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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 06-01-2020, 11:36 AM   #1
JeremyKingsbury
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Default Macrimmon Shall Never Return: author?

I feel like I read somewhere about the actual name of Donald Ban MacCrimmon's sister that supposedly penned the words and song version of this pibroch, but all I'm able to find now is "Macrimmon's sister".
Any leads?
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:44 PM   #2
Barry Shears
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Default Re: Macrimmon shall never return author

Lots of variations for this tune( in the ceol mr tradition and the pibroch song genre), and stories surrounding the circumstances of its composition. The light music setting most heard nowadays dates from the late 19th century and other versions from the early part of that century handed down among tradition bearers in Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia . The origins of the tune and musical variants have been the topic of some discussion for a few years now A few thoughts
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:08 AM   #3
Texas Gael
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Default Re: Macrimmon shall never return author

The tune was originally called Cha Till Mi Tuille - I Will Not Return. Sir Walter Scott renamed and attributed it to Donald Ban MacCrimmon, and published some English verse about it, which was published in Alexander Campbell's Albyn's Anthology in 1818. I haven't been able to find any versions that predate the 19th century. Here are the words, which differ from Scott's:

http://www.ingeb.org/songs/chatille.html

Cheers -

Wes
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:39 AM   #4
K Sanger
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Default Re: Macrimmon shall never return author

The definitive explanation of the background to this tune including the various Gaelic and Scots songs was by V. S. Blankenhorn 'Traditional and Bogus Elements in MacCrimmon's Lament', published in Scottish Studies, volume 22, 1978. pp 46 - 67.

It is essential reading before succumbing to the piping myth industry.

Keith
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:10 PM   #5
JeremyKingsbury
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Default Re: Macrimmon shall never return author

Thanks for the Article! Waiting for it on Interlibrary loan now.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:30 AM   #6
Barry Shears
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Default Re: Macrimmon shall never return author

You can build on Virginia's research with my own field work (and that of a few others from the 1950s) in Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia. I have included more information about the melody and words and even include a few phrases from a lullaby sung by my mother in law. They were descended from Chisholms and Camerons' from Strathglas. The examples in my book are of pibroch songs. I have included a setting from Alex Currie, who learned 90 parent of his music from his mother and grandmother. Alex told me his mother knew several of these slower songs and that they usually contained three turns or parts. this fits in well with what we know of some early pibroch , that they didn't all have multiple variations. My recent collection is entitled Play it Like You Sing It, and it comes in 2 volumes: 389 pages, 249 traditional tunes represented in regional settings, a section with photographs on immigrant bagpipes to Nova Scotia, 86 puirt a beul to accompany the tunes, and 172 photographs.I have a few copies of the first printing there for sale, and my publisher tells me it is available on Amazon, as we prepare for a second edition. Cheers, barry
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