Weekly Happy Moment: The Pipe Tune

Me at 5.
Me at 5.

I decided, after some reading and reflection, that I needed to dedicate some posts to positive things in the world. Because, I think you would all agree, if there was nothing good happening in the world, it would have imploded by now! There are many options I can look at – successful work by humanitarian groups, strong community work, flourishing peace initiatives, or maybe even a love story or two. But today, if you will forgive me this indulgence, I want to focus on something from my own heritage that brings me personal enjoyment. Music!

This is not any music. No! This is the bagpipe…loved and hated equally around the world. I have to tell you that I’m a bit of a pipe tune nut. Yes, that’s right, a pipe band groupie. I don’t have a loyalty to any particular band just whichever one I’m lucky to come across at the time. But I have to tell you, going to a highland games and listening to the Grade 1 (highest class) piping competition is never disappointing.

Here in Canada and also just south of the border, in the US, we have no shortage of pipe bands or highland games. Scottish heritage has spread throughout the continent. Every summer, if you’re willing to take a drive in any direction on any given weekend, you are liable to come across a games. Near Ottawa, we are lucky enough to have the Glengarry Highland Games which always puts on a spectacular show – particularly their Massed Bands show.

Some people jump out of planes, go powder skiing, ride huge waves, drive fast cars for kicks. I get a huge adrenaline rush from watching the Massed Bands! Hey! Don’t roll your eyes! Imagine this, 50 pipe bands (that’s over 1000 musicians) filling a football field, all playing in synchronized harmony. The sound of the drums alone could drown out a freight train. Here is a sample from last year’s games in Maxville, Ontario, Canada. But really, you have to be there to get the full effect.

Follow this link to YouTube: Glengarry Games 2008 Maxville Massed Bands

The love of the pipes has been in me as long as I can remember. At age 5 I started highland dancing and continued through university in the Queen’s Bands. I will never forget the thrill of marching beside the pipers as we stepped off to a heady march. I remember my grandmother being particularly fond of the pipes as well and hearing a lone piper play Amazing Grace at her funeral sent me from emotional, right over the edge to practically apoplectic. Now, whenever I hear a tune, like the one below, which is one of my favourites, I can’t sit still. My kids watch, perplexed, as I kick up my heels in the living room! Clearly, I need to drag them to more games!

Raigmore Medley – Grampian Police Pipe Band (Aberdeen, Scotland)

Slainte to all and have a wonderful, happy weekend!

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Happy Moment: The Pipe Tune

  1. Is that you in the photo? Cute! Pipe music seems to have a deep family connection for you, making the love of it even more meaningful. You should expose your kids to the music, even more. Some day, they’ll appreciate its history, and it’s connection to you as one of your passions.

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    1. Yup, Joanne, that’s me!! πŸ™‚ Yes, there is quite a connection and I agree that it is important for the kids to be a part of that heritage. Right now they are a little frightened by the pipes as they are very loud but I’m hoping in a few years they’ll be okay with it. Nice to “see” you! Thanks for dropping by!

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  2. Oh my….me tooo!!! I’m 25% Scot, have the kilt and a brother who lives in Aberdeen! We visited a couple years back and HEARD the Grampian Police Pipe Band at the Highland games.

    Was just listening to “Amazing Grace” on pipes as well, enchanting.

    EBay has custom Playmobil figures with your tartan, btw. πŸ™‚

    Next blog post: you MUST tell what you use on that face of yours to make me think you are a recent uni grad. Don’t go on about good genes and the inner glow, I want to know brands. πŸ™‚

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    1. Wow, Kinzi!! That is quite a coincidence!! πŸ™‚ Oh, I’ll have to see these playmobil figures!! Too cute. Its not actually my tartan. I’m a McDonald, but that was the one I had when I was 5…what can I say??? πŸ™‚

      The reason you must have had this misconception that I’m so young (lol) is just that the photo is so small!! It conceals all the aging!! πŸ™‚ Other than that, I have no miracle cream for you…sorry!!

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