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.
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
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.
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.
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.