Thursday, May 29, 2008

July mini bands

OK, I know that I only re-issued the bands objectives again a couple of weeks ago, but there already an alteration since on Tuesday we decided to enter the mini band contest to be held in July .. its the last Sunday of the month and I think thats the 27th at the same location as in May (ie Adelaide high school, West Terrace)

We will aim to have one mini band playing the Piper o' Dundee and BlairBegg and then at least one (perhaps two if can raise the numbers) with Hiking Song Set and Leaving Liverpool.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More about past members - Jimmy Barnes

Way before my time but it appears that Jimmy Barnes (yes that Jimmy Barnes!) was an early member of the band. I've read something about this before but today I came across this interview with Jimmy.

also this excerpt from an interview with someone else who played in the band with Jimmy (last interview):

"Music played a strong part in my life. I played in the City of Elizabeth Pipe Band from its inception with my father who was Pipe major. I played drums. It is interesting to mention here that Jimmy Barnes and his brothers were in the same band and we socialized with each other and it was Jimmy's brother John who taught me drums. My father taught them to play the bagpipes. Vietnam and conscription disrupted all that and it was many years before I returned to my art."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What's in a name ?

Once upon a time, when our band was quite young, I was introducing one of our youthful pipers (who shall remain nameless) to the traditional strathspey – “The Shepherd’s Crook”.

We had gone over the tune a couple of times on the practice chanter and were having a short break when I heard him say quietly to himself
“I wonder what was wrong with him”.

Of course that could only happen in Australia !

Old Angus

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Three Tatties - MP3

Hi everybody,

Here is my interpretation of Bill's latest tune.

The Three Tatties.

Old Angus

"The Three Tatties" - a Hornpipe by P/M Bill Gall

Click on image to enlarge

Hi All,

Bill sent me this tune today (Thursday 22nd May) in response to Andy T's (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) request a week or two back.

To quote his Email:

I had a gander at the bands new web site and comments about a tune for the 3 Tatties so I put together a wee open hornpipe which I'm sure they can handle.

You'll notice the lack of doublings (unison) and the change over of motives on second line measures. The last measure perhaps needs a variation. Any Ideas?

Have a look at it and be free to change what you think necessary to make it musical.


Well done Bill.

Old Angus

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Distant contributors !!!

It is great to see Deano putting in a comment from far-off Queensland (where is Queensland anyway?).

Remember, the Blog is an opportunity for members (and ex-members) to post pictures, news, and commentary from anywhere they happen to be on the globe. So don't be shy - get into it.

Old Angus

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mass Band Tunes

Hi folks

As you know the local pipe band association here has standard tunes --- but I find them a little confusing since the Piper Scores and the Drum Scores dont line up. However given that there is a mass band coming up the official list is as follows :-

the Pipers book contains

  • 4/4 Marches Scotland the Brave/ The Rowan Tree / Bonnie Gallowa’ / Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie
  • 4/4 Marches Will Ye No Come Back Again / We’re No’ Awa’ Tae Bide Awa’
  • 4/4 Marches The Badge of Scotland / Thomas Sander / Leaving Liverpool
  • 6/8 Marches Bonny Dundee / A Hundred Pipers
  • Retreats (3/4) The Green Hills of Tyrol / When the Battle’s O’er
  • 2/4 Marches The Brown Haired Maiden / Marie’s Wedding / The Barren Rocks of Aden
  • Slow Air Amazing Grace

but for the Drummers we have

  • Syke Boat Song Air
  • Highland Laddie 2/4
  • Loudens Bonnie Woods / Orange and Blue STR
  • Bonnie Dundee 6/8
  • Brown Haired Maiden 2/4
  • Scotland the Brave 2/4 (and, yes the pipers have it a s 4/4)
  • Rowan Tree 4/4
  • Blue Bonnets O'er the border 6/8
  • Green Hills 3/4
  • My home Air
  • Jock Wilsons Ball Reel
So will hazard a guess that the Tartan Day tunes will come from the above list --- but need to wait and see what they are


"Farewell To The Creeks"

Hi All

Appropriately for this week, I found this article regarding our competition set tune "Farewell to the Creeks", please see Angus Snr for translation! The song is obviously sang to the tune, but maybe slower. I'm sure either Angus can inform us.

The pipie is dozy the pipie is fey
He wullnae come roon for his vino the day
The sky o'er Messina is unco and grey
And a' the bricht chaulmers are eerie

Fareweel ye banks o' Sicily
Fare ye weel ye valley and shaw
There's nae Jock will mourn the kyles o' ye
Puir bluidy squaddies are wearie

Fareweel ye banks o' Sicily
Fare ye weel ye valley and shaw
There's nae hame can smoor the wiles o' ye
Puir bluidy squaddies are wearie

Then doon the stair and line the waterside
Wait your turn the ferry's awa
Then doon the stair and line the waterside
A' the bricht chaulmers are eerie

The drummie is polisht, the drummie is braw
He cannae be seen for his webbin ava
He's beezed himsel' up for a photy and a'
Tae leave wi' his Lola his dearie

Fare ye weel ye dives o' Sicily
Fare ye weel ye shieling and ha'
We'll a' mind shebeens and bothies
Whaur kind signoritas were cheerie

