jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

It was 1972, I was 15 years old, and my father bought a Scottish bagpipe album called Farewell To The Greys.

It had bagpipe band tunes, brass band tunes, and some tunes with bagpipes and brass together.

The album is by far the biggest-selling bagpipe album of all time, due to it being the bagpipe debut of the American hymn-tune New Britain, used for the hymn Amazing Grace.

Yet the jig medley on that album remains obscure. The middle of the three jigs, The Duck, has long been a favourite. It’s one of the well-known compositions by Donald MacLeod.

The first jig, called "nameless" on the album, is called Groatie Buckie Mannie and is heard once in a blue moon. Though it has four parts, only the first two parts are usually heard. It was composed by Charles Williamson. It wasn’t in Tunes here so I added it yesterday. https://thesession.org/tunes/20497

The third jig is more of a mystery. On the album it’s called Eleanor’s. No tune of that name appears in my (admittedly old) copy of An Encyclopedia Of Tunes For The Great Highland Bagpipe by Robert Pekaar.

There’s a Highland pipe march called Ellenorr which isn’t related. There’s also a recently-composed fiddle tune called Eleanor’s Jig which is unrelated.

Most interesting is the Scottish Country Dance called Eleanor’s Jig, however I’ve not been able to locate a recording of the name tune, to find out if it’s the same tune as appears on Farewell To The Greys.

In any case I transcribed Eleanor’s from the album and just now posted it in Tunes. https://thesession.org/tunes/20507#setting40597

This three-jig set is part of a larger medley:

slow air: Leaving Rhu Vaternish
three jigs: Groatie Buckie Mannie/The Duck/Eleanor’s
drum salute (drum corps only)


Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

Nice tune !! Thanks a lot , a cracker

Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

Great to se these tunes added thank you.

Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

I don’t have a copy, Richard, but I wonder if it’s a tune called Eleanor MacAleer by Jim Wark (of Strathclyde Polis, the Molly Connel composer)? It would be early for him, but not too early as he was born in 1949. It’s in his Molly Connel collection.

The other composer I might finger is Peter MacLeod Jr, who had a habit of renaming and rewriting tunes on a regular basis. It’s got more than a little of his dunt to it. If you know anyone with a full set of Donald Varella’s books you might twist their arms to go through it. I wish someone would do a proper "complete works" of the MacLeods though. Not sure who could.

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Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

The Wark idea is promising, my copy of Pekaar doesn’t appear to have Wark’s book.

I’ll search the Eleanor MacAleer title, thanks!

And I want to find a recording of the RSCDS dance Eleanor’s Jig, so far I’ve not been able to.

Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

Thanks Calum!

I’m a Luddite sort. Pekaar online! I had no idea.

I have a shelf full of old piping books, I suppose they’re all online too.

Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

I’ve added the slow air that precedes the three jigs, the Scots Gaelic song Failte Rubha Bhatairnis (Welcome to Rhu Vaternish) to complete the medley as it appears on the album:


Rhu Vaternish
Groatie Buckie Mannie
The Duck
Eleanor’s (Eleanor MacAleer?)

Re: jig medley on 1971 bagpipe album

Unfortunately I don’t think you are going to find a recording of a name tune for the SCD dance Eleanor’s Jig. According to the Strathspey database the devisor [listed as A Lyall ] did not specify a name tune for his composition, and the dance was not published by the RSCDS [I don’t know about the ISTD SCD community] . In addition, the dance is listed as 40 bar and thus not at first sight a good match to a 4-part pipe jig. Yes I know that an experienced dance musician can make the necessary changes…

Sorry to be unhelpful. Happy to be proved wrong if you find a recording !