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  • Waltzing Matilda

    Am preparing a presentation in November to commemorate the end of WW1 which illustrates the role of bagpipes during that war.



    I cannot find any information on Waltzing Matilda that explains if this tune was ever used during the war and if so, which soldiers/regiments/battalions might have used it.



    I can find lots of background information that describes the role of the pipes with tunes like When the Battle's Over, The Piper of Loos, Over There, It's a Long Way to Tipperary; but nothing about Waltzing Matilda. That is to say, I can't find any information about when it might have been played during the war.



    Was this not a popular piece for WW1 pipers to play?
    David Burrous
    One Piper Piping
    Lafayette, CO 80026
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Re: Waltzing Matilda

    I'm not sure if this will help but the tune(s) "The woods of Craigielee" and "The Craigielee March" apparently preceded the song. You may have some more luck searching those titles.

    Best regards,
    Kevin

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Waltzing Matilda

      Originally posted by d303burrous View Post


      Was this not a popular piece for WW1 pipers to play?
      I have been at a number of events commemorating the pipers of WW1, many regimental historians were present and we have evidence of which tunes were regularly played in WW1. I have a list here.

      It was pretty much as you'd expect from that time;
      Cabar Feidh,
      Standard on the Braes of Mar,
      Campbells are Coming,
      March of the Cameron Men,
      Gillean nan Fheile,
      The Blue Bonnets,
      Cock of the North (2 parts only),
      Land of the Leal,
      Lord Lovat's Lament,
      Lochaber No More,
      Glendaruel Highlanders, (2 parts only).
      Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu

      When the Battle is Over comes from another war, Piper of Loos was written after WW1, It's a Long Way to Tipperary might possibly have been busked in the trenches by some random piper, but there's no eyewitness evidence that it ever was. We do know from contemporary written evidence that trench "busking" tunes, (for this purpose, tunes soldiers would sing along to), included Mucking of Geordie's Byre and Bonnie Dundee.

      I know nothing about "Over There".

      I had never heard of Waltzing Matilda being played on the pipes until I joined this forum. I still have never heard it played on the pipes, to me it seems a very odd tune to play on the GHB, it doesn't fit the scale, and I don't recall seeing or hearing of it being played in WW1. Many Australian Infantry Brigades had a full pipe band, amongst others, but it's estimated 18% of the brigade were actual Scots, with the percentage of Scots in the actual pipe bands being much higher. There were regimental links with Scottish units.

      5th Battalion (The Victorian Scottish Regiment) were associated with the Gordon Highlanders, and played Cock of the North, Standard on the Braes of Mar, etc.
      16th Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Western Australia) were associated with the Cameron Highlanders and played March of the Cameron Men, Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu, etc.
      27th Battalion (South Australian Scottish Regiment) were associated with the Seaforth Highlanders and played Cabar Feidh, Gillean nan Fheile, etc.
      30th Battalion (New South Wales Scottish Regiment) were associated with the Black Watch, and the 41st Battalion (Byron Regiment) were associated with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. All the regiments played the regimental tunes they were associated with. I can find no reference to "Waltzing Matilda" anywhere.

      There were a number of tunes published after WW1 that have become associated with WW1, and some of them are crackers.

      As most of you know, I work in a museum, and we have a large WW1 commemorative exhibition on at the moment. Roddy MacLeod will be coming in on Remembrance Sunday to play Lament for the Iolaire. This tune was written after WW1, but is entirely appropriate to play as it commemorates an awful tragedy from that time.

      In short, if you want to play tunes that were actually played in WW1, the list is above. If you want to play tunes that commemorate WW1, The Piper of Loos would be fine, but I don't get Waltzing Matilda on the pipes.

      There's only one well documented WW1 Anzac solo piper, Warrant Officer Archibald Monk, of the 3rd Australian General Hospital. He was not a native Australian, but was a Gaelic speaker from Benbecula, Outer Hebrides. He served with the Cameron Highlanders for many years before emigrating to Australia where he enlisted quite quickly. It's been suggested that he would have played the Cameron regt. standards, Standard on the Braes of Mar, Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu, etc, but we'll never know.

