There are more than 285 competitive bagpipe bands in the United States, made up of thousands of pipers and drummers. Bands are divided into grades based on skill: Grade 5 is the lowest, akin to Little League; Grade 1 is the majors. In May 2014, the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highland Pipe Band was promoted to Grade 1, and next month they'll be facing off against other top-level bands in Glasgow at the annual World Pipe Band Championships. But first, the Stewies made their North American debut at the premier level at a competition in Ontario: Blowhards: On the road, down the bottle, and across the border with Boston’s greatest competitive bagpipe band. [more inside]
The great thing about social media is that it lets you contact potential customers directly. However, if you're offering a service such as offering to sell tiny plots of land in Scotland to those who wish to style themselves Laird or Lady of Glencoe you should perhaps be up on Scottish property law. Because if you're not, you're quite likely to make the rapid acquaintance of one or two people who do. McPwnage ensues. Includes bonus reference - at no extra cost! - to a drunk Finnish rock singer.
Morrissey recently canceled the remainder of his USA tour after coming down with an illness he allegedly caught from his opening act, Kristeen Young, who denies she was the cause of the illness. This was not Morrissey's first instance of controversy on this tour, however. ----- "And before last night’s show at the Observatory in Orange County, he incurred the wrath of the Scottish band PAWS when his management attempted to get their set that night canceled. PAWS and We Are Scientists were scheduled to play a smaller room within the same venue, but Morrissey didn’t want any chance of sound-bleed during his set, and his management allegedly demanded that PAWS cancel their opening set and We Are Scientists only take the stage, for a shortened set, after the Morrissey show was already over. PAWS were actually going to be paid double for the canceled show, but the idea of canceling at Morrissey’s behest didn’t sit well with them, and they lashed out against Moz on Facebook, calling him a 'rich, has-been, ego maniac acting like a baby throwing toys from a pram.'" Morrissey denies the allegations.
folkinfo.org is a database of English-language folk songs. Each song is listed with its respective lyrics, sheet music, Roud Index number, midi file, and historical information. The database also provides song information in abc notation. Placed into an abc converter, one can generate sheet music in a variety of forms and scales.
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre present Christmas: 12 Days of Christmas, Silent Night, Baby It's Cold Outside, Coldplay Christmas, Killer Reindeer Song, Xmas Songs You Daren't Sing, and more. Much more from the Socks here and here, on subjects ranging from Doctor Who to the credit crunch to phone hacking to Skye to Star Wars.
The video for Frightened Rabbit's new song "State Hospital" is a powerful meditation on rape, domestic violence, suicide and what it means to be strong in the face of all of them. [more inside]
The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence. Other reporting in the Telegraph, Guardian and the Scottish Sun. The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
A girl upon the shore did ask a favour of the sea;For nearly 20 years, Newfoundland group Great Big Sea have been creating acoustic Celtic folk-rock covers and interpretations of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador sea shanties, folk, fishing and party songs, which draw from the island's rich 500-year-old multicultural (Irish, English, Scottish and French) heritage. [more inside]
"Return my blue eyed sailor boy safely back to me.
Forgive me if I ask too much, I will not ask for more,
but I shall weep until he sleeps safe upon the shore."
Today is National Tartan Day, and in New York city it's Tartan Week! A celebration of Scottish heritage, Tartan Day is held on April 6 to commemorate the Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence submitted to Pope John XXII in 1320. [more inside]
"You can imagine the effect of feeling that if you open your mouth you will sound wrong, that you are somehow thinking wrongly in your own head. Instilling such a feeling is one of the most fundamental ways to control a population. Now imagine what happens when the feeling stops – that miracle." - writer Al Kennedy (Oranges are not the only fruit) in the Guardian talks about Scottish cultural identity, especially relevant in terms of possible Scottish Independence.
