The Backstory of the Bagpiper

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The Backstory of the Bagpiper

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The Backstory of the Bagpiper

Bagpipes have a unique ability to bring forth emotions within us.  If you have ever heard this extraordinary wind instrument played during a funeral service, you may remember just how appropriate it was.  It is often considered a cornerstone to Irish, Scottish and even hero funerals today.

Its significance is rather interesting and so I thought to share it following this St. Patrick's Day!
Many Eastern cultures have a history of masking emotions.  Roman soldiers would cut feet before battle to have bled their emotions away as Eastern martial arts were practiced to keep control over the body while under attack.  Our Irish and Scottish ancestors were no exceptions, in fact high ranking leaders of the clan were expected to be infallible.

The expectation that emotions should be kept within trickled through the social system.  Members of the clan were measured stronger than others by this rationale.  So imagine what it would mean to see a high ranking clan leader doubled over in grief during a funeral.  The fear was this weakness would infect their civilization.

The term "Pay the Piper" comes from this exact circumstance.  When a death occurred the Pipers would come.  Next the Pipers would wail away on the pipes.  Those attending the funeral would have a choice, they could "Pay the Piper" by trade or in money in which case the piper would leave and spare them.  Or they would "Pay the Piper" by bearing their own emotions.  Still today there isn't a way around it as the saying goes, "Pay the Piper", and the Piper will be paid.

Connecting with and entering into the feelings and emotions related to loss may be as empowering as it is difficult to endure.  Emotions and feelings are our greatest motivator and so we open our hearts to our friend, the Bagpiper.