Cogadh No Sìth
– by Smitty, November 11, 2010
…But don’t thank me; thank Americans, from the Founding Fathers forward to the Tea Parties, to my electrician brother-in-law who just runs around fixing things all day. The exceptional American dedication to individualism, the ideals of the Constitution, and the courageous soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in whose bigger footsteps I follow make it all worth it. I’ve benefitted so much from the American people, educationally and otherwise. Thus, it’s with a sense of gratitude to you that I depart on this set of orders, finishing out my Navy Reserve career in active duty style…
The post title is a bit of Gaelic meaning “War or Peace:”
Probably the best known playing of Cogadh no Sìth was at the Battle of Waterloo when Piper Kenneth MacKay of Tongue played the tune. Kenneth MacKay was a piper with the 79th Cameron Highlanders. As his regiment was forming a square to defend themselves against the charging French Cuirassiers, the proudest cavalry of its day, Kenneth MacKay stepped outside the square and took up his pipe to play Cogadh no Sith. And there outside the square he marched despite the repeated charges of the French cavalry, all the while playing Cogadh no Sìth.
So, the tune is a Piobaireachd, which is either a sort of beautiful tone poem, done correctly, or a regrettable disaster if I’m the one working out on it. But “War or Peace” was also a poem, a tiny fragment of which survives, in its sweet, fatalistic Scottish glory:
Cogadh no sith, cogadh no sith,
‘S coma leam, ‘s coma leam,
Cogadh no sith;
Marbhar sa cogadh,
No crochar an sith mi.
War or peace, war or peace,
Alike to me, alike to me,
War or peace;
I will be killed in the war
Or hanged in the peace.
The “War or Peace” link concludes:
The words complemented the mindset of the Cameron clan who were accustomed to rally to the cry:
Chlanna nan con thigibh a so’s gheib sibh feail.
Probably that rhymes in Gaelic. In English, it’s:
‘Come, you sons of hounds, and I will give you flesh’.
And that the attitude that must be presented to the enemies of liberty; Taliban in Afghanistan, or Progressives closer to home. Thinking you stupid, they will continue to say that you ‘vote against your own interest’, and turn down their bread-and-circus substitutes for Liberty. Liberty ain’t cheap, and rejecting Progressivism may resemble pain for a while. That’s not pain. That’s Socialist weakness leaving the country, and don’t let these liars sell you otherwise. Stand and deliver, the way a Progressive cannot, for, at heart, modern Progressivism is a synonym for cowardice. (— Continued).
I hope the Navy will make some arrangement for a Smitty-Blogger-Update now and then while he’s deployed.
God speed, Smitty.
Smitty, Good Luck and Godspeed….
– by Susannah at Red State, November 12, 2010