Traveller's tales

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Military Tattoo, Edinburgh

Standing in the Royal Mile, waiting to be let into the Esplanade for the evening's performance of the Military Tattoo, my wife pointed to a coach load of soldiers, and said, "Turks!" The men looking out at the crowd did indeed look Turkish; they had big moustaches and dark eyes, they looked like every other man I had ever met in Turkey.

We continued to wait, and we just made it to our seats before the marching and the mass bands of pipers and drummers began the spectacle that is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The Tattoo never fails to totally take you in, and if you have any sense of British history, it brings a tear to your eye. It brought several to mine thoughout the magnificent evening.

My grandfathers had both fought in France in what they called, 'the first lot'. They served in the Black Watch and the York and Lancaster Regiment.

My father and my uncles had all served during the 2nd World War, my father serving in the Royal Navy, my Uncle Evans in the RAF Regiment, and my Uncle Randall in the Tank Corps, with Uncle Walter conscripted into the Fleet Air Arm in the years after the war.

My father in law, Erdogan Ener, my wife's father, had served in the Turkish Army in Northern Cyprus and elsewhere. Our families both have a good pedigree where fighting for one's country is concerned.

The night's entertainment proved to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of its kind, as it is for everybody who sees it.

The highlight, for both of us though, was the appearance of the Mehter Band from Turkey. Nazan had been right; the men on the coach had been Turks after all. The band played their own instruments, which, being very different from the other instruments played that night, made a very different and distinctive sound.

That sound brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. We had both travelled from Adana in southern Turkey, via Manchester to the Scottish capital, had bought tickets for the Tattoo without knowing that the Mehter Band was the guest band.

It was a most pleasant surprise for both of us and one we will remember for a long, long time.

The programme notes below helped us fill in the gaps. It was a splendid night; it always is.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo Programme 1992Scots Guards 350th Anniversary
The Raising of the Regiment
Pipes and Drummers
Pipe Round: "My Home"

Men of the 2nd Bn Scots Guards
Quick March: "Within a Mile o' Edinburgh Toon"
• • •

Fanfare trumpets from The Royal Marines

The Kevock ChoirFanfare "Argyle's Regiment" (Composed by Lt Col John Ware RM)

King Charles II is crowned at Scone with his "Life Guards of Foot" 17th Century Band (founded by the Regimental Band Scots Guards)
• • •

"3rd Guards March"

"Vivat Rex!"

The Capture of Namur

"See the Conquering Hero Comes"

The Mehter Band from Turkey
A selection of 17th and 18th Century traditional Turkish tunes
• • •

British 18th Century Band (found by the Regimental Band Scots Guards)

CombinedMarch Out
'Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie', 'Lilliburlero', 'Mehtur Vuruyor' (Sofyan Suzinak)

Colonel Bogey
The Massed Pipes and Drums

March on Slow Air

StrathspeyReelReform and March Off
The Braemar Gathering

The Dundee City Police Band

Glen Gelder

The Standard on the Braes of Mar

The Tache

The Battle of the Somme

The Heights of Dargai

Men from the 2nd Bn Scots Guards"British Grenadiers"

The CrimeaChoir
"Cheer Boys, Cheer"

"Excerpt from "Aida"
Massed Scottish Highland and Country Dancing
The Tattoo Company of Dancers accompanied by the Massed Pipes and Drums

March on:Reels: Jig:March off:Strathspeys:
Leaving Port Askaig

The High Road to Linton,

Kate Dalrymple

The Kilt is my Delight,

Jock Wilson's BallAll the Blue Bonnets are over the Border

The Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu

Miss Ada Crawford,

Because he was a Bonny Lad

Highland Whisky,

Orange and Blue

The Boer WarChoir
"Soldiers of the Queen"

The Great WarChoir
"It's a long way to Tipperary"

The Second World WarChoir
"We're gonna hang out the Washing on theSiegfired Line",

"Roll Out the Barrel",

"Run Rabbit Run"
The Royal Air Force Regiment and Airfield Action
A display by men of the Royal Auxillary Air Force
The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
A Land-Rover race with a difference.
• • •
Falkland Islands Campaign
The Battle of Tumbledown
The Massed Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines
(Under the direction of Lt Col John Ware RM)

Corps of Drums

Entry of the Pipes and Drums

Slow Troop

Entry of The Scots Guards


Set Piece
World in UnionKarajak

Green Grow the Rushes Oh!

The Meeting of the Waters

Flower of ScotlandGarb of Auld GaulHeilan'

LaddieGeneral Salute

Highland Cathedral
• • •

Auld Lang Syne

National Anthem

ChoirThe Lone Piper
Lead kindly LightDonald Blue
• • •

March off
Scotland the Brave

We're No Awa' to Bide Awa'

The Black Bear

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