Archival Tune of the Month: Duncan W. McDonald

2014 Sep

This month’s tune was recorded on September 2, 1957, at the home of Dorothy Dale. It features Duncan W. McDonald on the fiddle and Dorothy Dale on the piano.

Duncan “Picket” McDonald was born in Glen Sanfield on January 8, 1906. He played the bagpipes in the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch Regiment’s band during the Second World War. He also played the fiddle and after the war played on a fiddle he had found in a bombed-out German concert hall. His page on the Hall of Fame’s website states that “He was a favourite at dances because he played his fiddle with such emotion that one could not help but feel the music; consequently, the floor would fill up each time he played. He was also a regular at Rev. John MacPhail’s concerts at the Alexander Hall where he played with all the Scottish fiddlers of the day.”

McDonald passed away on December 8, 1974.

The tune Duncan W. McDonald and Dorothy Dale are playing is Prince Charles’ Welcome to the Isle of Skye.


This recording was part of the collection of reel-to-reel tapes donated by Father MacPhail and can be found on Large Reel 6, Side 2.


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