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Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley

GUEST,Jeremy Button 04 Mar 14 - 07:52 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Mar 14 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Jeremy Button 04 Mar 14 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,Jeremy Button 04 Mar 14 - 11:13 AM
Jim McLean 04 Mar 14 - 12:49 PM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 14 - 12:59 PM
Jim McLean 04 Mar 14 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Jeremy Button 04 Mar 14 - 03:11 PM
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Subject: The Piper of Paisley
From: GUEST,Jeremy Button
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 07:52 AM

James McIntosh was born in Paisley, Scotland. He died in 1974 at 87 years. He was winner of national bagpipe contests in Scotland in 1905 and 1906. He moved to the U.S. in 1910. He started his own bagpipe band in Kearney, NJ called the New Jersey Scottish Highlanders during WWI. This band toured with John Philip Sousa's band in the U.S. and abroad on bond drives. The poem below was written about him as a young man and published the local Paisley paper. I also have it in a book.

The Piper O' Paisley

Yestreen I saw a strapping chiel
Wha played the bagpipes unco weel,
Th' bluid gaed coursing thro' ma veins
While listening to the stirring strains,
I sat entranced and couldna speak,
Ensconced beside the ingle cheek;
The 'oors flew by on golden wing
While Fancy, soaring, had her fling.

He skillful played the martial march
Till voices answered frae each arch,
Flooding thro' space wild melody
In surging swell and peeling cry
The quick strathspey was fingered weel,
But faster still each rousing reel,
It fairly pit me fidging, fain
Frae dancing I could scarce refrain.

Enchanted wi' the joyous sound,
The feet kept leaping from the ground;
Amazed, I watched the fingers slim
Like lightning over the chanter skim.
Unseen, they danced frae key to key
Too fast for mortal eyes tae see;
M'Crimmon's shade looked down w' joy
Enraptured wi' his piper boy.

Oblivious to all around,
Wi' bated breath, wi' awe profound,
While aerial spirits loudly sang
The triumphs of each Gaelic clan
I saw them all as in a dream,
Resplendent dressed in tartan, green,
Attend that minstrel as he crowned
Young Jamie 'mid the vocal sound

While plaudits rent the listening air,
He threw o'er him, his youthful heir,
The mantle of undying fame,
And said, "Be worthy of my name."
There never was in Scotia fair,
A piper with thee to compare;
Of Highland bards you now are king,
O'er minstrelsy you reign supreme.

I rubbed my een – yes, it was true,
They slowly melt and fade frae view;
Unconsciously he plays away
Beneath the wreath of laurel bays.
Ah, M'Intosh, sae young and clever,
That happy night forget I'll never;
Till grisly Death shall intervene,
I will remain yer dearest freen'.

ARCHIBALD M'PHEE
3 Oakshaw Brae
Paisley

Note- "The Braes ' Gleniffer," Paisley, Scotland was the scene of the above inspiration when "Paisely's Own Poet," Archibald McPhee, in the gloaming of a Summer day in July 1903, was resting beside the burn or stream trickling down to the "bonnie wee well." With historical "Stanley Castle" in view, the heather in bloom and the high trees with their summer splendure, swaying gracefully, the subject of the poem James McIntosh, then seventeen years of age, was playing the bagpipes, earnestly, modest and with little effort at the foot of the "braes." He did not know he was playing his way into the heart and fancy of the genial poet, who composed and printed the above to show his feelings and friendship fro the boy he called "The Piper o' Paisley."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 08:59 AM

There is a Facebook page about James McIntosh, the Piper of Paisley.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: GUEST,Jeremy Button
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 10:54 AM

His sons went to Rutgers and share some wonderful stories about James in these interviews and also about growing up in Kearney, NJ "Little Paisley" as children of a Scottish immigrant. Their mom was from Ireland.

http://oralhistory.rutgers.edu/interviewees/30-interview-html-text/395-mcintosh-frank

http://oralhistory.rutgers.edu/interviewees/30-interview-html-text/394-mcintosh-michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: GUEST,Jeremy Button
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 11:13 AM

I do not have much info about the poet, Archibald M'Phee, although I was in contact with one of his descendents. If anybody has info in him or other poems, I'd live to see it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 12:49 PM

Jeremy, I was born and brought up in Paisley and as a young man I taught myself the pipes by walking up and down on the flat road at the top of the Braes, not far from The Bonnie Wee Well, possible in the same spot as James McIntosh.
I don't know of Archibald McFee, but an uncle of my mother's lived in 3 Oakshaw Brae, round about 1940s, I remember visiting him. Years later, my father, brother and I had a TV aerial company and we found a large paper pattern for a weaving machine in the attic of 3 Oakshaw Brae and gave it to Paisley museum.
My father was a minor poet in Paisley and corresponded for a time with Thomas Barbour who was born in Paisley in 1895 and eventually settled in Kearney!
Both Thomas and my father are dead now, but I have a collection of poems titled Poems of a Paisley Exile by Thomas Barbour.
Lots of coincidences!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 12:59 PM

Calling himself "Paisley's Own Poet", as though Tannahill had never existed, took some nerve.

On the strength of that piece McPhee was no Tannahill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 01:11 PM

There is a saying that if you fling a stone up in the air in Paisley, it will land on a poet. The facility to rhyme is actually a curse and leads to so much sentimental doggerel. The poems of Thomas Barbour and my father's to some extent were of this nature. I may have slipped into it myself now and again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Piper of Paisley
From: GUEST,Jeremy Button
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 03:11 PM

James is my great great uncle so I'm biased. Not sure if it was the poet was calling himself "Paisley's Own" or if it was the paper that published it at the time. In any case Mr. Tannahill's title is clearly not threatened. ;)


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