78th's Farewell to Belgaum (The)

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X:1 T:78th's Farewell to Belgaum, The M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Pipe March B:William Ross -- Ross's Collection of Pipe Music (1869, No. 53, p. 80) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Amix A/B/|c2 ce|A/<A/e c/<c/a|ec f/e/d/c/|dB BA/B/| c2 ce|A/<A/e c/<c/a|ec f/e/d/c/|d/e>A A:| g|a>g fe|f/a/f/e/ f>a|ec f/e/d/c/|dB Bg| a>g fe|f/a/f/e/ f>a|ec f/e/d/c/|eA Ag| a>g fe|f/a/f/e/ f>a|ec f/e/d/c/|dB Bc/d/| e>f e>c|d/a/g/f/ ea|a/g/f/e/ f/e/d/c/|eA A|| |:c/d/|e>c a>c|e>c d>f|ec f/e/d/c/|dB Bc/d/| e>c a>c|e>c d>f|e>c f/e/d/c/|eA A:| |:c/d/|e/A/a/A/ f/e/f/g/|a/g/f/e f>a|e/f/e/c/ c/a/e/c/|dB Bc/d/| e/c/a/c/ f/e/f/g/|a/g/f/e/ f>a|e/f/e/c/ c/a/e/c/|eA A:|]

SEVENTY EIGHTH’S FAREWELL TO BELGAUM. Scottish, Pipe March (2/4 time). A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABCCDD. A four-part pipe march composed in 1848, commemorating the departure of the Ross-shire Buffs (as was known the 2nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders) from the little station in south-west India where the regiment had been sent to recuperate from a severe epidemic. They lost five hundred and thirty-five officers and soldiers and two hundred wives and children in a cholera epidemic while stationed at Sukkur in the province of Sind. The march was composed by Craignish, Argyllshire-born piper Alexander McKellar (1824-1895) when the regiment left Belgaum for Bombay [1]. Pipe Major McKellar participated in the first relief of the siege of Lucknow, among other campaigns in Persia and India. He eventually won a Good Conduct medal, but not without a struggle; the was tried by Court Martial several times (presumably for drunkenness) and was AWOL at least once. McKellar stayed in the army his whole life, and when pensioned off from the 78th in 1862, he promptly joined the 2nd Lanarkshire Militia. See also notes for "Highland Brigade's March to Lucknow (The)," “Barren Rocks of Aden (The)” and "Burning of the Piper's Hut (2)," other fine marches of McKellar's to come out of the 78th's station overseas at the time.

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  1. David Murray, Music of the Scottish Regiments, Edinburgh, 1994, p. 119