T: The Famous Baravan
d2c dAB|d2c def|g2f gef|g2f gef|
aaa aed|c2e ecA|1 A2c ecA|dcd eAB:|2 Ace edc|d3 def||
g2f gdB|GBd gag|eff fed|dcd fed|
eee age|age age|1 aaa aed|cAd AeA:|2 aaa edc|d3 d3||
There are 12 recordings of this tune.
The Famous Baravan has been added to 42 tune sets.
The Famous Baravan has been added to 205 tunebooks.
Someone recently requested this tune, composed by the late Gordon Duncan. This version is based partly on the playing of Anna Massie, and partly on the playing of Derek Hoy.
true sad story behind this tune, its good to play on the piano but a hard tune for the clarsach!
In fact this tune is named after the good times Gordon Duncan and many others spent in the Scottish Gas Pipe Band’s converted caravan (hence bar-a-van) in the 1990s. The band used to take the Baravan to pipe band competitions and there was a great social rapport between the Gas band and the Duncans’ band, the Vale of Atholl during those years.
Although the Baravan has long since been retired, there is in fact a Bar-a-shed in existence now, built by the Baravan’s owner, Findlay MacLeod.
This tune was very popular at the late night sessions during the 2012 Blazin’ in Beauly week, but I have never heard it in America, though surely somebody has played it. I hope it gets better known on the west side of the Atlantic.
Incredibly, in Robert Mathieson’s 4th book this is down as “traditional Irish”. Just shows how little Gordon Duncan was appreciated by the established piping world at the time.
I don’t really think that was the case - [ with the noteable exception of 1 particular piping adjudicator, a tale which I recounted elsewhere ]. That seems to me quite a sweeping statement to make on the basis of one - admittedly disgraceful - mistake made in one single publication.
Perhaps too sweeping, but see my comment re “The Sleeping Tune” and The Scots Guards Vol II.
And then there’s Sandy MacIntyre’s book which has a tune called “The Ferret” by one “Andy Renwick” (and, yes, I know Sandy’s not from the piping world).
OK, Scots Guards Vol III.
For what it’s worth, Seumas had no complaints about Gordon’s abilities as a piper. He just didn’t like what he played.
PS the misattribution has been corrected in my edition, which I think is a later one though there’s nothing to distinguish it.
Kenny, if you get a chance to see the Thunderstruck play at some point - it’s at Celtic Connections - it’s a pretty interesting take on that era.
I think you are probably right with that first statement, Calum, and I’m glad to hear it. Most musicians would know Gordon’s music through his original compositions, and it gets forgotten that he won numerous prizes in the more “traditional” March/Strathspey/Reel and Hornpipe/Jig categories of competition, not to mention the Scottish/Irish/Breton medleys required at the “Celtic” piping competition at Lorient in Brittany, which he won on more than one occasion against some of the best pipers from those 3 traditions.
“Thunderstruck” does intrigue me, and I would like to see it sometime. Cheers, Kenny.
I don’t think the mis-naming of Gordon Duncan’s tunes point to a lack of appreciation for him while he was alive, that was certainly not generally the case. I would say it was a result of the quality of his tunes. It’s a relatively common occurrence that folk believe quite new tunes are trad. MacLeod’s Farewell, Chloe’s Passion and the Tongadale are three that immediately spring to mind that have been mis-labeled.
Ok, I’ll bow to the superior knowledge here, though quite a few pipers I know have limited awareness of his Gordon Duncan’s tunes. Perhaps it was the case that, in the early days, his tunes were disseminated by oral tradition, where the titles and authorship were not always known.
Some of his tunes also went out under multiple titles, Fourth Floor and Rory Gallagher’s being two obvious examples.
A lot of pipers simply don’t know many tunes, especially hardcore pipe band types. The competition system at work.
Also, many pipers don’t have much interest in who wrote the tunes, they just play the tunes they like. That was certainly the case for me and many of my pals when we were younger.