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Chord Req: Hector the Hero

JenBurdoo 12 Apr 16 - 01:44 PM
Jack Campin 12 Apr 16 - 01:54 PM
GUEST 12 Apr 16 - 02:32 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Apr 16 - 05:11 PM
Tattie Bogle 12 Apr 16 - 07:31 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Apr 16 - 08:08 PM
leeneia 12 Apr 16 - 08:42 PM
Jack Campin 12 Apr 16 - 09:13 PM
Will Fly 13 Apr 16 - 03:42 AM
Will Fly 13 Apr 16 - 03:47 AM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 16 - 06:26 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Apr 16 - 06:32 AM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 16 - 06:52 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Apr 16 - 06:58 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Apr 16 - 07:02 AM
Will Fly 13 Apr 16 - 07:31 AM
Harry Rivers 13 Apr 16 - 08:11 AM
Will Fly 13 Apr 16 - 08:23 AM
Rob Naylor 13 Apr 16 - 11:49 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Apr 16 - 12:18 PM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 16 - 12:20 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Apr 16 - 12:32 PM
Will Fly 13 Apr 16 - 02:09 PM
meself 13 Apr 16 - 02:26 PM
Tattie Bogle 13 Apr 16 - 07:57 PM
JenBurdoo 13 Apr 16 - 09:34 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 16 - 04:03 AM
Will Fly 14 Apr 16 - 04:37 AM
Jack Campin 14 Apr 16 - 05:40 AM
Will Fly 14 Apr 16 - 08:41 AM
leeneia 14 Apr 16 - 10:54 AM
Will Fly 14 Apr 16 - 11:08 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Apr 16 - 11:22 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Apr 16 - 11:45 AM
Rob Naylor 14 Apr 16 - 02:38 PM
Will Fly 14 Apr 16 - 02:42 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 16 - 05:34 PM
Rob Naylor 15 Apr 16 - 05:57 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 01:44 PM

Looking for the guitar chords for Hector the Hero by J. Scott Skinner. I've heard the lyrics to it and would like to try playing. Thanks!

Lament him, ye mountains of Ross-shire;
Your tears be the dew and the rain;
Ye forests and straths, let the sobbing winds
Unburden your grief and pain.
Lament him, ye warm-hearted clansmen,
And mourn for a kinsman so true
The pride of the Highlands, the valiant MacDonald
Will never come back to you.

O, wail for the mighty in battle,
Loud lift ye the Coronach strain;
For Hector, the Hero, of deathless fame,
Will never come back again.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 01:54 PM

Skinner first published it with a piano accompaniment.

Skinner's manuscript

Will that do?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 02:32 PM

http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www.alfwarnock.info/alfs/abc/alfwaltz/0048

Last time I posted regarding chords you didn't seem to go back to the thread. I hope you do this time.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 05:11 PM

Chords? Tommy Peoples recorded a fine unaccompanied version on his album The Quiet Glen.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 07:31 PM

As shown in the original manuscript, the original key is A: very nice if played in the lower register first time round then up into the higher octave for second time round.
However, to suit whistle players and those who can't go so low, it is often played in D. I have a 3-part arrangement in D, with chords, for 2 treble instruments + cello: if you want it, just send me a pm with your email address


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 08:08 PM

Tattie Bogle, that is a good scheme for playing the tune on a Paddy Richter-tuned A harmonica. Best not to keep repeating the parts in the high octave every time; spice it with a bit of variation and some high-octave. I don't think the old boy would have minded!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 08:42 PM

I have a song by this name in G and 3/4 time. I'm going to note the chords and the number of beats, so G3 means three strums in G if playing rhythm guitar. That takes care of one measure.

The song starts with two pick-up notes. Then:

G3 C3 D3 D3
G3 C3 D3 D3
G3 C3 G2C1 G3 G3
D3 G3-G3

B part

C3 G3 D3 D3
C3 C3 D3 G3 C3 G2C1 G3
G3 D3 G3-G2

The song has many measures where a half note is followed by two eighths. The the accompaniment gets softer on the two eighths.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 09:13 PM

Skinner's MS says it's suitable for the pipes, and it is often performed on them. In which case, we don't need no steenkin chords. Just an A drone.

