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2018 is the year for a couple of big anniversaries with the end of WW1 being marked in November. But before then there is the celebration of 100 years of the RAF. As part of a series of events being organised this year under the banner RAF100, a few of our guys travelled to RAF Brize Norton to take part in a massed band event for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

They joined pipers from as far away as Hong Kong along with bands from around the UK.

The post RAF100 Brize Fest – RAFBF Pipes and Drums (Massed Band) appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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The Barren Rocks of Aden is a march tune and is one of the first tunes our pipers learn to play on the pipes. It that has a strong association with the Gordon Highlanders Regiment because you can play it for the dance called ‘The Gay Gordons’.

We play it as part of a set along with The Brown Haired Maiden and Mhairi’s Wedding. The tune is said to have been composed by piper James Mauchline, who was delighted that his regiment was leaving the hot, dry port of Aden, in what is now South Yemen, in Arabia. It rains less than once a year in Aden, and the Old Town is inside the shell of an extinct volcano – not a very comfortable place to wear a wool kilt!

In Scotland, they play the tune as a 2/4 pipe march. In Ireland, they play is as a fiddle polka.

There is some disagreement about when the tune was composed and named. It may date from the mid-19th century. One website concerned with regimental tradition says that James Mauchline gave it no title. While on station in Aden with a detachment of the 78th Seaforth Highlanders Regiment, Pipe Major Alexander Mackellar rearranged and named the tune.

The Tune

As mentioned before, people of play the tune of four parts for the dance ‘The Gay Gordons’.

The Barren Rocks of Aden

Andy Stewart put some lyrics to the tune in 1963, saying  “It is one of the best-known pipe tunes of all time, and was a great favourite with my Uncle Frank. To please him, I wrote the words to celebrate the famous tune” (andystewart.info)

barren rocks of Aden 1956-58 0002 - YouTube

The post Tune Origins – The Barren Rocks of Aden appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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The City of Leeds Pipeband by Robert Procter - 1y ago

This used to be considered Scotland’s national anthem; now several songs are in contention for that honour. It is the first tune that many people learning the bagpipes play, as it features in the College of Piping Tutor Book 1.

Robert Burns called this stirring song ‘Robert Bruce’s March to Bannockburn’, using the ancient tune ‘Hey Tutti Taitie’. He imagined what ‘one might suppose to be the gallant Royal Scot’s address to his heroic followers on that eventful morning’.

Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led

Welcome to your gory bed

Or to victorie!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour

See the front o battle lour

See approach proud Edward’s power –

Chains and slaverie!

Wha wad be a traitor knave?

Wha can fill a coward’s grave?

Wha sae base as be a slave?

Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland’s King and Law

Freedom’s sword wad strongly draw

Freeman stand or freeman fa’,

Let him follow me!

By Oppression’s woes and pains

By your sons in servile chains

We will drain our dearest veins

But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!

Tyrants fall in every foe!

Liberty’s in every blow!

Let us do, or dee!

We probably know what tune was played for Robert the Bruce’s troops as they marched to the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Robert Burns wrote in a letter, ‘There is a tradition, which I have met with in many places in Scotland, that [‘Hey Tuttie Taitie’] was Robert Bruce’s march at the battle of Bannockburn.’ Burns took the tune and slowed it down.

‘Hey Tuttie Taitie’ is a very old tune. We do not have a document from 1314 that says the tune was used at Bannockburn. But there is, we are told, a document in the French Château Royal de Blois that says the tune was played as a march by Joan of Arc’s Scottish soldiers when she entered the city of Orleans on 29 April 1429. It was called a Scottish march then. It has been played as part of the annual Joan of Arc memorial celebrations in the town of Orleans, where they called it ‘Marche des Soldats de Robert Bruce’ (‘March of the Soldiers of Robert Bruce’).

‘Hey Tuttie Taitie’ demonstrates the problems of trying to put a simple label on a tune. It was used as a march. It is in the form of a strathspey. Burns gave two sets of lyrics for the tune – he wrote ‘Scots Wha Hae’ and wrote or added to ‘Landlady, Count the Lawin’, a song about drinking all night. So ‘Hey Tuttie Taitie’ is a march, a strathspey dance tune, and the tune of a patriotic song and a drinking song.

These are the lyrics of ‘Landlady Count the Lawin’.

Landlady, count the lawin
The day is near the dawin
Ye’re aa blind drunk, boys
And I’m but jolly fou

Hey, tutti, taiti
How, tutti, taiti
Hey, tutti, taiti
Wha’s fu noo?

