune, with the common thread that they are associated with the 'Cave of Gold' traditional story, which is described in the book as follows:


The tradition relating to Uamh ?n ir has for many generations been the subject of various lullabies throughout the Hebrides. The entrance to the cave is at Harlosh, near the shore a few miles to the south west of Dunvegan in Skye.

Long ago, an exploring party accompanied by a piper entered this cavern, expecting to find a subterranean passage which should lead in an easterly direction to another cave bearing the same name of Uamh ?n ir, near Monkstat in Trotternish. Some hours after the men set out on this adventure, a woman sitting at the well of Tulach (Tobar Tulaich), near Harlosh, heard coming up through the water the voice of the piper, in despairing tones expressing a wish that he might have three hands ? two for the bagpipe, and one for the sword with which to fight the monster that presumably overcame his companions and himself, who were never seen of or heard of again. Tobar Tulaich was a sacred well, believed to possess magical health-restoring properties and to be the best water in Skye. The people of Trotternish had a similar belief about the well of Lianacro, not far from the other cave in Trotternish. The songs have kept the remembrance to our day; four of them were contributed by me to the Gesto Coll. (App. p.23), and Puirt-a-beul, pp.47 and 48. The tunes are given here for the first time in their complete forms but the full Gaelic text, being in the publications just cited, is not given here. -FT


I have heard similar legend of the same cave and the Piper who never returned which according to my recollection was connected with the well-known air called ?Macrimmon?s lament.? The piper, either alone or preceding the rest of the party, entered the cave playing this lament, with its mournful refrain, ?cha till, cha till, cha till mi tuille?- (Return! Return! Return- ah, never!) the sound of his pipes growing fainter as he penetrated further into the cave. Presently a despairing cry was heard: ?if it were not for the great grey (she) one- !? And the rest was silence.

The inference naturally drawn from these legends is that the music of the piper acted as a charm or protection, and that ceasing playing, in order to defend himself, he perished. - AGG


'FT' is Frances Tolmie, AGG is Annie G Gilchrist.
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Emmet 
Posted: 23-Aug-2005, 07:19 AM
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Cave of Gold" is a famous piobaireachd, as is the lesser known "Cha Till Mac Cuimein" (the slow air version is a very bautiful lament, wich I often use at funerals, especially as a lead-in to G.S. mcLennan's "The Unknown Warrior").
Here's a version of the history of "Cha Till Mac Cruimein" from piobaireachd.com:
QUOTE
When Prince Charles retired with his army to the north, he went to visit his partizan Lady MacKintosh, at Moy hall, where general Lord London, who then 'lay in Inverness, thought he had a favourable opportunity to capture the Royal Adventurer. He accordingly proceeded in the silence of night, to effect his purpose, but his design was fortunately discovered in time to frustrate the attempt, - although it was accomplished almost miraculously. There were scarcely any attendants with the Prince, and the MacKintoshes were not even at hand, but presence of mind and intrepidity triumphed. Sending a messenger to raise assistance, the high spirited lady ordered five or six men under command of the blacksmith, a man of the greatest daring, to watch the movements of London's troops. This man planted his men at intervals along the road by which the enemy would advance, concealed by walls and hedges, and when he heard their advancing footsteps, he fired his musquet, each man doing the same slowly and successfully ; at the same time calling out as they had been instructed, upon the Camerons, the Frasers, the MacDonalds, and other clans to advance, and give no quarters to the villains who would murder their Prince. The ruse was effectual; it was believed that the whole Highland army was to set on them, and without waiting a second discharge, the advanced party wheeled round, and commenced a speedy retreat, in great confusion, while those in the rear, not aware of the impression of the others, endeavouring to stand firm, were thrown down by their comrades ; and it was only when they arrived at Inverness, that the bruises and wounds of these panic-struck warriors were discovered. None were killed save one by the blacksmith's shot, and he was no less important a person than the Piper-of MacLeod, whose clan had joined the royal forces. Poor MacCrummen, it is said, had a presentiment of the lamentable fate which awaited him, for he was reluctant to accompany his chief, when he took the field for King George. It was on this occasion that he composed the affecting lament now given, adapting the words from which Sir Walter Scott produced well-known verses.

"Return, return, return shall I never;

Return, return, return shall I never;

Though MacLeod should return, not alive shall MacCrummen.