I just noticed the date on the MS. Two days after Macdonald's suicide, and with a marginal note saying "for immediate publication". It was crisis music if ever anything was.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 03:42 AM

The Macdonald affair truly showed the disgusting side of the establishment of the time. 30,000 people turned up at his funeral - to show their admiration for a great soldier.

and thanks for the web page, Jack - I've copied it down. Nice to get the original tune from the source.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 03:47 AM

I notice from the MSS that the tune is marked as a lament. What tempo, i.e. how slowly, would you recommend it to be played?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 06:26 AM

I prefer about 3/8=40. Sessions tend to go a bit faster, but it isn't my idea of a good session tune.

Here are the full words (which I have never heard sung):

HECTOR THE HERO

Lament him, ye mountains of Ross-shire;
Your tears be the dew and the rain;
Ye forests and straths, let the sobbing winds
Unburden your grief and pain.
Lament him, ye warm-hearted clansmen,
And mourn for a kinsman so true
The pride of the Highlands, the valiant MacDonald
Will never come back to you.

       O, wail for the mighty in battle,
       Loud lift ye the Coronach strain;
       For Hector, the Hero, of deathless fame,
       Will never come back again.

Lament him, ye sons of old Scotia,
Ye kinsmen on many a shore;
A patriot-warrior, fearless of foe,
Has fallen to rise no more.
O cherish his triumph and glory
On Omdurman's death-stricken plain,
His glance like the eagle's, his heart like the lion's
His laurels a nation's gain.

       O, wail for the mighty in battle,
       Loud lift ye the Coronach strain;
       For Hector, the Hero, of deathless fame,
       Will never come back again.

O rest thee, brave heart, in thy slumber,
Forgotten shall ne'er be thy name;
The love and the mercy of Heaven be thine;
Our love thou must ever claim.
To us thou art Hector the Hero,
The chivalrous, dauntless, and true;
The hills and the glens, and the hearts of a nation,
Re-echo the wail for you.

       O, wail for the mighty in battle,
       Loud lift ye the Coronach strain;
       For Hector, the Hero, of deathless fame,
       Will never come back again.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 06:32 AM

Scott-Skinner repeats the first part an octave higher but doesn't show a repeat for the second part. Have a listen to Tommy Peoples with the Bothy Band in 1975 on YouTube (the one with an extra "e" on "Drumblair!") which they play with a reasonably steady metre (and no chords!). On The Quiet Glen he plays it without a discernible metre, both valid approaches though the latter is tricky to carry off convincingly. The tune can sound rather worthy, a bit four-square, if played with a rock-steady slow tempo with lots of strumming...wanna borrow my t-shirt...? 😉

We non-purist hairy-arses always played it as the first in a set of three A tunes, following Hector The Hero with the Laird Of Drumblair and Devil Among The Tailors.

Hector fell from grace somewhat over a homosexuality scandal, and ended up shooting himself, despite his distinguished war record in the Boer Wars (sheesh!). We have a contemporaneous local Boer War hero from around here who also fell from grace, more likely in his case because he was a bumbling fool, General Redvers Buller. There's an impressive bronze statue of him on horseback in Exeter, and our nearest pub is named after him. Wouldn't mind betting that he and Hector crossed paths.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 06:52 AM

Here is Skinner himself playing it.

https://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/music/cd214a.mp3

I suspect the wobble at the end is a recording artifact.

The accompaniment is a stark sequence of unelaborated chords. Skinner liked his accompanists to keep it simple, and it certainly works here.

Redvers Buller was in overall command at the Battle of Magersfontein, where Macdonald was wounded and General Andrew Wauchope was killed (maybe the highest-ranking casualty of the Boer War). It wasn't exactly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but it wasn't a brilliant piece of planning to launch an infantry attack across a river into rough ground during a thunderstorm with no maps, no idea where the enemy was and so much iron ore in the ground that compasses didn't work.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 06:58 AM

I might have to take back my remarks about octaves and repeats, having just looked at Jack's link again. The version I have is printed in a book of Scott-Skinner pieces called The Scottish Violinist ("as Composed and Arranged by J. Scott-Skinner, The Greatest Exponent of our National Music" [sic]), and is laid out as I described. It departs considerably from the handwritten version. There are no explanatory notes anywhere in the book.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 07:02 AM

Sounds a bit like Gallipoli, where my Great-uncle Jimmy died.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for the info, Jack. I copied the Skinner MS and worked out fingering for tenor guitar. I decided to record it as a slow lament (the music has "coronach" written on it) and without chords. I think it works well with nothing behind it. I have what I think is a rather sickly version of it on my "Transatlantic Sessions 3" DVD set, played by Jenna Reid with accompaniment by Phil Cunningham Mi>et al. They're great players, but I think they play it too sweetly, personally.

