Another good turnout despite the wintery conditions saw about a dozen players take to the floor. After a solid hour of good practice the pies and a beer were very welcome.
Tom Peterkin, who is back in harness with his eye on a tilt at the Archie Kenneth Quaich later on this month, played the evening’s piobaireachd. He gave us The Lament for Mary Macleod. On a quiet but rock steady set of Glens, Tom got the best from this musical tune. Tom played the high G version and the note stood up to the test.
Mary MacLeod, 1615- c.1707 was one of the foremost women songwriters and poets in vernacular Scottish Gaelic of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Most of her output concerns the praise of the house of Dunvegan.
However in mid life the English influence had taken hold. She composed a poem to honour the Chieftain’s uncle, Sir Norman of Bernera, but in doing so she neglected the mandatory praise of the Chieftain, Roderick MacLeod of Harris and Dunvegan, a grandson of Sir Ruaridh Mor. This oversight was deemed to be a monstrous insult in the culture of the time and was banished for years to Scarba, a small island off Mull.
After several years in exile, she composed a poem praising the Chieftain, even though she despised his anglicising ways. She was allowed to return to Skye but she always regretted her poem of praise for the Chieftain.
When she died she asked to be buried face down by way of atoning for her error. She is buried in St. Clement’s Church at Rodel where the restorer himself, Alasdair Crotach, VIIIth Chieftain, is also buried.
The tune was composed by Padruig Og MacCrimmon
Excellent stuff Tom and with that the evening was done. The next meeting on Tuesday 19thFebruary will focus on the MSR.
See you then
Archie Kenneth Quaich 2019
The twenty-seventh annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 23rd February 2019, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 09.30 a.m. Note that the date is a week earlier than previous years’ contests.
Competitors should submit two tunes one of which they will be asked to play on the day. Players will receive the name of the tune selected by the judges in the final tuning room. Competitors may not submit any tune with which they have previously won first prize in the competition.