Cog an ye were aye fu
Cog an ye were aye fu,
I wad sit and sing tae you
If ye were aye fu.

Weel may we aa be,
Ill may we never see,
God bless the guidwife
And the company.

The post Scots Wha Hae appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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Thanks to the City of Leeds Pipe Band, Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer reporter Jim Jack was given a once-in-a-lifetime musical opportunity performing one stage with André Rieu.

Here is his first-hand account of taking part in André Rieu’s Christmas concert at the First Direct Arena, Leeds on Friday, December 15.

The original article can be found online here.

THIS was it – we were about to march out in front of 13,000 people to play for André Rieu.

Reporter Jim Jack (centre) performing with the City of Leeds Pipe Band at Andre Rieu’s December 15 concert in Leeds

Nothing can really prepare you for the heady mix of exhilaration and terror that comes a few seconds before such an experience.

Unless you have nerves of steel the cliches ring true – your heart actually does start to race, your mouth dries up and you begin to question how you got into this.

For me it was thanks to an invite from a friend, Andrew Neal, who also happens to be the Pipe Major of the City of Leeds Pipe Band*.

The band had needed extra pipers and drummers for the big night so I was one of those drafted in – and a real privilege it turned out to be, too.

We gathered on Friday afternoon to familiarise ourselves with the venue’s layout and the show’s charming ‘Christmas Wonderland’ stage design – and get some vital rehearsal time in.

It was then, in the dazzling but empty auditorium, that we met the great violinist and conductor along with members of his incredible Johann Strauss Orchestra.

Dressed down and wearing spectacles, he greeted us warmly before talking us through exactly what was needed.

And then came what for me was the highlight of the whole day as, while the band were on stage going through Highland Cathedral, I looked up to see Mr Rieu conducting us.

Andre rieu highland cathedral bagpipes manoe konings - YouTube

It was not an experience I will forget.

Equally impressive had been the moment when the maestro, sitting in front row seats contemplating the stage, pulled out his violin and, almost absent-mindedly, began to make some wonderful sounds.

Jump forward five or six hours and the pipe band were playing Highland Cathedral once more – but this time we were in front of a packed house and accompanying the full orchestra.

We had marched out moments before, from each wing of the arena, the band split in two before meeting up in the middle for dramatic impact, and taking the stage to Scotland The Brave.

That certainly seemed to go down well with the audience who were on their feet cheering us on, even if it caused some practical headaches in terms of staying synchronised.

Much of the rest of the night went by in a kind of a blur as we waited, enjoying backstage views of the show on the big screen, to be called out again near the end.

Amazing Grace is an emotional tune to me anyway but joining in, as part of a full pipe band, with the orchestra’s rendition of it took the power of the hymn to a whole new level.

The departing audience streaming outside afterwards seemed to agree as they showered band members with praise for our part in the performance while asking for photographs.

Pipe Major Andrew Neal said: “It was an amazing experience and achievement for us.”

“It was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down and I’m really proud of the band and the teamwork that made the evening a success.”

Band Secretary Robert Procter, meanwhile, summed the experience up with one word: “Awesome!”.

*The City of Leeds Pipe Band was formed in 1960 by former members of the Scottish Regimental Association of Yorkshire Pipe Band (The Yorkshire Jocks).

A self-supporting, non-profit making organisation it participates in many local and annual events including Otley and Ilkley’s carnivals.

The band welcomes new members and runs free tuition classes for beginners – for more details contact Robert Procter on 07539 203 897.

The post A one-off experience playing with André Rieu appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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As published by the College of Piping in the July 2017 edition:

Pipers are being asked to take part in a unique and simple way to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War. The College of Piping is assisting Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, founder and pageantmaster with ‘Battle’s O’er – A Nation’s Tribute’.
This will be a mass playing of the retreat march, When the Battle’s O’er outside
cathedrals and other locations 06:00 on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

Pipe Major William Robb, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

Many millions were either killed or returned home dreadfully wounded, along with remembering the families and sweethearts that lost husbands while having to stay at home to keep the ‘home fires burning’. At 06:00 on November 11, 1918, the Armistice of Compiègne was signed between the Allies and Germany. It marked the end of the fighting on the Western Front and ultimately the end of the Great War, that terrible, gruelling four-year conflict that saw millions killed and wounded, including around 2,000 pipers. Countries all around the world were affected in what was one of the largest wars in history.

