Volume 22 #4
The Scottish Country Dancer
January/February 2006

Articles in This Issue
The Brief Ae Fond Kiss
A Burns Supper -- in Vancouver! Some MacKenzie Family History
The Manager's Message Calendar of Events
The Brief
Robert Burns

Just some things you might want to remember:

  • January 28th: The Burns Supper -- mark your calendars! -- Get your reservations in!
  • January 4th: Vancouver USA SCD Winter classes started -- both basic and intermediate!
  • 696-8236: the phone number at Marshall Center to register for classes!
  • January 14th: Portland RSCDS Dance -- check the calendar entry for program and details!
  • February 18th: Our Annual Dinner Dance
  • Keep checking the Calendar and Demos links on our website at www.VancouverUSA-SCD.org for info and updates about coming events!
A Burns Supper -- in Vancouver!

The Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers will be hosting an evening of Scottish entertainment to mark the 247th birthday of one of Scotland's greatest poets, Robert Burns.

The event will be held the evening of January 28th (the details are in the Calendar, below), but the fun begins even earlier! "Many hands make light work", as many of us remember our grandmothers telling us, and there's lots of work to be made lighter. After all, why do you think they call it a "work party"? From table setup, to making decorations, to posting flyers, there's something for everyone!

If you would like to join the fun and help prepare for one of our major fund-raising events of the year, sign up in class [form a line, no shoving please], or call 892-4366.

(And for the detail-oriented, Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759. And yes, he really would be 247 years old this month, had he not met an untimely death.)

The Manager's Message
by Tom Halpenny

I would like to thank our teachers for all of their planning to provide us with a richer dance experience.

Geri and Liza have been leading the Wednesday basic and intermediate class at the Marshall Community Center. We begin the New Year with the new session on January 4th, leading up to the Dinner Dance.

Linda Mae has been providing an entertaining Scottish Step Dance class on the first Tuesday of the month at the Columbia Dance Studio. This class is an opportunity for you to learn some new dance steps in a supportive environment with individual attention.

Marge has been offering a level-3 SCD class on the second Tuesday of the month at the Columbia Dance Studio. This class is an opportunity for you to refine your dance technique and practice some advanced formations.

Geri will begin teaching a Monday class at the brand new Firstenburg Community Center, starting February 6, 7:00-8:30p. The class is advertised as a basic class, however the instructor will adapt the lesson plan to the skills of the attendees.

We have two big events coming up.

The 3rd annual Burns Supper on Saturday January 28th at the Moose Family Center will feature pipes and drums of the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band. Plus ... entertainment by Bart Moore -- Tenor; Ellen Hanson -- Fiddle; Lora Nelson & Jenne Sharpe -- Highland Dancers; and the Scottish Country Dancers. Ross Robertson will present the Address to the Haggis, Clyde Carpenter the Toast the Lassies, Geri Stuart the Reply to the Laddies, and a Burns Scholar will present the Immortal Memory. There will also be a raffle drawing.

Then, our 21st annual Dinner Dance on Saturday February 18th at the Luepke Center will feature the music of pianist Lisa Scott and Fiddler Linda Danielson. Harpist Jennifer Pratt-Walter will entertain us during dinner. The theme is "Something Old, Something New". Family Dancing, Grand March, and a great dance program. Check the calendar entry for the dance program and other details.

SCD is a major part of my exercise and weight management program. I am grateful for the opportunities to exercise and socialize with you. With all of these dance classes and events, I look forward to a new year of Scottish Country Dancing!

Ae Fond Kiss
by Robert Burns

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy:
Naething could resist my Nancy!
But to see her is to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met -- or never parted --
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thou-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thou-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Source: The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, Geddes & Grosset, 2000

Some MacKenzie Family History

The following information was sent in by Martin MacKenzie.

Here is some information from Wikipedia in terms of dates and the nature of the curse layed on the Seaforth MacKenzies by him [the Brahan Seer]:


In 1660, it chanced that the Earl of Seaforth travelled from the family castle in Scotland to Paris, leaving his wife the Countess behind. The Earl remained in Paris far longer than he had originally planned, and eventually his wife came to suspect that he was being unfaithful to her. Consumed with jealousy, in 1663 she summoned the Seer and demanded to know what had become of her husband. The Seer told her that the Earl was well and happy; but his wife forced the Seer to reveal the truth - that he had envisaged the Earl in the intimate company of another woman. At this, the Countess fell into a terrible rage, and ordered the Seer executed immediately; by some accounts he was burned to death in a barrel of tar.

