Grace Notes - Memphis Scottish Society

Grace Notes
Newsletter of the Memphis Scottish Societ y, Inc.
Vol. 30 No. 6 • June 2014
President’s Letter
Society, Inc.
Melissa Gibson
901 299-3170
[email protected]
Vice President
Mary Ann Lucas
901 725-1879
[email protected]
George Malone
901 385-1938
[email protected]
Becky Trafford
901 385-7628
[email protected]
Members at Large
Sue Malone
901 385-1938
[email protected]
Mary Clausi
901 753-9494
[email protected]
Elaine Meece
901 907-6831
[email protected]
Serendipitous is the word I think is appropriate to describe the fact
that we planned our annual Ceilidh on the same date that the folks in
Scotland just happened to plan the 24 Hour Commonwealth Ceilidh.
(See article on page 5.) Ours will happen on June 21 in the Fellowship
Hall at Mullins United Methodist Church, a new venue for us. Please
come and join in the fun! Sing, dance, tell stories, play an instrument,
and by all means recite some Scottish (or other} poetry.
The Scottish Society will provide a couple of meats for the main
course, drinks, and paper products, and you can bring everything else.
If your last name starts with A--H, please bring appetizers and salads;
I--P, please bring side dishes, and Q--Z, please bring desserts.
I hope to see everyone there. I guarantee that you will be both well
fed and well entertained!
June Meeting
Well. I hope you aren’t sick of hearing from me at this time, as my
plans are to be in my chair and playing and singing as close to the
five o’clock hour as I can. Then if hunger hasn’t overtaken me, I will
provide a bit more reflective music for the supper hour at or around
six. This will give me plenty of time to play through a good bit of my
repertoire that I have collected for the past couple of decades. It is
primarily Scottish music, both ancient and modern with some gaelic,
some celtic music, and possibly even some Americana for good measure.
I will also be introducing our group to a new song out of the Hands
up for Trad folks in Scotland and will run through the chorus a couple
of times so we can give it a sing. Permission was granted to run this
part of the song by Simon Thoumire, Crieative Director for the Hands
up for Trad group in Scotland. Look on Page 2 to see a copy and give
it a try before you come. I will try to save a bit of voice for us to sing
a song or two to start the meeting with as we usually do. Hope to see
you June the ninth sometime between five and eight. SRich
Oh, Î haven’t announced what the meeting was going to be! That is
because I have not completely decided. Suggestions have been made
to expand a bit on Nursery rhymes and their historical signirficance,
so their is a good chance you should brush up on your Mother Goose,
aye. SRich
Tennessee Tartan. Created by the Heart of Tennessee Scottish Celebration as a State tartan. Passed by Tennessee Public Acts 1999,
Chapter No.82, Senate Bill No. 73. The source of the tartan 2526 was: Bill Bickford of the Tennessee Tartan Committee.
Here's To All Our Common Wealth
the song and
and ev - ry ............
a health to.........
to all
our .........
ours the land
and ours
Alison Burns, Findlay Napier and Phil Cunningham
to hold
we share ....
the auld lang.........
com - mon wealth.....
ev - ry tongue
a hand to
be bought or
One of the interesting components of this song is that the melody line actually shifts between the Soprano and
Alto lines at times.
Grace Notes
Grace Notes is the official publication of the Memphis Scottish Society, Inc. It is published monthly.
Like the Society itself, the credo of Grace Notes is
“to foster education and promote understanding
of things Scottish.”
If you have something of interest to readers
of this newsletter, please submit a typewritten
manuscript to the editorial staff. If the article or
notice is very brief (30 words or fewer), e-mail
or just use the telephone. Grace Notes will accept
and publish good quality photographs.
The deadline for all submissions is the fourth
week of each month preceding the month of
publication. Please include a self-addressed
stamped envelope with each submission, if you
want the material returned.
