Donald Blue (1)

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DONALD BLUE [1]. Shetland, Shetland Reel or March. Shetland, Mainland district (also Papa Stour and Fetlar). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Flett & Flett): AABB (Anderson, Brody, Hunter, Martin & Hughes). The melody was collected under a different name by the English musicologist Pat Shuldham-Shaw, perhaps "Donald Beu" which was the name of a teacher on the island of Papa Stour. There is a slow bagpipe march of the same name, although a different tune. David Murray (Music of the Scottish Regiments, Edinburgh, 1994) writes, "The first pipe major of the 2nd Battalion (of the Scots Fusilier Guards) was Donald MacPherson, who transferred from the Black Watch; and it is, perhaps, a result of this connection that the Scots Guards play as their 'Lights Out' call, the march 'Donald Blue', as do the Black Watch and, indeed, did the Gordons, and that the pipe bag covers of the Scots Guards are in the Black Watch tartan" (p. 122). There is also a Scots song called "Donald Blue." Piper Macpherson may be the same person for whom J. Scott Skinner composed his "Pipe Major (The)" march, but the connection is speculative.

Source for notated version: Tom Anderson and Aly Bain (Shetlands) [Brody]; Fraser Hughson (Aith, Shetland) via Tom Anderson (Lerwick, Shetland) [Anderson & Georgeson].

Printed sources: Anderson & Georgeson (Da Mirrie Dancers), 1970; p. 25. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 87. Flett & Flett (Traditional Dancing in Scotland), 1964; p. 220. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 211. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh), 1990; p. 31.

Recorded sources: Philo 2019, Tom Anderson and Aly Bain- "The Silver Bow" (1976). See also listing at Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index [1].




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