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How long for the Remembrance Day lament?

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  • How long for the Remembrance Day lament?

    I'm playing at a Remembrance Day ceremony in the morning tomorrow, including Flowers of the Forest and I'm wondering how long it should ideally be. Over the years I've heard all three parts played, but never twice through each, more often just parts 1 and 3 and sometimes only once through each but more often each part twice through. What is the collective wisdom on this?

  • #2
    You sort of have to play the last part twice to get the repeat, so unless a full rendition is called for, you can play middle part once or omit altogether, and first part maybe once. I'd keep it short unless there's call for it to be longer. Especially if people are formed up on parade.

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    • #3
      It’s the Pipers call.....who is there to play; if it’s not freezing or sheeting rain you and and your pipes are spot on...go for the gold.

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      • #4
        I tend to think parts 1 and 3 are enough for most purposes, and the middle part is musically problematic (the original melody switches to a minor key), so I don't feel bad about dropping it. However, if the circumstances justify the length, then in it goes. It's useful when doing the "fade-out" thing, as three parts is enough to get you well away without repeating yourself.
        http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
        -- Formerly known as CalumII

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        • #5
          Just out of curiosity, does anyone know when part 2 was added to parts 1 and 3? I learned the tune many years ago (around 1960) from the Seaforth Highlanders Standard Settings (published in 1936), where it has only the current parts 1 and 3. I modified the setting slightly to match the one (only parts 1 and 3) Seamus MacNeil played on an LP I bought as a teenager. I have played for literally dozens of Remembrance Day ceremonies over the years and have always played just parts 1 and 3. The Canadian military, however, has the three parts in its officially sanctioned version, with repeats on parts 1 and 3. Judging by Youtube videos, the British military also seems to favour the 3-part version. Personally, I'm not fond of part 2, although I know it and will play it if specifically asked to (so far this has never happened). I have looked at a number of old collections of pipe music--late 19th and early 20th centuries--and have not found the 3-parted version in them. It seems to me that the current part 2 is a relatively recent addition to the tune, but I can't find when or how it became part of it. By "relatively recent" I mean some time in the past 40-50 years.
          Last edited by acadianpiper; 11-12-2021, 04:13 PM.
          Ian
          http://www.thepipersden.net

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          • #6
            Personally, and it's by my choice....bugler plays last post....I wait for 20 seconds so there's silence, but not so much that parade organizers get nervous that I forgot to play. Play part 1, with repeat...and part 3, complete...no part 2.
            as soon as I'm done the bugler plays the reveille....seems to fit perfectly...no complaints after 45 years of doing it...for Army, Police and our veterans..

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            • #7
              I like the 2nd part & play it. To each his own...

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              • #8
                At the big service in the university hall, the whole thing: 1,1,2,2, 3. At a funeral usually 1,2,3 or even 1,3 if I'm asked to keep it short. I no longer play outside if the temperature is below 15C; old age and arthritis are doing me in.

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                • #9
                  Depending on the nature of the actual event, I’ve cross-fingered to get a C-natural in the 2nd part. I know, an illegal note. But sometimes it can make sense.
                  Cheers,

                  Matt

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by acadianpiper View Post
                    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know when part 2 was added to parts 1 and 3?
                    The oldest version of the tune known, the Skene MS of c. 1615, which is quite different to how we play it today, includes a switch to the parallel minor, and it's always been an integral part of traditional versions of the tune. The first publication of the tune was in Uilleam Ross, and he has clearly transcribed the song air. Various other versions were published, and the variety of the settings is striking, suggesting it was or had quickly become popular. David Glen's book 3 is the first I think with the second part, some time around 1880 maybe.

                    The song itself, with several different lyrics, was well known in the 19th century.

                    http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
                    -- Formerly known as CalumII

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                    • #11
                      I have played for several events for the British Officers’Club of New England, particularly for the Armistice Dinner and Remembrance Sunday Service. They request “Flowers of the Forest” after the toasts and 2 minutes of Silence. I pay the 3 parts, twice through each. For the wreath laying ceremony after the Remembrance service at Old North Church in Boston, they’ve had a young lady sing “Flowers”, and she does sing the minor version of the second part. After she sings, I play “Mist Covered Mountains” or “Lochaber No More”. I might look into playing the sung version if possible.
                      Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bram View Post
                        You sort of have to play the last part twice to get the repeat, so unless a full rendition is called for, you can play middle part once or omit altogether, and first part maybe once. I'd keep it short unless there's call for it to be longer. Especially if people are formed up on parade.
                        This is what I actually ended up doing - 1,2 and then 3 plus repeat. They had me play while wreaths were being laid and the length was just right for that.

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