I don’t like tattoo’s; but I do have one!
It’s kind of small,
no bigger than a pinhead : it’s just a little black dot,
in the middle of my chest
and a lot smaller than that one too
“What on earth is this bloke blathering on about now”; you are probably wondering, and, if you’re not, you jolly well you should be!
Tattoo’s of course.
And not any old tattoo, no indeed.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
I haven’t watched The Tattoo for some time, probably many years, truth be told.
For reasons unknown, it never seems to be shown/broadcast in ‘Prime Time’ here, usually it’s quite late, and I can’t be bothered, to tell the truth, to stay up late, with all the garbage that precedes it, and then sit, spellbound, for the couple of hours it’s on, before piling into bed.
Well it makes sense to me!
However, a week or so back on the BBC Channel, they decided to re-run the 2018, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, at, what under the circumstances was, a reasonable hour; for me at any rate, 21.00 , (9.00pm for PiedType).
So I switched the TV back on, it had been off, as this time of year there’s more rubbish than usual; ‘Non-rating Period” I believe it’s termed, but I’d scanned through the nights programs, after watching a bit of the “News”, and saw it listed and, being a rather unpleasant sort of evening, “stinking hot”, I believe was the term used by YKW, and tuned into watch.
In the past I usually found it exciting, the various manoeuvres, performed by the men of the British armed forces. I especially enjoyed the marching.
So with a skirl of fifes & drums here for you are some thoughts on:
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2018
It started off well enough, the massed bands from around the world, marching in, the magnificent precision of all the bands both military and civil was a joy to watch,
And the Drum Major leading the way!
A few minutes of intricate marching and playing by the massed bands, I noticed that now there are several female, Asian and African pipers now, the last time I watched a ‘Tattoo’ it was an all male affair.
I recall during previous ‘Tattoo’s’, we would thrill to action, such as a group of soldiers or sailors, would come storming onto the parade ground, towing perhaps a 6 pounder canon, which they’d strip down, pick up the pieces, run with them to the other end of the arena, put it back together and fire it!
I recall, once, they actually drove a Jeep on, stripped it bare, into bits, shoved it all back together again, and drove off, All in a matter of a few minutes.
Exciting? Bet your boots it was.
But what’s this?
Schoolgirls, playing hopscotch? Or something in amongst the bandsmen, and women? Now men and women, doing some sort of peasant dance, from Hungary or Poland or somewhere.
Now little African children, from Malawi, in ‘play school’ !
What’s going on?
This is a MILITARY TATTOO I have no problem with folk dancing, or African children dancing, and playing, but at what is purported to be a military event?
Are they kidding?
Now what? Okay, it’s a military band and obviously it’s an American Military Band, I’d know that, even without sound, it’s by the way our American cousins march, it’s always, I must admit amused me. And I suppose I better tell you why.
If you’ve ever watched the individual ways nations have of parading their troops, you’ll recall the ‘Goose stepping’ of the Germans. Vast hordes of troops, row upon row, stomping along, a picture of aggression,
The Russians. The North Koreans, and the Chinese, have adapted the ‘Goose Step’ to their own system. No doubt with the design to instil dread, into any potential foe.
But our Yankee chums don’t march like that, they have a unique way of marching, I quite honestly, expect them, to break into a ‘soft shoe shuffle’ at any time. Their steps seem quite short, and kind of stiff.
They swing their arms, sort of, perhaps not quite waist high, and they always seem to have their chins tucked in, perhaps to show quiet determination, I really can’t say.
Perhaps it’s to do, the very opposite, of what the English do!
I love the US Military bands, I always wait for them to break out, and start swinging along,
Like they do in the movies, and then the troops start swinging along too. But they never do 😦
When it comes to marching however, I think that the British win hands down! And this was obvious, in the marching of the troops, at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
If you doubt me take a look up at that Drum Major, who led the parade this year.
Note the defiant way his chin juts out, how his arm is fully extended to shoulder height, and the shoulders pulled back, chest out, full of pride, the thumbs pointed forward and down. You can’t see his feet but they are thrust out too, this soldier is full of determination, purpose. And it shows That’s the way to march!
And this is the way, that all troops, throughout what was once the British Empire, march, and are taught to march. The Indians, on the sub continent, some African nations, that were once part of the Empire, Australia New Zealand and possibly Canada still march in the British way.
I must admit that here, in Australia, our troops are getting too casual now, they don’t seem to have that same pride that we once had, they do not know what they are missing!
I didn’t stay to the finish, I missed what I always considered the best part, thanks to YouTube I got to see that later, and here’s a link,
it’s not the best there are many others but it is the shortest,