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

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Old 11-16-2019, 04:57 PM   #1
piper909
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Default Sobieski's Salute: origins?

I'm curious about the origins of the traditional pibroch "Sobieski's Salute." I had always believed this tune was composed in honor of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's mother, who was a Sobieska princess, from Poland's royal family of the time. The Piobaireachd Society volume (no. 5) seems to indicate this in the notes to the tune. But I read now in the source material from P/M Jack Lee's pipe music download website that this tune is said to be connected with the notorious "Sobieski Stuart" brothers, those charlatans of the early 19th century who gulled their way into some Scottish high society circles.



Anyone have any insight about this nice little tune? I hate to think the latter story is the true one! Long ago I told actress Leelee Sobieski (who is also of that family) that there was a unique classical bagpipe tune celebrating her distant ancestor!
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:57 AM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Sobieski's Salute: origins?

The Sobieski brothers lived for a time in Beuly, and it would seem likely the tune was written for them around this time, perhaps by Lord Lovat's piper. It seems unlikely any piper would have had an association with earlier generations of Sobieskis.
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:43 PM   #3
piper909
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Default Re: Sobieski's Salute: origins?

Oh dear. That would mean walking back that claim. But I'd be curious how the Piobaireachd Society would get this wrong. And with the composer unknown/uncertain, or date of composition unknown, how can anyone say it wasn't composed to honor the Prince's mum, and wife of the Jacobite King James VIII/III? Plenty of other tunes associated with various Stuarts and royal persons.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:26 PM   #4
phinson
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Default Re: Sobieski's Salute: origins?

The following is from a piece on "Sobieski's Salute" by William Donaldson in PipesDrums when it was a set tune in 2007 or there about. It is referenced on the Alt Pibroch Club's website article about "Sobieski's Salute".


"The title of the Nether Lorn version, "Sophia Eskie" could be a personal attribute, perhaps "easgaidh," meaning nimble, active, or obliging. It may have been quite easy in the atmosphere of intense enthusiasm for sentimental Jacobitism which had prevailed in 19th century Scotland since the publication of Sir Walter Scott's novel Waverley and the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822 and with an eye to the approaching centenary of the'Forty Five, for Angus MacKay to read "Sophia Eskie" as "Sobieski," thus arbitrarily recruiting the piece into the fashionable corpus of "Jacobite" tunes. Maria Clementina Sobieska was the granddaughter of John 111 Sobieski, King of Poland, who had defeated the Turks at the gates of Vienna. She was the mother of Charles Edward Stuart, "The Young Chevalier." The story would have been very much in the public mind during the 1830s and
'40s because of the contemporary notoriety of the so-called "Sobieski Stuarts," a pair of mysterious brothers who wrote widely on Scottish history and culture and whose claims to be the grandsons of prince Charles Edward Stuart — and therefore rightful heirs, de jure, to the crowns of England, Scotland, France and Ireland — were privately acknowledged by anumber of leading Scottish families."



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Old 11-18-2019, 11:47 PM   #5
piper909
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Default Re: Sobieski's Salute: origins?

Thanks for this. This is quite interesting. The uncertainty as to the origins of this tune may never be cleared up -- none of these attributions seem to be based on definitive evidence or documentation, more like supposition or inference. What with the influence of supposed mislabelings, semantics, typos, alleged dates, and etc. The clearest answer might well turn out to be, "We don't really know for sure."



A shame there doesn't seem to be any information in Prof. Alexander Haddow's fascinating book, "The History and Structure of Ceol Mor" (1982), which discusses so many other classic tunes.
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