page 12

by Jock Agnew





The other day I chanced to meet A piper busking in the street,

I stopped to listen with some care Thinking that I knew the air,

But it was a doubtful treat;

The fellow couldn’t keep a beat.

And his fingering was not (In my opinion) worth a lot,

I couldn’t help but wish that he Would stop and play a nice CD!

The piper at our local fete

Has played well past his sell-by date, And though he plays with practiced poise He makes a truly dreadful noise,

His ears, it seems, are quite immune To bagpipes that are out of tune.

The drones are sharp, the chanter flat,


I felt the urge to tell him, that Were he to play at other shows He ought to stick to dominoes!*

Then there are those Lowland fellows

Playing bagpipes blown by bellows.

One, I know, who will insist on

Pumping like a de-ranged piston,

Causing hideous polytones

To issue from his startled drones!

While every tortured chanter reed

Expires with quite indecent speed.

What’s more he doesn't seem to care

If bagpipe-makers tear their hair

Or audiences swoon with shock

Or critics write to Common Stock...


*A thought I stole, I must confess, from music critic G.B.S