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birdguy

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Last night some of us were talking about marches and military music.

Some of my favorites are the 7th Cavalry marching song The Gary Owen, The British Grenadiers and Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever.

And while not exactly martial music Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.  One Fourth of July when I live in Denver the Denver Symphony Orchestra played it with real church bells from chapel at the Araria Campus and a battery of 75mm howitzers from Fort Carson in a parking lot a block away chiming in at the appropriate times.  I was great!

Now I am Norseman by heritage and I don't know how that Scottish gene got mixed up in my DNA unless one of those Norsemen brought Scottish lass back from of the forays into Northern Europe, but I love the tattoos.  Every Fall in Estes Park Colorado they have a Highland celebration with the log tosses and The Glenlivit served at several of the stands.

One year the Scots Guards attended and performed at the tattoo the evening before the main festival.

This one is my very favorite.  Enjoy.  

Noel

 

 

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There was a great Reader's Digest story I read in 1975, "The pied piper", about a Canadian soldier who was a Piper during the war.  They were just as important to the battle as the rank and file soldier, adding morale and spirit during basic training and battle.  It was a great short story and I have looked for that issue of Reader's Digest to this day but sadly to no avail, could not find it in the Library of Congress's extensive online library, but I found other classics there which I like to read online, and for free...

http://read.gov/books/

John

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Actually, John, the original reason for bagpipes on the battlefield wasn't for morale.

Drumbeats had been used to pass instructions to units to advance, retreat, hold ground, whatever.  As soon as artillery came on the scene drums were no longer viable.  Enter bagpipes whose tunes passed the same instructions drumbeats were previously used for.

Later bugles served the purpose.

Noel

 

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Mark Knopfler wrote a great song about his uncle a Piper in WWII.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_to_the_End

When I leave this world behind me
To another I will go
And if there are no pipes in heaven
I’ll be going down below
If friends in time be severed
Someday we will meet again
I’ll return to leave you never
Be a piper to the end

This has been a day to die for
Now the day is almost done
Up above, a quiet seabird
Turns to face the setting sun
Now the evening dove is calling
And all the hills are burning red
And before the night comes falling
Clouds are lined with golden thread

We watched the fires together
Shared our quarters for a while
Walked the dusty roads together
Came so many miles

This has been a day to die on
Now the day is almost done
Here the pipes will lay beside me
Silent with the battle drum
If friends in time be severed
Someday here we will meet again
I’ll return to leave you never
Be a piper to the end.

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16 hours ago, birdguy said:

Some of my favorites are the 7th Cavalry marching song The Gary Owen,

A bit of historical trivia here which might interest you is that although frequently entitled the Gary Owen, the correct name for this tune actually is the Garryowen (one word). I know I'm being a little pedantic but I'm a bit of a history buff and have a special interest in this as it originally comes from my old home town of Limerick, in the Republic of Ireland. Garryowen, dating from the 12th century, was an area situated just inside the walled city of Limerick and to this day remains a sort of inner city residential suburb. The tune however originally appeared in the 18th century as a drinking song for rich young bucks living in what was then a fashionable residential area of the city. At that time however Ireland was still under the rule of the British and one of their garrison regiments in the city, the Royal Irish Dragoons, took a liking to the tune which subsequently spread in popularity not only as a marching tune in the British Army but in the American army, being brought there by soldiers who enlisted from Ireland.

Bill

Edited by scianoir
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This is one of my favorite "Scottish style" war marches:

Warhammer - March of Cambreadth (Heather Alexander)

 

 


Fr. Bill    

AOPA Member: 07141481 AARP Member: 3209010556

Interests: Gauge Programming - 3d Modeling for Milviz

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The GAEL:   One of my favorite ballad.

 

Edited by Benzhangar
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You're right Bill, it is Garryowen.  I've been through the town of Garryowen several times on my trips to Montana.  It lies at the foot of the Cuter Battlefield National Monument.

I have visited to the National Monument several times.

I was the First Sergeant of the 120th Weather Flight in the Colorado Air National Guard.  But we were assigned to the 163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Montana National Guard.

One weekend I was invited to go up for a terrain walk of the battlefield conducted for the officers of the 163rd by a historian from Washington.

We walked the battlefield and the docent pretty much described Custer's last stand in vivid detail.  There were plenty of artifacts on the ground but we were not allowed to pick them up.   There is marker where each of Custer's men fell.  It's a pretty awesome place.

