Largus MacInnis | Bowing Down Home

Largus MacInnis, 1992

Biography

Largus MacInnis grew up in an area virtually overrun by great fiddle players. Some he remembers are Neil Cheverie (who won the Great Contest of 1926), Steve and Dolphie Ellsworth, Billy Lauchy MacDonald, Johnny and George MacIntyre, Stewart MacIntyre, and Joe MacIsaac. He also recalls two local women who played well: Mary-Anne Cheverie and Margaret Ellsworth. These fiddlers and more played at the many house parties and schoolhouse dances that were held throughout the year.

People in the Lakeville area danced two kinds of square sets – the Lancers and Quadrille – and also another dance known as a breakdown (eight-hand reel), which called for quite a bit of step-dancing.

When dancing the Quadrille, it was the custom in Lakeville for one of the male dancers in a given set to call out the steps for his fellow dancers. Largus himself often took on that role, and as a result he clearly remembered the sequence of steps for all four figures of the old Lakeville Quadrille.

MacInnis saw quite a bit of change come to pass during his lifetime. When he was a child, his older relatives and their friends still spoke Gaelic. When he was in his 50s, he saw the coming of mechanized agriculture, electric power, and television. He strongly missed the music and neighborliness of the old days.

Oral Histories

MacInnis, Largus - Missing neighborliness Radio didn't hurt things, but TV changed everything: no longer good to visit; misses neighborliness info and transcript
MacInnis, Largus - The breakdown, or eight hand reel Breakdowns (8-Hand reels) info and transcript
Older relatives speak Gaelic Older relatives speaking Gaelic info and transcript
Steps for the Quadrille Gives all the calls for an Island quadrille info and transcript