Saturday, August 09, 2008

pipes are calling -- in Beijing

Did you hear the pipes playing as athletes from around the world walked into the the stadium to begin the 29th Olympiad in Beijing yesterday? Their presence was not noted -- in the American commentary anyway -- and at first I thought perhaps there was a Chinese instrument I did not know which sounds like the highland pipes. When I realized they were playing Scotland the Brave, though, I knew there had to be Scottish pipers and drummers somewhere.

As it turns out, they are the Mains of Fintry Pipe Band from Dundee. Not Scottish Power or one of the other well known bands? No. According to the BBC, the group is one which focuses on friends and family and rarely competes in national pipe rounds. In fact, when the organizers of the Olympic opening ceremony, who had seen the band playing in France last summer, sent the invitation, the members were slow to respond because at first they thought it was a joke. Then, because of a confidentiality agreement, they couldn’t really tell anybody about what they’d be doing.

An unexpectedly moving moment to hear the highland pipes and drums welcoming the athletes of the world in such a far place.

more about the Mains of Fintry Pipe Band

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger señoritafish said...

I noticed that - thought it was a little odd that no one mentioned it. The first time it played, hearing Scotland the Brave in Beijing, as athletes from countries also far away from Scotland seemed a little strange -then I noticed music from other countries was alternating with it.

Thanks for the explanation.

9:59 AM  

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