March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull reel

Also known as Daft Donald, The Drunken Piper, Far Am Bi Fhin, Far Am Bi Mi Fhèin, Far Am Bi Mi Fhien, Far Am Bi Mi Fhìn, Far Am Mi Fhin, March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull, March Of The Meena Toiten Bull, March Of The Meena Totten Bull, March Of The Meenatoiteen Bull, March Of The Meenatotten Bull, March Of The Mín Na Toiteán Bull, The March Of The Mín Na Toiteán Bull, Reel Of The 51st Division, We Will Take The Good Old Way.

There are 31 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Angus McCleod (a few times), The Gallopede (a few times), Kathleen’s (a few times), The Primrose Lasses (a few times) and Tripping On The Mountain (a few times).

March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull has been added to 8 tune sets.

March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull has been added to 228 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:E2 |AAAB d3e | edBd e2a2 | GGGB d3e | dBGB d3e |
AAAB d3e | edBd e2a2 | g2eg efed | c2A2A2 :|
|: e2 |a4 e2a2 | edef g2a2 | GGGB d3e | dBGB d2e2 |
a4 e2a2 | edef g2a2 | g2eg efed | c2A2A2 :|
X: 2
T: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:"Am"AAAB e4 | (uedBd) e2g2| "G"GGGB d3ue| dBGB vd2ue2|
"Am"AAABe4|"Am"(ed)Bd e2a2| "G"g2(eg) "Em7"efed| "Am"(Bc/B/A2) uA2ue2:|
"Am"va4ue2ua2| edef g2a2|"G"GGGB d3e| dBGB "G/E"d2e2|
"Am"a4 "Am/B"ue2ua2| "Am/C"edef "D"e2a2| "Em"g2(eg) "G"efed|"Am"(Bc/B/A2) (uA2ue2)|
"Am"a4 "Am/E"ue2ua2| "C/A"edef "Dmaj7"g3a| "G"GGGB d3ue| dBGB "G/E"d2e2|
"Am"AAAB "Am/B"e4| "Am/C"(ed)Bd "Am/D"e2a2| "Em"g2(eg) efed| "G"(Bc/B/A2) "Am"A2x2|]
X: 3
T: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:e2 | "Am"AAAB e3f | edBd e2g2 | "G"GGGB d3e | dBGB "E7"d2e2 |
"Am"AAAB e3f | edBd "D7"e2a2 | "G"g2ea "Em"efed | "Am"B2AA A2 :|
e2 | "Am"a4 e2a2 | e2ef "(D)"g2a2 | "G"GGGB d3e | dBGB "E7"d2g2 |
"Am"a4 e2a2 | e2ef "(D)"g2a2 | "G"g2ea "Em"efed | "Am"B2AA A2e2 ||
"Am"a4 e2a2 | edef "(D)"g2a2 | "G"GGGB d3e | dBGB "E7"d2e2 |
"Am"AAAB e3f | edBd "D7"e2a2 | "G"g2ea "Em"efed | "Am"B2AA A4 |]
X: 4
T: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
a2|A>AA>B e2 e>f|e>dB>d e2 g2|G>GG>B d2 d>e|d>BG>B d2 e2|
A>AA>B e2 e>f|e>dB>d e2 fa|g2 f<a e>fg>G|B2 A2 A2:|
|:(3(efg)|a4 e2 a2|e>de>f g2 f>a|1G2 G>B d2 d>e|d>BG>B d2 e2|
a4 e2 a2|e>de>f g2 f>a|g2 f>d e>fg>G|B2 A2 A2:|[2G>GG>B d2 d>e|
d>BG>B d>Bd<e|A>AA>B e2 e>f|e>dB>d B2 (3(fga)|g2 f<a e>fg>G|B2 A2 A2:|
|:a2|A>AA>B e>AB>d|e>fe>d B>ed>B|G>GG>B d>GB>d|e>dg>d B>ed>B|
A>AA>B e>AB>d|e>Ae>d B2 A>G|A2 a2 e>fg>g|B2 A2 A2:|
|:(3(efg)|a>ee>a g>ef>d|e<eg>d e2 g2|g2 g>B d3 e|[1d>Bg>B d2 e2|
a>ee>a g>ed>B|d>eg>d e2 e>B|BA a2 e>fg>G|B2 A2 A2:|
[2d>BG>B d>Bd<e|A>AA>B e2 e>f|e>dB>d e2 a2|g2 f<a e>fg>G|B2 A2 A2|]
X: 5
T: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
a2|AAAB e2 ef|edBd e2 g2|GGGB d2 de|dBGB d2 e2|
AAAB e2 ef|edBd e2 fa|g2 fa efgG|B2 A2 A2:|
|:(3(efg)|a4 e2 a2|edef g2 fa|G2 GB d2 de|dBGB d2 e2|1 a4 e2 a2|
edef g2 fa|g2 fd efgG|B2 A2 A2:|[2AAAB e2 ef|
edBd e2 (3(fga)|g2 fa efgG|B2 A2 A2:|]
X: 6
T: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
e2|: AAAB e3f | edBd e2g2 | GGGB d3e | dBGB d2e2 |
AAAB e3f | edBd e2a2 | g2eg efed | B2A2 A2e2 :|
|: a4 e2a2 | edef g2a2 | GGGB d3e | dBGB d2e2 |
[1 a4 e2a2 | edef g2a2 | g2eg efed | B2A2 A2e2 :|
[2 AAAB e3f | edBd e2a2 | g2eg efed | B2A2 A2e2 ||

