Piobaireachd Club – December 2, 2011


Friday, December 2nd, 2011


The pre-Christmas club meeting was held at Jack and Christine Lee’s house. The last meeting of each year has typically been where some of the younger pipers come to play and where the attendees get to sample a wide array of Christmas edible goodies.


The piper of the month was Hal Senyk and he played a portion of the Prince’s Salute from the Miller manuscript. He then played a portion in the conventional style.  This salute was composed by John MacIntyre who trained at the Rankin school on Mull and then under Padruig Og MacCrimmon at Borreraig. There are differing opinions as to who the “Prince” is referring to. Some think it was James, Chevalier de Saint George. James was referred to by supportive Gaels as Righ Seumais which translates to King James. If he had have been successful at one of the rebellions of 1715 and 1719, he would have been King James VIII of Scotland and King James III of Britain. He was also referred to as the Old Pretender. Another opinion was that the Prince in question was James’ son – Charles Edward Stuart of the 1745/46 rebellion.

Hal also played the Massacre of Glencoe.  This of course refers to the infamous event of 1692 where the Campbells brutally murdered the MacDonalds.  The story is told in the lyrics of the slow air by the same name.


They came in the night when the men were asleep,
This band of Argyles, through snow soft and deep;
Like murdering foxes amongst helpless sheep,
They slaughtered the house of MacDonald


Andrew Lee was the next piper and he played Farewell to the Laird of Islay.  This was the first time this tune was heard at the club.  Annie He followed with Finlay’s Lament and Kyle Banta played The Field of Gold.

Brian Haddon played I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand.  This tune has three possible stories associated with it. One of the stories is that Padruig Mor MacCrimmon was invited to play for King Charles II prior to the Battle of Worcester (1651). John Lee played MacLeod’s Short Tune.  Another that had not been heard at the club before.

Kevin McLean played The Red Speckled Bull. This tune may have once been known as Failte Mhic Raonuill or MacDonald of Keppoch’s Salute.  Ronald MacAilean Og MacDonald was on his way to Lochiel and the Camerons had  sent a vicious bull on in front of Ronald to the river Sgaitheal. Ronald’s gillie did not want the embarrassment of having to turn away from this bull, so Ronald fought and killed the bull in the river. He composed the piobaireachd by the side of Lochiel.

Daryl Techy closed the evening with The Desperate Battle.