Back to Reichswall Forest
REICHSWALL FOREST. AKA and see “Rae Reel (The).” Canadian, Reel. Canada, Cape Breton. F Major/Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. A popular reel among Cape Breton fiddlers, composed by fiddler-composer Dan R. MacDonald (1911-1976), who enlisted in World War II and was posted overseas to the forestry battalion to work in European forests. Reicheswald Forest (note spelling) is in Germany, where MacDonald worded to harvest time for use by the allied forces. After he composed the tune he sent it to J. Murdoch Henderson, a violinist and composer and professor of music in Scotland. Henderson remarked that the title shouldn't commemorate the enemy, however, so MacDonald changed the title to "The Rae Reel" after Thomas Sinclair Rae, president of the Edinburgh Strathspey and Reel Society. MacDonald continued to call it "Reichswall Forest," though.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Cameron (Trip to Windsor), 1994; p. 36.
Recorded sources: Canadian Broadcasting Corp. NMAS 1972, Natalie MacMaster - "Fit as a Fiddle" (1993). Culburnie CUL 1130, Alasdair Fraser & Tony McManus – “Return to Kintail” (1999). Green Linnett Records, Jerry Holland - "Fiddlesticks Collection" (1992). Jerry Holland - "Master Cape Breton Fiddler" (1982).
See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index