May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

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May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby Dally » Tue May 01, 2012 8:25 am

Ray Sloan has selected "Captain Carswell" for the Tune of the Month for May 2012. It was composed by Willie Lawrie, who died in WWI, and has become a popular 2/4 march, but it has also been played as a strathspey. Ray rendered it in the Northumbrian style and like many folk musicians before him renamed it, calling it "The Border Reiver." Here is a link to Ray's recording (used here with permission).
http://soundcloud.com/john-dally/ray-sl ... -o-wannies
Here it is noted in Am:
http://www.folktunefinder.com/tune/19252/
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby OldTomsRant » Tue May 01, 2012 12:34 pm

Is this a wind-up?
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby John Gibbons » Tue May 01, 2012 11:41 pm

Or is it exactly one month late?
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby Dally » Wed May 02, 2012 3:17 am

Prominent people in the NSP community select the tunes. If it generates discussion, that is good too.

Here's more detail from Ray:

'Captain Carswell' or 'Captain Carswell's March' - 4/4 march or Strathspey

This really swings as a march! Played in A minor.

I originally learned this from a 'Boys of the Logh' Album. It can be readily found with an internet search and is open to some interpretation when playing which is one of my reasons for choosing it.

This is a tune featured in my favourite set on my album 'Pipes Rods'N Reels'. The set on my CD is: Wild Hills O'Wannies - O'Neills March - Border Reiver (Capt' Carswell) played on 'G' pitch Northumbrian Pipes.

'Wild Hills' is a well known favourite of course and is also an example of the way in which tunes and their titles 'do the rounds' in Scotland/The Borders and Ireland. I was always told this was a tune written by a local Policeman in the village of Bellingham - Northumberland, but in later years I was told that it is in fact a Scottish tune called 'The Hills of Glen Orchie'...... This reminds me of the story that Jack Armstrong heard the Irish tune 'Boys of the Blue Hills' and decided it was 'too good to be Irish' so he renamed it 'The Lads of North Tyne'..... ! On another occasion I was playing at a house session in Newcastle which was held to celebrated the visit of the Uilleann Piper Mick O'Brien. I was playing 'Hexham Races' and he said to me 'What do you call that ?' When I told him he said 'No, that is an Irish tune called 'I will if I can'.....

A 'Reiver' is the old Borders word for a Clan bandit or robber; 'Reiving' of course in Northumberland and the Borders means basically 'stealing'. So, in keeping with this and the tradition of stealing tunes, on my album I did a little 'Reiving' of my own and 'stole' the tune 'Captain Carswell' and renamed it - 'The Border Reiver' .

The word 'Bereavement' is our own peculiar contribution to the English language.
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby John Gibbons » Thu May 03, 2012 7:32 pm

The general category of 'stolen' tunes is well worth exploring, even if one doesn't like this or that way of playing them.
'Hexham Races' also goes by the name 'Kinloch of Kinloch' on the wrong side of the Cheviots, while 'The Marquis of Lorne' is almost the same tune, if not the same person, as 'Pretty Maggie Morrissey' - indeed tunes that change gender are an important class.
Henry Atkinson's 'Uncle John' is close to Marsden's 'Madame Catbrin', ....

John
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby Matt Seattle » Sat May 05, 2012 10:45 am

"'Hexham Races' also goes by the name 'Kinloch of Kinloch'"

err..
'Hexham Races' also goes by the name 'Kenmuir's On An Awa Wullie'
'Kinloch of Kinloch'" also goes by the name 'Blaw The Wind Sutherly'

I must get out more
Pedantically yours xxx
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby John Gibbons » Sun May 06, 2012 12:05 pm

Oops.... But it was nicked, anyway, which makes it a good Northumbrian tune!

John
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby Dally » Mon May 07, 2012 7:42 am

Here's a link to a youtube video of "The Boys" playing the tune in question, at around 4.30. This sounds an awful lot like "Johnny Cope" to me. Maybe Willie Lawrie unknowingly nicked that tune?
Why aren't there more tunes in Am in the Northumbrian repertoire? Maybe I've just displayed a huge ignorance, but Am is much closer to the home keys of G and D, so individual notes are more in tune than in Em, and there seems to be a lot more of those than tunes in Am.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6yLjy6oMsI
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby John Gibbons » Mon May 07, 2012 10:40 am

'Jig of Slurs is a beauty - I knew it once, but before my NSP days.
The repeated notes will be good practice maybe?

John
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Re: May 2012 Tune of the Month: Capt. Carswell

Postby Dally » Sun May 13, 2012 10:58 pm

Here's the link to my offering for this month. I know this tune on the Highland pipes, which hampered my ability to do something different with it. Perhaps if I had more time to spend on it I could give it more of a Northumbrian interpretation. The second tune is a reel from Cape Breton.

http://soundcloud.com/john-dally/capt-c ... and-brenda
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