Burning of the Piper's Hut (1)
BURNING OF THE PIPER'S HUT , THE. Scottish, March; New England, Polka. B Minor: A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Robin Williamson (1976) remarks that the English general the Duke of Cumberland received the sobriquet 'Butcher' after the defeat of the Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden in 1746, such was the savagery of his reprisals and cruelty toward prisoners of the engagement. In the aftermath of the rising a series of laws were passed which aimed to suppress the Highland culture and break forever the power of the ancient clans in order to prevent any such rebellion from again happening. Thus, highland dress and the wearing of clan tartan was prohibited on pain of death, arms were banned, and, attesting to the power of traditional music to evoke emotion, pipers were outlawed (there is some dispute however, regarding whether the pipes were actually included in these bans). In fact, reports Williamson, the kilt continued to be prohibited until 1782, forcing the Highlanders to wear 'trews' or trousers. "Any clergyman who did not pray in church expressly for George of Hanover could be transported for life, and those who attended such services were liable to fine and imprisonment. This was in force till 1792. The ("Burning of the Piper's Hut") probably refers to these times," maintains Williamson.
While the title may refer to those times, the melody is not to be found in older collections. In fact, the pipes and pipers were not banned, nor suppressed, in the post-Jacobite era, although the notion has taken root in popular "memory".
Source for notated version: Bobby McLeod [Williamson].
Printed sources: Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1978; No. 35 (polka). Williamson (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 50.
Recorded sources: Beltona BL 2610 (78 RPM), Bobby McLeod. Maggie's Music MM 109CD, Maggie Sansone - "Dance Upon the Shore."
X: 1 T:Burning of the Piper's Hut, The S:ALP Scots Music Group, Edinburgh Z:Nigel Gatherer M:4/4 L:1/8 K:Bm F2 | B>cd>e f4 | f>ef<a f2 ed | c2 A2 e2 A2 | c>de<f e2 d>c | B>cd>e f4 | f>ef<a f2 ed | c2 A2 f2 e>d | c2 B2 B2 :| F2 | B>cd>e f>BB<B | a>BB<B f2 ed | c2 A2 e2 A2 | c>de<f e2 d>c | B>cd>e f>BB<B | a>BB<B f2 ed | c2 A2 f2 e>d | c2 B2 B2 :|
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