Funny hats, bagpipes, dancing drummers and sleeping lions

     Most pipers know that our instruments’ most popular tune (and best paying) is Amazing Grace. Most also know it’s not a real pipe tune. It was, in fact, written by a repentant slave boat captain about the nasty business he was engaged in.  Well, now the Africans have another reason to be upset.  In particular, Solomon Popoli Linda, the South African Zulu musician, composer and singer who wrote “Mbube”, which most of the world knows as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.  For some reason, bagpipers have discovered the tune and I’ve heard it a few times recently.  Really, pipers! Stick to march, strathspey’s and reels.  However, if you’re going to perform it, why not do what the Claymore Pipes and Drums did – wear funny hats, dance around and get your drum sergeant to generally make a fool of himself.  Have a listen:

Claymore pipes and drums at Munich Caledonians St. Andrews 2009

About Mike Chisholm

Official Piper: Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours. Pitt River Resort. Exec. Dir. ScotFestBC: The British Columbia Highland Games, Director, BC Pipers' Assn. Former journalist, Nova Scotian, Dad.
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1 Response to Funny hats, bagpipes, dancing drummers and sleeping lions

  1. Ted White says:

    In fact, I have no problem with the tune, the antics or the overall “break” from tradition with this video. They have tried something different. It may not appeal to everyone but what does? They seem to have worked hard on it. They seemed to have fun with it. And, they were musical to boot.
    I think we need a lot more of this type of material and movement from “middle level” non competing band. We need to strat giving our audiences performances which include something different on the bagpipes. Amazing Grace has outlived it’s charm. Let’s move on to something like the Lion Sleeps tonight.

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