Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 23 > Page 9 - MacDougalls and Whittys and Songs

Page 9 - MacDougalls and Whittys and Songs

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/8/1 (291 reads)

still there, he just worded it for me. He didn't have it finished. "There's none left but Dan and Steve, the Harvest for to win/ We would not disappoint the man or leave him in bad trim." Oh, songs were our entertainment. Indeed they were. And there was a great deal of singing in that home. Oh, my dear man. And you know, people don't do this anymore. There's not the gimp enough in them any? more. What I call gimp, well, you've got to be full of life. Mike MacDougall with his mother. Mary Ann; Dan Rory Mike MacDougall: My father'd play the pipes at weddings. He'd play the square sets out and out at weddings. And picnics and square dances at our parish hall for the priest here. He'd play night after night after night. Just the pipes only. Not to brag, but my father was one of the few pipers that could ever play square set music on pipes. And if I had my choice to? morrow to go onto the floor and dance to fiddle or to pipes • without a p. a. system especially • I would take the pipes. You could hear them, and his timing was per? fect. I could always kick a step off and Tim, my older brother, was very good • and we'd always prefer for Daddy to play pipes for us. He loved the fiddle but he was a lover of the pipes. He'd walk anywhere for music, but the pipes was really his idol- Mary Ann; And he used to go off several days to play at weddings. Oh, yes. Many's the time he'd be gone for a week. Over to Washabuckt here or North Shore. Sometimes they'd come for him, or he'd go with the mail. Or he'd walk. An awful man to walk. Many's the time I went with him. We'd be there singing and dancing and carrying on. Mike: My father, his piping, the crowds that he'd get, that used to stop abreast of the house in cars or horse-and-wagons or horse-and-sleighs on Sundays going home from church • or when he'd be on the water playing the pipes and people from all a- round the area would be listening. That was something that even, as we call them, the mass folks, the church folks, going home on Sunday • how many of them would call in. But if they didn't they'd be stopped along the road listening to the pipes or the fiddles. We had a big long verandah on the front of the house.... Mary Ann; And he'd walk that, playing the pipes. He was a wonderful piper. But he fished for a living. He didn't make a liv? ing with the music. Not very much. Wherev? er he was wanted he'd go, but there was no pay. Fairly low. For a night's wedding, play all night, he might get 5 dollars. Sometimes he only got three. We'd go up for a wedding on the North Shore • play two days • might get 8 dollars. People would come to the house • we were often in bed for the night • and the knock would come to the door. "Who's that?" he'd say. Some? body looking for you, of course. Down and let them in. Chat awhile. Then the next thing go. (You didn't mind him playing the pipes in the house?) No, I loved it. And every time I hear them since, I think of him. He's been gone 23 years. two of them with child Music as sung by Mary Ann MacDougall Cape Breton Tapes SEE INSIDE BACK COVER
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download