Twenty-eight comments

Words!

Natalie MacMaster has this tune in a set with Primrose Lasses and a recently composed tune called Father John Angus Rankin. This tune in the set, however, is under the name of ‘Far Am Mi Fhin’ (Where I Will Be)- because Cookie Rankin SINGS it! It’s on the ‘No Boundaries’ album she has out. No, it’s not totally trad, but it’s a cool song!

Here are the words she uses-

Far am bi mi fhin is ann a bhios mo dhochas,
Far am bi mi fhin is ann a bhios mo dhochas
Far am bi mi fhin is ann a bhios mo dhochas
Far am bi mi fhin bidh mo dhochas ann.

Suibhal air na cladaichean ‘s a’ coiseachd air a’ ghainmhich,
Suibhal air na cladaichean ‘s a’ coiseachd air a’ ghainmhich,
Suibhal air na cladaichean ‘s a’ coiseachd air a’ ghainmhich,
Far am bi mi fhin bidh mo dhochas ann.

Theid mi fhin is Sine null gu taigh a’ phiobair,
Theid mi fhin is Sine null gu taigh a’ phiobair,
Theid mi fhin is Sine null gu taigh a’ phiobair,
‘S ni sinn brod an ruidhle leinn fhin air an lar.

Is mar d’thoir am piobar puirt dhuinn airson ruidhle,
Is mar d’thoir am piobar puirt dhuinn airson ruidhle,
Is mar d’thoir am piobar puirt dhuinn airson ruidhle,
Tha fidheal aig a’ chiobair is piob aig a’ cheard.

This is a Scottish tune, being part of the Highland bagpipe repertoire, although it has no doubt made its way in to the Cape Breton tradition.

John Doherty played a version of it, called The March of the Meena (although, according to the sleeve notes of ‘Bundle and Go’, it is a highland, not a march).

According to the music I have, Far am Bi Mi-Fhin is Port-a-beul (mouth music) and while similar to the Drunken Piper is not quite the same tune (notes).

The version I have ( of Far am Bi Mi-Fhin) was recorded by Norman MacKinnon on Tir nam Beann

I learned this as a Waulking Song from my colleague Fiona Young of Fort William.
I found John Docherty’s march ‘The Drunken Piper’ to be exactly the same tune.

The Dubliner’s did a version of this tune to break up the song "Mormom Braes". Does anyone here have their version of it?

