My transcription is taken directly from the handwritten tunebook of the late Hugh Blake (box player).
I’ve posted this as a “reel” but it’s actually a march.
Hugh’s tunebook cited no source for the tune. I assume the that “Paardeburg is reference to Battle of Paardeburg - a major battle of the Anglo-Boer war which took place 1900 in which the British were victorious. Possibly this tune was written to commemorate the victory.
The British forces included Scottish regiments, so it may well be a pipe march.
To my ear this tune has a 2/4 feel to it - but, (as I commented above) my transcription was directly from Hugh’s tunebook, which noted it as 4/4.
Correction to my error above:
“The Battle Of Paardeburg March” & a rat trap…
Apologies Mix, I was looking for a means to add ‘march’ to the alternate titles so that this would show up in any general searches made for marches, including by time and/or key signature. The action got interrupted and was quickly done ~ as a set trap caught one very large rodent. This rat was that large that the trap only held it and I had to do the awful thing of putting the thing out of its misery with a quick whack with a hammer. Yuck… My dear wife was funny, she would only let me call it a ‘mouse’… Somehow it seemed to have gotten into the wall cavity and worked its way up to the kitchen where it found our bird seed. We only had any proof of these visits on weekends. This was as I was playing through this. But, it was also a multi-tasking weekend in general ~ mostly problems ~ computer (again), email, this rat, trying to make sense of some recordings of a hammered dulcimer (my ears are still jangling, but it’s actually quite fun playing), etc… Sorry…
I’d intended to write you and suggest you find your own way to include ‘march’ in a title, one form or another. But, also, the melody is familiar, and that name. I was also planning to check some of my sources for it. My experience with pipe marches is mostly via Cape Breton Island. I was also thinking of asking some contacts there, and Weejie and Nigel also came to mind. I will, of course, let you know if I get any positives… Again, sorry if my having lost track of that title addition caused any confusion. I’m still hopeful for this melody. It is familiar.
@Ceol: I get the "March" bit - but where did "The Battle of" bit come from? I suggested in my comments that the tune *might* have been written to commemorate the British victory at the Battle of Paardeberg - but that was pure speculation on my part.
The tune appears in a few pipe books (under the misspelling and correct spelling) - it is a 2/4 march. Most describe it either as "traditional" or place no attribution, but it has also been attributed to “John McLellan, Dunoon”, which would make sense as he served with the Highland Brigade in the Boer War (hence his Magersfontein tune). However, it seems he was with the HLI, and they apparently were not with the rest of the Brigade at Paardeberg. It doesn’t mean he didn’t compose the tune, though.
2/4 version with pointing.
Adapted from the "Master Method for the Highland Bagpipe", compiled by PM James Robertson and PM Donald Shaw Ramsay (on Ceol Sean site). Here it is spelled with the "u". There was no repeat for the last part, but I’ve put it in.
T: Paardeberg or Paardeburg
C: John McLellan, Dunoon?
S:Master Method for the Highland Bagpipe p.56
R: 2/4 March
f4 g>fe>f|A2d2 d2ef|g3e c2ec|A2a2 a>gf<a|
f4 g>fe>f|A2d2 d2ef|g3A c<Ac<e|d4 d2:|
e3f g>ec<e|A2d2 d2ef|g2A2 c2e2|d>cd<f A2cd|
e3f g>ec<e|A2d2 d2ef|g3A c<Ac<e|d4 d2:|
f2A2 d2A2|d>cd>e f4|g2A2 c2e2|d>cd<f A2ag|
f2A2 d2A2|d>cd>e f4|g3A c<Ac<e|d4 d2:|
f<ad<f A2d2|f>df>g a2ge|g>ec<e A2e2|d>cd>f A2ag|
f<ad<f A2d2|f>df>g a2ge|g3A c<Ac<e|d4 d2:|
X: 2 & X: 3 ~ “The Paardeberg March” ~ 2/4 & 4/4
B: Master Method for the Highland Bagpipe, page 56
Thanks Weejie, much appreciated. I’m still knocking my head on this one but have other more pressing distractions as well. I’ve given your source above in two meters, 2/4 & 4/4.
With swing and snaps is how I have it in mind and under the fingers. And, there’s at least one recording of it too.
@Weejie - thanks for your researched info and 2/4 ABCs :-)
@ceolachan - thanks for the 2/4 ABCs :-)