I listen to quite a bit of piping music each day. Wait. That’s a lie. I listen to a crap load of it. Like a lot of pipers out there my car is full of piping CD’s. I do occasionally feel there’s a conspiracy against me with my wife getting the kids to slowly scratch them to the point of resembling an ice rink surface, or Edward Scissor hands is manhandling my collection. Anyhow, apart from the car I don’t get much time to listen to piping apart from the office, the house, when I’m walking about and when I’m falling asleep. Ok, so that’s a lot, but what about running ? I run a lot during the week and I’ve been itching to put together a play list with just pipe band stuff on it. So here my chosen top five tracks that I would use :
1. The 78th Fraser Highlanders – Live in Ireland (Track 15 : Slow Air, Jig and Hornpipe)
The track that pipers so love. For me, it’s iconic. I listened to this so many times as a teenager and it still gets me to this day. The slow air (Fair Maid of Barra) is a very melodic tune which would make a great start for a run. The jig and hornpipe would provide punch enough to get into a good steady pace. I reckon the track could be best served as a finale to a run too leaving you with a mega fast finish and a raging heart rate.
2. St Laurence O’Toole – Dawning of the Day (Track 1 : Air and March)
My second choice on my play list would be this track. Absolutely awesome. I’d put this track either first or second on my playlist in all honesty. The track begins with a soloist and then a duet followed closely by the band (I think?). Perfect for the first part of a run. Like the tune name, it definitely leaves you with a ‘wake up’ feel. Just what you need for those first few hundred footsteps.
3. Field Marshall Montgomery – Re:Charged (Track 6 : Fiddlers Rally Medley)
The best medley ever. No, don’t try and disagree – not even in your heads. It’s the best hands down medley yet. Brilliantly chosen tunes and so masterfully played. Ok, so FMMPB are my favourite band so I’m a bit biased about it but still. For a run, the medley starts out powerful and bright and pretty much continues that trend until the Unknown Air which brings it all back until the punch with the Fiddlers Rally setting that just knocks your socks off. If you’re not charged up about running after hearing this track, you’re most likely closely related to a sloth.
4. Simon Fraser University – Down Under (Track 7 : Traditional Set)
I’m not sure what draws me to this track but hell, you can’t deny it’s an ass kicker. I still rate this track as one that shows off drumming and piping complimenting each other in the finest way possible. This should provide a great tempo for the middle of a short run. The set ends with the brilliant Thompson’s Dirk reel with just the pipers playing the first part and the drummers coming in on the second part with strength. It’s pretty much solid from beginning to end which is just what you need mid run.
5. Field Marshall Montgomery – Unplugged (Track 10 : Medley)
Another of my favourite medleys! It’s fantastic and full of energy, but has a slow intro solo piece to begin with (Kilt Rock), which is perfect as it picks up pretty quickly into the Shepherds Crook. The set ends in spectacular fashion with an aggressive sounding Cabar Feidh and Christopher’s Birthday and those two tunes just melt so well together and end with such a solid tempo and melody. I can’t think of another track that would top it for a finish. Not even Eminem can touch it.
I reckon I’d need a load more to fill an entire run, so what would your tracks be ?