The curse

Before he died, the Seer put a curse on the Seaforths, speaking thus:

I see into the future and I read the doom of the race of my oppressor. The long-descended line of Seaforth will, ere many generations have passed, end in extinction and sorrow. I see a chief, the last of his house, both deaf and dumb. He will be the father of four fair sons, all of whom he will follow to the tomb. He will live careworn and die mourning, knowing that the honours of his line are to be extinguished for ever, and that no future chief of the MacKenzies shall bear rule at Brahan or in Kintail. After lamenting over the last and most promising of his sons, he himself shall sink into the grave, and the remnant of his possessions shall be inherited by a white-coifed lassie from the East, and she is to kill her sister. And as a sign by which it may be known that these things are coming to pass, there shall be four great lairds in the days of the last deaf and dumb Seaforth - Gairloch, Chisholm, Grant, and Raasay - of whom one shall be buck-toothed, another hare-lipped, another half-witted, and the fourth a stammerer. Chiefs distinguished by these personal marks shall be allies and neighbours of the last Seaforth; and when he looks around him and sees them, he may know that his sons are doomed to death, that his broad lands shall pass away to the stranger, and that his race shall come to an end.


For more than a hundred years, the prophecy of the Seer went unfulfilled. Then Francis Humberston Mackenzie inherited the Seaforth title and estate in 1783, having been left deaf and mute by scarlet fever in his childhood. By chance or fate, Mackenzie's allies were Mackenzie of Gairloch (who had bucked teeth), Chisholm of Chisholm (with a harelip), Grant of Grant (who was mentally retarded), and Macleod of Raasay (who stuttered). Although Mackenzie had four sons, as the Seer had predicted all four preceded him in death, and the Seaforth title lapsed in 1815 when Mackenzie died. His daughter, who arrived from India wearing a white cap in mourning for her husband, inherited the estate. She was forced to sell much of the estate to pay off a variety of lingering debts. Coincidentally, a few years later she and her sister were riding in a buggy when the horses bolted. Her sister was thrown and killed in the accident, although it seems somewhat dubious to place the blame for the death on Mackenzie's daughter. Nevertheless, the Seer had, by some unknown means, foretold the end of the Seaforth line with uncanny accuracy.


Calendar of Events

Jan 4: Winter Term Vancouver SCD Classes Begins!
Marshall Community Center,
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 7:45pm
Pick up the Vancouver Parks and Rec Catalog, or check their website at vanclarkparks-rec.org.
Jan 14: Portland Dance Party
7:30pm Tigard Grange, 13770 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard.

The Program (not in order):
    Royal Deeside Railway       BR  Bk 40
    The Sailor
    Dare to Dance               IR  Shelton
    Fairbridge Reel                 Bk 45
    Miss Welch's Reel           BJ  Graded Book
    The Linton Ploughman
    Ian Powrie's Farewell To Auchtararder  IJ  Allen
    Quarrie's Jig
    First Love
    Belle of Bon Accord
    Indian River Strathspey
    Scotch Mist    
Jan 28: Burns Supper
The Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers are presenting a Burns Supper, featuring:
The pipes and drums of The Fort Vancouver Piper Band, plus
    Ross Robertson -- Address to the Haggis
    Clyde Carpenter -- Toast to the Lassies
    Geri Stuart -- Reply to the Laddies
    Immortal Memory
    Bart Moore -- Tenor
    Ellen Hanson -- Fiddle
    Lora Nelson & Jenne Sharpe -- Highland Dancers
    Scottish Country Dancers
Join us for a Chicken Breast-and-Baked Potato dinner at:
Moose Family Center
8205 NE 4th Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA

6 pm -- Gathering for Supper
6:45 pm -- Address to the Haggis
$20 per person

Reservations required by January 21st. For information and reservations, call: 360-892-4366
Feb 6: Firstenburg SCD Classes Begin!
Monday nights! A new basic class in Scottish Country Dancing.
Firstenburg Community Center, Room C,
700 NE. 136 Ave., Vancouver, WA, 7 - 8:30pm
Pick up the Vancouver Parks and Rec Catalog, or check their website at vanclarkparks-rec.org.
Feb 11: Portland Dance Party
7:30pm Tigard Grange, 13770 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard.

The Program (not in order):
    Reel of the Royal Scots
    Jessie's Hornpipe
    The Sailor
    Oh My America!
    Fairbridge Reel
    Machine Without Horses
    White Heather Jig
    Quarrie's Jig
    Sugar Candie
    Belle of Bon Accord
    Asilomar Romantic
    Scotch Mist
Feb 18: Vancouver USA SCD February Dinner Dance
Rudy Luepke Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 8-11pm
Live Music!