We are asking you to play the Pipe Major William Robb composition, When the Battle’s O’er at 06:00 local time at any location of your choice, whether it is a cenotaph or war memorial in your village, town or city – or even outside your house … any location you feel appropriate. The choice is yours. The most important part is everyone playing the tune together at 06:00 local time. This is the time when the Armistice was actually signed on November 11, 1918. It came into effect at 11.00.

 

Following the event, those taking part will be able to download the special

certificate (right) that they can then frame as a permanent reminder of their involvement.

To register simply complete email your details
to: battlesoer@collegeofpiping.org

Full details in the July Piping Times.

The Piping Times will publish a list of all those taking part.

The post Join in the ‘Battle’s O’er’ appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne.

CHARLIE HUNNAM as Arthur in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ fantasy action adventure “KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD,” distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Arthur’s uncle, Vortigern (Jude Law), seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy.

Starring with Hunnam (FX’s “Sons of Anarchy”) and Oscar nominee Law (“Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”) are Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”); Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” “In America”); Aidan Gillen (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”); and Eric Bana (“Star Trek”).

Guy Ritchie (“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” the “Sherlock Holmes” films) directed the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by David Dobkin and Joby Harold. The film is produced by Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind”), Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell, Steve Clark-Hall, Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram. David Dobkin and Bruce Berman are executive producers.

Director/screenwriter/producer GUY RITCHIE on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ fantasy action adventure “KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD,” distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

Ritchie’s behind-the-scenes creative team included two-time Oscar-nominated director of photography John Mathieson (“Gladiator,” “The Phantom of the Opera”), Oscar-nominated production designer Gemma Jackson (“Finding Neverland”), editor James Herbert, costume designer Annie Symons, and Oscar-nominated VFX Supervisor Nick Davis (“The Dark Knight”). The music is by Daniel Pemberton.

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ filming in Wales

The City of Leeds Pipe Band spent 3 days filming scenes that made the final cut.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Weed Road/Safehouse Pictures Production, a Ritchie/Wigram Production, a Guy Ritchie film, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

The post King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – blink and you miss us! appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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18th March 2016, King’s Cross, London: Sir Richard Branson unveils the Virgin Azuma – the first of Virgin Trains’ new fleet of trains which is set to revolutionise travel on the East Coast from 2018.

Further details about the once in a lifetime event taking place on Yorkshire’s railways later this month have been confirmed, with the historic occasion to begin at 06.00 on Sunday 23 April near the North Yorkshire village of Tollerton.

With the eyes of the world watching, four trains spanning four generations will travel side by side, in the same direction, to celebrate the past, present and future of one of the country’s most iconic pieces of railway, the East Coast Main Line, before arriving into York at around 08.00 for a special celebration that will last until around 09.00.

Pipers from the City of Leeds Pipe Band with the Flying Scotsman

The world famous Flying Scotsman will travel alongside two trains from Virgin Trains’ revitalised fleet – an HST (Class 43), an InterCity225 (Class 91) – and the rail operator’s brand new train, the Virgin Azuma (Class 800) which is being built by Hitachi in the North East, and will come into service in 2018.

Now the partners involved in the show – Network Rail, Virgin Trains, Welcome to Yorkshire, the National Railway Museum and Hitachi – have confirmed that the historic occasion will begin around 10 miles north of York near the village of Tollerton.

The best view of the action will be from York station – where a giant screen will broadcast footage of the trains live, and members of the public are advised to head to the station.

Four pipers from the City of Leeds Pipe Band, lead by Pipe Major Andrew Neal, will be there supporting this event as the iconic Flying Scotsman rolls into the station.

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the trains as they travel between Tollerton and the station are being urged to stay safe behind boundary fences and keep off both the tracks and private land – trespassers will cause the trains to stop and put at risk the completion of both this event and any future plans to showcase the route and its iconic locos.

Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail on the London North Eastern and East Midlands route, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to create such a prestigious and unique event for the people of Yorkshire. The area has a very proud rail heritage and by working closely with our industry partners we’ve been able to turn what has been a logistically challenging vision – to create an iconic railway moment on the East Coast Main Line without impacting on regular passengers – into what will be a truly special occasion.”

David Horne, Managing Director for Virgin Trains on the east coast, said: “Just one year on from unveiling our brand new Virgin Azuma trains, we’re delighted to present this unique event that showcases the past, present and future of rail travel in the UK, with Azuma travelling alongside ‘Flying Scotsman’ and trains from our revamped current fleet. With our new Azuma trains entering service next year, this is an opportunity to celebrate the icons of the railways and look forward to 2018 when we’ll usher in a new era for travel on the East Coast route.”

