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PM Paul Burns' final tune for Her Majesty

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  • PM Paul Burns' final tune for Her Majesty

    A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith

    ​Written by: P.M James Banks (?)

    Last edited by JohnE; 09-19-2022, 09:20 AM.
    Life is too short to settle for mediocrity...Drink Good Scotch

  • #2
    Wondering how this chune was selected.

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    • #3
      Wondering what in the world is a Fendersmith?
      Loud is Easy, Soft is Hard

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      • #4
        FWIW: This is direct from Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Tunes, Book III, Tune 212, page 196: "SALUTE TO WILLIE, THE ROYAL FENDERSMITH Composed in memory of Willie Banks, a Guardsman in the Scots Guards for 22 years and brother of Pipe-Major James M. Banks. After leaving the Army, he worked for the Royal Household tending the fires, but drowned in a tragic accident in the River Thames." Book for purchase at most piping supply houses.
        Chris Knife

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        • #5
          This tune is available on the “Jack Lee” music site… (not showing on pipe tubes.ca)… I’ll be adding it to my list… I had read that the tune originally proposed was “seep dearie sleep”. Does anybody know the background on tune selection?

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          • #6
            "I had read that the tune originally proposed was “seep dearie sleep”
            LeoCDN: PM Burns played both tunes. He played Sleep Dearie Sleep at the conclusion of the funeral mass at Westminister Abbey and he then played A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith at the conclusion of the burial service at St. George's Chapel and did so FLAWLESSLY each time
            Last edited by MasonPiper; 09-21-2022, 01:24 AM.

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            • #7
              Pitched at 480.....nice...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Chris Knife View Post
                FWIW: This is direct from Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Tunes, Book III, Tune 212, page 196: "SALUTE TO WILLIE, THE ROYAL FENDERSMITH Composed in memory of Willie Banks, a Guardsman in the Scots Guards for 22 years and brother of Pipe-Major James M. Banks. After leaving the Army, he worked for the Royal Household tending the fires, but drowned in a tragic accident in the River Thames." Book for purchase at most piping supply houses.
                Thanks for the tune origin information. I had wondered if it was a nod to Her Majesty's brief stint as a mechanic during WWII . I am a fence sitter on the need for such a large monarchy in the UK and Canada, but I have to admit, it feels like a great loss and the end of a historically very significant era. I thoroughly appreciated the piping, excellent deportment of the military and general pageantry of this solemn event. Here's to the queen for a lifetime of service. She will be missed and it will be interesting to see if King Charles can fill the very big shoes left by his mother.

                Kevin

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                • #9
                  As a piping community we ought to be celebrating that the pipes were represented so well in front of possibly the largest audience ever. Billions? It was moving and powerful. A first class representation of our music. We needed this. We've seen examples of when it has gone horribly wrong to our dismay. Thankfully, these moments moved the entire world and painted piping in a very powerful and positive light. Hats off to PM Burns and the regimental pipers.

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                  • #10
                    Per Wikipedia:

                    A Fendersmith is a person employed to clean and repair the metal fenders before fireplaces in mansions, fine estates, or castles. In this archaic profession, the same person is usually also responsible for lighting and keeping the fire contained within the fireplace. Few fendersmiths exist today, but can be found in places like Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

                    A bagpipe tune exists with the title "Salute to Willie the Royal Fendersmith". It has been said that this was "Written by P.M James Banks as a tribute to Willie, the elder brother of James and Alex Banks".


                    --
                    I have a nephew who is a PhD composition candidate at a Scottish Uni. One of his mentors had a 10-year communication with the Queen about his commission which was one of the many pieces of music played during yesterday's ceremonies.

                    My guess, based on interviews with various pipers to the Queen, is that she may have selected that Fendersmith, and other, tunes. She hears 15-30 minutes, at least, of piping every day. Her piper is not allowed to repeat tunes during the week. That's a lot of tunes. And, reportedly, she requested tunes occasionally.

                    Since that last tune is a "salute" and not a "lament", I'm guessing it was a known tune, and a favorite.

                    Guessing though...
                    Last edited by John McCain; 09-20-2022, 11:28 AM.
                    "What we play is life." - Louis Armstrong

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                    • #11
                      Apparently about 4.1 Billion people tuned in to watch the funeral worldwide. To put that in context, only 5.36 Billion people worldwide have access to television; not sure how many more have access to internet but not television... Any way you slice it though, most of the world that could watch, did watch at least some of it.

                      I fully agree that the piping community should be celebrating the fine showing by PM Burns and the regimental pipers. It was a thoroughly excellent showing.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin View Post


                        ...I had wondered if it was a nod to Her Majesty's brief stint as a mechanic during WWII....m

                        Kevin
                        Before noodling to learn what a FenderSmith is..I had ,maybe not coincidentally,..the same thoughts...,

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                        • #13
                          A haunting and lovely tune played on a great sounding pipe.
                          Sitting here with my SG book III.
                          A 12/8 time signature means 4 beats to each complete bar...

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