Friday, November 16, 2007

I swear this is all true.

So, the cooler weather made me think of high school marching band, standing on the sidelines in my heavy wool uniform, waiting to take the field at half-time. I played flute, but managed to finagle my way into being the only piccolo player they'd allowed on the field in decades (a crap piccolo can ruin the whole show.) I enjoyed this power, and never abused it-- it was a matter of pride. I even got particular mentions from judges as we swept top honors at marching competitions(always on pitch!). The really cool thing, though, was that of all the band, I got away with a diminutive case small enough to stuff into a garment somewhere, and meanwhile people are lugging around these big, awkward horn cases. Don't think of me as lazy: consider me efficiency-minded. Besides, the abbreviated case fit so much better with my patented brand of sass and my general policy of never appearing to be working very hard. If only they'd known. Guillible saps. (I'll not bore you telling you about the 2-5 hours I practiced daily - for I was going to be in the Berlin Philharmonic, dammit. Is there a Berlin, Texas?)

Anyhoo, Thursday night I went on YouTUbe and watched superb vids of several military-style (we were) marching bands, most especially the impeccably sharp Aggie band. Then I ended up looking at the New Zealand Army band which is pure joy, in my opinion. Then I hopped over to some Edinburgh Tattoo videos, and finally ended up on the following delightful version of "Scotland the Brave" by the Corries, so that's how I got there. I hope you like it, too.

16 comments:

Squeaky Wheel said...

My mother? Loves the Corries.

I guess I do, by default.

I played mellophone. You wanna talk about a pain in the ass...heh.

phlegmfatale said...

squeaky W- I think they're adorable, as much as a grown man can be adorable. It's partly to do with the accent, though. Mellophone? WOw - that HAD to be heavy - I believe you - it HAD to be a pain in the ass. Oh well, the crap we'll get suckered into when we're young, eh?

Christina said...

Funny, though I wish I got more of the references in the song.

Thanks for the (marching band) memories! One more HS marching band season to go for Silver, then it's the Pride of the North Marching Band at UND in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

DBA Dude said...

Great find Phlegmmy, remember seeing them when I was a young loon in the hills - that fair took me back to my youth!

lainy said...

What a funny delight.

I just loved them.

Thanks.

phlegmfatale said...

christina - well, I think the guy singing is a lawyer, hence the humor of the line "counselors with part-time jobbies" and is the other guy an architect? "architects with paying hobbies?" I think I've got most of it. I should do a translation as I understand it and then let Scotsman DBA Dude correct me.

dba dude - That's got to be a warm down-home memory. They're so clever and talented. I love people who make music for the mere joy of itself. Forget the multi-million$ extravaganzas.

lainy - aren't they adorable? I love them, too.

Buck Pennington said...

Excellent! And funny... (I got most of it.)

I passed up an opportunity to go to the Tattoo in Edinburgh. The Second Mrs. Pennington and the in-laws all went up to Edinburgh for the occasion as part of a ten-day road trip; I stayed home in London and worked. It was the in-laws that killed the deal... ten days with my mother-in-law and I'd have been imprisoned for assault, aggravated battery, or worse. Although I've never regretted NOT going on that particular road trip, I've regretted missing the Tattoo for...oh, like...forever.

B said...

Former flagette here-marching bands-anything involving coordinated steps, drums and a uniform-really turn my crank. Did your band ever happen to play the theme song to Hawaii 5-0? I'll bet you and your piccolo really shined during that one.
At first I thought the Corries were dressed like inmates. Thanks for introducing. They're cute, and I love the mental image conjured by the "gruesome twosome" lyric.

phlegmfatale said...

buck - what a bummer, to miss out on the Tattoo. However, in your shoes, I woulda skipped it, too. When it's a question of one's sanity, well...

b - you were a flag girl? COOL! Yeah, I would have been in band, no matter what, but if they'd had the old-style Rangerette western boots with tassels, I may have been tempted to cross the streams. I think orange was big in the 70s. YOu're welcome - I think they're adorable, too. Yup, for some reason all that wit rolled up with a goodly dollop of self-deprecation is incredibly charming.

Meg in Nelson said...

Lovely.... I wonder if these guys come to NZ.... I'm glad the NZ Army band meets your approval. They do a bit of charity performance in the Wellington area, too.

I don't regret a lot of things in my life, but if I had to go back to my high school days, joining the band would be the one thing I'd do - I was too self-conscious of being so short, but I would have enjoyed the camaraderie.

g bro said...

La P,

I'm sure you were adorable in your band uniform - after all, they were designed to flatter the figure, eh?

The Corries are remarkable. When was the video made? The audience clothes made me think 80's, but fashion changes slowly in Scotland.

We came up the side stairs at Waverly Station in Edinburgh in 1995 just when the world's largest pipe band (i.e., all of them together) came marching up Princes Street. It was festival week and I think we spent the entire time trying to cross that street!

Silver the Evil Chao said...

Ahhh, band.

I still envy the flute players for their small cases, even though I play clarinet, and thus have a case small enough to stash in my hat box (which is where we put our garment bags while we're in uniform, too).

I still feel kinda sad that marching band season's over. If we only had ONE more competition, we could've gotten our first Superior rating in years...

My favorite college band is tied between UNLV (I know people who march in their band, and my band teacher writes their drill AND plays in the stands with them), and the University of Nebraska Omaha, simply because my dad lives in Omaha and thus roots for the Cornhuskers. And Omaha is INSANE about their football team; it's really obvious when you watch the football games on TV and they show the audience in the stands - you'd think this is NFL at first glance, with all the people painting their bodies and cheering and such. There was this one restaraunt, called the Millard Roadhouse (best fried chicken EVER), that had a room that, I kid you not, was nothing but Cornhuskers merchandise. The carpeted floor had the college's logo on it, and the walls were painted red and white (school colors).

DirtCrashr said...

Never marched, I only played trombone because my arms were long enough to get the slide all the way out to 7th position - but trying to carry that damn awkward and heavy case on my 10-speed bike and ride a mile and a half to school on a cold morning is one of my enduring hateful memories of Jr, High...

~Fathairybastard~ said...

At the end of Amazing Grace, they have a Scottish band in period dress playing the song, bagpipes and all. It'll bust you up, I promise.

phlegmfatale said...

meg - I'm bummed that you let that keep you out of band - it's a lot of fun, and as corny as this sounds, you really feel a sense of accomplishment with that.

g bro - Well, one does one's best... I'd guess late 70s or early 80s. By the mention of Elton John and Rolling stones, I'd guess 70s , actually. That must have been an enchanting moment to come out of the station in Edinburgh.

Silver - It's going to be cool to hear about you being in marching band in college - I hope you'll blog it. Yeah, it's exhausting and grueling, but it's a great time, too. It's cute what lengths of loyalty people will go to - even the carpet with the logo is kind of adorable. Yay, Cornhuskers!

dirtcrashr - no one ever approached me about playing trombone - perhaps the under-long arms had something to do with that? OH, and me not playing brass... but , yeah, those bike-rides sound hellish. SHeesh.

fhb - Cool - I'll put that on my list of fillims to see.

DirtCrashr said...

I couldn't twiddle my fingers the way you're supposed to in order to play the cool-guy's instrument - Trumpet.
I banged on the timpani some and occasionally blew on the Sousaphone too, but that stuff was all just background lower-clef noise and only increased my feelings of diminuation. As a dork I couldn't ever hope to get with the cute chicks who played flute or violin and stuff that came in a smaller package. I hated Jr. High and wished I was back overseas.