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Updated 01/19/2016


The Meeting of the Waters
PM Donald MacLeod,  MBE

There are a number of theories as to the origin of the march, The Meeting of the Waters.  The march (at least parts 3 and 4) is attributed to PM Donald MacLeod, MBE.

Donald MacLeod ("Wee Donald"), was born in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in 1917. He joined the British Army in 1937, and went to France in 1940 with the 2nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders in the British Expeditionary Force. Captured as a prisoner of war during the surrender at St. Valery-en-Caux, he escaped during the march to Germany and returned to France in 1944 as pipe major of the 7th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders.

After leaving the British Army in 1963, MacLeod became a partner in a Glasgow bagpipe-manufacturing firm. He was made Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1978.

Meeting of the Waters is commonly, but erroneously, attributed to a composition of the 19th century Irish poet, Thomas Moore. Moore wrote a poem with that title, and someone set it to music using a melody taken from an old Irish air. The tune title comes from the meeting of the rivers Avonmore and Avonberg near Moore’s birthplace, Avoca, Country Wicklow, Ireland.

The most plausible origin for the march is that it commemorates a massive flood in northeastern Scotland that occurred sometime in the middle of the 19th century, when the Spey and the Findhorn rivers spilled over their banks to such an extent that the water from the two rivers formed a temporary lake. A composer, now anonymous, wrote a tune based on an old Scottish air.