Saturday, 19 January 2013

Rabbie Burns -Ye Jacobites by Name

Over recent weeks I have been looking at different types of music from all around the world.
My old friend George Douglas Holmes (an ethnomusicologist) ignited my interest in traditional music and the origins of the tunes / poems / ballads etc.
Many traditional fifing tunes are a mixture of tunes with a Scottish, Irish, American, English or Ulster origin - sometimes a tune borrowed and embellished somewhat, may be suited to a particular musical instrument therefore it will enrich the tune and that musical tradition.
Here is a tune I have grown fond of (Ye Jacobites by Name) and will adapt it for use with the fife (renaming the tune of course) - accompanied by the lambeg drum.
A bit about the original tune - The poet Robert Burns lived not long after the Jacobite Uprising of 1745/46. Following the conflict, many songs were written, usually in support of the Jacobite cause. But a few were written putting the government/Hanoverian point of view. When Burns was putting together a collection of songs he had found while going round Scotland, he found one of these and wrote his own version. While Burns had expressed sympathy for the French Revolution, he clearly had no liking for the Jacobites.


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