For safety's sake, please consider all links herein either nsfw or potentially offensive* Let's Have a Shambles! with the Country Teasers! Formed somewhere in Scotland in 1993 around one Ben Wallers, the Country Teasers forged an unusual contrast between acerbic lyrics, trash punk twang, and honest affect(at)ion of country-western tropes and sounds. They were also equal opportunity offenders, their songs frequently featuring seemingly misanthropic, misogynistic, and even racist lyrics. But despite their affrontive controversy, perhaps they aren't quite so easy to dismiss. Though rarely does he give in-person interviews, Mr. Wallers will, when confronted, defend his "schlock tease," though not without characteristic aplomb. Although the Country Teasers are pretty much dead, their extensive discography has plenty of noteworthy diversions. Some albums to start with are 1996's Satan Is Real Again or Feeling Good About Bad Thoughts, 1999's Destroy All Human Life, and 2006's Back to the Future. Mr. Wallers continues to release new records under the moniker The Rebel. A number of Teaser records were released on In The Red records. *Although if you do find it offensive, I'd simply request considering if that is perhaps the point.
Voice recognition technology don't do Scottish accents. Really! Apple's new iPhone voice recognition technology, Siri, is having trouble with the Scottish accent. It has trouble with simple phrases like can you dance for me? and boot your bawz and how many miles are there in ten kilometers? and create a remainder.
Rudolf Hess and the Scottish Weather (slyt)
Twenty-four different accents in just over eight minutes. (NSFW SLYT)
Having worked as a philosophy teacher in a Scottish primary school and a domestic and child abuse worker with Scottish Women's Aid, perhaps it comes as little surprise that Karine Polwart's music often dwells on the darker side of life. [more inside]
...Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different peoples: the Irish from the Celts and the English from the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the country’s western and northern fringes. But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. The implication that the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh have a great deal in common with each other, at least from the geneticist’s point of view, seems likely to please no one.A United Kingdom? Maybe
See also Myths of British ancestry
In the words of one well known Basque cultural icon: HA Ha!
Edward James (1907 - 1984) was a millionaire Scottish, art patron and surrealist who moved to Mexico in 1947 to grow orchids. After the orchids were destroyed by a freak snowstorm in 1962, he decided to switch to experiments in architecture. He built a monument to surrealism called Las Pozas, just outside of Xilitla. [more inside]
The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh (or Armagh), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital, St. James Infirmary Blues, Tom Sherman's Bar and Way Down in Lodorra), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today. beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young (rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in (his/her) prime (or and I know I've done wrong) The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie (who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind) and Johnny Cash (who added a few verses to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version.
Today is world celebrate Scottishness day. View the complete history of Englands missed penalty kicks and the Scottish national liberation armys website whilst having a wee dram with tunes played on Scotlands national instrument , the midi player lilting in the background.
Dictionary of the Scots Language. The two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND), have been combined into one searchable online edition:
Thus, information on the earliest uses of Scots words can be presented alongside examples of the later development and, in some cases, current usage of the same words. In this way, we hope that the DSL will allow users to appreciate the continuity and historical development of the Scots language. By making the DSL freely available on the Internet, we also aim to widen access to the source dictionaries and to open up these rich lexicographic resources to anyone with an interest in Scots language and culture.
Don't Miss Bobby Gillespie's Fantasy Festival On Saturday And Sunday! It's on BBC's rather good Radio 6. Just a heads-up to admirers of Primal Scream's constantly astonishing vocalist and producer - and, yes, the Rolling Stones are in. Strangely out are other Great Scots like Ivor Cutler and Roddy Frame, to mention only other undisputed geniuses. As a bonus, here's The Scotsman's very intelligent list of the 100 Best Scottish Albums. And don't mention Postcard Records! Ah, the "Sound of Young Scotland"... some dead; some turning 40. What and who are the new Scottish talents? *sigh*
O wad some Power the giftie gie us -To see oursels as ithers see us! Put on your Sporrans and join me for a wee dram and a bite of Haggis, as Scotland celebrates its national bard ,William Mcgonagal. Oops , i mean Robert Burns.
Come all ye lads of high renown, / That love to drink good ale that's brown and peruse a collection of Broadside Ballads from Glasgow. There are many other sites pertaining to broadside ballads, but none with such a wealth of scanned reproductions. Also includes the full text of Hawkie: The Autobiography of a Gangrel.
Xenophobia at its best! " The British and the North Americans are often said to be divided by a common language. Now it seems this linguistic split may apply to the natural world too. [¶] A pair of Canadian otters brought to Britain a year ago are under 24-hour guard at the National Sea-life Sanctuary, near Oban in Scotland, because of fears they will be attacked by indigenous cousins unable to understand their "foreign accents". "
YES!!11 GO CANADIAN OTTERS!!!
YES!!11 GO CANADIAN OTTERS!!!