There Are More Stories

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“A baggepype wel coude he blowe and sowne,

And ther-with-al he broghte us out of towne.”

Canterbury Tales, General Prologue

The Hightlands

According to Suetonius, a Roman historian during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire, Nero played a type of pipe known as the Roman reedpipes, “with his mouth as well as his armpit.” In fact, some suggest that he played the pipes, rather than the fiddle, as Rome burned.  Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales makes specific reference to the Miller being able to play the bagpipes. Early folk bagpipes found their way into paintings by Brueghel, Teniers, Jordaens and Durer.  The Irish had píob mhór, which means, in Gaelic, Great Irish War pipes.  Vincenzo Galilei, the father of Galileo, wrote that  the bagpipe “is much used by the Irish: to its sound this unconquered fierce and warlike people march their armies and encourage each other to deeds of valour.” 

Bagpipes tell the story of the world.  Bulgaria has the kaba gaida, Southern Italy, the zampogna, Turkey, the tulum, Galicia the giata, Southern India, the sruti upanga, Sweden, the säckpipa; all of which bears witness that bagpipes have roots in many traditions.  It is a global instrument that continues to gain entrance into modern music. There is a greater narrative that continues to unfold.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.
Robert Burns
My Heart’s in the Highlands

31 thoughts on “There Are More Stories

    • I know what you mean. If you read the lines before the bagpipe reference, it puts the scene into perspective. I think I’m going to get out my Canterbury Tales again…what travel companions!

      “A swerd and bokeler bar he by his syde.
      His mouth as greet was as a greet forneys.
      He was a janglere and a goliardeys,
      And that was moost of synne and harlotries.
      Wel koude he stelen corn, and tollen thries;
      And yet he hadde a thombe of gold, pardee.
      A whit cote and a blew hood wered he.
      A baggepipe wel koude he blowe and sowne,
      And therwithal he broghte us out of towne.”

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  1. There is something elemental about pipes, especially bagpipes; as if they are saying this is how the earth sings.

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    • Well said! I think that the drones are the heartbeat of our world! May we sing along with passion and joy! 🙂

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  2. There are so many fascinating, interesting and worthwhile things to learn. I get disgusted (not the right word) with myself for the time I seem to be wasting reading or watching nonsense stuff. I don’t watch trash, but I feel on TV sometimes there is nothing but. Thank goodness for the internet. I know it is impossible to enjoy everything, but I am trying to make a bit more effort with the time I have left.
    I don’t use the term SIN much. lol But my biggest sin would probably be laziness. 😦

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    • My dear friend, you are not lazy!!! In fact, you are the very opposite. You got me thinking about how much television I watch! I rarely watch because there are so may other more interesting things to do. I agree, the age of the Internet has given us a window to the world and the ability to connect with a global community! Now, that IS exciting!!! 🙂

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  3. You’re making me yearn to travel to Scotland. Some of my ancestors were the Scott family (not the famous one) and were from the lowlands. I’ve also seen a horse trail ride that goes on the Rob Roy trail.

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    • Then it is time to go back! It is homecoming 2014! It will be a year to remember. What an adventure to ride on the Rob Roy’s trail! BTW all Scott families are famous….

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  4. I remember studying Canterbury Tales at school. The Miller’s Tale was my favourite. Loved the pipe music video. So hauntingly beautiful.

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    • I loved Canterbury Tales! I read it so long ago that I think that it is time to revisit the merry band of travelers. I just picked up an audio book from the library so will listen to someone read the old English. The uilleann pipes are different from the highland bagpipes. To me, there have a more haunting sound. I am so glad that you stopped by.

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  5. We attended a wedding years ago and the Scottish bride had a bagpiper. It was quite beautiful and everyone was moved by it.

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    • Weddings are the perfect venue for the bagpipes. I have tried to understand the connection that we with bagpipes. There seems to be a balance between a minor and major. And the drones are always in the background. Whatever it is, bagpipes give a benediction on the most important moments in our lives. 🙂

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  6. now I want to travel to Scotland, but this beautiful post made travel for a while, I think I need to listen to this music every day

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    • I am so glad that you like the music! I have always enjoyed Enya! Thank you for your visits and comments – they are much appreciated.

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  7. Loved the music! The history of Scotland, What could be more interesting? I am just listening on my iPod to one history–I am sure there are many. What an interesting people.

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  8. The Scots–what an interesting people. I’m listening to one history (I am sure there are many) on my iPod. A great story!

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  9. I enjoyed the music. Great post. The Scots–what a wonderful people. I’m just listening to a history ( I am sure there are many) on my iPod. What a fascinating story.

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  10. Hello Rebecca,

    This is a great post Rebecca ….

    The two kinds of pipes I truly love are

    The Northumberland pipes http://youtu.be/Banog7orYHI

    Just wonderful :), I first herd these as I kid on a visit to Durham in the north east, uk…

    and

    Irish Uilleann pipes

    Just hunting 🙂 🙂

    A lot of people feel that the bagpipes came from a mix of these types of pipes but were used more for marching type bands.

    I play the fiddle Rebecca but would love to be able to play these wonderful instruments 🙂

    Great post 🙂

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  11. One of the more useless things I can do is recite the prologue to The Cantebury Tales in old english. I’ll take you out for lunchtime and prove it! Wonderful posts over here Rebecca and wonderful photos. Bravo!

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    • I would love to hear you recite the prologue. The beginning says it all… Looking forward to our lunch!!! 🙂

      “When that Aprille with his shoures sote.
      The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
      And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
      Of which vertue engendred is the flour.”
      ― Geoffrey Chaucer

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