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’re immensely proud to be flying the flag for this once in a generation railway spectacular. This event shows yet again how Yorkshire is leading the way and the timing is perfect, throwing the county firmly into the spotlight just days before the start of the Tour de Yorkshire.”

Paul Kirkman, Director for the National Railway Museum in York which owns Flying Scotsman, said: “The East Coast Main Line has long been famed for speed and style. In the 19th century, elegant locomotives were designed to haul trains on this route cementing its reputation as a railway racing stretch operated by thoroughbred engines. The four train line up epitomises the evolution of the later generation of fast, elegant and stylish trains – all with a shared bloodline – that epitomise the history of the route from the 1850s to today.”

Bob Gwynne, Associate Curator, National Railway Museum said: “The National Railway Museum is proud that Flying Scotsman, a symbol of engineering excellence, the first steam locomotive to achieve an authenticated speed of 100mph and the first to undertake a non-stop run between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley, is taking its place alongside such worthy successors to its speed and style mantle.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director for Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “We believe our new British built Azuma trains will inspire the next generation of rail enthusiasts and show how investment in new trains will transform passenger experiences on this iconic route.”

Notes to editors

  • The Four Trains event will take place on Sunday 23 April
  • The event will see the four trains positioned on the four tracks of the East Coast Main Line at Tollerton junction in North Yorkshire, around ten miles north of York station
  • The four trains will together move south, towards York station, in a staggered formation at around 20-25mph
  • No passengers or media will be allowed on the trains
  • Specific, designated media viewing locations are available with details to be confirmed closer to the event
  • Not forgetting the diesel heritage of the route – Flying Scotsman will be hauled into its place in the historic line up by a Class 55 Deltic
  • Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.

 

About Virgin Trains

 

  • Virgin Azuma is set to revolutionise UK travel when it arrives on the east coast in 2018. With 65 trains providing an extra 12,200 seats for a new and expanded timetable, the fleet of Virgin Azumas will increase capacity into King’s Cross by 28 per cent during peak time.
  • The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
  • Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
  • On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested £21m to completely revamp our existing fleet and customers can now benefit from 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
  • The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo – from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Visit the Virgin Trains Media Room – virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room – for the latest news, images and videos. Subscribe here for regular news from Virgin Trains. Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

The post Four trains, four generations, four pipers appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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The City of Leeds Pipeband by Robert Procter - 1y ago

We love playing this tune, it makes up a set with The High Road to Gairloch. There is a trap early on as the start matches Scotland The Brave, so those pipers not paying attention can slip into a different tune altogether!

The first two verses of this song are about soldiers of the 42nd Highland Regiment, the Black Watch, marching along the Broomielaw, which runs alongside the River Clyde in Glasgow. They are going to board a ship to travel abroad, maybe to fight in a war, but the song makes fun of how they are dressed. In Perth, the song marched them down the Thimbleraw.

The third verse changes the song just a little to make fun of the Scottish city children who used to be sent to rural farming areas to work the land and lift the potatoes (tatties).

Wha saw the 42nd, wha saw them gaun awa?
Wha saw the 42nd merchin doon the Broomielaw?
Some o them had boots an stockins
Some o them had nane at aa
Some o them had tattie scones
For tae keep the cauld awa.

Wha saw the 42nd, wha saw them gaun awa?
Wha saw the 42nd merchin doon the Broomielaw?
Some o them had tartan toories
Some o them had nane at aa
Some o them had green umbrellas
For tae keep the rain awa.

Wha saw the tattie howkers? Wha saw them gaun awa?
Wha saw the tatttie howkers merchin doon the Broomielaw?
Some o them had boots an stockins
Some o them had nane at aa
Some o them had a wee drop whisky
For tae keep the cauld awa

The tune is also played as a pipe march with an old Jacobite lyric, which was collected or made by poet James Hogg.

Wha wouldna fecht for Charlie,
Wha wouldna draw the sword,
Wha wouldna up and rally
At the Royal Prince’s word?

Think on Scotia’s ancient heroes,
Think on foreign foes repelled,
Think on glorious Bruce and Wallace,
Wha the proud usurpers quelled.

The post (Wha Saw) the 42nd appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities.

It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as Remembrance Day like the one we are taking part in at Thorner on 13th November with the Royal British Legion.

Below is a lovely rendition by award-winning Australian fiddle player and vocalist, Rachel Bostock.

The Last Post- Violin - YouTube

The post The Last Post – but not on a bugle appeared first on The City of Leeds Pipeband.

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