The Emerald Isle: They may not be Irish…but the bagpipes are cool

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By Leslie Lindsay

I wonder if I can pound out a blog in the next twenty minutes before I run off to pick up my daughter from preschool?  Hummm…sounds like an emperical question.  In fact, that was what my now husband-then-boyfriend used to say when I would have some psychology-related question (more like musing).  I thought I was being particularly astute with an observation or insight and then he would sort of smash it when he cocked that grin and suggested it could actually be studied.  (Where’s the fun in that?!)

But I digress.  Sort of.  You see, when I first “met” my husband, he was away in Ireland/Scotland.  With a friend.  Who was a girl.  (I know now that it was completely platonic, but at the time, I had no idea).  I had just started working at the same place as my would-be-honey.  I didn’t know I’d fall in love with the guy.  But I heard about his travels and it piqued my curiosity.   I love to travel, as well.  Alas, I have never been to the Emerald Isle.

Jim has and he liked it.  And he came back with stories of haggis (sheep stomach filled with parts that people “over there” eat and like), bagpipes, castles, rock walls, and beer.  And of course, the bagpipes.

I owe due credit to my Scottish Laddie who has taken up the art of squeezing on a plaid bag filled with air from his own sacs (we call lungs) and squeaking out a sound that is supposed to be music to your ears.  Well…it is.  And some like it more than others.

It’s not I don’t like it.  I do think it’s kind of cool that he has such an unique hobby.  He loves it.  Or, did.  You see, bagpiping is time-consuming.  There’s the practice, the group, the parades one must march in, and other special events like weddings and funerals.  (Yes, I walked down the aisle to the tune of bagpipes; alas my groom was not the muscian).  And so when we had our own little lassies, he hung the pipes up to focus on his growing familiy.

But I know there are times–and March is one of them–that gets his toes a tappin.’  The thoughts of pulling out the bagpipes is at the forefront of his mind.

Where did the bagpipes come from?  What’s the deal?  Well, I wish I had time to succinctly summarize a little research, but I don’t.  I have 8 minutes left to blog and that’s it.  12 minutes have already passed.  Here are some links for your browsing pleasure:

http://www.hotpipes.com/history.html

http://www.bagpipehistory.info/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagpipes

http://www.visitscotland.com/guide/scotland-factfile/scottish-icons/the-bagpipes

One response »

  1. Just wanted to say that haggis tastes a lot better than it sounds, and that it’s made using a sheep stomach and …pieces, not pig as mentioned in the post, lol.
    Also, if your husband ever wants to pick up the pipes again, I give lessons via Skype.
    All the best,
    Sean Regan
    http://www.sprbagpiper.com

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