Sheep in Buchts Kye in Fiels

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Sheep in Buchts Key in Fiels was written in 2008 by Janette Montague. The piece is discussed in detail in a thread on the Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums called Melody in Piobaireachd. In it Montague discusses the piece and her inspiration for it and notably develops the work with feedback from Roger Huth, who also recorded it. Montague relates the story behind the tune:

As the tune started to come out, I had the clearest picture in my mind of a particular scene which only became clearer as time went on. The setting for the scene is rural Galloway, an area of South West Scotland (very often forgotten about as the motorway to and from England bypasses it). Imagine the scene - it's very rural, green and hilly. The only thing disturbing the peace is the sound of the sheep, the cows (kye) grazing, and the birds. Oh and the wee burn (stream) lapping on its way. So a very pastoral scene. There is an old 'farm' track, a kind of rough unmade road which leads from the road, down a hill and round bends, down to a wee cot-house. Up at the road end, there were buchts, where sheep would be put in order to work with them. I remember one such time, when the sheep were in the buchts, the kye were grazing away in the fields (fiels), and from the house the smoke from the peat fire was winding upwards and the sound of pipes could be heard coming from inside the house. The piper (my aunt Mary Agnes Campbell Templeton Murray) was in her nineties at the time and played every day.

So the Urlar attempts to describe this scene. Its about the simple honest and good things of life which exist all around us, but which are often unnoticed, or trashed even. It's also a kind of tribute to the generations of 'ordinary folk' who worked their lives out on the land, earning just enough to provide food and shelter, asking for no more than that, and who were grateful for what they DID have (little though it may have been). So imagine sheep, kye, the 'burn', peat smoke (or reek as we call smoke), and pipes, and you've got it!


Sheep in Buckts Kye in FielsRoger Huth2012
Sheep in Buckts Kye in Fiels (Urlar)Roger Huth13 September 2015