Steenie Steenson, well-kent grumpy old piper, sends us his ramblings and rattlings

Greetings again from a Primrose Knowe basking in November sunshine, your old pal Steenie here with an unusually braw spirit on him. What a treat to see those paintings of pipers of my day; no-one ever offered to paint my picture as far as I recall, but I swear I recognize at least one of them. I laughed too at the idea that anyone might call those pipes we played ‘Border Pipes’; I played the Big Pipes, and I confess I played, when pressed, the small pipes, but I never heard tell of border pipes; a wide border that would be.  I don’t know what they called their pipes in London, though I’ve heard the term ‘common bagpipe’ often enough - in the Western Marches it was bagpipe - plain and simple enough. Maybe we should have called them ‘March Pipes’? That would gi’ a dunt in their notions - ‘March Music’ - ha, I’d like to have seen the confusion that would cause.
Another smile too, at the notion that it took a Dutchman to paint a piper; not that the old man would have ventured into the Western Marches in those days, what with Bluidy Claverhouse ravaging the local population and a poor piper not knowing where his next term’s mail would come from.
One last thing those paintings minded me of - singing to the pipes. Many’s the howf that rang to the the sound of my pipes and the singing of sculduddry sangs, but I’d clean forgotten - like everybody else, even though every tune we ever played had its words, and every one of ‘em fit only for the tavern. Never mind that you’re too fou to kick up a Cumberland, there’s no a body that canna sing while they fa’ doun...