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30th June; A little night music

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30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:40 pm



He had planned this all out carefully. When the army halted for the night, there was just enough time to bolt down a bit of bread and cheese before collecting his necessary kit and hurrying off. By rights, he should include his own company in this venture, but there were some things that were best shared with a much wider audience.

Thus, with his shako tipped rakishly back on his head and his jacket carefully folded and lying on the ground, the lad went about the business of setting up shop. He was in between several bivouacs, as best he could manage, where more than one regiment would be able to both see and hear him. This was of course the point of the whole exercise. One of the 33rd's drummers, a chubby-faced lad from Leicester, was hurrying up to join him, his drum clutched in both hands.

The two young musicians shared a long moment's conference over the evening's program before exchanging grins and preparing their respective instruments. With luck, they would shortly have an audience. Even if not, they were determined to enjoy themselves. There were curious looks directed their way, however, and the young Coldstreamer reckoned things would turn out according to plan. This was going to be good.

The drummer from the 33rd rattled his sticks together before beginning to play, and the Coldstreamer joined him a beat later with his fife. O'Carolan's Medley was a good piece to open with.


Last edited by Keiju on Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:05 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Date adjustment)
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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:40 pm



The outbreak of music not far from the 33rd's camp was unusual enough to warrant investigation, once he'd seen to serving Mister Cobb's dinner. He had eaten almost as soon as the orders to fall out for the night were given.

Two lads were the source of the music. One of them was from the 33rd, McIntyre noted with a slight grin. It took a moment to identify the second lad, who had stripped out of his jacket, but the spotless state of his clothes provided a hint as to which regiment he belonged to.

"What's all this then?" Corporal Foxcroft wanted to know, ambling up to join McIntyre. "A concert in Hyde Park?"

McIntyre shrugged. "Maybe so, but it's not bad, is it? Give us a hornpipe then, you lads!"

The two musicians grinned at each other and paused a moment to confer before launching into the next piece. It was Fisher's Hornpipe, by the sound of it.
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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:35 am



There were a few other soldiers beginning to drift closer, drawn as much by the sight of Corporal Foxcroft's dancing as by the music being played. The varying colours of the adults' jacket facings suggested that the musicians' plan was working as they'd hoped.

Both lads paused a moment once the second piece ended, exchanging grins. It was one thing for them to beat the march day after day. It was entirely another to have chances like this to play simply because they could.

"Rickett's Hornpipe!" The fifer called, then settled his instrument to his lips.
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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:45 pm



The younger Irishman cut a fine figure, capering about with enviable agility. Another corporal, from the Fifth, had appeared to join Foxcroft in his dancing, and it seemed that the slowly growing crowd of onlookers were waffling between standing back and joining in.

For his part, McIntyre was content to simply watch. His dancing days were well behind him. Besides, he thought cheerfully, it was not every day the army had a proper skylarking!

"Drops of Brandy!" McIntyre called, as the two young musicians paused for breath. The lads grinned at each other and launched straight into the requested piece. A couple men in the watching crowd cheered.

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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:45 am



This was turning out almost better than he'd expected. A couple of men were dancing and more had come to join the crowd of onlookers. This was what music was about, the lad thought happily. The only way this could improve was for him to get his hands on a fiddle. Or for somebody to turn up with a fair voice. That would be simply aces.

He and his companion took a short pause for breath once Drops of Brandy had finished, then, with a grin, he called out, "Durang's Hornpipe!"

And they launched into the piece with a will.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Lily Connors, camp follower, 27th Regiment of Foot
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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Beatrice Hunter on Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:06 pm

It was unusual to say the least, most nights the camps were filled with a clattering array of voices, the occasional clink of metal joined by the whinnying of horses; all rising and falling together in the chaotic melody of life on the march. Tonight however Beatrice was surprised to hear the usual proceedings with an overlay of music, and like many others, wound her way over to join the gathering crowd.

It was simple, two of the younger boys playing their hearts out to the assembled crowd. Some dancing, some content to stand back and simply enjoy the music. There was little Bea could do to stop herself grinning, it had been a long time since she'd had the pleasure of such as sight. It wasn't long before she was clapping along with the rest.

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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:30 am



This was a piece he'd not heard before, but some of the younger lads apparently had. Or at least they danced to it with a will. Either way, the lads - and lasses, now - in the crowd were enjoying themselves.

"C'mon then, you laggards, jig!" Corporal Foxcroft called cheerfully, pausing to sweep his arms around to encompass the crowd. "S'what music's for!"

McIntyre grinned but remained where he was. His days of dancing for crowds were long over. Anyway, the current piece ended and there was, again, a pause so the two young musicians could catch their wind.

After a moment, the fifer waved his instrument in the air. "Twa Recruitin' Sergeants! If you lot knows the tune, let's hear it sung!"
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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Beatrice Hunter on Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:34 am

The two musicians launched into their next piece with relish. With a few of the men beginning to sing along to the tune which rang faintly in Beatrice’s memory: she’d heard a few of the men from the 33rd of Foot singing it on occasion. Although it took a few bars before the lyrics came back to her.

The Scottish dialect sounded peculiar in her English accent, but her voice was clear and fair enough as she added her voice to the throng:

”Enlist my bonnie laddie and come awa with me.
Oh laddie ye dinna ken the danger that yer in.
If yer horses was to fleg, and yer owsen was to rin...”


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Re: 30th June; A little night music

Post  Keiju on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:35 am



It probably wouldn't have taken very much prompting for this lot to sing, the lad thought, and he was glad for the rough chorus of voices. He'd never admit it but this was one of his favourite tunes.

One of the few women in the crowd was singing as well, the sure clarity of her voice standing out nicely. A kilted corporal near her seemed to have a fine sound to him also. Grinning around his fife, the lad played on.

"This greedy ole farmer, he wouldna pay yer fee.
Sae 'list my bonnie laddie and come awa wi' me.
And 'tis over the mountain and over the Main,
Through Gibraltar, to France and Spain..."

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Michael Bright, Soldat, 86ème Régiment de la Ligne
Stéphane Proulx, Soldat, 86ème Régiment de la Ligne
James Todd, Surgeon, 3rd Company, 5th Battalion, 60th Rifles
David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Elijah Peters, Private, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Pip Mayfield, Drummer, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Lily Connors, camp follower, 27th Regiment of Foot
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