The Bagpiper

I’ve seen him before perched on a high rock in Central Park mewling a song…  images-1 bagpipes weeping telling their story at daybreak.

It’s a sad sound one can’t help but to slow down for.

It makes me think of September 11th and the many funerals held on my corner for dozens of police and firemen. I listened to that sound for days till it became a normal one woven into all I’ve grown used to.

The first time hearing the bagpiper, I was running up the hill that takes me back to the East Side. I stopped to clap and in mid wail, he humbly bowed.

I loved how it kept me company growing fainter and fainter as I ran yearning to turn back to hear it again at its fullest, my heart humming along remembering all that’s poignant.

I often wonder what drives him to play at that early hour. Is it preparation for a funeral, or sheer pleasure knowing he can produce such a song.

He’s cute…30ish in jeans and a jacket, his hair blowing freely in the crisp breeze. Part of me wants to learn more about him…is he American, Scottish…does he own a kilt?

I haven’t though, enjoying the mystery of his sheer presence.

Sometimes it’s better not to know everything filling in the blanks yourself. I’ve decided he must be a happy boy blissfully in love with his music.

Why else would he play at dawn high on a rock in Central Park for those lucky enough to hear him.




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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20 Responses to The Bagpiper

  1. Joe Owens says:

    My experience with the “pipes” is at the annual Relay for Life event we attend. At the beginning we were eager participants remembering the three members of my core family (mother, father and brother) who died from cancer and hearing the mournful notes of amazing grace evoked such sorrowful tears.


  2. That’s one nice thing about living in a big city, all the very interesting people living together. Little touches like a bagpiper playing at dawn make life special.


  3. micklively says:

    Much as I love the way you write, I can’t agree with you on this one. Bagpipes sound like a cat being put through a mangle. Only the dour scots can abide them (oh, and you, of course). 😉


  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Love bagpipe music, though it is sad, it’s also peaceful and relaxing. Lucky you!


  5. katecrimmins says:

    I associate bagpipes with funerals so they are a very sad sound to me.


  6. I have loved bagpipes my whole life… My parents knew someone who played in a bagpipe band that would play in parades. Then my daughters went to a high school that was actually a registered ‘clan’ in Scotland. They had a bagpipe band, kilts, and tartans. Kids from all over San Diego county tried to get into this band. But, since my grandfather came from Scotland and other grandparents came from Ireland… I am a bit partial… I miss hearing them.


  7. MJ says:

    I grew up in “Brigadoon-on-Passaic”, New Jersey, where the skirl of the pipes was as ubiquitous as the aroma of fish&chips on Friday nights, so it’s never struck me as a funereal sound. In fact, even in that Scottish enclave, pipers only started turning up at funerals after the bagpiped cover of “Amazing Grace” became a pop hit. For me, the drone and the keening was exciting, not sad. Whether it was the Scots or the Irish parading up Kearny Avenue, it was the sound of victory—or defiance in defeat. In the old days the high school twirlers–my adored teenage aunt among them—wore Campbell tartan kilts set off by tams and jackets of black velvet with white lace jabots. Though she professed to hate the outfit, it set off her tiny waist and pony legs to perfection. As a very little girl, I’d watch with my heart in my throat when she’d step out and strut to “Scotland the Brave”, white spats flashing, and toss her baton so high that I thought she couldn’t possibly catch it. But she did, except once. Fortunately, I missed that parade, because instead of just picking it up and carrying on, she burst out laughing—which got her kicked off the squad, because she couldn’t stop giggling when reprimanded afterwards. Anyway…one of the reasons I love reading your blog is that you make me remember such things.


    • I love this MJ…love the idea of…pony legs…have visions of a palomino kicking up those legs for her petty niece and the rest of the world to see. Thank you for taking the time to reminisce on the page. Enhanced the piece.


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