Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Challenges - Day Four: Bagpipes

We're coming to the end of my Bad Boy Scottish Challenges now, and, let's face it, for bagpipes to not be included is about as likely as Zooey Deschanel turning up at my doorstep and declaring her love for my incomparable persona...

Anyway, conventional self-deprication aside (over-analysing?) this was definitely the hardest task of the lot. You might think it would be easy. Bagpipes are surely sold in every other shop in Edinburgh, right?


Look, maybe we missed something, but we genuinely struggled to track them down! Eventually we found a shop, though the price was a slight issue...

So there was no chance I was gonna get a go on one of those. 

But, refusing to give up, we pushed on and tracked down some slightly cheaper types...

‘Junior Playable’ or, more aptly, ‘Kids Bagpipes’, to be exact. But that's fine. It's not embarrassing at all, trust me...

Now, even though we had bagpipes I could technically use, actually using them was a little tricky seeing as I had absolutely no idea where to start.

There's a lot of pieces.

"What did you do!?" - I hear you all type furiously into twitter and other social networking tools (that's right, nabokov are down with the kids). But stop typing - I'll tell you! We found a bit of a Scottish legend named 'Donald McDermott'. *


Now, Donald knows his stuff. He's been playing the bagpipes for years and years, and he even performed a couple of amazing tunes for us!

He also divulged a load of fascinating facts! (Which, coincidentally, can easily be found online for anyone who doesn't know a bagpipe legend.) For instance - Bagpipes were once used by Scots to "frighten away their enemies on the battlefield". Kind of makes sense (no offence to the Scots, but they are quite loud).

Also, there's a myth that in 1745 (that's right, the date in which 'Young Pretender' is set!) bagpipes were banned, but historians have no proof of this. Not that this effects the play at all seeing as we don't feature the bagpipes once. (Don't have a go, I'm just trying to get some sort of actual 'information' into this.)

Another interesting fact is that the original bagpipe was "made from the whole skin of a dead (obviously) sheep". Similarly, I learned earlier this week that Haggis was prepared in a sheep's stomach. A lot happened with sheep in Scotland back in the day didn't it? Obviously wasn't just the wind making them shake...

So - there's another blog filled with fun, facts and... frolicking! What more could you want? 

Hopefully I'll be delivering a final challenge for ya'll soon!

*May not be an actual person.


Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 


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