With the P/M suffering from ‘gardening hands’ having attempted to do all his annual gardening in one week, he relinquished the opening slot to Jenny Hazzard who did not take long at all to get into her stride. Jenny has mastered the Eagles slots in that the pipe does not have to be in perfect tune straight out the box. Just play a few wee tunes and they will come in and then ten minutes of repertoire. Once her pipes settled she gave us the lovely 2/4 marches David Ross of Rosehall and John McColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. Kilbowie Cottage was one of John Burgess’s favourites and he was in the habit of giving the opening C grip that wee bit extra length just to give it style and panache. I think the tune is in John MacLellan’s book ‘More music for the Highland Bagpipe’. Jenny then went into some competition strathspeys and reels before closing with Roddy MacDonald’s waltz from Good Drying, Abercrombie Place followed by a couple of jigs.
Next up was Tom Peterkin who has a great repertoire of old different tunes. His opening selection contained Daft Donald and as we had 2 Donald’s in the audience we were spoil for choice for some banter. Tom then went into the great 2/4 Marches Millbank Cottage, composed by P/M William Dumbreck and Conon Bridge, composed by GS MacLennan.
Pies and a wee chat.
The post pie piper was Roddy Weir who is in transition from army life back into ‘civvie street’. He was on his new personalised bag the ‘RW’ sheepskin. The new Red Welt bags are made locally in Edinburgh and the skin was of the highest quality. We await Roddy’s longer-term report but this could be a serious competitor in the market place. Roddy’s pipe was immaculate as he deftly stepped his way through the light music before giving us the robust A Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach. An excellent performance on a great pipe.
The following are a couple of options with regards the history of the tune
Donald Mòr had a brother who lived in Glenelg who was known by the name of Patrick Caog, on account of a squint or defect in one of his eyes. This young man had a quarrel with his foster brother, a native of Kintail. Sometime after the dispute, while he was in the act of washing his face, in a burn or rivulet adjoining his dwelling, the Kintail man came behind him, and treacherously with his dirk gave him a mortal blow. This being made known to Donald Mòr at Dunvegan, he prepared to revenge the untimely death of his brother, and taking his Pipes up to MacLeod’s room, he threw them on the bed. MacLeod surprised, demanded to know what had occurred.
In few words he related to him the affair, when the laird pacified the enraged Piper, and promised him, on condition of his remaining at home, to see justice done before the expiration of twelve months. Macleod thought that his wrathful Piper would forget the cruel murder by that time, and allow his ire to abate; but such was not the case, for on the termination of the twelve months, he set out himself for Glenelg, without informing any one of his intention; and finding on his arrival there that the murderer of his brother had gone to Kintail, he pursued his journey thither.
The offender, having been apprised of his arrival, concealed himself in the house of a friend; and the inhabitants of the village not choosing to deliver him up, MacCrimmon was so enraged, that he resolved to set their houses on fire,–a resolution which he found an opportunity of carrying into effect that night, and burned eighteen of their houses, which caused the loss of several lives. (This is called Lasan Phadruig Chaog, or a flame of wrath for Squinting Peter). Donald then made his escape to Lord Rea’s country, where he remained for some time under the protection of Donald Duaghall Mackay, afterwards Lord Rea, with whom he had been formerly acquainted.’
One of the MacCruimeins, a celebrated musician known by the cognomen of Padruig
Caogach, owing, we suppose, to his inveterate habit of twitching or winking with his eyes, was about that time composing a new pipe tune. Two years had elapsed since the first two measures of it had become known and popular, but owing to its unfinished state it was called “Am Port Leathach”. Some of the greatest poets have experienced more difficulty in supplying a single line or couplet than in the structure and harmonisation of an entire piece.
Musicians, too, have experienced similar perplexities, and Padruig Caogach had fairly stuck.
The embryo tune was everywhere chanted and everywhere applauded, but no—the genius of composition seemed to exult at a distance and to wink at Caogach’s perplexity.
Tender of his brother piper’s reputation, our blind author set to work and finished the tune, which he called “Lasan Phadruig Chaogaich,” or Padruig Caogach’s Flame of Wrath, thus nobly renouncing any share of the laudation that must have followed upon the completion of the admired strain. Patrick, finding his peculiar province usurped by a blind beardless youth, bribed the other apprentices to do away with his rival’s life. This they attempted while walking with John at Dun Boreraig, where they threw their blind friend over a precipice twenty-four feet in height. John alighted on his feet and suffered no material injury. The place over which he was precipitated… is yet recognised as “Leum an Doill”. The completion of “Lasan Phadruig Chaogaich” procured great praise for our young musician, and gave rise to the following well-known proverb, “Chaidh am foghlumaiche os cionn Mhic Cruimein,” that is, the apprentice outwits the master.’
Take your pick. And that was the evenings evening.
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