Have you ever considered, thought about, reflected on, what pipe tune you may’ve have played the most in your life? What melody you, as a piper – or, as an accompanist, a drummer – have played more than any other? Have wiggled your fingers, twisted your wrists, and aimed to be true to the score of more than any other that was ever written? I have. And my burned-on-the-brain, firmly committed-to-muscle-memory, impaled-on-the-hard-drive? Well, here’s a hint: it’s the name of a Scottish “safari park”.
Yes, a “wild day out for all the family”, my tune is, “Blair Drummond”.
From my earliest piping years its been Blair Drummond: A tune that’s both a perennial pipe band March, Strathspey and Reel favourite and a tune at the top of any top solo piper’s competing strategy.
I’ve always thought of BD as a great tune and yet if you’re to google “Blair Drummond” there is zippo bagpipe-pipe band-drum reference until around about the one hundred and tenth entry. Eek. And that reference is a year 2000 world’s CD.
Anyway, I’ll say now that Blair Drummond hasn’t found it’s way on my list by design. It’s been by chance. The tune is not one of my solo favourites. Yet, due to its six-part nature (and, therefore, part of a small and select group of pipe band repertoire) it’s the trophy wife [husband? Blair is a bit of a masculine given name, to my mind] of untold competing pipe band’s competition sets. In my many years playing in grade one pipe bands, there are few where BD wasn’t a featured strathspey. In fact, the 78th Fraser Highlanders of the olden days won a worlds with BD.
Anyway, a just a thought for the day – a hot day if you are in my neck of the woods.
I hope that the tune at the top of your own most-played list merits its place.
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