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Origins: Hector the Hero

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Hector MacDonald (3)
Chord Req: Hector the Hero (38)


Mikey joe 22 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM
SINSULL 22 Sep 00 - 09:18 AM
Jeri 22 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM
Mikey joe 22 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM
Mikey joe 22 Sep 00 - 09:21 AM
Jeri 22 Sep 00 - 09:27 AM
Mbo 22 Sep 00 - 10:10 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 22 Sep 00 - 11:03 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 22 Sep 00 - 11:07 AM
Barry T 22 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Sep 00 - 12:57 AM
gillymor 23 Sep 00 - 07:51 AM
Giac 23 Sep 00 - 09:25 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Sep 00 - 02:58 PM
Mo the caller 04 Jan 19 - 06:10 PM
Jack Campin 04 Jan 19 - 09:18 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jan 19 - 11:34 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jan 19 - 11:56 PM
Stanron 05 Jan 19 - 09:10 AM
Jack Campin 05 Jan 19 - 11:13 AM
Tattie Bogle 05 Jan 19 - 07:35 PM
Jack Campin 05 Jan 19 - 08:38 PM
Gallus Moll 05 Jan 19 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 06 Jan 19 - 02:48 PM
Mo the caller 06 Jan 19 - 02:58 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jan 19 - 07:04 PM
Jack Campin 08 Jan 19 - 06:40 AM
GUEST 08 Jan 19 - 07:41 AM
Rob Naylor 08 Jan 19 - 10:10 AM
Will Fly 08 Jan 19 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Jan 19 - 01:25 PM
Gallus Moll 08 Jan 19 - 02:52 PM
Tattie Bogle 08 Jan 19 - 04:10 PM
Jack Campin 09 Jan 19 - 08:09 AM
Tattie Bogle 09 Jan 19 - 12:28 PM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 19 - 02:44 PM
Jack Campin 09 Jan 19 - 03:06 PM
Mrrzy 11 Jan 19 - 06:04 AM
Thompson 11 Jan 19 - 11:01 AM
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Subject: Hector the Hero
From: Mikey joe
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM

Can anyone tell me the story behind Hector in the tune Hector the Hero?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:18 AM

I don't know the lyrics and they are not in the DT. Is this Hector, the hero of Troy who slew Patroclus and was killed by Achilles? If so, check out The Aeneid by Virgil. Great reading.


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM

Hector the Hero was written by J. Scott Skinner. Hector A. MacDonald was a Major General who had had an illustrius career, which included numerous decorations and being Aide de Campe (sp?) to Queen Victoria. He was accused of being homosexual in 1903 and committed suicide.


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Mikey joe
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM

Sorry it ain't a song it's a tune. Hector was Scottish who for some reason or other was a hero. I was wondering why Cheers


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Mikey joe
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:21 AM

thanks Jeri


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:27 AM

Major-General Hector A. MacDonald

1857 - Born in the Black Ilse
1870 - Enlisted in 92nd Gordon Highlanders
1879 - Served as a colour-sergeant in the Afghan War
1880 - Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant at end of Afghan War
1881 - Mentioned in despatches in 1st Boer Ware, South Africa
1885 - Led military expedition up Nile (Sudan)
1888 - Took part in Battle of Sunkin (Sudan)
1889 - Won Distinguished Service Order (DSO) medal (Sudan service)
1891 - Took part in Battle of Tokar (Sudan)
1896 - Led 2nd Infantry Brigade - the Dunglen Expeditionary Force (Sudan).
--Was now a Brigadier-General. May have been promoted about this time.
1897/98 - Khartoum - Battle of Omdurman
1898 - ADC (Ade de Camp) to the Queen (Victoria)
1899 - Served as a Brigadier-General in Sirhind area of India
1900 - Served as a Major-General with Highland Brigade in South Africa
1901 - Knighted
1902 - Served as a Major-General with forces in Ceylon
1903 - Accused of being a homosexual. Committed suicide.

Sources: Campbell, David, "Major-Gneral Hector A. MacDonald", Douglas Howard, London, 1903. Chambers Biographical Dictionary.

--From a post to the Scots (e-mail)List by Nigel Gatherer. (Someone else posted it initially.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 10:10 AM

I just heard the Black Watch play Hector the Hero last weekend. Great tune. And they explained the story behind it to us as well...a lot less detailed than Jeri's info! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:03 AM

I'm sorry to say you're wrong, but there IS a song called Hector the Hero, meant to be sung to the tune by J Scott Skinner.

http://www.geocities.com/~george_seto/hector.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:07 AM

I originally got the lyrics and information from "Zoe Alexander" at this site

http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/paw/tunes/hector.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Barry T
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM

For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the tune, here is a midi. This may not fit the lyrics George has provided, as the midi is patterned after the way I play it on the pipes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 12:57 AM

Barry, it sounds wonderful.