Editorial Staff
Melissa Gibson
Editor, (901-299-3170)
[email protected]
Sammy Rich
Publisher, (901-496-2193)
[email protected]
Gavin Anderson
Circulation Editor, (901-485-8270)
[email protected]
Karen English
Circulation Editor, (901-396-9134)
[email protected]
[email protected]
to foster education
and promote understanding
of things Scottish
Please address all correspondence to:
Grace Notes
The Memphis Scottish Society, Inc.
[email protected]
P. O. Box 770028
Memphis, TN 38177-0028
Songs of Robert Burns
A Study in Tone Poetry
Ceilidh 2014
Will you “gie us a poem?”
Coming soon to a website near to you. www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Having the good fortune of corresponding with
Murray Shoolbraid (one of the world’s foremost
Scots Ballad Collectors) for several years, novice that I
am, I implored him as to where to start in the studies
of Scottish Ballads and he suggested “why not start
with Robert Burns”. This collection is my attempt
to get my arms around this giant in the vast world
of Scottish music.
As the date for our Ceilidh, June 21 is upon this
month, the only request we make of our participants is
to “gie us a poem!” We should have an entertaning and
enlightening evening of poetry readings, songs, tales
and who knows what other surprises will be in store
for the evening at Mullins Methodist at the corner of
Walnut Grove and Mendenhall in the Fellowship Hall.
Entrance is the first driveway North of Walnut Grove
on Mendenhall. If that lot is full there is another lot,
right past the first one, with a lovely walk through one
of Memphis’s older cemeteries. There is an elevator
to the right of the front entrance that can take you
down stairs and there we will gather to commiserate
and eat good food and be entertained by the many
talented folks in our society. Be prepared to “Gie Us
a Poem.” SRich
The tunes were all input with the aid of MusicEaseProfessional Edition and the pdf and midi files were
all created with this software. The song names and
associated tune names are listed on the index. The
meters I used are my educated guesses based on
what the song names suggest. I used the piano as the
instrument of choice for the tunes because I wanted
to hear the melodies as simply as I thought possible.
All the grace notes, and the metres are intended to be
exactly as James C. Dick put them in his book, “Songs
of Roberts Burns, A Study in Tone Poetry.”
Do ya wanna dance?
My first conclusion after this is that Robert Burns
was trying to preserve the Scots language within
the framework of these songs. Many ballad scholars
and tune scholars have discredited Burns for altering
melodies and such, but I for one will not be in that
camp as I find that when playing or singing almost
any song, I am guilty of taking such liberties myself. I
believe it to be a viable part of the folk process whether
I learn the music from sheet music or by listening to
someone else sing it until I learn it.
I have heard from Dana Milner that she is interested
in getting a Scottish Dance group re-established.
The one that faithfully cooperated and danced for
us at Burns Nicht’s past is out of sorts and only
remnants of them remain. Now, with or without
my blessing, I wholeheartedly endorsed and
encouraged Dana to pursue this vigourously and
have told her every name I can think of that danced
at one time or another and may be willing to again.
How can you help? I implore you to encourage anyone
you know that may be interested to get in touch with
Dana at (901) 201-2280 and see if you can work out the
particulars. It really is an invigorating and exciting to
participate in and once it gets started, I am confient
that it will continue to grow and be a vital part of our
society again. Who knows, maybe we will have some
dancers back for Burns Nicht in the near future. I for
one sure hope so. SRich
My other impression of this work is how much
material Robert Burns must have been exposed to
in his process of collecting this material. If he didn’t
have access to all of the materials that are listed under
the composer heading of the tunes, then I am all that
much more impressed with his ability to learn and
retain and write down the many melodies included
in this collection.
So, if you choose to use this information, and find
any part of it that isn’t exactly as written or even if
you just think I have a wrong meter, I would ask that
you contact me with comments or suggestions to this
effort at [email protected] SRich
Caledoniatopia: Don’t Call It a Skirt
– The History of the Kilt
for Highland games, sporting matches, weddings, and so
on. Sir Walter Scott and the Celtic Society of Edinburgh
began to encourage lowlanders to wear kilts as well (by
this point 9 out of 10 Scots lived in the lowlands) and
promoted its general use.