      I hope this is of some help.
      Callander Pipe Band FB page Please click and "like". Thanks
      Lowland and Borders Piper's Society

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Waltzing Matilda

        "Over There" is an American song, words and music by George M Cohan, and dates from 1917. It was probably not played by pipe bands, but was very popular in The States.


        FWIW, Lilli Marleen and Muß I Denn work well on bagpipes.
        Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Waltzing Matilda

          Over There fits the scale nicely...starts out E, Low A, D if memory serves.
          "...I think that I will take two small bottles of Dubonnet and gin with me this morning, in case it is needed..."
          Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Waltzing Matilda

            A big thanks to all of you for your responses. I appreciate it.





            Originally posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
            I have been at a number of events commemorating the pipers of WW1, many regimental historians were present and we have evidence of which tunes were regularly played in WW1. I have a list here.

            It was pretty much as you'd expect from that time;
            Cabar Feidh,
            Standard on the Braes of Mar,
            Campbells are Coming,
            March of the Cameron Men,
            Gillean nan Fheile,
            The Blue Bonnets,
            Cock of the North (2 parts only),
            Land of the Leal,
            Lord Lovat's Lament,
            Lochaber No More,
            Glendaruel Highlanders, (2 parts only).
            Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu

            When the Battle is Over comes from another war, Piper of Loos was written after WW1, It's a Long Way to Tipperary might possibly have been busked in the trenches by some random piper, but there's no eyewitness evidence that it ever was. We do know from contemporary written evidence that trench "busking" tunes, (for this purpose, tunes soldiers would sing along to), included Mucking of Geordie's Byre and Bonnie Dundee.

            I know nothing about "Over There".

            I had never heard of Waltzing Matilda being played on the pipes until I joined this forum. I still have never heard it played on the pipes, to me it seems a very odd tune to play on the GHB, it doesn't fit the scale, and I don't recall seeing or hearing of it being played in WW1. Many Australian Infantry Brigades had a full pipe band, amongst others, but it's estimated 18% of the brigade were actual Scots, with the percentage of Scots in the actual pipe bands being much higher. There were regimental links with Scottish units.

            5th Battalion (The Victorian Scottish Regiment) were associated with the Gordon Highlanders, and played Cock of the North, Standard on the Braes of Mar, etc.
            16th Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Western Australia) were associated with the Cameron Highlanders and played March of the Cameron Men, Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu, etc.
            27th Battalion (South Australian Scottish Regiment) were associated with the Seaforth Highlanders and played Cabar Feidh, Gillean nan Fheile, etc.
            30th Battalion (New South Wales Scottish Regiment) were associated with the Black Watch, and the 41st Battalion (Byron Regiment) were associated with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. All the regiments played the regimental tunes they were associated with. I can find no reference to "Waltzing Matilda" anywhere.

            There were a number of tunes published after WW1 that have become associated with WW1, and some of them are crackers.

            As most of you know, I work in a museum, and we have a large WW1 commemorative exhibition on at the moment. Roddy MacLeod will be coming in on Remembrance Sunday to play Lament for the Iolaire. This tune was written after WW1, but is entirely appropriate to play as it commemorates an awful tragedy from that time.

            In short, if you want to play tunes that were actually played in WW1, the list is above. If you want to play tunes that commemorate WW1, The Piper of Loos would be fine, but I don't get Waltzing Matilda on the pipes.

            There's only one well documented WW1 Anzac solo piper, Warrant Officer Archibald Monk, of the 3rd Australian General Hospital. He was not a native Australian, but was a Gaelic speaker from Benbecula, Outer Hebrides. He served with the Cameron Highlanders for many years before emigrating to Australia where he enlisted quite quickly. It's been suggested that he would have played the Cameron regt. standards, Standard on the Braes of Mar, Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu, etc, but we'll never know.