Poor dear, poor dear, poor dear, my sweetheart, Her eye, her eye, her eye, 'ill be weeping, Her eye, her eye, her eye, 'ill be weeping! And my back on the Dun, without hope of returning;

In war nor in peace, ne'er return will MacCrummen."


I've also heard a variant of the "Cave of Gold" legend from Edinburgh. Edinburgh as you know is an ancient city; as it's been built up and upon over the centuries, many ground-level streets were bridged over, resulting in an extensive labyrinth of both man-made and natural tunnels and caverns beneath the city. Story goes that some fellows were trying to map out a tunnel from Castle Rock, and had a piper walk down the tunnel piping while they followed the sound up on the surface. They followed him quite some distance into the city, where the sound of the pipes faded away and they lost track of him completely; they returned to the entrance and waited, but the piper never emerged from the cave. They say that to this day he can sometimes be heard piping beneath the streets of Edinburgh, or in the cellars of Edinburgh Castle.

Another one I like is of a piper who lost his way in the fog, and wandered into the land of the pixies. They were having a feast, and insisted that he stay a while and pipe for them; in return, they'd give him a stand of pipes turned from solid gold. He ate, drank (you're never supposed to drink with pixies), and piped for them all night long, until he nearly collapsed from exhaustion. With great applause, the pixies presented him with the golden pipes, and showed him the way home through the fog. Finally arriving home, he stashed the golden pipes beneath his cot and passed out. When he awoke in the morning, he reached under his bed, and pulled out a bundle of sticks and kindling.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 25-Aug-2005, 03:40 PM
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This is fascinating about Cha Till MacCruimmain. I have a keen interest in the history, since I am still very much in process of working it up for singing in the original gaidhlig. It's become a bit of an obsession with me. (You know already that is what's in my signature, and those mountains in my avatar are the Black Cuillen hills on Skye that are in the song.)

Anyway, the version of the history I have heard is that when he left Dunvegan to go to battle, he had written the tune with the presentiment of his own death that you mention, and then his sister wrote the poem shortly after he left, or perhaps on actually receiving word of his death, apparently meaning the words to fit the tune, which she must only have been able to hear a few times before his departure. So this anecdote of yours fills in the events between.

Since the tune is elastic and meant for improvisation, unlike a march or reel (although I guess you could use it as such if you regularized the meter), there's a lot of variant ways you can fit the word underlay to one of the tune variants.

There is also a good, strong song verse that I became aware of recently, specific to MacLeod and MacCrimmon, and the Castle of Dunvegan on Skye where they lived, that does not come from the four gaelic verses attributed to Lady MacCrimmon, which are more personal and introspective. Yet the singers claim it was translated from the gaelic:

MacLeod's wizard flag from the gray castle sallies,
their oars are unseated, unmoored are the galleys,
gleams war-axe and broadsword, clang target and quiver (or claidhmhor [claymore])
for him that shall never return, MacCrimmon.


(The "wizard" flag refers to the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, under which the MacLeods could never be defeated. I guess there's some problem these days with the word "fairy". smile.gif That second line sends chills up my back -- it reminds you of the viking influences all over the islands. The arms for the MacDonald are "or, a lymphad sable" -- a black longboat on a field of gold.)

In any case, it seems the tune, the piobarachead derived from it (which are improvisatory and can give rise to any number of variants, is that correct?), and various sets of words have floated around in semi-independent streams of development, and they converge periodically to keep producing new versions.

What could be better?

edit: OK -- that verse is not from gaelic. It's Walter Scott's telling of the story. There's enough of Lady MacCrimmon's images in the Walter Scott to see he used it to spring his own verses off. And Scott does end the refrain in gaelic:
"Gea thillis MacLeod, cha till Mackrimmon!" (MacLeod returns, but not MacCrimmon), that is not from the sister's original. He also says "wizard flag." smile.gif

Here also is something interesting:

U]At the end of 1734, Rob Roy MacGregor was in his home at Inverlochlarig, at the head of the Glen of Balquhidder. All accounts are in agreement on his last words. 'It is all over. Put me to bed. Call the piper. Let him play Cha till me tuille.' While the piper played the lament I shall return no more, Rob Roy died.[/U]
http://www.scotwars.com/html/rob_roy.htm

This happened about a decade before Donald Ban MacCrimmon died and the lament was composed. But it seems that words along the lines of "cha till me/e tuille" were already in the traditional practice for laments, so it is easy to speculate that the sister of a piper would have known about that, and incorporated the words into her poetic lament.
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