Salute to Those Who Serve
The room in which I normally practice has photos of my grandfather, and both my wife’s grandfathers, during the time of their military service in World War II (one sailor, one infantryman, and one pilot, all of whom saw combat in the Pacific Theater). As I was working on the tune it sounded like a salute, so I made the working title Salute to the Veterans. When talking about the tune with Laura Neville at the 2017 Piobaireachd Conference, she pointed out that there are many other ways people serve their country and community (police, firefighters, civilian government employees, etc.), and that it would be more inclusive to call it Salute to Those Who Serve. I agree.
I think the tune is best played boldly and not too slow. The embellishments can played at almost any speed, from very tight to very open, but whatever speed they are played, the grips, darodos, and edres are all intended to match each other rhythmically. I prefer to gently slide through the E cadences rather than play them long in this tune. The crunluath variation is a little unusual — a regular fosgailte variation might be expected here — but I thought it was necessary to keep the stress on the C’s and B’s throughout. The performer is welcome to experiment with other ways to approach this tune, including playing a standard fosgailte variation.