Anyway, here's my humble effort:

Hector The Hero


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Harry Rivers
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 08:11 AM

I've always enjoyed Transatlantic Sessions but (and this is just my personal taste) there can be a tendency to get as many people playing as possible which can ruin the simplicity of some tunes.

Danny Thompson's comments at the end of this suggest to me that I'm not the only one who thinks this:

John Martyn - Solid Air

Jenna Reid's version of Hector on her "With Silver and All" album is much better.

Harry


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 08:23 AM

My YT upload screwed up the audio/video synch - I'll try again later.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 11:49 AM

Will Fly :I notice from the MSS that the tune is marked as a lament. What tempo, i.e. how slowly, would you recommend it to be played?

This is the speed Jenna Reid plays it at:

Jenna Reid Hector The Hero


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 12:18 PM

Soupy accompaniment....


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 12:20 PM

Phil Cunningham's lounge-lizard maundering on the piano is way out of place there. The bass and dobro players have more taste and restraint.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 12:32 PM

Absolutely. I've just listened again to that 1975 Bothies version on YouTube, the whole track. Rough edges abounding, but a bloody object lesson. That'll do me!

Can the words "dobro" and "taste" ever be inserted into the same sentence? 😳


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 02:09 PM

Quite. As I said in a previous post:

...a rather sickly version of it on my "Transatlantic Sessions 3" DVD set, played by Jenna Reid with accompaniment by Phil Cunningham Mi>et al. They're great players, but I think they play it too sweetly, personally.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: meself
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 02:26 PM

This is more the way I like to hear it: Richard MacDonald. But then, I'm funny that way.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 07:57 PM

Chacun a son gout as they say. I personally like Jenna's version and her slower pace - and the accompaniment, but I also liked the Richard Macdonald rendition. It also sounds beautiful on cello.

There are some pretty awful bagpipe versions on YouTube: nothing much wrong with the actual piping but they all seem compelled to put in swirly synth keyboard as a backing: if you can stand it, look at the YouTube of Edinburgh Miltary Tattoo 2015 to see what I mean ( + screechy whistle too!): you'll not get to the end of it! Phil Cunningham on grand piano eminently preferable to that any time.

The first version I ever heard of this tune was by Scottish folk/rock band "Wolfstone" in the early 90s: then I had no idea that it was by Scott Skinner, or who he was, or any of the sad background story. I just enjoyed the tune for what it was (even if now I note that they'd played around a bit with the first half of the tune.) You have one of the finest fiddlers ever, Duncan Chisholm, playing the tune, with Ivan Drever on guitar: then about 2 minutes in, it all goes wild. Don't know what JSS would think, but I love it!

It is often requested to be played at funerals in Scotland: and have twice had to do this. You can't keep a good tune down.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 13 Apr 16 - 09:34 PM

Wow, heck of a response! Thank you all. I learned it from North Sea Gas as a song. They play it fairly quickly, and I stayed with that. Worked out chords on my own in D before coming back to this thread, though dissimilar to most of the ones suggested:

Cho:
O, [G]wail for the mighty in [D]battle,
Loud [G]lift ye the [D]Coronach [A]strain;
For [G]Hector, the Hero, of [D]deathless [G]fame,
Will [D]never come [A]back [D]again.

Verses:
[D]Lament him, ye [G]mountains of [D]Ross-shire;
Your tears be the [G]dew and the [A]rain;
[D]Ye forests and [G]straths, let the [D]sobbing [G]winds
Un[D]burden your [A]grief and [D]pain.

Here's my recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6BrllwgJ08

Leeneia's is quite workable as well, though I had trouble keeping the beat and dropped some of the chords to stick with the tempo. Maybe I'm just not reading it right?

Sorry to GUEST; There's of course never a reason not to return to this awesome site more frequently!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 04:03 AM

Steve Shaw: "Can the words "dobro" and "taste" ever be inserted into the same sentence?"

