Annotation:March of the Cameron Men (The)

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MARCH OF THE CAMERON MEN. Scottish, March and Air (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. A song composed by Mary Maxwell Campbell in 1829. Her lyric begins:

There's many a man of the Cameron Clan
That has followed his Chief to the field:
He has sworn to support him or die by his side,
For a Cameron never can yield.

I hear the pibroch sounding, sounding,
Deep o'er the mountain and glen,
While light-springing footsteps are trampling the heath,
'Tis the march of the Cameron Men.

Mary M. Campbell (1813-1886) was the fifth daughter of Dugald John Compbell of Skerrington, parish of Old Cumnock, Ayrshire, and his wife Janet Campbell Baillie, daughter of William Baillie, a Lord of Session, who took the title of Lord Polkemmet. She recalled:

I composed this song when very young, after traveling from morning to night through Highland scenery with a member of the Lochiel family."

When "March of the Cameron Men" was first published in Edinburgh it was attributed as only "by a lady", but in subsequent editions her name was substituted, in part because authorship of the song was being claimed for others. She wrote it in English, but it has been translated into Gaelic. [John Campbell, The Clan Cameron: A Brief Sketch of Its History and Traditions (1894).

It was, no surprise, a regimental march of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, and has become ensconced in Highland piping repertoire. However, in the 19th century it seems it was more in use as a song with the 79th Regiment than as a march.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Davie (Davie's Caledonian Repository), Aberdeen, 1829-30; p. 29.

Recorded sources: Edison Blue Amberol 23337 (cylinder), T.F. Kinniburgh (England, 1912).

See also listing at:
Hear singer Harold Jarvis's 1908 cylinder recording at the Library of Congress [1]
Hear singer T.F. Kinniburgh's 1912 cylinder recording [2] [3]
See a 1931 film short of Tom Kinniburgh singing the song at British Pathe [4]

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