The version I know is the 3-part one posted above. Presumably this is a Donegal title referring to the village of Meenatotten in Co. Donegal. I’m interested to find out about the story of the bull if anyone knows about it. A while ago I came across an archived document on the net - I think from the 1950s - which mentioned that the village of Meenatotten had finally acquired a bull which had been donated from elsewhere. I can’t remember the exact details and that page doesn’t seem to be on the net anymore. I wish I’d cut & pasted it here at the time but I wasn’t sure if it even had anything to do with the title of this tune and I didn’t want to look like an idiot if this is a famous legend or something. Can anyone shed light?

Question for ‘c’

I’ve read that this is sometimes played as a highland fling. Does it make a good one in your opinion? It doesn’t quite sound right to me.

DÁIL DEBATES - Díospóireachtaí Dála / Parliamentary Debates:

The extract ~ in case it goes bye-bye again:

Dáil Éireann - Volume 130 - 20 March, 1952

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Donegal Bull Station.

Mr. O’Donnell Mr. O’Donnell

Mr. O’Donnell asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in view of the fact that there is no bull within a radius of seven miles of Meenatotten, Dungloe, County Donegal, he will take immediate steps to have a Polled Angus bull allocated to the area.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Bartley) Gerald Bartley

21

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Bartley): An Aberdeen Angus bull was available in the Meenatotten area under my Department’s special scheme for congested districts up to the 1st October last, when its term of location expired. No application for a replacement bull was received until the 10th of this month. This application will be favourably [21] considered, if it is found that a suitable bull is available after the prior applications from the congested districts have been dealt with.

Mr. O’Donnell Mr. O’Donnell

Mr. O’Donnell: Will the Parliamentary Secretary take every possible step to ensure that a bull is allocated to the area? The Parliamentary Secretary will appreciate that it is a very isolated area and that considerable hardship will be caused if a bull is not made available. There may be surplus bulls in other constituencies, one of which might be transferred to that particular area.

Mr. Bartley Mr. Bartley

Mr. Bartley: I can assure the Deputy that that will be done but priority must be given to the cases whose applications were in at the usual time.

Mr. O’Donnell Mr. O’Donnell

Mr. O’Donnell: Hardship should be taken into consideration.

Thanks ‘c’. I’ve been trying to cut & paste that for about 20 minutes and it was rejected each time. Probably because you were trying to do the same thing? 😏

So are you going to ignore my question, ‘c’?

Sharon’s comment about it being a ‘waulking song’ definitely rings bells. Unfortunately I don’t have that many resources here to draw on, but I do have our tune book from the Gaelic choir I used to sing with. I’ll see if I can find that and get any more information on that point. On your question too Dow, let me see if I’ve a relative for this first, and then, if not, I’ll give it a go. I was just dancing to it in a fling sort of way, but I am so used to it as a march and I need to work past that… I do love the tune, but I have a few differences in the way I know it, but nothing major…

Well it’s mixolydian anyway 🙂

Hey Dow, how about some lessons on making smilies. My wink is becoming a tick… As you can see, no, I wasn’t ignoring your question, I was dancing, thank you…

And don’t blame me for your inability to master the fine arts of cutting and pasting… 😛

~ or proper gurning…

There seem to be many versions of this that I’ve heard but most would have e3f in the bars 1 & 5 where the sheet-music here has d3e (excuse my poor abc), and B2 in bar 8 where they have c here; and so on for those phrases in part B.

The Dubliners play it at more of a reel tempo in the middle of "Mormond Braes" but it’s pretty much the notes as I’ve outlined above with some Barney twiddles

Posted by .