Given that it's Jerry Douglas, I would say "yes"...

I haven't viewed much of the video, but the bass player for those programs is often the magnificent Danny Thompson...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 04:37 AM

Danny T was on several of the Transatlantic Sessions - but not on this one (Series 3). There have been many discussions about the series over the years. I was a fan of the earlier ones - up to about Series 3, say - but my interest waned as they seemed to have less character and became more sweetly concert-hall like in character. Just a personal opinion, you understand.

The rather soupy (IMO) backing to Jenna Reid's playing on "Hector the Hero" is a case in point.

I went to the live TS concert at the Festival Hall in, I think, early 2015. Jerry Douglas - a player I've always admired - did a 7-8 minute dobro solo as the first spot after the interval. Alas, one of the most boring parts of the concert - though I'm sure others will disagree!

Late last year I saw three of the TS regulars - Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle - at a local concert venue. That was a magnificent evening. Nothing soupy about it - and I wish the TS would get back to that small session feel.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 05:40 AM

I learned it from North Sea Gas as a song.

North Sea Gas's current fiddler, Grant Simpson, knows Skinner's style inside out from growing up in the North-East. If they do an instrumental version it'll be worth hearing.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 08:41 AM

If anyone's interested, I've re-loaded the piece (for solo tenor guitar) on to YouTube...

Hector the Hero


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 10:54 AM

Why criticize others' soupiness? The recording which Jack provided on April 16th is by the composer himself, and it's quite soupy.

Jen, I think you should listen to the composer's recording and make sure you have the tune right.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 11:08 AM

Skinner's playing is of its time, with quite a bit of portamento, but the piano chords are quite stark - and it was the backing to Jenna Reid's playing that I personally didn't care for, not her playing.

You could, of course, say, why criticize anything ever? I think we're entitled to say whether we think something is good, bad or indifferent - as long as we make it clear that it's a personal opinion. Everyone has likes and dislikes, and it would be a pity if we couldn't voice them - politely, of course, and with reasons.

Mention of dodgy bagpipe versions of the tune have been mentioned above - but I like this one, done on the Scottish smallpipes, very much:

Hector the Hero - Stephen MacNeil


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 11:22 AM

Agree completely with Will. Jenna's playing is lovely, but the pudding is over-egged.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 11:45 AM

Also, we're on dodgy ground if we always assume that a composer's recordings of his own work are definitive. Before the age of recording that wasn't conceivable in any case. Scott-Skinner was a complex and temperamental fellow who was involved in dance, traditional and classical performance and composition. His long life saw out the end of the Romantic period and the start of what we could loosely term the modern era. As Will touches on, playing styles were evolving. I have lots of classical recordings from the 20s and 30s which are full of portamento that would raise eyebrows today. Scott-Skinner's own recordings are of interest and good points of reference, but I can't think for a minute that he wouldn't have wanted performers down the years to make his pieces their own.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 02:38 PM

Sorry Will, I was n Abu Dhabi when I posted, and for some reason only a sub-set of the thread came up, so didn't see that you'd already referred to Jenna Reid's TS version.

Agree with your point about TS "going off the boil" a bit after TS3. There are still a couple of bits of the TS4 sessions that capture the original spirit but I haven't bothered buying any of the subsequent CDs/ DVDs.

I went to one of the Festival Hall TS nights, but it was probably a couple of years before you (2012 maybe) and was a brilliant gig....then drove up to Derbyshire the next night to see Russ Barenberg play solo to an audience of 55 in the back of a pub, which was even better!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 02:42 PM

I remember you going to see Russ B - lucky devil!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 16 - 05:34 PM

Oh well, maybe I'm alone in liking "soupiness" in slow airs, but Jenna's version really does it for me. Therefore guessing most of you wouldn't like our band's version: far too much soupy piano (me!)
Re chords, If playing it in D, we do put in the odd Bm instead if some of the Gs, e.g. at the start of the "chorus" on the word "wail" and again on the high D towards the end (on the word "fame".)


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Hector the Hero
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Apr 16 - 05:57 AM

Will: If anyone's interested, I've re-loaded the piece (for solo tenor guitar) on to YouTube...

Very nice....lovely touch, "tolling the bell" for him at the end!


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