Bagpipes Don’t Like the Cold

March 4th, 2012 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Cycling in the chilly AM today, I heard a bagpiper on my way to the nun’s gas tank in Dot Bay. On the way back, the piper was still at it and I had to see why.

Well, of course, the sounds were coming from Florian Hall, the Firefighters local 718 facility. A drummer (Rick) was with piper (Brian) in front, as a clot of middle-aged men chatted while seeming to appreciate the pair.

I thought this might be a Sunday ritual that I had just never timed right, but Rick said it was a special event. He didn’t recall the details beyond it having to do with a union and a few Boy Scouts with their flags. They’d play outside before the event and then lead in the Scouts at the beginning.

Always the snoop, I asked what Rick he kept in has sporan. He chuckled and said, “Whatever you want.” The he admitted it was often keys, including the drum key. He said pipers are supposed to keep spare reeds as well.

Meanwhile, Brian alternated a tune with a little tuning. Rick said that the pipes didn’t like cold weather, so they needed regular adjustment.

Pix note: All pix are Creative Commons-Attribution. Do what you want with them. Just give Mike Ball credit once.

I have always depended on the skirl of strangers.


4 Responses

  1. Betford2 says:

    Pipes don’t like the cold, huh? Doesn’t Scotland have a good bit of that?

  2. ct says:

    Wish there was audio!

  3. Harrumpher says:

    Harr. The frequent tuning breaks made similar guitar and banjo ones sound melodic. Yet, the drumming and piping were stirring and managed to go without resorting to Amazing Grace.

  4. Uncle says:

    I’ve wondered about the cold business and kilts, but didn’t think about the effect on bagpipes. My late neighbour, who served in the Black Watch in WWI, told of wearing (khaki) kilts in the Ypres trenches. Now that required some tough cojones!

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