funeral tunes

funeral tunes

Hi everyone, I’ve just started learning the Highland Pipes and all is going VERY well. I can play flower of scotland, scotland the brave and aude lang syne.

But the other day i was wondering - if there was a death on the dad’s side of my family (thats where i get my scotish from) would these songs be appropriate for a scottish funeral?

Can anyone give me some nice songs for the highland pipes that are traditionally played at a funeral (scottish one at that).

Thanks

Scrappy

Re: funeral tunes

Marie’s wedding is a favourite I think that was played at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s funeral among others

Re: funeral tunes

S t G - You might like to check out Jimmy Mitchell’s page too, especially his ‘Funeral Tunes’:

Amazing Grace

Going Home

Flowers of the Forest – Scottish lament

Taps – Military burials

http://www.texasbagpiper.com/musicsamples.htm

Re: funeral tunes

S t G - ‘Gregor McGregor’ says:

“Scottish funerals may include, Flowers of the Forest, Going Home, or the Mist-covered Mountains (which the U.S. Air Force Pipe Band played at President Kennedy’s funeral in 1963.)
…… At almost every funeral, the family has me play Amazing Grace at the end as the deceased is carried from the sanctuary to the hearse. There is nothing more fitting than the Highland pipes to accompany the final farewell to your loved one.”

http://gregormacgregor.bagpiper.com/bagpipe-funerals.htm

Re: funeral tunes

I would think that ‘The Dark Island’ is popular as well.

J

Re: funeral tunes

Dark Isle is the popular title, try Highland Cathedral and the auld fave Floowers o’ the Forest. Wash these tunes doon with whusky. Immortal.

Re: Dark Isle or Dark Island

Well, originally it was actually called "Dr Mackay’s Farewell to Creagorry"!

"This beautiful and popular air was originally called Dr Mackay’s Farewell to Creagorry by its composer Iain McLachlan."
"When David Silver of Inverness, was asked to write a song for a BBC Thriller called "The Dark Island", filmed in Benbecula, he used McLachlan‘s air and set words to it, inspired by the island of Benbecula."

"Since its first airing in 1963, there have been several sets of words written, and the tune has become a classic (there are more than 50 different recordings).
In 1965 the journalist W Gordon Smith wrote that the tune had been a traditional Highland pipe tune which had been adapted, but this is most likely a mistake."

http://www.nigelgatherer.com/tunes/tab/tab8/darki.html

For more information on the song, check out this page:
http://www.geocities.com/area51/Zone/6338/eil_dor.htm

The island of Benbecula was the inspiration for the emotive song The Dark Island.
Written by David Silver of Inverness, the musician - journalist, who wrote the words, and was asked to write a song for a BBC Thriller called "The Dark Island", filmed here in Benbecula.
He reveals how the quiet, lonely place was in mind for the number, and the words were set to music by the accomplished accordionist Ian Maclachlan from Creagorry. The tune has become a classic since it was first sung in 1963. There are more than 50 different recordings by Scot’s, among them; Ann-Lorne Gillis, Peter Morrison and Kenneth Mackellar although fittingly the recording which gets most airing on radio is by Silver/Maclachlan on accordion.

The Dark Island
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/4906

Re: funeral tunes

Thanks for that Ptarmigan. Its certainly what I would like played at my funeral - lone piper on hill top echoing down the glen in about say 50 years.

I admit I have never taken to any of the songs that have gone with the tune - possibly because I love the tune so much - so I wrote my own. ( probably as twee but they are my twee)

Our irish piper is prone to sit and play his funeral air at some point as the session progresses. Is this a general trait with pipers ?

J

Re: funeral tunes

Aye jfother, sure it’s well known that pipers are a dour shower of baxturds! :-D

Re: funeral tunes

With all due respect to the Irish and Scot traditions and all that, when I go I want a Dixieland band that plays all mournful on the way to the cemetary, but then pulls the hanky out of the snares in the drum, rolls off and starts playing the fun stuff, like "Oh Didn’t He Ramble." And then everyone goes off and has a wonderful party.
My dad was a big Dixieland fan, and had an album with a medly called "New Orleans Funeral," that simulated the transition from mourning to joy. It impressed my young mind with the fact that death is part of life, and not the end of all things.

Re: funeral tunes

Ptarmy; your quotations and your statement afterwards contradict each other ! Which came first, chicken or egg ? I believe the quotes, the tune came first, then the Beeb pinched it, then they wrote the words, but history is down to the interpretation….after all, our beloved PM says history will be his judge ( silently throws up in corner )…….
Al, I’m with you, I want a party when I go, in fact I might throw it first so that I can be there. Have already been booked for someone else’s, that’s weird……..
Scrappy, are we seeing you tonight at the session ?

Re: funeral tunes

Sorry Pete, forgot the quotation marks for that last post. Fact is, I didn’t actually make any statements, so I’m neither right nor wrong - they’re ALL quotes! i.e. "The Island of Benbecula ..(to).. on accordion" is from the ‘geocites’ site!

Just shows you though, you can’t really rely on everything you read on ye olde ‘net’!

Re: funeral tunes

Our irish piper is prone to sit and play his funeral air at some point as the session progresses. Is this a general trait with pipers ?

J
# Posted on July 27th 2006 by jfother

At most sessions, airs are about as welcome as a case of the clap. Accomplished pipers shy away from this unless bribed with drink, money, and/or sexual favors.

Re: funeral tunes

I don’t know if it can be played on the highland pipes, but The Parting Glass is a good funeral tune/song.

Re: funeral tunes

last week I was asked to play The Scottish Soldier ( Green Hills) and The battle`s o`er for a WW2 commando`s funeral . He was a cockelshell hero-brilliant

Posted by .

Re: funeral tunes

Really, really sorry about the Dark Isle business, thanks ptarmigan for the straighten-out. I thought it was about Tasmania.

Re: funeral tunes

No sweat McKnowall - Phew! It’s comforting to know that every once in a while, well actually, once in a ‘Blue Moon’, I do actually get something right here! …pauses to pat meself on me back! :-)

By the way, have many tunes actually been written about Tasmania, especially with the word Tasmania in the title?

Re: funeral tunes

"Going Underground" by The Jam!

Re: funeral tunes

Tonight My Sleep Will Be Lonely
or Taimse Ma Choladh( I am asleep and don’t waken me.