Another version

This version from (http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www.sfco.puckette.com/tunes/0039) is more familiar to me:

X:40
T:Drunken Piper, The
R:Reel
M:2/4
%%printtempo 0
Q:110
K:Ador
|:"Am"AAAB e4 | (uedBd) e2g2| "G"GGGB d3ue| dBGB vd2ue2| "Am"AAABe4|
"Am"(ed)Bd e2a2| "G"g2(eg) "Em7"efed| "Am"(Bc/B/A2) uA2ue2:| "Am"va4ue2ua2| edef g2a2|
"G"GGGB d3e| dBGB "G/E"d2e2| "Am"a4 "Am/B"ue2ua2| "Am/C"edef "D"e2a2| "Em"g2(eg) "G"efed|
"Am"(Bc/B/A2) (uA2ue2)| "Am"a4 "Am/E"ue2ua2| "C/A"edef "Dmaj7"g3a| "G"GGGB d3ue| dBGB "G/E"d2e2|
"Am"AAAB "Am/B"e4| "Am/C"(ed)Bd "Am/D"e2a2| "Em"g2(eg) efed| "G"(Bc/B/A2) "Am"A2x2|]

Far am bi mi fhìn : Where I will be

CHORUS;
Where I will be is where my hope lies (x3)
Where I will be my hope lies

Sheena and I will go to the piper’s house (x3)
and we will dance a choice reel by ourselves on the floor

Chorus..

And if the piper doesn’t play us a tune for the reel (x3)
we’ll head off to see the fair fiddler

Chorus..

Travelling the shores and walking on the sand (x3)
where I will be my hope lies

Chorus..

The Drunken Piper, X:6

I’m learning this pipe march/reel on the fiddle. It is the ‘original’ tune for the Reel of the 51st Highland Division Scottish country dance which goes like this: set, cast down 2 places, cast up to face 1st corners, set to and turn corners by right, balancing between, circle 6 round and back.

It was written by Alexander MacLeod (1829 - 1903). The following is from the www.pipetunes.ca website:
Native of Perth, but of Skye parentage. Piper in the 26th Cameronians – Pipe Major for one day….. His best tune is the "Drunken Piper" (or "Highland Rory"), one of the finest pipe marches ever composed.

Because highland pipes have no C natural, that note is implied. Also I prefer the high A to a high G in the turn around and ending tags to work against the G chord.

Re: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull

Funny, the first two settings are a different tune, related to what John Doherty called the March of Meena Toiten Bull (great story there), but John had a third part or a variation (the recording of him is ABCBA so…) - all the rest are what John called the Meena Toiten March, although I believe more than a few people have used the other title for it.

Posted by .

Re: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull

Setting 6 is also the same tune as the first two settings. Here’s where settings 3-5 and 7 should go:
https://thesession.org/tunes/5252

Posted by .

The Drunken Piper

A great tune from Scotland.

Re: The Drunken Piper

This seems ( to me anyway) to be a version of the march John Doherty (and Vincent Campbell) does which is sometimes called The March Of The Meena Toiten Bull (Bundle & Go) - however that name really goes with the story from the Doherty’s that goes with the tune rather than the tune itself. Vincent Campbell gives the whole story as well as the tune on the 2nd disc of The Purple Heather. I have a transcription of John Doherty’s version which I think I get from here someplace but I can not find it right now.

Posted by .

Reel Of The 51st Division, X:4

Setting from Reel Of Seven.

Wikipedia attributes The Reel Of The 51st Division/Highlanders (named after the British 51st Highland Division) to Lieutenant Jimmy Atkinson, who supposedly composed the tune while in a German POW camp during WW2, sometime around 1940.

As far as I can tell (through reading, listening, and online sheet music for both) the tune is a close variant of the much older Drunken Piper Reel, composed by Alexander McLeod in 1880.

In either case, lovely tune.

Newfoundland fiddler Émile Benoît composed a variant called "Bridgett’s Reel", which is different enough in the details to be its’ own tune, though, I would guess it was derived from The Reel Of The 51st Division / The Drunken Piper.

See Ador settings here for comparison:
https://thesession.org/tunes/10353

Re: March Of The Meeatoiteen Bull

Thanks for that reminder, Kenny: I have that CD in my collection.
Having heard both tunes on many different occasions (Drunken Piper and Meeatoiteen Bull) I’d never connected the 2, but now it’s pointed out, yes, there is a strong resemblance.
I remember one year at Blazin’ in Beauly when the Irish group, Fidil, were the guests and the Bull got played many times over!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HeAFPc_Uno

(Not sure if that’s the best way to treat a fiddle?)