Dargai jig

There are 7 recordings of a tune by this name.

Dargai has been added to 9 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Dargai
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
c2A B2A|c2A e3|c2A B2A|c2A F2A|
c2A B2A|c2A a2g/2f/2|e2A e2c|B3 A2 c/2d/2|
e2A f2A|e2A c3|e2A f2A|e2A B2c/2d/2|
e2A f2A|e2A a2g/2f/2|e2A e2c|B3 A||
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Sixteen comments

An air, I guess, by James Scott Skinner. More information can be found here (with an original manuscript) http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/display.php?ID=JSS0172

And with his ornamentation,
T:Dargai
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:Amaj
{d}c2A {A}B2A|{A}c2A {A}e3|{d}c2A {Bd}B2A|c2A F2A|
c2A B2A|c2A a2g/2f/2|e2A e2c|{Ad}B3 A||
c/2d/2|{f}e2A {fa}f2A|{f}e2A {Ad}c3|{f}e2A {fa}f2A|{f}e2A {Ad}B2c/2d/2|
{f}e2A {fa}f2A|{f}e2A {A}a2g/2f/2|e2A e2c|{Ad}B3 A||

Sean Keane plays this on Contentment is Wealth. Not the best version I’ve heard.

There’s a ‘poem’ by McGonagall, on the same theme, that would go well if read over the top of someone playing this ‘pibroch’. Someone like the late Spike Milligan would have done nicely.
I think I’m trying to say that this is not my favourite Scott Skinner piece - him at his most pretentious. Just an opinion.

http://www.mcgonagall-online.org.uk/gems/the-storming-of-the-dargai-heights

Dargai

Really? I’ve always liked this one. Goes great on fiddle.

Well, it’s not even in the pipe scale - playing it in A mix with that low F a s a G might help - but the gracing and overall structure just doesn’t do it. Maybe if he’d called it something other than a ‘pibroch’ it wouldn’t press the wrong buttons for me.

It’s not ‘ceòl mór’ by a long way - and calling it a ‘pibroch’ just says it’s imitating the pipes to me, so I reckon it should have been a better imitation.

Dargai

Weejie said, "Maybe if he’d called it something other than a ‘pibroch’ it wouldn’t press the wrong buttons for me…"

I have some sympathy with your point of view, but I think the reason he called it a "pibroch" was because of its decoration and variation, none of which is represented here. The variation given in The Harp and Claymore Collection further develops the pibroch imitation with more involved ornamentation. Now I’m reminded of Richard Thompson - didn’t he render this tune on guitar?

Also in that collection is a tune called "Donald MacPherson’s Lament" which I learned from Nuala Kennedy years back. Nice tune, but described as a "pibroch" by Skinner - preposterous!

"The variation given in The Harp and Claymore Collection further develops the pibroch imitation with more involved ornamentation"

Granted - but it might have helped if the ground was within the idiom in the first place. Yes, there is that ambiguous term "fiddle pibroch", but it is just that. ‘Ceòl mór’ might take away the pipe connotation somewhat (it could be ‘big music’ in its own right), but pibroch is classical pipe music - highly developed (and with a limited following, I hear people say) and not a random set of variations. If one were to take Skinner’s adoption of Bulwer-Lytton’s (I think) quip "talent does what it can, genius does what it must" seriously at all, this "effort" would show the self-appointed "Strathspey King" wasn’t a genius when it came to pibroch.

It’s probably because I don’t know much about pibroch playing and structure/composition, but it’s been with me a while, this tune, and it means something to me, whether it’s ‘proper’ or not.

When I was studying violin at Cardiff Castle in my early teens, my violin teacher taught me a few Skinner compositions, and this, with all the variations, was one of them. I’m just trying to remember the name of my teacher. He was great. You’d think I’d remember … :-/

"this "effort" would show the self-appointed "Strathspey King" wasn’t a genius when it came to pibroch"

Maybe so, but let us extend our goodwill towards the composer of Hector The Hero.

I’ve heard Sean Keane’s version - it’s like his other pipe imitations - Athole Brose for example. I think I prefer it to the "Strathspey King’s" own rendition.
Bruce probably makes the best of it.

"but let us extend our goodwill towards the composer of Hector The Hero."

Skinner composed some excellent tunes. Talent did what it could!

Not sure if "Athole Brose" is supposed to be pipes - it’s Sean Keane in Scottish mode at any rate.

Glad you lot are here, it makes for some interesting reading and links, and not a few chuckles… I’ve never liked Skinner’s fiddling, but I love some of his tunes, and a few are now an unshakable part of my madness…

Dargai

The tune is named after Dargai Heights, stormed by the British in 1897 in the course of a series of wars with tribal people in what is now the Malakand District of Pakistan.

A Wikipedia article (‘Dargai’) includes the following:

"An attack on Dargai Heights during the Tirah campaign resulted in the award of four Victoria Crosses. The Heights were held by Afridi tribesmen but were successfully stormed by the Gordon Highlanders and the Gurkhas on 20 October 1897. Piper George Findlater and Private Edward Lawson of the Gordons, Henry Singleton Pennell of the Derbyshire Regiment and Samuel Vickery of the The Dorsetshire Regiment were medal recipients.

‘The action was commemorated in verse by William McGonagall, the pipe march The Heights of Dargai by J. Wallace and the fiddle tune Dargai by James Scott Skinner. Richard Thompson later arranged and recorded a version of the Skinner tune for the guitar."