Flett From Flotta reel

Also known as A March For Flett From Flotta, Flett Fae Flotta.

There are 9 recordings of a tune by this name.

Flett From Flotta has been added to 6 tune sets.

Flett From Flotta has been added to 40 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Flett From Flotta
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
e>d[|BdBA B2GB|d>edB d2Bd|e>deg edBd|edBG A2e>d|
BdBA B2GB|d>edB g2GA|B2g>e dBAB|G2G>A G2|]
GB[|d2GB g2GB|d>edB d2GB|g2GB d2Bd|e>dBG A2e>d|
BdBA B2GB|d>edB g2GA|B2g>e dBAB|G2G>A G2|]
X: 2
T: Flett From Flotta
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
e>c | dc BA c2 E>A | FA df e2 ef/g/ | a>e fa fe dc | c>B Ac B2 e>c |
dc BA c2 E>A | FA df a2 gf | ea Ac Bf ed |1 c2 A2 A2 :|2 c2 A2 A2 ef/g/ ||
a>e fa ce cA | dA df e2 ef/g/ | a>e fa fe dc | c>B Ac B2 ef/g/ |
a>e fa ce cA | dA df a2 gf | ea Ac Bf ed | c2 A2 A2 ef/g/ |
a>e fa ce cA | dA df e2 ef/g/ | a>e fa fe dc | c>B Ac B2 e>c |
dc BA c2 E>A | FA df a2 gf | ea Ac Bf ed | c2 A2 A2 ||
# Added by DomW .
X: 3
T: Flett From Flotta
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
fe|c3/e/ cB c2Ac|e3/f/ ec e2ce|f3/e/ fa f2ec|fecA B2 fe|
c3/e/ cB c2Ac|e3/f/ ec a2A3/B/|c2a3/f/ ecBc|A2A3/B/ A2||
Ac|e2Ac a2Ac|e3/f/ ec e2Ac|a2Ac e2ce|fecA B2 fe|
c3/e/ cB c2Ac|e3/f/ ec a2A3/B/|c2a3/f/ ecBc|A2A3/B/ A2|]

Eighteen comments

Flett from Flotta

A great march written by Donald Macleod during the Second World War about his friend William (aka Jock) Flett, a piper in the Seaforth Highlanders.
Flotta (the flat island) is in the Orkneys.

We tag it with Kelso Fiddle & Box Club and the Fourty-Six Seconder.

Fergie McDonald plays it as a strathspey with lots more dots.

Do the parts repeat or not? I see you’ve notated them as AB, as not repeating?

And yes, it is a lovely march…

"Flett from Flotta" was William Arnot Flett, who was known as "Big John" by his regiment, fought at the battle of El Alamein in 1942. It was apparently while he and Donald McLeod were locked together in a guard’s van, protecting the regimental silver heading for a dinner in England that the tune was composed. It was also known as "John Flett of Flotta".

His nephew, also named William Arnot Flett, but known to everyone as "Arne" (after a trip to Norway - before that he was known as "Arnie") was someone I had great pleasure in saying was a true friend of mine. Arne was a great piper and pipe teacher, and it is mainly due to him that I have an interest in pipes and piping. I have the story of "Flett from Flotta" through him.
Arne passed away not long ago.

Phil Cunningham’s introduction to this tune

Phil Cunningham does a hilarious introduction to the "Fergie" version of this tune and how it came about. The intro is worth listening to, tune actually starts around 7:45:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB7FtBv8f_0


Glad I was able to track it down at this site.

GREAT - anyone know the name of the last tune Phil & Johnny plays

Posted by .

“The Fairy Dance” and variations.

"The Fairy Dance" and variations.

From 11.40 on. it’s their version of "The Fairy Dance". It used to be the show-stopping finale to their concerts with "Silly Wizard".

Posted by .

Cross posted, Nigel.

Posted by .

I was reliably, or not, told today that MacLeod wrote the opening bars on the back of a fag packet while on the train, so as not to forget the tune.

Posted by .

Re: Flett From Flotta

DomW, the tune you’ve submitted is a slightly unusual setting of "The Headlands" by Ronnie Cooper of Shetland (https://thesession.org/tunes/1950).

X:1 doesn’t do "Flett from Flotta" justice either - if someone else doesn’t do a better job, I’ll do it myself a bit later.

Re: “Fairy Dance” finale in video

I immediately recognized this tune as "Old Molly Hare". I think I learned it from a New Lost City Ramblers LP back around 1970.

Re: Flett From Flotta

Flett From Flotta? More like The Headlands, by the late Ronnie Cooper. (I’m referring to the sheet music)

Re: Flett From Flotta

I lived 15 years in Orkney. Tune was written in a train I think while the friends were on their way to army duty. In Ork. it’s called ‘Flett fae Flotta’ which is a tongue twister indeed. I disliked the tune for about a year but somehow it has grown on me after we played it lots of times in Jenny Wrigley’s fiddle class at the Reel (Kirkwall) Jenny’s a v. talented composer of tunes too.

Flett From Flotta, X:3

This setting is closer to how you would likely hear this tune played in Scotland, except for perhaps Fergie MacDonald and Aly & Phil who play it as a 2/4 march.
Some play it with the parts repeated, some without. I prefer the latter. Maybe that’s because that’s how I first heard it but it just seems to move along a lot better that way.

Re: Flett From Flotta

I would have had the last two notes on the second line after the double bar line, and moved to the third line. Apart from that, yet another excellent transcription from DK - thanks.

Re: Flett From Flotta

Done, Nigel.