Page 19 - With Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald
ISSUE : Issue 46
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/8/1
ing Cape Breton fiddler--and he's sorry 'cause he can't play Mozart!) That's exact? ly right. Well, that's what I always had in mind, but I knew I had to forget about it. My fa? ther couldn't affo.rd it, and I couldn't af? ford it. I never had money enough. In those days, nobody had money. (You genuine? ly regretted this.) Yeah. (That's honest.) Deeply, surely honest, yeah. My heart and soul were in it. (Well, it knocks me out, that out of one of the roughest places to live and to make a living in all of Cape Breton comes a fid? dler as delicate as yourself. You're a strong fiddler. But really, you know, it's a very delicate, very careful thing you do. There's nothing rustic about what you do.) My father couldn't even buy a set of strings sometimes. I remember being at a place one night, and we had no violin. No fiddle. And there were enough gathered at the house for a party. Had a pot of molas? ses candy. So, something was said, "Too bad we don't have a fiddle--Winston would play for a square set." Which would take 8--4 boys and 4 girls. "By God," I said, "got a piece of board a- round, a box or something?" So they went and they got a piece of box, something like a crate, an orange crate or something. And we got a piece of wood. And we got a spool of black thread. I can see it yet. And rigged it up. And the little boys went out and got an alder--elder--alder, I call it--switch. And we put the black thread on it from end to end'. And a piece of spruce gum off a tree--that's what I had for rosin. And help me God, everybody took their shoes off, you know, or you wouldn't hear it. It wasn't very loud. But we had 3 or 4 square sets there, and I made the fiddle and played. God is my judge. You know, that's hard to believe, isn't it? You'd al? most think a fellow made that up, but that's true. Tunes from the Cassette Tape "Winston 'Scotty' Fitzgerald: House Parties and 78s" Paul Cranford; The first time I heard this strathspey was on tapes of Winston playing at house parties, and this transcript is based on the 1970 tape with Lewis Maclntyre on guitar. He played it following "Coilsfield House." It's a very tasty setting of one of Skinner's tunes in the Skye Collection. Winston gave it slight melodic changes that gave it more of a lift, made it more of a dance strathspey. In the current Cape Breton repertoire, it's not played often, and Winston never included it in a commercial re? cording. It's possibly never been recorded. The first time I read through the Skye Collection, I passed that tune by • didn't notice it as a good tune. It wasln't until I heard a home tape of Winston playing it that I realized that it was a good tune. j) ?? 1 "jj -j _p] • p'|]-| j Mr. Thomas Forbes 1 '' _ 1 r* * - 1* F*l k II "IT 11~ p p'-f-'-f-f ' f 'Pi f'i*"r'f- ??-f-- ' 0 r if r • ' i??i '. 1 - f.' LeBlanc Siding Ltd. FREE ESTIMATES We Install Authorized Dealer for ICAYCAN Aluminum & Vinyl Siding Imargaree iwindows Aluminum Windows & Doors - Shutters Softfit - Fascia - Awnings 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 109 Reservoir Road Sydney 539-4626 "(19)
Cape Breton's Magazine