            I hope this is of some help.
            David Burrous
            One Piper Piping
            Lafayette, CO 80026
            [email protected]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Waltzing Matilda

              Waltzing Matilda mostly fits on the GHB, to match the real tune you'd need to play High G sharp in a couple places, and there's a short passage you have to play an octave up.
              proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Waltzing Matilda

                Waltzing Matilda mostly fits on the pipes but is not a traditional scots tune. It is likely an English tune if I recall correctly. It is played by some bands but I would think it unlikely that it would have been played widely during WWI.



                Piping when I learnt (20 Years ago) was largely traditional in repoitiore. To play something like Waltzing Matilda would have been frowned upon then and I suspect more so 80-90 years before.

                As has been hinted at in a previous post a large proportion (around half I believe) of members of the Australian Infantry Force were UK natives and most of the other native born. We certainly had pipe bands in the AIF but many would have been expat Scots.



                Nick
                Last edited by nickt; 09-30-2018, 03:04 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Waltzing Matilda

                  Originally posted by nickt View Post
                  Waltzing Matilda mostly fits on the pipes but is not a traditional scots tune. It is likely an English tune if I recall correctly. It is played by some bands but I would think it unlikely that it would have been played widely during WWI.



                  Piping when I learnt (20 Years ago) was largely traditional in repoitiore. To play something like Waltzing Matilda would have been frowned upon then and I suspect more so 80-90 years before.

                  As has been hinted at in a previous post a large proportion (around half I believe) of members of the Australian Infantry Force were UK natives and most of the other native born. We certainly had pipe bands in the AIF but many would have been expat Scots.



                  Nick
                  Australian lyrics to a tune written by a Scot.

                  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltzing_Matilda

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Waltzing Matilda

                    You could play in the key of D -



                    ffffee defdbcd a,dfa'a'a'a'a'a'a' def ff ee defdbcd a,dfa'gfeeed


                    a'a'a'a'f dddcb a,a,a'a'a'a'a'gfe def ffe e defdbcd a,dfa'gfeeed
                    When Sorrow Calls (Piobaireachd's Ghost)
                    Callum Beaumont - Mo Chridhe
                    Lacrimae Duet - Willie McCallum, Jim McGillivray

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Waltzing Matilda

                      I'm fairly certain I learnt to play Waltzing Matilda back in the early 80s when I was learning in South Australia...



                      I play it now and again over here in the UK, played it on request for an AIF plaque unveiling earlier this year.
                      Who Dares Bins

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Waltzing Matilda

                        [QUOTE=d303burrous;1331501]Am preparing a presentation in November to commemorate the end of WW1 which illustrates the role of bagpipes during that war.(QUOTE)

                        REPLY:I have the sheet music in my collection and have it filed under incidental music along with things like "Happy Birthday", ie tunes that are normally not played on the pipes, but can bring a smile to the faces of audiences in some circumstances. The sheet music is available on a google search. I have never heard it played by any pipe band, only by some larrikin pipers (myself included).Cheers all!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Waltzing Matilda

                          [QUOTE=Garry;1331624][QUOTE=d303burrous;1331501]Am preparing a presentation in November to commemorate the end of WW1 which illustrates the role of bagpipes during that war.(QUOTE)

                          REPLY:I have the sheet music in my collection and have it filed under incidental music along with things like "Happy Birthday", ie tunes that are normally not played on the pipes, but can bring a smile to the faces of audiences in some circumstances. The sheet music is available on a google search. I have never heard it played by any pipe band, only by some larrikin pipers (myself included).Cheers all!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Waltzing Matilda

                            Several pipe bands here.

                            https://youtu.be/XP-0K_OHf2M



                            Paul
                            Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Waltzing Matilda

                              What about Nut/Brown Haired Maiden?
                              The famous lyrics
                              "Oh Sargent Major Shearer
                              Bring the target nearer
                              I canna see the target
                              It's so far awa'"
                              were improvised by men in the trench, yes?
                              WWI era tune?

                              -Matthew

                              Comment

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