top of page

The Barren Rocks of Aden.

๐™๐™๐™š ๐˜ฝ๐™–๐™ง๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™๐™ค๐™˜๐™ ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐˜ผ๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ: This march is associated with the Gordon Highlanders Regiment, because it is played for the dance called The Gay Gordons.

The tune is said to have been composed by piper James Mauchline, who was delighted that his regiment was leaving the hot, dry port of Aden, in what is now South Yemen, in Arabia. It rains less than once a year in Aden and the Old Town is inside the shell of an extinct volcano.

Fun Fact: In Scotland the tune is played as a 2/4 pipe march, but in Ireland it is played as a fiddle polka.

There is some disagreement about when the tune was composed and named. It may date from the mid-19th century.

One website concerned with regimental tradition says James Mauchline gave it no title. While a detachment of the 78th Seaforth Highlanders Regiment was stationed in Aden, Pipe Major Alexander Mackellar rearranged and named the tune...

The tune has four parts. People would sing a verse mading fun of the way native Gaels used to speak English, as they danced to the first part of the tune:

๐’ฎ๐‘’๐‘’ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“๐’ถ๐’น๐’น๐’พ๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐“Œ๐‘’๐“‡ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’,

๐“Œ๐’พ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“‰๐’ถ๐“‡๐“‰๐’ถ๐“ƒ ๐“€๐’พ๐“๐“‰ ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“‰๐“Œ๐’ถ ๐“๐‘’๐‘”๐“ˆ ๐’ท๐’ถ๐“‡๐‘’

๐’œ๐“ƒ ๐’ถ๐’ถ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“๐’ถ๐’น๐’พ๐‘’๐“ˆ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“Ž ๐’น๐‘’๐’ธ๐“๐’ถ๐“‡๐‘’,

'๐’ฎ๐’ฝ๐‘’'๐“ˆ ๐’ถ ๐’ป๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘’ ๐’ท๐“‡๐’ถ๐“Œ ๐’ธ๐’ฝ๐’พ๐‘’๐“ ๐’พ๐“ˆ ๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“‡ ๐“ƒ๐’ถ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“ˆ๐‘’๐“'

(Music of the Scottish Regiments, Murray, 1994)

More recently, the Singing Kettle show recorded a song using a simpler version of the first part of the tune. Their song begins:

๐‘€๐’ถ, ๐‘€๐’ถ, ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“๐“ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ท๐“Š๐“Ž ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ถ

๐ต๐“Š๐“Ž ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ถ, ๐’ท๐“Š๐“Ž ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ถ

๐‘€๐’ถ, ๐‘€๐’ถ, ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“๐“ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ท๐“Š๐“Ž ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ถ

๐ต๐“Š๐“Ž ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ถ ๐’ท๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’ถ.

The mother buys her child one, then eats it all herself ๐Ÿคฃ

Thank you to ๐’๐œ๐จ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐‹๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐š๐ ๐ž ๐‚๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐ž for this incredible background.

๐™๐™๐™š ๐˜ฝ๐™–๐™ง๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™๐™ค๐™˜๐™ ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐˜ผ๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ, arrangement by P/M Dave McKee, Sr. of the SyKb is one of many #TunesWePlay

141 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page