The first two or three times I tried putting the words to the music, it was hard, but it's second nature to me to lengthen at the right places.


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: gillymor
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 07:51 AM

Thanks Jeri, Barry and George. Knowing the background to this sad and beautiful tune really adds to it's poignance. Now I've got to sit down and learn it off Barry's excellent midi.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Giac
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 09:25 AM

Thanks, Barry, this has just become my newest "favorite" tune.

Appreciate the info, too, as I hadn't heard of either the tune or the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 02:58 PM

It's one of the most beautiful tunes ever, on fiddle or pipe.

There is another tune as lovely, but even older. See if you know Niel Gow's Lament for his Second Wife. Check out on a search, the MIDI file is available in many spots. As usual, Bruce T's is probably one of the best.


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 06:10 PM

And a link to the lyrics that still works


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Subject: RE: Help: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 09:18 PM

full details on my site

There's a lot to the story.


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Subject: ADD: Hector the Hero
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 11:34 PM

HECTOR THE HERO
(Thomas McWilliamin)
(recorded by North Sea Gas)


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 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

Lament him ye sons of old Scotia
Ye kinsman on many a shore
a patriot warrior fearless of foe
has fallen to rise no more
has fallen to rise no more

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 cherish his triumph and glory
on Omdurman´s death-stricken plain
his glance like the eagle his heart like the lion
his laurel the nation´s gain

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

Lament him ye sons of old Scotia
Ye kinsman on many a shore
a patriot warrior fearless of foe
has fallen to rise no more
has fallen to rise no more

Lament him ye sons of old Scotia
Ye kinsman on many a shore
a patriot warrior fearless of foe
has fallen to rise no more
has fallen to rise no more

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

Source: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/North-Sea-Gas/Hector-the-Hero (corrected, but I'm not sure of many places)

Here's the North Sea Gas recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpX4ehBRH0A


Here's an instrumental version at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW7W0vfCFQk


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Subject: ADD: Hector the Hero (Thomas McWilliamin)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 11:56 PM

Here's a Website that has a more credible transcription of the lyrics: https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Hector_the_Hero

HECTOR THE HERO
(Thomas McWilliamin)

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.

Notes: Composed by the great Scots fiddler and composer J. Scott Skinner (1843-1927) in honor of Major-General Sir Hector MacDonald (1857 - 1903), one of the most famous Victorian-era British military figures. MacDonald was born in the Black Ilse and at the age of thirteen enlisted in the 92 Gordon Highlanders. He came up through the ranks, serving as a color-sergeant in the Afghan War, until he was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant at the end of those hostilities. Transferred to South Africa, he was mentioned in dispatches in the 1st Boer War, and in 1885 he led a military expedition up the Nile to Sudanese territory. In 1888 he took part in the Battle of Sunkin and a year later won the Distinguished Service Order for his service in Sudan. He remained in the Sudan for the next decade, seeing action in the Battle of Tokar (1891), and leading the 2nd Infantry Brigade in the Dunglen Expeditionary Force, by which time he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General. During the next two years he took part in the battles of Khartoum and Omdurman, with which he ended his Sudan service. He subsequently served as the Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria and as a Major General with the Highland Brigade in South Africa during the Boer War. In 1901 he was knighted and the next year was stationed as Major General with British forces in Ceylon, however, in 1903 he was accused of being a homosexual and, feeling disgraced, he committed suicide.

Although the charge of homosexuality was probably true it was popularly believed by all levels of society in Scotland at the time that MacDonald had been framed. Soon after the incident Edward VII made his first visit to Scotland, though the atmosphere was decidedly chilly.

This ballad was written in 1903 by Thomas McWilliamin in the soldier's honor.

Also see The Fiddler's Companion


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Stanron
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 09:10 AM

Anyone for ABC?

X:
T:Hector the Hero
C:James Scott Skinner
S:Various
Z:Nigel Gatherer
L:1/8
M:6/8
K:D
D | F>ED BAF | A3- A2 D | F>ED BAF | E3- E2
D | F>ED BAF | A2D d2 B | ADF E2D | D3- D2 :|
F | B>cB dcB | A3- A2 F | BAF ADF | E3- E2
F | B>cB dcB | ADE F

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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 11:13 AM

He wasn't accused of being a homosexual. He was accused of having sex with two pre-pubescent boys. (He had also exposed himself to an entire railway carriage full of Boy Scouts, but it seems the army was willing to overlook that).

The Army had so many homosexual officers they could hardly have functioned without them, and they nearly all got away with it. Macdonald's behaviour suggests he was going off his trolley.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 07:35 PM

Other sources say the charges against him were never substantiated. The people of Dingwall, where he came from, saw fit to build a sizeable monument in his honour.

