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> Issue 47 > Page 63 - Art Severance and "Burnt" John / Bagpipe Tunes Transcribed by Paul Cranford

Page 63 - Art Severance and "Burnt" John / Bagpipe Tunes Transcribed by Paul Cranford

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1 (279 reads)

Art Severance & "Burnt" John continued from msWe Front cover John was an old man then--he was well up in his 60s then. And he had visions of, you know, I guess, the old days, when the piper led the charge. He had visions of piping the boys over the top, and going right along with them, you know. But the top brass had other ideas. They didn't include John in the draft at all. And he was mad as hell. He went to the top brass in the brigade with his grievance. They told him, "Now, Mr. MacKinnon, look. To begin with," he said, "you're too old. You're not physically fit. Your eyesight is not good. And you could walk right into danger there, without even realizing it." "Hmph! I make a damn good target, anyway!" So, just the day before the embarkation, they called up a fatigue march. Old John went out on it, boy. Early in the morning, you know, the wee hours, they started out. And they were coming back into camp. And the Colonel was mounted. And he drives up alongside of old John--they were getting back I suppose about a mile or so from the camp. He said, "I think, Mr. MacKinnon, if you give them a little blast on the pipes now," he said, "kind of brighten them up." Old John swung the pipes up. And, now, this is the tune he started to play, was "The 71st Highlanders' Quickstep." It wasn't long, and the Colonel was back again. "Mr. MacKinnon! Something a little slower. You know, the boys are getting--it's been a hard march this morning," he said. In a fa? tigue march, they had to carry all equip? ment, you know. He said, "They're feeling kind of tired, you know, getting back." Old John put the pipes under his arm. "Hnyar! Too old! Not physically fit! Can't stand fatigue! I could pipe you to Hell and back, and still you wouldn't take me to France!" Now, I remember, when I got those pipes. I was Down North, and that's where I bought them, down at Bay St. Lawrence. And I brought them over--I was coming up to In? verness- -they were just, actually, I think, cutting a right-of-way for the Cabot Trail then. And I'd have to come around from Meat LeBlanc Siding Ltd. • ee estimates We Install Authorized Dealer for ICAYCAN Aluminum & Vinyl Siding margaree windows Aluminum Windows & Doors - Shutters Softfit - Fascia - Awnings 109 Reservoir Road Sydney Professional installation of Aluminum & Vinyl Siding in Cape Breton County for over 10 years. Free Estimates for R.R.A.P., N.S.H.C, & C.M.H.C. Programs and all other siding inquiries. Call collect: SONNY MacPHERSON 539-4626 Boutiliers' Music Shops Limited Cape Breton's Newest Locally-Owned Musical Outlet Dealers for SAMICK Pianos - FENDER & WASHBURN Guitars - AKAI Synthesizers We sell a complete line of top quality musical instruments and accessories. Visit our showroom and try the products for yourself. You will like the variety and price. Layaway plan available. No interest for 2 months. We're Open Monday through Saturday Phone 562-0018 Music Keyboards Guitars Reeds Horns Violins Chanters All Supplies 39 Keltic Drive - Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney River, Sydney, Nova Scotia B1S1P4 "We're people you can talk to" (63)
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