The Program:
    The Happy Meeting                 J Bk 29
    Miss Jane Muirhead of Dunsmuir    S Dunsmuir Dances
    What a Beau My Granny Was         R Bk 14

    Miss Hadden's Reel    J Bk 23
    My Friend Joe         S Bk 38
    The Westminster Reel  R Bk 45

    Mrs Stewart's Jig       J Bk 35
    The Saltire Strathspey  S Bk 45
    The Clansman            R Bk 32

    The Machine without Horses  J Bk 12
    The Marquis of Lorne        S MMM II
    Fidget                      R Bk 16

    The Bramble Bush                 J Bk 25
    The Duchess of Atholl's Slipper  S Bk 9
    The Reel of the Royal Scots      R leaflet
For reservation form, directions, map, and other details, click here.
Mar 11: Portland Branch Annual Workshop and Ball
The Ball starts at 7:30 PM and is at the Masonic Friendship Center, 5626 NE Alameda St, Portland OR.

Guest Teachers: Maureen Lyon, Surrey BC Sara Harriman, Austn TX

Musicians: Linda Danielson, Lisa Scott, Kevin McCornack

The Program:
    Grand March
    The Machine Without Horses   BIJ   RSCDS Bk 12 #12
    J.B. Milne                   IR    Foss/Angus Fitchet SD Album
    The Enchanted Garden         BIS   Boyd/World Around the Corner
    The White Heather Jig        IJ    Cosh/Twenty-two SCD
    Teacher's Choice             BIR
    Petronella                   BIR   RSCDS Bk 1 #1
    Asilomar Romantic            IS    Cuthbertson/San Francisco Coll, Vol 2
    Teacher's Choice             BIJ
    O My America                 IR    Barnes/Clipper Ships and Other Dances
    Sugar Candie                 BIS   RSCDS Bk 26 #9
    Tribute to the Borders       IJ    RSCDS Leaflet
    Postie's Jig                 BJ    Clowes/Ormskirk Memorial Edition
    Miss Gibson's Strathspey     IS    RSCDS Leaflet
    On the Quarterdeck           BR    Boyd/The Harbour City
    The Saltire Strathspey       IS    RSCDS Bk 45 #4
    The Reel of the Royal Scots  BIR   RSCDS Leaflet
    Auld Lang Syne
May 5-7: Pearl Holmberg Workshop
The RSCDS Vancouver Branch presents The Sixth Pearl Holmberg Workshop for Teachers and Musicians -- master classes planned especially for Scottish Country Dance Teachers and Musicians

Dance: Ann Dix, Berkshire, U.K.
Teachers' Class Pianist: Kristi Lind-Ezat, British Columbia, Canada

Music: Elke Baker (Fiddler), Maryland, USA; Liz Donaldson, Maryland, USA (Pianist/Accordionist)

This workshop is aimed at musicians who are already proficient on their instruments, who play for (or would like to play for) Scottish Country Dances; and to teachers, certificated or not, who currently teach a class.

Previous attendees will automatically receive a registration package early in 2006. If you are not yet on their mailing list, contact Wendy Swaine at
Aug 6-13: TAC Summer School
Did you know? TAC Summer School is open to all dancers!

New location: Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Core Teachers: Ruth Jappy, Delta, BC; Robert McOwen, Arlington, MA; and Rebecca Blackhall-Peters, Langley, BC.

Musicians: Bobby Brown, Laird Brown, Mara Shea, Jim Stevenson-Mathews

Accommodations: Fully air-conditioned single rooms with sink and adjoining bathrooms, and fully air-conditioned dance studios, for your dancing pleasure!

Early Bird Price before May 15th: $750 Cdn, $715 US. Teacher's Discounted Price: $675 Cdn, $645 US.

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.
Japanese proverb

  Do you have an item of Celtic interest you would like to see in print?  
  You can contact me in any of the following ways:  
  By mail:  
  John Shaw
  PO Box 2438
  Battle Ground, WA 98604
  By email:  
  The Scottish Country Dancer is a bi-monthly publication of the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers, a non-profit educational organization. For changes of address, please contact John Shaw, PO Box 2438 Battle Ground, WA 98604, . The editor reserves the right to alter or edit any material submitted for publication for reasons of taste, style, or clarity. All materials for publication should be sent by email to the editor at the address above, preferably in straight text. Deadline is one week before the end of the month prior to publication date. Editors of other newsletters may use or adapt any materials in the Scottish Country Dancer unless a specific copyright notice is included. Please credit author and original source.
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