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Friday, March 10, 2017

Poetry Friday--International Bagpipe Day!

Yes, indeed, there is an internationally recognized day for celebrating the bagpipe--March 10!

Bagpipes are one of those instruments you either love or hate! And sometimes even bagpipe lovers may not be entirely devoted.
Q. What is a gentleman?
A. Someone who can play the bagpipes, but doesn't.

There was only one poem I found that specifically mentions a bagpipe. It's by Shel Silverstein and is titled, "The Bagpipe Who Didn't Say No." It is a typical Silverstein story-poem about a love-struck turtle. Here's a stanza from it:
Said the turtle to his darling, "Please excuse me if I stare,
But you have the plaidest skin, dear,
And you have the strangest hair.
If I begged you pretty please, love,
Could I give you just one squeeze, love?"
And the bagpipe didn't say no.

There are other poems that feature pipes, but not necessarily bagpipes. This one is a classic:
Introduction to the Songs of Innocence
By William Blake

Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child.
And he laughing said to me.

Pipe a song about a Lamb;
So I piped with merry chear,
Piper pipe that song again—
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear

Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read—
So he vanish'd from my sight.
And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear

Found in Poems and Prophecies by William Blake [821 BLA]

Okay, so you didn't think you'd make it through this post without a bagpipe video, did you?

Well, what do you think? Are you a bagpipe lover or hater?

Check out all the poetry being rounded up at Today's Little Ditty.


  1. I didn't know it was bagpipe day, but I'm glad I know because it gives me an excuse to share one of my favourite ever youtube clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Op1Mng4oY I was lucky enough to see this guy busling here in Western Australia a couple of times.

    1. Oh, I saw that one the other day! Love the flames! And the tattoos!

  2. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Definitely a bagpipe lover!! So much so, we were piped into - and out of - our tiny church, on our wedding day. Fortunately it was a hot summer day and all the windows were wide open, because some guests thought they were in danger of being blown right out of the building! Funny - cause I don't remember it being loud. #lovedit If we're sharing links, here's one to an electric bagpipe song I have loved for years; Busindre Reel, by Hevia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Op1Mng4oY Must dig out my CD!! Which in turn reminds me, my son when he was a wee-one used to ask for my 'magpie' music. Bagpipe/magpie... pretty close, I guess.

  3. I'm a bagpipe lover, though preferably in an open field. :) I also happen to love the hurdy gurdy. We had a hurdy gurdy and mandolin at our wedding.

    1. Hurdy gurdy--there's an instrument you don't hear too often!

    2. I have relatives who rock the mandolin! And we love the hurdy gurdy played well. Cape Breton music needs them both. I love the bagpipes on a mountainside. In a lodge -- not so much. I think I lost some hearing that day. :-) I should write a poem about it.

    3. Ha! Yes, you should, Brenda.

  4. I remember traveling with my parents down to Washington State in the summer to attend a big Highland Games festival that was filled with bagpipes! A university in my home city is famed for their bagpipes team and has won many awards. I am a fan, though as Michelle said, I prefer them in an open field, where their music can carry! ;-)

    1. I happened to travel to Edinburgh one summer during the military tattoo and we managed to purchase some tickets from a tour bus. It was fabulous sitting out, surrounded by bagpipe music, in the stadium at night.

  5. Well, I feel very different about a bagpipe band than I do a lone bagpiper playing Amazing Grace (again)!