Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 52 > Page 38 - The Bagpipe in Cape Breton: From a Conversation with Barry Shears, Piper

Page 38 - The Bagpipe in Cape Breton: From a Conversation with Barry Shears, Piper

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (343 reads)

of those Jamiesons. I found during my re? search that a lot of the pipers, their families sort of intermingled or intermar ried. One of the Jamiesons married a Mac- Intyre woman in Glace Bay. And the big saying was, that was the only way they'd let him into the band, if he mar? ried a Maclntyre woman. I remember Angus (Maclntyre) telling me, too, that--I think it was One- Eyed Dan's sister that--I think it was Charlie Jamieson that married her. Which is sort of funny, because those Ja? miesons, their father was Neil Jamieson, and his mother would have been a Maclntyre from St. Rose over in Inverness County. So it's amazing how that Maclntyre--it's a name that's been associated with piping Barry Shears: There's a story that Danny Maclntyre gave me, about how -those Maclntyres got their piping from the French Road. And that they sent Donald to get a bottle. And he was walking by a sithean, or a fairy dell. And the fairies-he could hear pipe music from inside. So the fairies said, "Come on in." So he went in. And they said, "Well, do you want to play the pipes?" "Yeah, I'd love to play like the fairies." They said, "We'll show you how to do that. You sit down and watch, and we'll teach you." So, he thought he was there like for an hour. Here, he was there for a year. His brothers were out looking for him and they couldn't find him. When he got quite proficient on the pipes he said, "Well, I have to get back. There's a party back at the house, and I have to get back with a bot? tle." So he left the fairy dell, and he went home. And they said, "Oh, we thought you were dead!" He said, "No. I was only gone an hour." And they said, "No. You've been gone a year." They said, "Well, where were you?" "I was with the fairies. I was in touch with the fairies. And they told me that I would be a great piper and my descendants would all be great pipers." OWNED BY ATLANTIC SHOPPING CENTRES LTD. 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N.S. BOK ISO 755-4440 since, well, time immemorial, really. (You're talking about the pipers your fa- ther might have heard, that might have en? couraged him to have an interest. But he himself didn't play.) No, he didn't. But where we grew up, in back of our house in Glace Bay is where the two Jamieson brothers had their houses. But there's a brook there, as well, and when the bank started to break away and fall into the brook, they moved their houses farther down, on the same street, on Park Street. There were MacNeils that lived at the bot? tom of the lane, that were Gaelic speak? ers. I was very close to that family. Isa? bel MacNeil, she was like another mother to me. She used to talk about One-Eyed Dan Maclntyre, and there was another Macln? tyre, Mickey the Dancer. And they lived between where we lived in Glace Bay, and Caledonia. And she remembers him playing. He won a couple of awards up at Antigon? ish, and I guess he rarely took them off his chest. When he was playing the pipes, he'd always put this jacket on with these piping medals that he won in Antigonish. Angus, the fellow that taught me, he would have been a nephew of this One-Eyed Dan. He told me that his father Joseph, or Joe Maclntyre, walked to Antigonish for a com? petition one time and won a prize set of pipes. At one time they used to give out a prize set of pipes or a new sporran or a kilt and sporran as first prize for the pipers. And I've researched competitions around--they used to have competitions in Arisaig and Antigonish County and Judique --Highland Games they used to have--and all up through Inverness and Port Hood. Any place that had any sort of a Gaelic culture would have these Highland Games, ASHBY MEDICAL SUPPLY We Rent. Sell & Repair Hospital Equipment: wheelchairs, commode chairs, walkers, beds, canes (WALTER'S RENTALS) 4 SHERIFF AVE., SYDNEY (539-9616) Island Vinyl Siding Ltd. LeBlanc Siding Ltd. 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