November 7, 2013 By John Rabon
Mocked for centuries for dressing as women, real
men know that the kilt is a clothing option of the
mightiest (and some would say craziest) of men. It not
only identifies one’s Scottish heritage, but also the clan
from which one hails. In the present, kilts abound and
many varieties are available, from the “utilikilt” to those
denoting places or organization membership.
As mentioned, it was also in the 19th century that
tartans were developed and ascribed to various clans.
Prior to this, kilt colors typically were based on location.
Scott’s encouragement of kilts and a visit by King George
IV in 1822 spurred a tartan explosion. Generally, clan
chiefs determine what the tartan colors are and what
surnames are considered clan members. One typically
cannot wear a tartan belonging to a clan of which they
are not a member, though some sellers may not be so
inclined to observe this custom. Other than clan tartans,
many tartans have been created for individuals, families,
locations, events, or organizations.
The kilt began its legacy in the Scottish highlands in
the late 16th century. Despite its national appeal in the
present, at the time it was first worn, many lowlanders
considered it a “barbarous” form of attire. The kilt also
wasn’t confined to just the waist, but was a full-length
garment worn like a cloak. The word kilt was derived
from the Norse word “kjilt”, which meant pleated,
referring to a clothing item that was tucked up and
around the body. Within highland society, their cost
made them a sign of affluence, even more so after tartan
patterns were introduced.
Today, kilts and their tartans can be seen all over
the United Kingdom and the United States. They’re
popular for Scottish games, weddings, and even comic
book conventions, where the “utilikilt” is an oft-seen
piece of attire. The utilikilt was developed by Steven
Villegas in 2000 after he wanted an alternative to pants
that was more comfortable for riding his motorcycle.
The original utilikilts were made from old army pants
and after being approached by a bouncer who wanted
to purchase one, he founded The Utilikilts Company
with Megan Haas. Since the company’s founding, its
popularity spread from word of mouth as the company
does not advertise.
Early kilts were typically a solid color, white, dull
brown, green, or black. Contrary to popular belief,
clan tartans (the plaid patterns we typically associate
with kilts) didn’t develop until an improvement in
technology in the late 1800s. It was about this time
that the “phillabeg” or the “feileadh-beag” developed.
Around the 1790s, the tailored kilt was developed, also
known as the “little kilt” or “walking kilt”, becoming
what we think of as the modern kilt. The difference
between the tailored kilt and the phillabeg is that the
pleats are actually sewed down instead of being bunched
together and belted.
Numerous and diverse, kilts remain a popular form
of attire for Scottish and non-Scottish persons, allowing
a freedom of movement and uniqueness not seen in
many other pieces of clothing.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the kilt became a
form of protest. In 1746, King George II imposed the
Dress Act as a means of repressing Highland culture.
The act made it illegal to wear any form of Highland
garment, including the kilt. George’s reason for the
act was that his opponents had threatened a Jacobite
uprising and the ban would permit him to identify
any disloyal Scottish armies. Penalties ranged from six
months imprisonment to seven years transportation
to a penal colony. Eventually, the ban was lifted in
1782 after Jacobitism ceased to be a threat and the kilt
cemented itself as a symbol of Scottish independence
and identity.
Thank-you Kathy Schultz for sharing this bit of history
with us.
The repeal of the ban led to a revival of the kilt’s
popularity in the 19th century. However, kilts were
regarded as a piece of formalwear and primarily worn
Call goes out to join 24-hour
Commonwealth Ceilidh
in the weeks following the Ceilidh. The fact is – Scottish
Country Dancing is fun, social and good for our health. I
expect that from John O’Groats to Jedburgh - Achiltibuie
to Auchmithie – many participants across Scotland will
keep dancing through the rest of 2014 and into the years
Elizabeth Foster, RSCDS Executive Officer said:
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs
Fiona Hyslop, invites people from across the world
to join a 24-hour Commonwealth Ceilidh which aims
to span the globe next summer as part of the Glasgow
2014 Cultural Programme.
“The RSCDS is delighted to be collaborating with
Get Scotland Dancing on this exciting project.
