The 51st Highland Division march

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

The 51st Highland Division has been added to 1 tune set.

The 51st Highland Division has been added to 5 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

1
X: 1
T: The 51st Highland Division
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AF |:"D"D2 D3/2E/2 FDFA |d3/2c/2 BA "G"B2 AB |"D"dcBA "G"BdDE |"Bm7"FBAF "A"E2 AF |
"D"D2 D3/2E/2 FDFA |d3/2c/2 BA "G"B2 AB |"D"dcBA "G"BdFE ||1 "D"F2 D3/2D/2 D2 AF :|2 "D"F2 D3/2D/2 D2 FA ||
|:"D"dcBd A2 Bc |dcBA "G"B2 AB/2c/2 |"D"dcBA "G"BdDE |"Bm"FBAF "A"E2 AF |
"D"D2 D3/2E/2 FDFA |d3/2c/2 BA "G"B2 AB |"D"dcBA "G"BdFE ||1 "D"F2 D3/2D/2 D2 FA :|2 "D"F2 D3/2D/2 D2|]
# Added by Bazza .
2
X: 2
T: The 51st Highland Division
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
e>c | A2 A>B cB ce | a>=g fe f2 e>f<g/ | a>=g fe fa A>B | cf e>c B2 e>c |
A2 A>B cB ce | a>=g fe f2 e>f<g/ | a>=g fe fa cB | c2 A2 A2 ||
ce | f2 fae2 ce | a>=g fe f2 e>f<g/ | a>=g fe fa A>B | cf e>c B2 e>c |
A2 A>B cB ce | a>=g fe f2 e>f<g/ | a>=g fe fa cB | c2 A2 A2 ||

Nine comments

The 51st Highland Division

I had this tune from a session player (Northumbrian piper) under the incorrect title of ‘The 72nds’ farewell to Aberdeen’. (See under that name for settings of the approp. tune). The error was pointed out when I posted it as such, so here it is under what I’m told is its right name. The choice of chords is mine.

Posted by .

Re: The 51st Highland Division

Pity it’s not in the original key, A (mix).
I play the start of the B (2nd) part differently. In your key:
|:FA|B2Bd A2FA|d>=c BA B2 etc.

Re: The 51st Highland Division

The version posted represents how I learned it at a session, DonaldK.

Posted by .

Re: The 51st Highland Division

Yes, that’s fair enough, Bazza. Just note though, that if you play it north of the Border in D you might get some surprised looks.

Having said that, we play Jewels of the Ocean in G (after Sharon Shannon) before moving to the original key of D, and the retreats Far O’er Struy and My Home Town in A before playing them both again in D (the original key for both).

The 51st Highland Division, X:2

I agree with DonaldK. This is an odd version of a very well known tune. Here’s the original and how it’s almost always played. Written by Donald MacLeod of Lewis.

Re: The 51st Highland Division

This tune was written in 1941 after the 51st Highland Division was reformed. It had been broken up after the British government abandoned them in Sy Valery in France as a distraction for the evacuation at Dunkirk. Being made up of Scottish Highland regiments they were expendable of course. Donald MacLeod was captured along with almost the entire remainder of the Division but managed to escape while being marched a POW camp in Germany. He got back home and immediately re-enlisted, eventually to pipe the 51st over the Rhine while advancing on Berlin at the end of the war. Piping ahead of troops had been banned because of the terrible mortality rate of pipers in WWI. He went on to become, in my opinion, the best ever composer of highland pipe tunes.

Re: The 51st Highland Division

In the A mixolydian setting, the key signature of D (two sharps) would make more sense.

Re: The 51st Highland Division

It might, but even with all the Gs natural it might still be accompanied in A major as none of the Gs are on the beat, so you’ll typically hear A-F#m-Bm-E or even A-F#m-G-E7/G# as a way of harmonising the last bar in the first line.

Re: The 51st Highland Division

I agree with Donald. This is not a mix tune, it’s A major. The g’s are passing notes as with many A major pipe tunes. The flattened g’s look a bit clumsy but this is the best way to notate it for the purpose on other instruments.

Posted by .