strathspey Archive: McPherson-formerly Strathspey

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McPherson-formerly Strathspey

Message 5457 · Benjamin Stein · 7 Nov 1996 17:09:49 · Top

To add to Ian's comment. Actually the North American equivalent of this story is
the French Canadian "Hangman's Reel" (direct translation from the French "Reel
of the Hanged One).

This story goes that a Fiddler was condemned to be hanged. The Sheriff had an
old fiddle that hadn't been tuned in years and was an ardent admirer of fiddle
music. He promised the prisoner that if he could play a good reel on that
fiddle, without re-tuning it, he would comute the sentence. He picked the fiddle
up and played the now famous Hangman's Reel. The now deceased Jean Carignan was
well known for playing this Reel, but only as the last number, often an encore,
at a concert. He said it took to much time to tune the fiddle for the special
tuning of the Hangman's Reel and then to retune it for standard play to do
another number after it.

Find a recording of the Hangman's Reel (Reel de Pondeau -my French spelling may
be wildly off base). It is a great tune.

Ben Stein
102510.477@Compuserve.Com

McPherson-formerly Strathspey

Message 5462 · William Crawford · 7 Nov 1996 18:49:08 · Top

In message <961107150745_102510.477_HHM51-1@CompuServe.COM>
Benjamin Stein <102510.477@CompuServe.COM> writes:
...cut...
> Find a recording of the Hangman's Reel...It is a great tune.
> Ben Stein

It is a great tune, and surprisingly enough is available from....
yes you guessed - Highlander Music. Aly Bain plays it superbly on his
first album, along with lots of other great stuff!

William

--
William Crawford
highlander.music@zetnet.co.uk
Unit 7D, Muir of Ord Ind. Est., Ross-shire, Scotland. IV6 7UA
Tel: 01463 871422 Fax: 01463871433

McPherson-formerly Strathspey

Message 5464 · Gerry Gray · 7 Nov 1996 22:16:04 · Top

Benjamin Stein wrote:

> The now deceased Jean Carignan was
> well known for playing this Reel, but only as the last number, often an encore,
> at a concert. He said it took to much time to tune the fiddle for the special
> tuning of the Hangman's Reel and then to retune it for standard play to do
> another number after it.

Your mention of Jean Carignan brings back many memories. Between 1967-70, I
danced to him in Les Feux-Follets, Canada's national folk ensemble. He was
incredible. I never danced the hornpipe like that again. His music made me sail!

He also had a way of making the fiddle sound like the pipes. Mind you, we were all
a few sheets to the wind by the time he would ever demonstrate this, so...

It's a pity his name is not better known in the Scottish community.

- Gerry

McPherson-formerly Strathspey

Message 5472 · Gerry Gray · 8 Nov 1996 14:26:30 · Top

William Crawford wrote:

> > Find a recording of the Hangman's Reel...It is a great tune.
> > Ben Stein

Jean Carignan - or 'TiJean' (Little John) as he was known, made at least
one recording of the Hangman's Reel. I have it. Unfortunately the record
has a skip. No guessing where the skip is. I'm not sure if it appeared on
any other of his other recordings.

- Gerry

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