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Fwd: The Sinclair's March
>From Rory Sinclair of the Canadian Clan Sinclair
From: GDSinclair@aol.com <GDSinclair@aol.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, April 09, 1999 6:55 PM
Subject: Fwd: The Sinclair's March
>Think you could be of assistance here.
>Gary D. Sinclair
Could you see that this gets to the appropriate person site etc:
The "Spaidsearachd Mhic nan Cearda" translates as the "Sinclairs' March" .
The Argyll Sinclairs were referred to as "Clann Mhic nan Cearda" ("Clan of
the Craftsmen") and there is some discussion how that came to be. "Cearda"
does mean "Craftsman" and there is speculation that the Argyll Sinclairs
got the name as a corruption of Sinclair (pronounced in Scotland 'Sink-ler')
and 'Tinkler' meaning 'tinker' hence a craft person. The connection of the
Argyll Sinclairs' to the Rosslyn and Caithness Sinclairs is not
well-understood, although brother Clansman Neil Sinclair of Toronto has
produced a paper on the Argyll Sinclairs which I gather is still in
progress but of which he provided a synopsis at our Winter Gathering the
The writer is a piper and a piobaireachd player and he too was very
intigued by the tune mentioned above. It took him a year but he found the
music for the tune in Tomason's Ceol Mor (pub ca. 1900) and also in Glen's
Collection (pub late 1800's).. Like so many piobaireachd tunes, there are
alternative names and this one is primarily known as "The Red Ribbon"
although both sources give "The Sinclair's March" as an alternative name.
"Spaidsearachd " does mean March but be careful! This does not mean march
as in a pipe band march. Today, all piobarieachd is played 'largo' or slow
with expression. The Red Ribbon is not played in today's repertoire but we
shouldn't take that personally. Of the 500 or so tunes that have been
handed down to us through oral and later written tradition, only about 200
are played. I have looked at the tune and I intend to learn it....it
actually is not a difficult tune but the fact that it is not played should
give you a clue as to its 'musical merit' which, and it pains me to say
this, is not great. It is highly repetitive and does not have a very
interesting melodic line. However, I will learn it and will eventually
make it available to those who would like to hear it.
For your information, there are 3 other piobaireachds with Sinclair
Robert Sinclair's Wife's Lament aka The Bicker
Lord Berriedale's Salute (Lord Berriedale is the title of the son of the
Earl of Caithness)
The Carles with the Breeks (Composed by a Campbell piper on the defeat of
the Sinclairs in 1681 by the Campbells at Altemairlach near Wick)
yours aye, Rory Sinclair, Toronto