We are working in partnership with other dance
groups to create an innovative dancing programme,
blending tradition with the contemporary. We want
to see as many people as possible participating in
the mass ceilidh on 21st June and are providing online guidance from March 2014 on all you need to
know to organise and run a Commonwealth Ceilidh
wherever you may be, whatever your experience.”
The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS),
which has been commissioned by Get Scotland Dancing
to create the Commonwealth Ceilidh, will work with
dance organisations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and
Aberdeen to create new �fusion’ dances which will be
performed along with existing dances in a worldwide
event on Saturday 21 June 2014.
The Commonwealth Ceilidh will begin with
events in New Zealand at 7.30pm local time; the next
events will begin two hours later in Australia, then
in Japan and onwards, with the dancing beginning
at 7.30pm in Scotland, 12 hours after the Ceilidh
Along with Commonwealth Ceilidhs
in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh it is hoped
that Commonwealth Ceilidhs will take place in
hundreds of locations across Scotland and the UK.
Eileen Gallagher, Independent Director on the
Glasgow 2014 Board and Chair of the Ceremonies,
Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay Committee,
“The Commonwealth Ceilidh will be a vibrant
celebration of Scottish culture which everyone can
get involved in no matter where they are across
the world. The chance to learn the three specially
created new dances as part of the Glasgow 2014
Cultural Programme will make the Commonwealth
Ceilidh a unique and exciting opportunity for so
many people who love Scottish country dancing.”
The Commonwealth Ceilidh then continues
over to the Americas and organisers are aiming
for the final event to take place in Hawaii 24
hours after the first ceilidh call was made.
Each Commonwealth Ceilidh will be unique to its
location, with an interval in every event giving the chance
for groups to showcase their national or local dance style.
Anyone can join in with the Commonwealth
C e i l i d h , w h e t h e r t h e y a re n e w t o d a n c e
or a life-long dancer.
Organisers are especially
interested at present in hearing from people who
would like to organise a Ceilidh in their own
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“The Glasgow 2014 Cultural programme offers a wealth
of opportunities for everyone to get involved in a number
of inspiring cultural activities, connecting people and
communities, to leave a lasting and positive Games
legacy for Scotland.
“The Commonwealth Ceilidh is set
to be the biggest celebration of Scottish Country Dancing
the world has ever seen - It will be a fantastic way to
celebrate, share and showcase our culture during 2014.
“As well as being celebrated throughout the
Commonwealth, participants in Scotland will get the
opportunity to go to a taster class in their community
Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s
Southern Exposure Series Introduces
the Tuesday Literary Salon
Dr. Ben with Benjamin, Jr., (2nd Lt. U.S.Army)
and �Liam (no rank, yet). Nice picture gentleman.
Thanks for sharing with our readers and giving
us a chance to see the new hair styles(mohawk)
in and amongst the Elliot Clan.
(Memphis, TN; May 12, 2014) -- As part of its Southern
Exposure Series, which features new and classic literature by Southern writers with Southern inspiration, Tennessee Shakespeare Company this summer introduces
two very special Literary Salons hosted by Memphis’
newest Irish restaurant and by one of the city’s great
patrons of the arts.Join us at the cooling hour of 6:00
pm for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, and some of
the best words ever written. Elegant, intimate, and cool
as a mint julep in shaved ice.
Of Ireland Born
starring Bosco Hogan - and the live music of Robert
Johnson and John Albertson
Tuesday, June 10 from 6:00-8:00 pm, 152 Madison Avenue, 38103
Hosted by Seamus Loftus at The Brass Door in downtown Memphis (near the Rendezvous)
Drink in the mastery of Irish writers as Irish film and
stage star Bosco Hogan reads from a sampling of works
that helped create The Republic of Ireland. Revel in
Yeats, Synge, O’ Connor, and O’Casey -- great voices of
passion, rebellion, resistance, and persistence (and they
can be very funny too!) The work continues to influence
Southern writers today.