And, correction? Most sources give the lyricist as Thomas McWilliam - no "in" on the end!

By coincidence, I had mentioned this tune in the thread on musical discoveries and given links to 2 further versions of this tune, from the "celtic rock" by Wolfstone, to the sublime fiddle of Jenna Reid.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 08:38 PM

Of course the charges weren't substantiated - the army didn't court-martial the dead.

The cultural background seems to have been that Sinhalese Buddhists were totally indifferent to pederasty, as they still were around 1970 when Arthur C. Clarke moved to Ceylon - both of them knew an opportunity when they saw one. Unfortunately for Macdonald, that didn't apply to Catholics of Portuguese colonial descent, like the merchant da Silva whose sons Macdonald was messing about with. Da Silva went ballistic and took it to the Army top brass. Whatever the anti-Scottish biases involved, the army does deserve some credit for taking a complaint by a non-white colonial subject seriously.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 10:11 PM

I understand that Scott Skinner composed the tune as a fundraiser for Hector's widow and son - and there is more to the story regarding the way he was treated all through his career by the toffs who were bought their commissions (Hector rose through the ranks). A lot of mud was slung and i would be cautious about believing all that i read without a great deal.more research into unbiased sources!
Then there is the mystery of the box held by solicitors in Dingwall, which was to be opened after 100 years had passed.... but i think it was resealed and the contents never revealed?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 06 Jan 19 - 02:48 PM

We of course don't know for sure what the truth is but Jack is correct. Posts in the thread seemed to suggest the only charge against him was that he was a homosexual. That is not so though. The allegations were that he was a child abuser.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Mo the caller
Date: 06 Jan 19 - 02:58 PM

Tattie, not so much of a coincidence,
it was your comments in that thread that set me led me to this thread


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jan 19 - 07:04 PM

Glad you re-discovered it, Mo!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 06:40 AM

Update on his monument in Dingwall


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 07:41 AM

There's an interesting version of the tune on guitar by Jamie Snider and Tip Splinter here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMAwohQXp0Y


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 10:10 AM

I first heard it on Transatlantic Sessions about 11 years ago:

Jenna Reid Aly Bain Hector The Hero

And here's our own Will Fly playing it on tenor guitar:

Will Fly Hector The Hero


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for ressurecting that one, Rob - it's one of my favourite tunes by one of my favourite composers.

MacDOnald was known as "Fighting Mac" by his soldiers, and was incredibly popular with them, having risen through the ranks and becoming a very gallant and intelligent soldier. Unfortunately, it was that lowly beginning that rankled with the snobbish military high-ups, and there seems little doubt that, whatever his sexual proclivities, he was doubly condemned by the military hierarchy and the powers that were.

I'm told that the label on the Camp Coffee jar - an Indian servant standing by a seated army officer - is a portrait of Fighting Mac...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 01:25 PM

If the accusations of the abuse of children were correct, and there seems to be quite a bit of circumstantial evidence, Scotland can do without such hero's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 02:52 PM

When the accusations have been made by people who have attended public schools with a 'fag' system perhaps there is an element of hypocrisy here?
Unless there is solid evidence i do not think there should be rumour and speculation!
It appears The Establishment had a long campaign of harrassment against someone who was a gifted officer but had not been born with a silver spoon in his mouth.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Jan 19 - 04:10 PM

Well, here again is the heavy "Celtic rock" version that first drew me to this tune: Wolfstone, with Ivan Drever on guitar and Duncan Chisholm on electric fiddle skeleton:
Hector the Hero - Wolfstone
Of course, now I'm older and wiser, I have a marginal preference for the Jenna Reid version posted by Rob Naylor above, tho' I still listen to the Wolfstone version now and again.
My 3rd favourite version is a version on our ceilidh band CD, but would need to transfer it to Soundcloud first!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Jan 19 - 08:09 AM

I visited Macdonald's grave in the early 90s. It has a big bronze portrait bust on top. The first time I went, there was a medal ribbon tied round a projecting bit. It had gone a few years later. More touching than the memorial itself - whatever he'd done, he was some old soldier's hero still.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Jan 19 - 12:28 PM

Thanks for the update, Jack: should have visited when we did the North 500 a few months back!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 19 - 02:44 PM

Any relation to Hector Protector? Hector Protector was dressed all in green / Hector Protector was sent to the Queen / The Queen did not like him, no more did the King / So Hector Protector was sent back again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Jan 19 - 03:06 PM

I've never heard that before. Where did you get it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jan 19 - 06:04 AM

Children's rhyme. I have seen it illustrated by Sendak, I seem to remember.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hector the Hero
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Jan 19 - 11:01 AM

Reading the title too fast, saw it as Hector the Hen, which sounds much, much better.


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