The Battle Of The Somme slip jig

Also known as The Battle Of The Somme March.

There are 12 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Atholl Highlanders (a few times) and The Bugle Horn (a few times).

The Battle Of The Somme has been added to 6 tune sets.

The Battle Of The Somme has been added to 126 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Battle Of The Somme
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|:faf d3 dcd|edG B3A3|BGB A3f3|
faf e3A3|faf d3 dcd|edG B3A3|
BGB A3f3|1efe d3 d2A:|2efe d3d3||
|:dcd e3A3|efg faf d2d|fef g3A3|
faf e3 A3|faf d3 dcd|edG B3A3|
BGB A3f3|1efe d3 d3:|2efe d3d2A||
X: 2
T: The Battle Of The Somme
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f<af d3 d2 c | e>dG B3 A2 d | B<GB A3 d2 A | f<af e3- e2 A |
faf d3 d>cd | e>dG B3 A2 A | B<GB A3 f2 A | e>fe d3- d2 :|
d>cd e3 A2 e | e>fg f<af d3 | f>ef g3 A2 g | f<af e3- e3 |
f<af d3- dcd | e>dG B3 A2 B | B<GB A3 f3 | e>fe d3- d2 :|
X: 3
T: The Battle Of The Somme
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f>ef a3 f2 d | d>cB B3 A2 d | d>cd f3 A2 f | f<af e3- e2 f |
f>ef a3 f2 d | d>cB B3 A2 d | d>cd f3 A2 e | e<dc d3- d2 :|
d>cd e2 A e2 c | efg f<af d2 A |d>cd e2 A e2 c | f<af e3- e2 f |
f>ef a3 f2 d | d>cB B3 A2 d | d>cd f3 A2 e | e<dc d3- d2 :|

Thirteen comments

The Battle Of The Somme

A Scottish pipe lament from the first world war.Dave Swarbrick used to play it very slowly,but I have heard it played as a slip jig.

Battle of the Somme

Wasn’t this originally a march?

Battle of the Somme

Possibly my favourite Scottish set dance tune. I played this for a couple of Scottish dancers at a folk festival a long time ago. It was a dance for one man and one woman and was taken at a very steady, slightly slow pace. A ‘lilt’ I believe is the correct term.

Posted by .

Battle of the Somme

Yes, it’s originally a Scottish bagpipe march in 9/8 time. Hence the feeling of a slip jig if it’s played fast!

This was wriiten by Pipe Major Robert Meldrum as a lament for the Scottish dead at the Battle Of The Somme .

The Battle of the Somme

Jocklet, one of my tunebooks and the sleave notes of Malinky’s album inform us that it was written by William Laurie. It seems he was involved in the campaign and died of the wounds shortly after the tune became popular.

Battle of the Somme

I note in Peter Loud’s Collection of Fiddle Tunes he assignes the tune to Willie Laurie (and as a March)

Posted by .

“The Battle of the Somme” ~ by Pipe Major William Laurie

"Composed shortly after the infamous battle by Pipe Major William Laurie of the 8th Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The Battle Of The Somme was commonly regarded as the best composition of the First World War. Unfortunately Pipe Major Laurie died later that year of illness after being invalided home."

“The Battle of the Somme” - by Pipe Major William Laurie

K:D Major
|: A |
f<af d3 d2 c | e>dG B3 A2 d | B<GB A3 d2 A | f<af e3- e2 A |
faf d3 d>cd | e>dG B3 A2 A | B<GB A3 f2 A | e>fe d3- d2 :|
|: d |
d>cd e3 A2 e | e>fg f<af d3 | f>ef g3 A2 g | f<af e3- e3 |
f<af d3- dcd | e>dG B3 A2 B | B<GB A3 f3 | e>fe d3- d2 :|

“The Battle of the Somme” - by Pipe Major William Laurie, 1882 - 1916

|: f |
f>ef a3 f2 d | d>cB B3 A2 d | d>cd f3 A2 f | f<af e3- e2 f |
f>ef a3 f2 d | d>cB B3 A2 d | d>cd f3 A2 e | e<dc d3- d2 :|
|: A |
d>cd e2 A e2 c | efg f<af d2 A |d>cd e2 A e2 c | f<af e3- e2 f |
f>ef a3 f2 d | d>cB B3 A2 d | d>cd f3 A2 e | e<dc d3- d2 :|

A march, this second way is from rough notes and memory but differs from the previous which is closer to the piping traditions for this tune…. The ‘formal’ way of piping tends not to vary the tune from the written form, but both these versions given do vary from the usual piper’s transcript for this tune, though the first one above deviates from the ‘usual’ in only a few small ways…

“The Battle of the Somme” - - - by Pipe Major William Laurie

"The Fiddler’s Companion" ~ Andrew Kuntz
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/BARN_BB.htm

You’ll find an ABC transcript by Nigel Gatherer on site there that is even more ‘on point’ with the usual piper’s transcription. Here are important notes from the entry there for this tune:

"This pipe tune, a retreat from Army Manual (Book 2) and composed by William Laurie (1882-1916) commemorates one of the greatest and most terrible battles of World War I. Jack Campin communicates that Laurie "just lived to see it become an immediate success before dying of his wounds a few months later.” “The retreat march is not necessarily a march time tune which would be marched to,” explains Stuart Eydmann; rather, “as often as not it was played as part of the evening ritual in military camps as day duties gave way to night ones. It was not linked to the military manoeuvre of retreating in or from battle but was linked to the idea of refuge and safety in the camp.” Gatherer (Gatherer’s Musicial Museum), 1987…"