Thursday, June 04, 2020

drum major01


The Drum Major

You gaze at the assembled band. In solitary splendour, there you stand.
The sword hangs heavy on your thigh, the dress chords, tassels, sashes lie
In great profusion on your chest, the gauntlets glow white, softly rest
Upon the Mace, all burnished bright, encrusted chain, reflecting light.

They wait; anticipate command, the Pipes and Drums and Military Band.
And in the rear, parading there, the Companies set to prepare
To march to their allotted place, rehearsed, and ready then to face
The approbation of the crowd, The Mums and Dads and Girlfriends proud.

You turn about, become aware you're all alone, there's no-one there,
No serried ranks in front to guide your marching feet, or at the side
No markers there within your sight, you're in the lead, just get it right !
So take a deep breath, (silent prayer,) it's time to march on to the Square.

"Quick March!" You step out. Watch the pace, no need to dawdle or to race,
Don't make them step short, or outpace them, keep to a good firm steady rhythm.
The Bass Drum Beat, the Snare Drum roll, the soaring Pipes invade your soul,
The measured swing of six-eight beat, transferring tempo to your feet.

You grip the Mace; flourish with style, but carefully listening all the while,
Prepared to signal change of tune, as previously planned, in the Band Room.
And, constantly watching the line, to execute the turn on time,
Then, wheeling left, take up your place, facing the saluting dais.

You hold the Mace aloft, a sign to end the march, then realign
Yourself by turning right-about, to face the band, hearing the shouts
Of NCO's, as they take post. Then all is still, as the great host
Of soldiers now upon the Square, come to attention, waiting there.

That's how it goes; it's just the start of all parades, when you take part,
Behind the swank and glamour there, you're centre stage, so have a care
To get it right for all to see, and try to avoid the calamity,
The horrendous, ultimate disgrace, which happens if you drop the Mace !

© TeeCee

The lilt of music fills the air, the Boys School bands are on the square !
Rythms dancing on the breeze, as marching feet stretch out to sieze
And hold the beat in four-four time, while horns and trumpets, drums and chimes
Breathe life into the weary soul, raising spirits - that's their role,
To give that music added pep, and put spring into weary step.

Then, marching paused - inspection time - the skirl of Pipes begins to climb
In slow, such slow close harmony, the plaintive airs and melody
Rise over the assembled throng, soothing sounds that cause the songbirds
To cease their trills, and hesitate to compete with such a thrilling, great
Uplifting sound that evokes in men, visions of a Scottish glen.

And, stepping off, they all combine to give a rousing, roaring, fine
Rendition of a well known air, as,playing, marching with great flair,
They pass the dais, straight as a die. Drum Majors, maces held on high
Salute - eyes right - and then proceed along the Square to finally lead
Tem off parade, their task complete. Now all that's heard is tramping feet.

But versatility is the norm, and the Military Band is quite at home
Playing dances, jazz, palm court, or tuneful sounds of any sort
At functions grand, or venues small, they'll persevere and give their all
In pursuit of the excellence that marks their sheer accomplishment.
They give the School good value too, their efforts great, achievements true.

The Pipe Band also gets around, at village fetes they're often found,
And carnivals at summertide, but on Burns Night they hit their stride
With Haggis Pipings to attend, demand's so great, to avoid offence
They move around at double speed, toasting Rabbie, then they need
To move on to the next venue - another toast, or one, or two !

This really tends to slow them down, but not for shirking they're renowned,
They carry on so manfully that even if there's two or three
More places they must go to play before the finish of the day,
They'll valiantly consume the tot, then play until they've done the lot,
Then totter back to their cold beds, and on the morrow, nurse their heads !

But both the bands are at their best on ceremonials, that attest
To skills they learned while at the school, of discipline, and keeping cool
At all time under pressure, so, they'll play until it's time to go.
As "Sunset's" last notes die away, remember these boys as they play,
These are not full time careers - it's just their hobby - for three years !

© TeeCee