Fare ye weel ye banks o' Sicily
Fare ye weel ye shieling and ha'
We'll a' mind shebeens and bothies
Whaur Jock made a date wi' his dearie

Then tune the pipes and drub the tenor drum
Leave your kit this side o' the wa'
Then tune the pipes and drub the tenor drum
A' the bricht chaulmers are eerie

It is set to Farewell to the Creeks, a tune composed by Pipe Major James Robertson about his uncle's farm near the Creeks of Portknockie on the Banffshire coast [...]. The tune itself was written during World War I, and the song became popular among the men of the Gordons and other Highland Regiments before the end of World War II. It is still sung in the North East and other parts of Scotland by many who have never seen the words in print. The song synthesises a real Scotland and a real Sicily just as the Elegies unite a metaphysical Scotland with a metaphysical desert. The traditional rhymes of eerie, dearie and cheerie, with their accumulated associations from Burns and his predecessors, are counterpointed with the mysterious and exotic - 'a' the bricht chaumers are eerie'. The Sicilian landscape is made familiar to us by words like 'valleys', 'shaw' and `kyle'; the slightly idealised 'shieling and ha'' are set over and against the more low-life 'shebeens and bothies'; common terms of military equipment and Forces slang are completely Scottified. [...]

Andy T

Tartan Day -- what is it anyway?

Since we are thinking about joining in the Tartan Day march in Adelaide, thought was worth mentioning whats its about

You can read the history of the event at

but the key part is as follows :-

"In 1982, under the auspices of the New York Caledonian Club , New York State Governor Hugh Carey, and New York City Mayor Ed Koch declared July 1, 1982, as Tartan Day, a one-time celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Repeal of the Act of Proscription of 12 August 1747, forbidding Scots to wear the Tartan. "

As for why Tartans (and various other items such as bagpipes) were banned --- in essence after the 1745 rebellion (Bonnie Prince Charlie etc) there was a big effort to destroy the Clan System in Scotland. To be honest in most ways this was a positive step, but perhaps things went too far for a while ....

Returning to the point, Tartan Day started off as marking bicentury of when we could wear tartan again, but has since expanded to become an annual event. No real idea when it came to Adelaide, but think I first heard of it about 5 years ago .... does anyone happen to know the real date?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

The 'Black Bear' and its origins.

The latest edition of "The Piping Times" has a discussion on the meaning of the title of this tune, and brings up the following clues.

An early manuscript (circa 1866) of the tune has the title written as 'The Black Baird' - the old Scots word for 'beard'. However there is another option.

The Scots word for barley is 'bere' and, in 18th and 19th century documents, it is usually spelt thus, but sometimes 'bear' (pronounced 'beer'). An old popular variety of this grain had black beads on the heads and was known as 'the black bere'. There seems little doubt that the word 'beer', meaning ale, comes from 'bere' meaning barley. Perhaps, therefore, the tune should be called "The Black Beer" (i.e. porter or stout)?

It used to be customary, in some regiments, for the pipers to play this tune when entering the barracks after a route march or a day's manoeuvres. At a certain point, the whole battalion gave a great roar, possibly in anticipation of foaming pints in the mess !

Either of the above options would seem to be a better explanation of the title than with an animal which has been extinct in Scotland for a thousand years and more.

Willy nilly, it is a great tune to play and to march to.

Old Angus

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Three "Tatties"

We are hoping PM Bill Gall may see this picture, and write the appropriate tune The Three Tatties. I'm sure all from the band will understand!
The picture is from Anzac day this year, after a couple of drinks!

Andy T

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A guide to adding to the Blog

We will assume you are looking at the Blog.

Have your UserName and Password handy - they were issued last Thursday to most members.

1. Go to the top of the screen and click on "Sign In".

2. On the new screen, go to the top and type in your User Name and Password (lower case).
Then click on "Sign In".

3. The new screen looks fairly congested, but look for the white-coloured window and click on "New Post".
Now you have arrived at the place where you can contribute.

4. You can type in a Title in the appropriate window, then go to the window below to type in your contribution.

5. To add a photo from your computer click on the small icon 3rd from the right ("add photo") and browse to find the photo in the usual way.

6. You can check your work by clicking "Preview" (top right of the window).

7. To get back to the composing page just click "Hide Preview".

8. If all is well, then click "Publish Post" (Bottom left of screen).

9. When all is done be sure to "Sign Out" (top right of screen).

That's all there is to it - so just get on with it !!!! We would love to hear from you.

Old Angus

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not sure if you've noticed this link .... it is worth a quick look if you have broadband

2006 ANZAC Day March


Monday, May 5, 2008

And now for something entirely different

If you didn't manage to be at the recent RU Brown Concert then here is a little something to let you know what you missed.

Jori Chisholm from Seattle USA rounding off his superb performance with a few surprises. I should add that the bulk of his repertoire on the night was "traditional".

Jori's Ending.

Old Angus

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What ever happened to ....... Chad Moss?

Click on image to enlarge

Chad Moss was a drummer who came to our band from Canada about 5 years ago. Chad played with the band while completing his studies at Regency Park College about 18 months ago Chad moved back to Canada to take up a position in the oil industry. Chad has now returned to the food industry (specifically coffee). Follow these links to read more.