Ancient War Tune of Clan MacIver/Ivor

[Coat of Arms: Clan MacIvor] Crest of Clansfolk of Clan MacIvor
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The old war tune of the MacIvers is that generally known by the first line of the words composed to it in comparatively modern times by the Piper of the Clan - Thoir dhomh mo phlob, a's theid mi dhachaidh.

An aged inhabitant of Kilmichael-Glassary, then considerably above 80, informed the writer in 1855 that even in his day no other tune was allowed to be played by wedding processions while entering the village. Any piper who did not pay this act of homage to the Clan was certain of being mobbed, and of having the wind let out of his bag-pipe in a summary manner, by the younger scions of the race. After acquitting himself of this duty, he might play any tune he pleased. It is said, however, that the pipers of other races around, by whom Clan-Iver was both feared and respected, willingly joined in recognizing this local prerogative of honour.

The song referred to is said to have been composed by the Piper in an inn in Knapdale, when his pipe was seized by the hostess for non-payment of his score.

The song and story were carried by the MacIvers to the north, and Calder, in his work on Caithness, places the scene of the anecdote and the origin of the tune in that county. The tune, however, is much older than the song, and the song than the expedition to Caithness. Its local allusions fix the place of the composition. Of this effusion, the following somewhat un________ stanzas have been preserved:

Thoir dhomh mo phiob, a's theid mi dhachaidh
'S mur faidh mi i, chadh d' theid mi dhachaidh
Ged a dho`luinn togaid fhion,
Chadh dhiultadh a phaidheadh Clann Imhear Ghlasraith.

Mhic 'Ilebhcarnaig[1] n'an cuil crion,
Nuair thig an Righ, theid cuir as duit;
Thoir dhomb &c.

Nuair ruigeas sinn tra`igh a Chrionain.
Seinnidh sin piob a's theid sinn dachaidh,
Thoir dhomb &c.

Seinnidh sin piob a's theid sinn dachaidh,
Gu tigh mo`r an urlar fharsaing;[2]
Thoir dhomb &c.

[1] McIlvernock of Obe, a small proprietor in North Knapdale, who would appear to have taken part against the piper on the occasion.

[2] Probably MacIver's Seo`mar ba`n

Campbell, Peter Colin: "Account of The Clan-Iver"
[published Aberdeen, 1873.]

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