Features

Stories of the Tunes – Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay

Stories of the Tunes – Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay

Donald ‘Duaghal’ MacKay was born in the old Tongue House in Sutherland, Scotland in 1591. His father, Uisdean was the 13th chief of the MacKays and Donald succeeded him as 14th chief on Uisdean’s death in 1614. Donald was knighted in 1616 and became 1st Lord Reay in 1628, the […]

Sixty years ago and a boy soldier faces up to war

Sixty years ago and a boy soldier faces up to war

By David Murray It was on Sunday, September 3, 1939 that the Second World War began, and readers may be interested to learn what it was like to be a young piper aged 18 on that fateful day. No Scots family had come unscathed out of the Great War, which […]

Donald W. G. Lindsay – piping on another planet, part 2

Donald W. G. Lindsay – piping on another planet, part 2

In my first ‘Piping on Another Planet’ blog back in February, I gave a brief introduction to Ascension Island and discussed some of mine and my son, Ryall’s plans for the recording of our album, Mars Bay, a collection of themes developed from field recordings of the island’s sea birds, […]

Balvenie Castle.

Any Balvenie?

By MacGregor Kennedy. A mile north of Dufftown where Fiddich meets Dullan is Balvenie. On the west side stands Balvenie Castle on an eminence, readily seen from the A941. It was in times past called the ‘Castle of Mortlach’ and was the centre of the locality long before Dufftown was […]

"… microscopically massage the wood perched on their loving shoulders."

The time (wasting) machine

As the Piping Times always acknowledged, sometimes its Letters pages contained more enjoyable reading than the rest of the magazine. Here is an example. It is a letter written by Allan Hamilton – he of Pipers’ Persuasion – to Seumas MacNeill and published in the June 1996 PT. Allan had […]

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #68, 2014. Angus MacKay. He’ll be known, at least by name, to many of you. Born on September 10, 1813 — under the astrological sign of Virgo — on Raasay, an island off the north-west coast of Scotland, he was to become one […]

The Arms of MacDonald: Clan Donald’s heraldic crest: 1st quarter, silver, a lion rearing red, tongue, claws and teeth bright blue; 2nd quarter, gold, a hand in armour horizontal holding a small burning cross red; 3rd quarter, Gold a one-masted galley sails furled and oars in action black, flag red; 4th quarter, green a salmon swimming horizontal in its natural state; placed over all quarters on a shield, Gold an eagle with wings spread red overlaid by a one-masted galley sails furled, oars in action black (as Chief of the Name and Arms MacDonald).

Stories of the Tunes – The Red Hand in the MacDonalds’ Arms

By Seumas MacNeill What wonderful titles people have given to piobaireachd. Apart from the long lists of laments and salutes, we have such gems as My Dearest on Earth Give me Your Kiss, and All the Men Paid Rent but Rory, as well as this Red Hand tune, and many […]

I now dissociate myself from my Foreword in ‘Sidelights’

I now dissociate myself from my Foreword in ‘Sidelights’

By Lt. Col. D. J. S. Murray In the year 2000 there was published Dr William Donaldson’s seminal The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, a well written, well researched and well sourced book which one thought would have been well received by the serious piping fraternity. The contrary was the […]

Famous pipers: PM John MacLean

Famous pipers: PM John MacLean

 By Archie MacLean My father, John MacLean, was born in the solitary house on the small tidal island of Kirkibost, North Uist, where his father, Angus, was the herdsman. My father’s birth certificate shows his birth date as April 23, 1900. There was no doctor present at the birth (not […]