Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Warrior Music

Kenneth Mackay, 79th Highlanders at Waterloo
No, I didn't forget that Monday was the 203rd anniversary of Waterloo. Not at all. But Mondays belong to Juvat, and what with the stress of his MBD's pending nuptials, I didn't want to upset the apple cart. Then there's the imminent (shudder) dance lessons and...

Hey Juvat, perhaps you should learn this dance -

I'm sure Mrs. Juvat would approve. (Or not.)

Anyhoo, to commemorate the battle, I offer some music. Warrior music!

During the assault on the Anglo-Allied center by the French Corps, the 8th Brigade of Sir Thomas Picton's 5th Division advanced as the British heavy cavalry drove the French back. They were forced to halt and form square to repel a counter-attack by the French cuirassiers (heavy armored cavalry).

The 79th (Cameron) Highlanders were starting to waiver, assailed by cavalry, hit with cannon fire, so Piper Kenneth Mackay stepped out of the 79th's square and began to play this tune (WARNING - Bagpipe Music! *)

Nothing like a rousing tune on the pipes to get the blood pumping!

No doubt somewhere on the field a French band was playing this tune, in English "The Victory is Ours!" (Not so fast there Bonaparte!)

No doubt this old British march was heard upon the field as well!

And as the Prussians rolled into action on the French right flank, "Prussia's Glory" might be heard over the rattle of musketry and the boom of the guns. (Though on the march from Wavre across muddy farm tracks, the Prussians were heard to sing old Lutheran hymns!)

And just because I like it -

Another Old Air Force Sarge favorite -

Loves me some military music. Stirs the soul and puts a little spring in one's step.

* A warning Buck always counseled me to provide.


  1. For this reader "Garryowen" is familiar due to Hollywood's efforts...a stirring melody anytime, certainly at 6AM! Had to have something to keep those lads marching into multiple lines of muskets......yegads.

    1. The tune actually was a favorite of Custer's. Hollywood got that part right.

  2. I rather like "Goober Peas". "Wearing out my grinders, eating goober peas..."

  3. I wonder what it would cost to hire a piper to play at a wedding reception?

    Also pipers.

    And I would have said that the Bollywood film style, and a Punjabi influence wouldn't work for piping, and I would have once again been wrong.

    Lots of toe tapping with the volume cranked way up in here in Philly.

    Perhaps Sousa at some time in the future.

    1. A lot of pipers charge an hourly rate of $150 to $200. Not cheap, but well worth it in my book!

      And those tunes were FREAKING AWESOME!!!! Yes, I liked them rather a lot really. And I have a new YouTube channel to follow. Very nice and I thank you for that.

      Mr. Sousa came along too late to have his music played on the battlefield, I was focused on that sort of tune. But hey, he's still a great composer. More music is what's needed on The Chant!

    2. Sousa is more march and review music. Can't have a Rose Bowl Parade without the Combined Marine Band marching and Sousa-ing.

      And bagpipes were found in Northern India way before the Scots brought them back with the British takeover. Though they were more like ulian pipes than the grand gas-bags of latter day Scotland.

      William the Conqueror marched through England during the invasion with pipers. Though I doubt the musicians were very active during the Battle of Hastings.

      Pipes, they are good.

    3. There are many stories for who "invented" the bagpipes. One of the most common tales is that the Romans found them in Egypt, liked them so they started using them. Brought them to Britain, where one thing led to another and somehow we Scots got ahold of them. Another tale is that the Irish brought them to Scotland. I mean the Irish have given us many wonderful things (that's the Irish DNA speaking) but India? Brought back when the Brits took over? No, most assuredly not.

      No matter where they came from, they are good.

    4. Yes, I like the pipes, from the quiet ones from Northern Italy to the rustic ones found in provincial France and Normandy, to the Irish ulian pipe and, of course, the great big Scottish one.

      Now, bagpipes combined with middle-eastern musical tones? Er, not so much. But then again, don't like most middle-eastern or eastern musical scales and tonal structures anyways. And when you get to some Chinese music, where dissonance is sought after, nope.

    5. I am a big fan of most Eastern music, particularly that of the subcontinent. Chinese music though leaves me rather cold. Bloody freezing actually.

  4. Just the post to get the heart pumping on a rainy morning.

  5. Thanks for the music and the dancing (which I have reblogged)!

  6. Mrs J would most definitely approve! The new in-laws? Dancing with Swords? The jury is still out on that. (Although, after the party and fireworks from last weekend, it's looking pretty good.)

    1. Most excellent!

      Why would I think Mrs. J wouldn't approve, I mean she IS a fighter pilot too! (As we always say, it's an attitude, not an AFSC.)

    2. Know a lady who was doing the Scottish Sword Dance and managed to impale her foot. Apparently the drinking got really heavy after that point of the festivities.

      And yes, it was only a flesh wound.

    3. Apparently the 4 big brutes in kilts just removed sword, carried her to the ER over her vehement protestations, and without checking any actual damage. It just split the webbing between 2nd and 3rd toe, bled a lot, but nothing a compress and some tape wouldn't solve. She was apparently miffed that she missed the best part of the drinking, as that happened right after she left.

      Something about it's all fun and games until someone gets stabbed, and then it gets really hilarious.

      Having been around the great lady when she was displeased, oh, well, banshees describes her at full wrath. I think a lot of people really regretted getting blotto without her, as she pretty much un-drunk everyone with her verbal hangover remedy.

