|Melanie at Ligonier Games Harp Comp|
|Jill the Weaver|
If you are wondering what “ClarSeannachie” is, it’s a duo I’m half of with Linda McNair. It was a busy day for us! Linda was dancing with her husband Arthur McNair and the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancers at 11:45; at 12:45 she and I did our first of two sets in the Sanctuary, performing 2 pieces: “The Blind Harper of Lochmaben” (our signature piece based on a Child ballad, also including snippits of “Southwind,” “Katie Bairdie,” and an ancient Celtic lullaby… ), and “Why the Sea Is Salt” (a Scottish Travelers tale about the devil’s mother, paired with a jig called “Peter’s Peerie Boat.”).
|Bruce Golightly, Druidsong|
My second tale was a Scottish fable, “Gilmartin Fox, the Dog, & the Fleas,” which is always fun to tell! As a Scottish teller, I am always happy to share the folktales, myths, legends, and historical tales that are such an important part of Scotland’s history and oral culture.
ClarSeannachie’s last set was at 2:45, and we performed a Campbell/MacIntyre clans’ tale, “The Fatted Calf & the Snowball,” paired with a MacIntyre clan tune, “Westering Home,” followed by another favorite of ours, “Whuppity Stourie,” which includes a Hebridean tune from the Isle of Barra, “Cuidheal na Maighdin/Spinning & Weaving.”
Loath to go home when I was still having such a good time, I browsed through the vendors’ and clan tables again, visited with Carol of Miller’s Homestead in South Park and Kevin Anderson, director of the Bridgeport, WV Scottish Festival & Highland Games; surrendered my tickets for the silent auction; and finally left with my fern cakes, a lovely wee porcelain pillbox with –what else?—a Celtic harp on it from Thistle & Pine, plus a knitted thistle pin that Sarajane Williams told me the mother of one of her Highland Dancing students makes that was on sale at the Tartan Day booth. I wish I had the pattern!
That evening, I checked email, including the Harplist digest, and found that Carol Wood has posted a video she recently made at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da6Asrhac-0 of her song, “Two to Mambo.” I like it for two reasons: the percussion on the tune, and her asking harperists in a duo to send in a picture for her to include. ClarSeannachie is on it, so don’t blink! I just wish she had shown more of Linda’s Rees Oak Tree harp….We were delighted to be included among such good duos!
Tartan Day is a free event; I hope you’ll come next year, if not here, then to the nearest celebration of it near you!
Gus an àm seo an ath-bhliadhna aig an lá bhreacan! (Until next year at Tartan Day!)