Visitors are not allowed off the path when they visit the monument not only because of the rattlesnakes but also they don't want the place trampled.

Noel

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4 hours ago, birdguy said:

You're right Bill, it is Garryowen.  I've been through the town of Garryowen several times on my trips to Montana.  It lies at the foot of the Cuter Battlefield National Monument.

 

That's fascinating Noel! It seems quite a coincidence that the 7th cavalry adopted Garryowen as it's regimental march and that Custer's National Monument is near a town of the same name! Was the tune adopted by the 7th after the battle because it occurred near the town, was the town named after the tune, or was the town named after the suburb of Limerick?

On the subject of towns with the same name, I was driving through the backwoods of Maine a few years ago on the way to Kennebunkport when out of the blue I saw a road sign for Limerick and of course had to make a detour to see it. I then checked and found there were towns called Limerick in no less than 9 US states! Seems like my ancestors spread themselves about!

Bill

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Here ya go Bill.  Got this from Wiki.

In 1895, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (now BNSF) Railroad established a tiny station on the Little Bighorn River, where water was taken on and US Army troops, supplies and mail were off-loaded for delivery to nearby forts and homesteads. This station was called "Garryowen," a name associated with the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment because of the stirring Irish air of the same name which became the regiment's marching song. When the Crow Reservation lands were created in 1868, Garryowen became part of the Crow's holdings, but the land was later sold by the tribe and the Federal government to private citizens. By 1926, the "town" of Garryowen was in private hands, but still consisted of little more than a small market. It was at this time, just a month before the 50th Anniversary of the Battle, that work was being done on an irrigation ditch just east of Garryowen - along Reno's line of retreat. Much to their surprise, work crews uncovered a nearly complete set of skeletal remains (no skull was ever found), accompanied by several bullets and buttons, clearly indicating that this had been a Cavalry soldier. Because 14 of Reno and Benteen's men were never accounted for following the Battle, accurate identification of the remains was impossible. However, with planning for the celebration's events in full swing, The Custer Memorial Association decided a memorial service, with full military honors, was due this long-lost Unknown Soldier.

Plans called for the body to be entombed in a special monument in Garryowen, following a "Burying of the Hatchet" ceremony, during which US government and Indian representatives smoked a peace pipe and placed a tomahawk in the base of the monument.

 

Noel


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See you and raise you. I'm Irish, but this always brings tears. Found out my last name is also Welsh, depending on which branch of the migration you followed.

 

Edited by Penzoil3
tried to remove first video and leave second soory can't

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12 hours ago, birdguy said:

Here ya go Bill.  Got this from Wiki.

That clarifies it - thanks Noel!

9 hours ago, Penzoil3 said:

See you and raise you. I'm Irish, but this always brings tears. Found out my last name is also Welsh, depending on which branch of the migration you followed.

Another great tune! I'm very familiar with Men of Harlech because, although I'm Irish, I have actually lived and worked in Wales for most of my professional life! It sounds even better if sung in Welsh, although sadly unintelligible to me! The Welsh language, though a Celtic language, is quite different to Gaelic (the Celtic language of Ireland and Scotland) which I learned at school.

Bill

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My favorite Irish tune has a story I've told before to go with it.

It was the early 50s.  I was on a troop ship full of Marines on our way to Korea.

One afternoon to break the boredom after about 10 days at sea they had a talent show in one of the empty cargo holds.

There were several acts, pretty amateurish, and the rowdy Marines jeered and cat called them all.

Then a slender young Marine got up on the stage and started, "Oh Danny Boy, the pipes the pipes are playing.  From glen to glen and down the mountain side, for you must go, and I must abide....." in the most beautiful a Capella  tenor voice.  Except for his voice you could hear a pin drop.  Those rowdy Marines were dead silent.  I'm sure we Marines were thinking of home and where we were headed and not all the eyes were dry.  And when that young Marine finished he was crowded by congratulations and pats on the back.

I didn't know him and I often wondered what became of him.

If this rendition doesn't choke you up nothing will Sue.

Noel

Edited by birdguy
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How close is Gaelic to the Middle English of Chaucer's time?  When I was in high school I had to read the prologue to Chaucer;s Cantebry Tales in Middle English and memorize this part..."Whan that aprill with his shoures soote  The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendred is the flour;"

I've never forgotten it.

Noel

 


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