      Other than that, a really sweet, quiet reserved lady. One you would expect to meet over tea rather than over swords and drunkenness.

      With the loss of a shoe, a good drunk was lost.

    4. Hahaha, love that last reference.

      Swords and drunkenness versus over tea, nice.

  7. Whenever I hear the Garryowen I’m reminded of the 7th cavalry.
    That’s my Hollywood influence.
    I am also for more music 🎶 🎵 on the blogs.

    1. Got to experience a Scottish military band, can't remember what regiment they belonged to, but they were touring, so I had to go. 12 pipers in a concert hall, cranking out Garryowen. Along with the drums and everything else.

      One of my favorite scene out of "Brigadoon" is when the Clans all come piping in for the wedding. Man, I gotta get to a pipe corps competition.

    2. I once had the distinct honor and privilege of consuming adult beverages with a group of pipers from, drum roll please, the Black Watch. My unit and theirs was at a ceremony in a wee sma' town in the Belgian Ardennes. Much marching and piping and ceremonies, all followed by a big party. Where, I may have mentioned this, adult beverages were consumed. In quantities sufficient to float a sizeable boat.

      Yes, much fun was had.

  8. Music is part of our military heritage.

    I am proud to have requested Garryowen be played at my change of command back in the day. I had a Navy unit, located on an Army post. The ceremony was held at the bandstand in front of the officers' quarters, built in 1876, the year of Custer's debacle. We were graciously provided the services of an Army Reserve band for the occasion, so I think that bit of cultural appropriation from our landlord's heritage was a welcome nod to jointness.
    Ah, the good old days.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Very nice, nice nod to the Army there John.

      Yes, the good old days, once upon a time the Air Force actually had a pipe band. Did we need one? No.

      Was it awesome? Yes.

    2. Now the question in everyone's minds is, will the US Space Force have pipers?

    3. US Space Force will adapt the Imperial Narch?

    4. Well, if we dig deep down into whom I consider the progenitor of the US Space Force, Annapolis graduate Robert Anson Heinlein, the Space Marines, at least, will have small, compact electronic instruments that replicate 'analog' instruments. And they'll have bagpipes.

      "Green Hills of Earth" should be one of their favorite songs, if not their anthem.

      The Green Hills of Earth

      Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
      As they rove around the girth
      Of our lovely mother planet
      Of the cool, green hills of Earth.

      We've tried each spinning space mote
      And reckoned its true worth:
      Take us back again to the homes of men
      On the cool, green hills of Earth.

      The arching sky is calling
      Spacemen back to their trade.
      And the lights below us fade.

      Out ride the sons of Terra,
      Far drives the thundering jet,
      Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
      Out, far, and onward yet ---

      We pray for one last landing
      On the globe that gave us birth;
      Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
      And the cool, green hills of Earth.

      ~Robert A. Heinlein

    5. Well, duh! That Verhoeven freakshow was a travesty. "Starship Troopers" could have been the most friggin awesome movie ever, but, nooo, let's give it to a socialist jerkface and totally ruin it.

      John Ringo (I keep coming back to that author for some reason, mainly because he's good) does an excellent homage in the later books of the Looking Glass series, when they actually do deal with... Space Marines.

      As to Heinlein, well, "Door into Summer" is a required reading for anyone with a cat. "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" should be required for anyone wanting to go into space. "Starship Troopers" is NOT A NAZI RANT (Verhoeven, you male-member head) but a good moral justification over why we fight. "Red Planet" and "Farmer in the Sky" for anyone wanting to live off Earth. "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" for any Space Warrior. "Citizen of the Galaxy" covers both close family units in merchant fleets (think old days of sail) and a good, modern look at the evils of slavery. Heck, his Juvenile series, those he wrote dealing with young people, are so advanced over most modern sci-fi (especially the SJW crap that is being pumped out these days.)

      Heinlein rocks. The only book I haven't ever liked was "Stranger in a Strange Land." I didn't grok that book, well, the first half was okay, but when I kept wondering when Yoko Ono was going to appear, I knew it was time to give up on it. Literally, the only book of his I stopped reading. And I've tried to read it, and hit the same 'Moby Dick' moment over and over again.

      And, yes. I think the literary progenitor of the US Space Force (if it's done right) should be RA Heinlein.

  9. https://youtu.be/bb_ZQdATeog La Varsovienne
    just leaving here one of the most popular Polish military/patriotic tunes, which once was even contender for the role of the national anthem
    the song itself dates to 1831 uprising against Russia
    another one - this song simmply titled "Infantry" extolling the unglorious, deadly service of the grey-uniformed , not adorned with decorations ww1 era infantry

    1. Ahh bagpips..that reminds me of the old joke

      Why are bagpipers always marching?

      to get away from the noise.

      As far as war music , I have always liked this one

      March of Cambreadth.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFi7bWkyRpA

    2. Hahaha, never heard that one.

      Wow, pipes, Polish Winged Hussars! What's not to like?

      Great tune!

    3. Glad I could add a small bit to your fountain of knowledge..
      You have added so much to mine...

  10. Hey AFSarge;

    How about "Men of Harlich"? That one gets the soul going...makes you want to lock bayonets and wait for the charge of the enemy and finish it with cold steel.

    1. A rousing tune! Loved the scene in Zulu featuring that song.


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