Highland Donald march

Also known as Highland Donald’s March.

Highland Donald has been added to 9 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Highland Donald
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
|:EA|F2 B2 B2 AB|c3 B BAcB|A2 F2 E2 F2|A3 B AFEA|
F2 B/c/B B2 AB|c3 B B2 d/c/B|A3 F E2 FA|B4 B2:|
|:A/B/c|d3 c d3 e|fedc B/c/B A2|A2 e2 e3 f|g>fed B2 A/B/c|
dAde f2 e/d/c|B/c/d ce d3 A|B3 A FDFd|B4 B2:|
X: 2
T: Highland Donald
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
|:BA|F2 B2 B2 AB|c2 B2 B2 cB|A3 F E2 F2|A2 B2 A3 E|
F2 B2 B2 AB|c2 B2 B2 cB|A3 F E2 F2|B4 B2:|
|:Ac|d4 d3 e|f2 d2 B2 A2|e4 e3 f|gfed B2 A2|
d3 e f2 d2|B2 d2 A2 F2|B3 A F2 A2|B4 B2:|
X: 3
T: Highland Donald
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
d/c/|BB BA/B/|cB Bc/B/|A>F EF|AB A>E|
FB BA/B/|cB Bc/B/|A>F EF|B2 B:|
A|d2 d>e|fd BA|e2 e>f|g/f/e/d/ BA|
d>e fd|Bd AF|BA FA|B2 B:|

Ten comments

“Highland Donald” ~ a march, another of his to top off Andrew Rankine week 😉

Alright, Sunday and I guess I can bring Andrew Rankine week to a close, but I’m disappointed, I had hoped others would be more forthcoming with tunes by the man. I’m considering another week in the future to dedicate to Angus Fitchett, so see what you can dig up that isn’t already here, and that you like and might want to share with the rest of us…?

“Highland Donald” ~ a march ~ but is it Andrew Rankine’s?

I don’t have Rankine’s collection and am a bit short of resources and haven’t been able to confirm whether or not this is for sure an Andrew Rankine composition or not. If anyone knows please let the rest of us know. Here is a simpler transcription of the march. As is usual, some prefer to notate these in 2/4, which isn’t my preference, so here it is again in 4/4 ~

K: b minor
|: BA |
F2 B2 B2 AB | c2 B2 B2 cB | A3 F E2 F2 | A2 B2 A3 E |
F2 B2 B2 AB | c2 B2 B2 cB | A3 F E2 F2 | B4 B2 :|
|: Ac |
d4 d3 e | f2 d2 B2 A2 | e4 e3 f | gfed B2 A2 |
d3 e f2 d2 | B2 d2 A2 F2 | B3 A F2 A2 | B4 B2 :|

“Highland Donald” ~ a Strathspey

“Highland Donald” / “Who Wadnae Fecht For Charlie” ~ Strathspey
Key signature: G Major
Submitted on September 29th 2005 by lostmyvoice.

This is the only other “Highland Donald” I did manage to dig up, and it isn’t the same melody. This is the one that is in the collection of James Scott Skinner, “The Harp & Claymore”…

Highland Donald

T:Highland Donald
D:Andrew Rankine
Z:Nigel Gatherer
d/c/ | BB BA/B/ | cB Bc/B/ | A>F EF | AB A>E |
FB BA/B/ | cB Bc/B/ | A>F EF | B2 B :|
A | d2 d>e | fd BA | e2 e>f | g/f/e/d/ BA |
d>e fd | Bd AF | BA FA | B2 B :|]

This is from the playing of Andrew Rankine, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t compose it.

Highland Donald

ceolachan, could you tell us where you got your version?

It would be my twisted memory Nigel. I had thought about adding your notes here as a safety net, so I am glad you have done so… I had a lot of different Scottish collections way back when, still do, but they are in the care of a friend and not within easy reach for back up… I had written a friend but he could only offer information on the Scott Skinner transcription. I also have at least one recording of Rankine, if memory serves me right. We had been moving so much that I left most of the ‘folk’ related material with one friend, and the literature and historical stuff with another… When I am faced with that problem, as has happened with a few transcriptions here, I always try to offer something else as a balance against my wayward ways… I love marches, and have used them for dance, so I have made a point of adding the ABC’s to notebooks, not always with the due attention the melodies deserve. It is not for want to do it right, but I have a lot that is just the ABC’s, the old system, pre-Internet…

Highland Donald

All hail to your twisted memory, ceolachan! I too have piles of notebooks and didn’t always annotate where the tunes came from. And I know all about the woes of moving, having done it six months ago 🙁

However, here, where too often we get cut-and-paste jobs with no attribution, I’d rather hear “Can’t remember where I got this…” than nothing. Why is it important? Well, I don’t suppose it’s very important, but when a tune has attribution it anchors it to a place, a player, or possibly a lineage.

I’m aware that not everyone will agree with me. Anyway - keep plundering that twisted memory of yours, ceolachan!

Highland Donald

The first couple of bars are identical to the opening of “Donald Where’s Yer Troosers”. Mmm.

“Donald Where’s Yer Troosers” ~ where in deed?

I agree with you Nigel, I just forget sometimes. I have a bad short term memory, and I only had that statemented as ‘dyslexic’ when I was struggling to learn shorthand, which after me was no longer required on that course unless you were following a specific strand. I was crushed, literally, as I had been in situations in the past with a friend and/or informant who absolutely refused the use of recording equipment. I have also been caught out when the equipment failed, in one case it showed that it was working but the sub-zero temperatures had insured it wasn’t…

Anyway, yes, I agree with you.

I came back here also to shower you with accolades ~


Your site has often helped me centre, with a memory that does not operate on demand, that is good. I often find myself drawn there for solace or for some clarity. I also have probably played through most of your ABC’s at one point or another, though usually when I’m trying to ‘fill in the blanks’ of my own sometimes wayward memory.

So, much respect and appreciation for all your hard work… I just hope you haven’t become hard work by the effort? 😉 As it has sometimes affected me, not your work, but my own. I am my own worst critic, and sometimes mercilous… 🙁

I especially enjoy transcribing the music and way of people I hold in great respect. In some cases I’ve learned from them and there is some change in my hands, if I hadn’t done a full transcription previously and lack a recording. In other cases I transcribe from field recordings I’ve made, or others have. I don’t always give all the full information. While I highly value that context, I do have my own work I’m still dealing with and I do reserve some of the information I give. I’m hoping I can pull together some of that toward fulfilling a hope, and a responsibility I feel to those sources, to get something in print.

My wife’s illness, which brought me to TheSesh originally, put some things on hold, and this site allowed me to share some of what I had while awakening my own awareness of my own neglect of these shared passions. I have even started playing again, and this site has helped to shake me out of my stupour. As some already know, I had a strange change where my body just will no longer bear up to smoke. I get ill, feel rotten. This happened more than a decade ago. I avoid the possibility like the plague. When Mark / Dow came visiting I broke down and we went to a sesh. I didn’t realize, the good company distracting me, how bad the smoke was. I felt awful for up to two weeks after that, as if someone had straffed my insides raw with sand blasting. So, that has stood as the excuse for my neglect. I’m working against it, but I have a long ways to go… Maybe the new law will make a difference, though I am not really a sessionneer, prefering the kitchen, barn or dance.

Well, Nigel, I will try to remember to offer more than a mere hello when submitting a tune. I’m always pestering others for that, though usually quietly through emails in the background. It is good to get some of my own medicine back, and from one such as you… 😏 Respect! V 😎

Highland Donald

Sounds like a typical Jacobite tune. Distinct similarity to the battle of Aughrim