We Are the Mariners – The Baggenstos Whipple

table_playing
 
While in Switzerland I recorded what I could of the after hours scene. The Swiss turned a bar, called the Baggenstos, into our Mariner home, complete with Mariner artifacts from past years, uniforms draped from the ceilings, sails hanging in the back patio and a flowing tide of beer. While going through my recordings I came across this wonderful version of the Whipple from the Baggenstos.
 
table_playing
 
The Whipple, or more accurately entitled, Whipple and the Gaspee is the finest fife and drum medley ever created. It is a melodic, harmonic and percussive work of art. It was sequenced decades ago with a variety of classic sea songs including the cotton screwing chantey Whup Jambouree. After a brief drum solo enters a great Scottish ballad called Henry Martin, which is arranged as a foux bourdon, a technique used in the late middle ages where the melody is harmonized against one line that plays a perfect fourth and another that plays a sixth. I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that it is the standard by which all other medleys are measured, at least in my book.
 
table_playing
 
There are three neat things about this recording. First, all the percussion is being played on tables since we are in a bar. Second, nobody had any idea it was being recorded. It simply is what the Whipple sounds like at 3am in a bar in Switzerland, including the erroneous c natural three notes into the melody. Lastly, I have never heard a better live recording from within a bar of fife and drum music.

One more note on the origins of the title. Whipple was an American sea captain. The Gaspee was a British ship. I won’t go into any other details except to leave you with this great exchange between the British Captain Sir James Wallace and our beloved Abraham Whipple:

You, Abraham Whipple, on the 10th of June, 1772, burned His Majesty’s vessel, the Gaspee, and I will hang you at the yard-arm.
–James Wallace

To Sir James Wallace, Sir:
Always catch a man before you hang him.
–Abraham Whipple

One thought on “We Are the Mariners – The Baggenstos Whipple

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *