Ian loves the bagpipes. He asked us to help him share that love with the whole Internet. Here are his favorite YouTube picks:
- Mull of Kintyte, from the Cologne Military Tattoo in 2004. As Batman once said, “Never underestimate the sentimentality of a Scotsman.” Most of the perennial Scots favorites are pensive and many of them commemorate well-loved places. The Mull of Kintryre itself is a cliff in southwest Scotland. The song was actually written by Paul McCartney, during his Wings era. (Paul sings it here. He sings it again with bagpipe backup here.) That’s the thing about Scotsmen. If it’s written about Scotland and sounds good on the pipes, they’ll adopt any song as their own. (See “Highland Cathedral” below.)
- Dueling Bagpipes always makes him laugh. So do Bagpipes on the Unicycle and Johnny Bagpipes.
- Yes, lasses play the pipes, too. Jane Espie calls herself “The Phantom Piper.” The song is “The Dark Island.”
- Contrary to what many believe, bagpipes play well with others. The song is “The Clumsy Lover.”
- You can never have too many bagpipers. There are two songs everyone has heard on the bagpipes. “Scotland the Brave” is the second one, behind “Amazing Grace.”
- “Amazing Grace” would be Ian’s favorite hymn, even if it wasn’t ideal for the pipes. It has an amazing history. It was the anthem of the British anti-slavery movement, an event so important there’s a movie about it. Ian considers it “the most universal of all hymns.” So do we. (Bonus: here’s an 11-year-old doing a first-rate version.)
- “Highland Cathedral” is Ian’s all-around favorite. Yes, it was written by Germans. This version was performed by Brad Beaton, The Atlanta Bagpiper, who Ian rather admires.
- Jack Lee is officially the World Champion Bagpiper. Here’s why.
- For reasons beyond human understanding, the Japanese National Railways used Heykens’ Serenade as a theme song. Ian likes their orchestral version.
- This Celtic Bagpipe Music Compilation is a good introduction to the pipes.
- A military tattoo is an exhibition of military music and marching. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the world’s most famous. Here’s a clip of Scots military piping at its best.
- A true piper never minds letting the drummers have their solos.
- The pipes are universal. Here Clanadonia plays Egyptian music.
- Here’s a proper bridal procession.
- The American tradition of the Black Watch piper at a police funeral is something Ian deeply respects. Here’s a video of the modern-day Black Watch marching into town behind their pipers.
For more of Ian’s picks see Bagpipe Rock.
Here are three of Ian’s favorite non-bagpipe picks from YouTube.
- “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. What else did you expect?
- Dire Straits perform “Coming Home.”
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra plays “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” (The Carol of the Bells)