Not a James Cagney song and dance number or a Marlene Dietrich film role, but a march. A few marches have shown up recently and, as the marching season in the north of Ireland is approaching another big day, the 12th August, here’s a very popular one. It will be immediately recognizable as a march version of the old reel "The Swallow’s Tail". I have been playing it so long, I can’t remember where I have it from — probably heard the Orangemen playing it. You can watch a performance of the northern Irish band Different Drums playing the tune at the Kennedy Centre site. Their version is not much different from mine, but they do not go up to the high "c". I am not sure where I got that variation from. Once hooked on the flute, I used to sneak along to the marches (trying to look as un-Fenian like as possible) to hear the flute and pipe bands. Some were crappy kick-the-Pope outfits, but other bands were very good indeed. On one occasion, I was astounded to see a guy wearing a Glasgow Celtic shirt stroll brazenly through the throng of Orangemen. He didn’t seem drunk or stoned, so I had to conclude that he was either insane or the hardest Fenian in the area and that the Orangemen knew to stay well out of his way.
Hi LongNote. Nice to meet you in E Durham Minor point: anniversary of internment is 9th of August (but I’m sure you knew that). I’ll never forget watching the bonfires at Lenadoon fields from my bedroom window. It was fun watching your neighbours get shot in the backside with plastic bullets 🙂
Ah, yes Conan, a northern Irish childhood — so many precious memories!
Nice tune, sir Note. Nice tale to boot.
I suppose lots of Irish-American folks besides myself have a moment like this (though not enough, for sure), where they suddenly realize what a coddled little soft-and-cuddly existence they’ve had growing up here it the United States of Jesus’ Bush:
At a session, DK and I were recalling summers spent mowing our respective suburban-sized lawns, battling nature with a weed-whacker in one hand and squashed-dead mosquitoes lining the palm of the other, in the hope of reward when Mr. Softee came rolling by.
"I remember building retaining walls everywhere with my father," I said, "and it kills me to see those very walls falling apart whenever I visit the parents’ house."
"Oh, yeah, damned retaining walls," from DK, "I’ve built a few of those in my day."
Said LongNote, "I remember one summer when I did nothing but build barricades, day and night."
I imagine it doesn’t kill you to see those barricades falling apart whenever you visit.
" The Lougheil March" / "Lougheil’s March"
Key signature: d minor & e minor in the ‘Comments’
Submitted on March 3rd 2007 by ceolachan.
A-parts in agreement, but different B-parts…
& ~ with the A-parts not completely in agreement ~ this has the tune in Dorian, with F#, while "The Lougheil March" is minor, with F natural…
"The Swallow’s Tail" ~ reel
Key signature: A Dorian
Submitted on May 25th 2001 by Jeremy.
"The Lougheil March" ~ G Dorian & A Dorian in the ‘Comments’
Corrections to the above ~ "The Lougheil March" is also Dorian… I was suffering from trying to do too many things at the same time with a mono-dexterous mind, or being semi-conscious again… And there I was out in the sun and lovely wind and instead of enjoying that and good company I had the "Wha?" sensation, followed by "How daft can I get?" 😏
Listen to Fintan Vallely play the march: http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/sound/shanghai-march-vallely