A Rare Treat
Last Month in GN we announced
the celebration of a new birth
to the Noble Family then to our
great surprise the Noble family
was at our next meeting with the
new arrival. We always like to
celebrate our new members and
appreciate our long-time members
equally. The Photo opportunity
was simply to great to pass up. Our
newest member along with three
of our most senior members. Dr.
White with Clifford and Dorothy
McWhorter along with Robert
Noble and his new son, Josiah at
6 weeks and 1 day old. Now how
cool is that? SRich
Wolf River Pipes & Drums,
7:00-9:30 Advent Pres.
1879 N. Germantown Pkwy.
753-9494 for info.
Sgt.Singleton Pipes & Drums
5:00-7:00 Bartlett Baptist at
Yale and Whitten Road.
Gordon Abernathy - 412-6846
C a l e n d a r o f E ve n t s
NEAC Pipes&Drums
1:30-4:00 @ 1st Pres. SW Dr.
Jonesboro, AR exit 45
Monday June 9
MSSI Monthly Meeting
Jason’s Deli. Poplar/Highland
6:00 -Dinner, 7:00-Program:
Sammy Rich
Saturday June 21
MSSI Ceilidh
6:00 p.m. - Mullins Methodist
Walnut Grove at Mendenhall
Thursday June 19
MSSI Board Meeting
6:00 p.m. - St. Luke’s Lutheran
Germantown Pkwy
Burns Nicht 2014 Meeting
7:00 p.m. St Luke’s Lutheran.
Scottish - Celtic
Radio Shows
Sundays, 6-7 p.m.
“The Thistle and Shamrock”
WKNO-FM 91.1
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1
p.m.“Strands of the Celtic
Knot” Robert Campbell, host
WEVL–FM 89.9
Sun and Mon 6 p.m. and
Fridays, 7 p.m.
“The Thistle & Shamrock,”
WMAV–FM 90.3
June 8: Words, Verses, Music
Poetry tells the story this week,
with songs and tunes inspired
by poets’ lives and works.
June 15: On the Road
Today’s working musicians offer us
contemporary verses of the traveling
artists’ lifestyles, continuing a longestablished tradition of celebrating
itinerant work ways in song.
Publisher’s Pick
Another month, another
choice. I shall have to go with
the choice of June 5th seeing
as how our interpretation of a
Ceilidh is going on this month
so it seems like we should gie
an ear to hear what poetry
Fiona has in store for us. Who
knows? Maybe one of our
performers will get a really
good idea from listening to
this program and dazzle us
all with their insight and
attention to detail. SRich
June 22: Early Summer Sounds
Fiona hand-picks the best new
sounds from rising artists along
with the latest from some of your
favorite artists.
June 29: Celtic Show Bands
Hear big-band style brass sections
and other instrumental combinations
as they create cutting edge grooves
and a big bold acoustic sound.
Correction in “Grace
Last month Grace Notes
announced new member P.Z
Horton as T.Z. Horton. Please
make a point to introduce
yourself to our new member and
for heaven’s sake, get his name
The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge
over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, 9
miles (14 kilometres) west of central Edinburgh.
It was opened on 4 March 1890 and spans a total
length of 8,296 feet (2,528.7 m). It is sometimes
referred to as the Forth Rail Bridge to distinguish
it from the Forth Road Bridge, though this has
never been its official name.
The bridge connects Edinburgh with Fife,
leaving the Lothians at Dalmeny and arriving in
Fife at North Queensferry, connecting the northeast and south-east of the country. The bridge
was begun in 1883 and took 7 years to complete
with the loss of 98 men.
Next Monthly Meeting - Monday, June 9
Jason’s Deli - Poplar and Highland
Dinner at 6:00, Program @ 7:00
Regular Board Meeting, June 19 at 5:30 - St. Luke’s Lutheran 2000 N. Germantown Pkwy.
Burns Nicht Planning Meeting: June 19, 6:30 - St. Luke’s Lutheran
Grace Notes
The Memphis Scottish Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 770028
Memphis, TN 38177-0028