“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

Battle hymns

by | May 4, 2018 | Uncategorized | 4 comments

As we all know, if you are going to march off to war – or do anything manly and therefore worth doing – it always helps to be in the right frame of mind. And the best way to get into that frame of mind is through using music designed specifically to put you in the mood to break things.

Few forms of music achieve this quite as effectively as bagpipes.

I am not quite sure what it is about the bagpipes that puts one in a martial mood. After all, one can charitably describe the skirling sound of a bagpipe as, essentially, what is produced when you grab a cat, stick your thumb up its arse, and clamp down on its tail with your teeth. The sounds emitted by the poor beastie would be an exact copy of a bagpipe’s wailing.

That said – the legends of old (or should I say, “auld”) have it that the Celts would march to war with pipers to give them courage and pride in the midst of the horror and carnage and appalling din of battle.

Even above the screams of wounded and dying men, the sickening crunch of steel smashing through wood and bone, the squelching of ground turned red and muddy by blood, and the horrible shrieks that injured horses make, the one thing that you can count on to be heard through it all is the sound of the pipes.

Let’s face facts – the bagpipes are BADASS. And for that, we have the Scots to thank.

Unfortunately, we also have them to thank for – and there is no polite way of putting this – golf.

That’s right. The single most useless, boring, pointless, irritating, STUPID, IDIOTIC, INANE, ANNOYING, RETARDED [5,000 word rant deleted] “sport” in all of human history, was invented by the very same people that gave us the bagpipes, the telephone, the pedal bicycle, the steam engine, the Stirling heat engine, and God only knows how many other incredible innovations:

Hey, I guess the Lord had to be fair and balanced and all that. He saw all of the splendid properties of these great (if incomprehensible and morose and quite drunken) people, and said, “Well, that’s a wee bit lopsided, eh, what?” – and had them invent GOLF.


(You may have surmised by now that I am not exactly a fan of the sport. You would be correct. I prefer real sports that involve people shooting things, hitting other people, or hitting small tennis balls at very high speeds around a proper court.)

Oh, and since this is of course a blog run by a metalhead – with exquisite taste in music – here is an example of bagpipes used effectively in heavy metal:

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  1. LastRedoubt

    Oh, good stuff.

    May I suggest the following: youtu.be/jFi7bWkyRpA

    Yeah she (now he) has gone off their rocker, but in prior days had some good skill in playing and writing music, and that song is a bloody-minded call to war that inspired both Ringo and Stirling to incorporate the song into stories of the downfall of advanced civilization

  2. Dire Badger

    Have you actually played Golf, though?

    I used to hate the idea (The most boring sport to watch hands-down) until I actually gave Golf a shot. Of course, it helps that I am WAY too old to compete in the ring and playing basketball would give me a stroke for real.

    But as a sport for old dudes, it's actually a lot of fun and gets you away from the goddamned keyboard for a while. Plus it's a drinking game.

    • Didact

      Well, yes, it is a drinking game, but for those I prefer to go to outdoor German beer gardens.

  3. Tom Kratman

    Interesting bagpipe story that may help explain the effect. While stationed at Ft Bragg, in 2003, I used to drive home to Virginia on weekends. It was normally a 4.5 or so hour drive. So one time I put a bagpipe disk in the CD. How long did it take to drive then? 3:20.

    They seem to act to suppress fear…because normally, doing 85 or 90 on twisting mountain roads would be, ya know, kinda scary.


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