Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Smash Bands

Hmmm, I don't know how I managed to skip taking a single picture of anyone playing bagpipes all this weekend! That does seem odd since I love the look and sound of them when they are far off. Far away and Far off. Upon the craggy heights. In Old Scotland.

At a Scottish Event it is another kettle of haggis entirely! They are everywhere! Like rats in a granary! And they are all the time tuning their pipes! And according to my friends, (who play pipes very well and should know!) they very rarely succeed!

There is a lovely ending to each day at the Scottish Games, though, and we call it "Smash Bands" I think it is actually really called Mixed Bands or Mass Bands or Maxed Out Bands. It is when all the bands that competed get together and play at once on the competition field. It is VERY pretty! One pipe alone is rather awesome, but a hundred or more of them together! It is no wonder these blowbags of sticks and sheeps guts full of air were used to rouse men and call them to fierce battle!

And who could not love a man in a kilt? There is something extremely masculine about them; at these Scottish Events, the men are in their element. (Element: Beer and Bragging). Often a kilted male will be seen swaggering around bragging about his ancestry and lineage. Scots really like to impress each other, I've noticed!

It is quite fun to be sitting in the shade of a tree and having people approach and tell you a bit of their life story as they ask questions about hoop skirts, hair styles, fabric selections for period garments. It always takes a few days to get over an event and get back into the swing of things in the modern age. About as long as it takes to do all that laundry and put all the gear away! And I can't help thinking about that tune:

"Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

From glen to glen, and down the mountain side

The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying

'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beer and Bragging!
Maxed Out Bands!
Maxed out; that's going into the archives, fo sho.