[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Amazing Grace

The tune Amazing grace strikes two different cords, if you'll pardon the
pun, in my own heart.  As a woman married to a firefighter in the U.S.,
there are two things that freeze me.. a policeman at my door, and hearing
this song on pipes.  The fear of a policeman at my door goes to the fear of
being told he has not survived an emergency.   The song played on pipes has
reached nearly sacred status with policemen and firemen in the U.S.  Many
movies have reflected the american tradition of having pipers lead a funeral
of a firefighter or policeman here, playing this song.  It is however, a
tradition that traces back many MANY years here.
Some historians will tell you the tradition of piping the song at a funeral
goes back to the chicago fires, and the number of firemen who died there of
irish and scots descent. Others will tell you that the tradition goes back
to New York , where civil service positions are deeply rooted in irish and
scots families.
Last year, here in Houston, we lost two firefighters as they attempted to go
into a burning building to rescue one of their own, who'd collapsed from a
heart attack.  While they were key in helping get him out of the building,
both died, one just 10 feet inside the back door. Like clans, there is a
brotherhood to firefighters, and many hundreds came to the funerals from all
over the country.  There is never a dry eye once the pipes start this song.
It is a deeply emotional song for anyone who hears it played on bagpipes, I
agree.  But as for me, it is not one I can hear without shaking me up pretty

[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html