A Pastoral Moment

Last night I played for a outdoor wedding at a beautiful and secluded ranch in the mountains outside Salt Lake City. I was asked to play for about a half hour prior to the service, while the guests were arriving.

About half-way through this, the wedding organizer came up to me and asked if I could hear the bull in the next field. Sure enough, after each set of tunes there was a distinctive bellow coming from the field behind the trees. I asked if she thought the bull was happy, or unhappy with the piping. She said she couldn’t tell.

There is a piobaireachd tune called “The Red Speckled Bull”. I decided to play the ground of the tune just for the bull and see if he liked it. When I finished, I listened. Total silence. I wasn’t sure if this signaled approval or not, and I was getting ready to play another tune – this one about a cow – when the wedding party arrived and I had to switch to more traditional tunes. So I still don’t know if the bull was happy with my choice of tune, but I’ll bet not many pipers get to play that tune in the presence its namesake.

2 Replies to “A Pastoral Moment”

  1. So…based on your story…that’s really no bull? At least you don’t have cats howling in the adjacent yard like I did when I started to learn!

    Hey – just listening to David Brewer’s new CD with Steam Train to Malag. He created a great collection of tunes. He’s with Molly’s Revenge as you may know.

    Also, come on out to our 5th Annual Monterey Bay School of Piping and Drumming now set for June 14-19, 2009. Would love to meet you!!!!

    Best wishes to you for a Piping Hot New Year!

  2. Well, I’d day the bull liked it. Some friends of mine who are also pipers have a herd of purebred shorthorn cattle, but when pipes are played they would come up to the fence, when finished playing, they would wander off to graze some more. One of their best bulls of days gone by was even named Royal Piper.

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