Sunday, July 20, 2008

Number 2 of My Five Favorite Things - The Bagpipes

My last post I shared the first of five of my favorite things, now this is number 2. Bagpipes....
The haunting and mysterious sound of the bagpipes reaches deep into my soul and spirit. Perhaps the familiar sounds knock at my heart because of my Irish and Scottish ancestry - as if maybe somewhere back in time a great relative stood on the Highlands and boldly played his pipes for the brave who defended their Country.
A bagpipe is a very complex instrument with many parts and pieces. To be a good bagpiper, it takes a lot of practice, practice, practice....and a lot of AIR!!!!! Now add in the other factors of fingering the chanter, blowing into the bag, squeezing the bag, keeping the drones in tune, keeping in tune with the others in the band - and then memorizing all of the songs - AND add in the marching and keeping in step! Oh my!!!

I started taking bagpipe lessons five years ago and learned three songs on my practice chanter. The Pipe Major told me that if I learned three songs, then I could move on to getting a set of bagpipes. For many reasons, I stopped taking private lessons and set my chanter aside. To this day, it rests in a drawer and calls to me every so often to pick it up again - which I sadly do and try to remember the tunes I learned. Someday I am going to pursue it again...
This is a practice chanter. You can actually by a CD and book and teach yourself. It isn't hard, it just takes a lot of WIND from the depths of your lungs, and I mean alot of WIND!! I also learned that in the beginning, you will discover you have muscles in your face that you did not know about.

As I have shared before, our little Scotty Dog, Duhgall, was born on St. Patrick's Day. For his first birthday we had a "dog party" and our friend, Jared, played his bagpipes for an hour. It was wonderful! Jared has quick fingers and played beautifully AND told us the story behind the songs. The picture above is of Duhgall giving Jared a kiss for playing on his birthday!!~~
Jared is an award winning bagpiper and belongs to a local pipeband.
For more information on pipebands, you can click here.

I also found a wonderful site called Cops In Kilts. This is a pipeband from the Chicago Police Department. The site gives you the history of bagpipes and some other wonderful links. The New York City Police Department also has a beautiful site. I remember watching hundreds and hundreds of pipers play tribute to those killed in 9-11. Each time I watched them march and play, I cried and could not stop crying.

On a lighter "note,".....
Q: What does a bagpiper where under their kilt?
A: Their socks!

arrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! That is hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!

I would like to thank Anna for giving me this wonderful award!! Anna is new to our blogging world, so give her a little visit! She has an adorable blog called The Rusty Cottage! Love the name!! Anna, I am honored and thank you so very much for sharing this with me. Now in the "blog tradition" we are to share this with other bloggers. It is so difficult to just pick 7, so I am giving this to all of you! Each blog is brilliant and I love them all!
Happy Day!!


cindee said...

Bagpipes do sound wonderful. I can't imagine them not wearing any underwear though. Guess they like the fresh air on their bags and pipe? lol, sorry couldn't resist!!

Brenda@Spareminute cottage said...

I love to hear bagpipe music.I need to purchase some so I can enjoyit at home.
I play the flute and I remember how my face hurt when I first started playing.
Best Wishes
Love the Picture LOL

eileen said...

I loved the dogs!

Miss Jean said...

Oh, you little devil, you! Hilarious!!!!

I always have this picture in my find of standing on the western bluffs of Ireland and Scotland and hearing the bagpipes playing. I think it's something that you could hear from deep inside your soul.

Cowboys & Custard said...

I can't resist bagpipes either dear Becky and a man in kilt is a very fine beast!
My beloved learnt to play the bagpipes a few years ago so that he could show the children at the school he runs that he had learnt a new instrument. A new one each year..
My son entering the room whilst beloved was playing said.."You know what Pete.. what you need is more practice and a skirt"...

Michele xx

Laura said...

How cool is that - to have a friend who plays bagpipes!
I want one.
Is there a "Rent-a-Friend-Who-Plays-Bagpipes"? business anywhere?

Jean said...

I too love Bagpipes. There is no sound like them. You'll get back to learning to play when the time is right. Have a wonderful evening.
Jean in Virginia

Annie said...

I also love bagpipes and the photo of what is under those kilts. I'm a former U.S. Army wife and while living at Fort Benning, Georgia, I met some Scottish Officers in kilts and asked them the question. Their answer: "Nothing my dear; I've had pneumonia twice in my career."

Andi said...

I too love the sound of bagpipes Becky. And I'm still giggling at the comment Cindee left about about the fresh air on the bagpipers bags and pipe...good one Cindee!!!

One of the local high schools here has a bagpipe band and it's awesome to hear them playing.

Liz said...

What a great idea to do a post for each fav! You are a such a smart lady. Great Post!

Kathy said...

Nice ass!!!! Excuse me but,how young a butt he has.ha.Nice music to. Love it.Love Kathy

Maria said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog today, Becky! I haven't done much visiting lately with preparing for the exhibition.
I love all your beach photos & the 'cheeky' one especially!

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

Nothing brings a lump to my throat faster than the Bagpipes! But oh man....I really wasn't aware what was (not) underneath! LOL!

Kim's Treasures said...

Love bagpipe...hilarious photo of the bagpipers in the parade! LOL!
Have a great day!

My Maine Cottage said...

What a prefect birthday for your little scottie! And your pictures gave me a chuckle. Have a wonderful day!

Lallee said...

You are a girl of many talents, Miss Becky! I didn't let Oliver and Baggins see this post so they wouldn't get any wild ideas for their next birthdays. The bagpipes make me cry easily too when I hear the right tune. LOL--the parade pic. Isn't there a saying about the wind to your back or something? I think it should be framed and put alongside your Scottie prints ;-)


David said...

As a Scotsman who has attempted to get a note or two from a set of bagpipes, on my wedding day, I know exactly what you mean when you say it takes a lot of air.

If you would like to take a look at my site you can find several videos of bagpipe music, and lots of information on the subject of kilts.

I love the part about you having a friend over to play for your dog's birthday.

Kind Regards, David.

Kathleen Grace said...

Oh my gosh! Those bagpipers wearing kilts, lol. Cute:>P
I love the bagpipe number at the end of the movie Amazing Grace. It was just the most moving and amazing bagpipe rendition of that song that I have ever heard.

The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Good on you for taking lessons! It's such an amazing instrument. I'm in awe of anyone who can play anything!

Rhondi said...

Hi Becky
I love bagpipes. Perhaps it is because my dad's family came from Scotland. You rphot answers the question: what so scotsman wear under their kilts?
I'll stop by and say hi to Anna.
Hugs, Rhondi

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

This is a great post. And I LOVE that picture of the bagpipe players with their socks on. I have that same exact picture in my scrap book from our visit to Irland. (Big Smiles here!)
Patricia :o)

white o'morn cottage said...

Great photos! You cheeky thing you!

Rue said...

That last picture is too funny!

Have you ever been to Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach? They have a bagpiper play every night at sunset and it's beautiful to watch him stroll along the hills of the golf course while the fog rolls in. It gave me chills every time :)


Quality Bagpipes said...

Good to see you using our Killberry Practice Kit - hope it did the job for you. I might have even made that chanter myself!

We've just relaunched our Quality Bagpipes site - we have the chanter kit for sale there, along with full pipes, maintenance items and what not.

Feel free to check it out!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Well, being an Irish gal myself I would have to say that the love of bagpipes is in my blood!

I just adore that picture of the dogs laughing!