Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 73 > Page 37 - With Alex Currie, Frenchvale

Page 37 - With Alex Currie, Frenchvale

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1998/6/1 (529 reads)

one for Barry Shears here last summer. He al? ways wanted one. So he's got it. (A homemade chanter.) And he showed it the day of the big do at St. Ann's --he showed them the chanter I made, and he blew her--you could hear it all over the hall! The Forest Going Afire collected from Alex Currie, transcribed by Barry Shears Collected from Alex Currie's playing by Barry Shears, this was the tune to a song about a fire getting out of control. The way Alex played the first turn, the way he moved the bottom hand • "you can almost see the rabbits running through the fire." Possibly the same tune as the song composed by Lauchie Currie called "Oran an Teine," which was collected, but not published, by John Lome Campbell in 1937. Barry Shears requests: "Does anyone out there have the words to any local song about the forest going afire?" oldest (brother)--he died, now, it must be 10 or 11 years since he died. (How did you know how to make a chanter, where to put the holes?) Oh, my father, he was pretty good at it. He'd play a little bit. But that's how--he learned on the chanter he made himself. So he showed me what to do when I was a young fellow. So I made hundreds of chanters, gave them to this fellow and that fellow. There was no way you could buy a chanter then. Wanted to buy a reed--I made (it). My fa? ther planted a big field of oats out where we lived. And the straw'd be in the barn. You'd go up in the barn and get a bunch of straw, and make all the reeds you'd want out of the straw. Cut them about like that, you know. The part would be--the biggest part, with the hole in the centre --you'd flatten it out and put it in the chanter. Just as good as the ones they've got today. (Was your father the first piper you heard?) No, no, my brother. My oldest brother. Paddy Currie. He was my second But when I was growing up, when I started the pipes, the chanter, we were up in the country. They were living in Sydney Mines, they worked in a coal mine. And I often went down. When I got ten years old, I had a bicycle. And I'd drive down to Sydney Mines on the bicycle. I spent two or three days with my brother down there, learning how to keep the pipes up. I'd have the SENIORS! SMT and ACADIAN LINES are there for you! We offer senior citizens the easy ride at 25 % OFF our regular fares anywhere In New Brunswick • Nova Scotia • P.E.I. (for seniors aged 60 years or over) CHARTERS If your group would like to reserve a coach for a charter, please call us at Nova Charter Services in Halifax: 454-8767 or toll free 1-800-688-5353 SMT and ACADIAN LINES the way to go ... try it! In Munich they Oktoberfest.. Cape Breton V V '' CdRdh! I The Gaelic word "ceilidh" (pronounced kay-lee) is a visit or gathering, but in Cape Breton it is much more than this... it is a celebration, complete with fiddles, pipes, stepdancing, and Celtic revelry. A ceilidh is truly a special experience and the Celtic Colours International Festival is the biggest ceilidh of all! CeCric lnreRn5d2?67Q0 : v><:ifsubo,o
Cape Breton's Magazine
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