Friday, July 24, 2009

Nauvoo, and Bagpipes

Yesterday Hallie and I got to go to Nauvoo, because my visiting teaching companion offered to let us go with her when she went, and that she would watch Hallie for me so I could go to the temple. So, of course, that was wonderful, and we had a great day - thank you Sandy! But that's not the point here.

While we were in Nauvoo, and Sandy was having her turn in the temple, Hallie and I were walking around after lunch. We heard bagpipes playing nearby, so of course off we went to investigate. We found a cluster of people, and the bagpipes were louder, so we knew we were in the right place. There were four people playing the bagpipes, and two people playing different drums. They were in full Scottish-wear, and they looked and sounded fabulous. Hallie had (dare I say obviously?) never heard anything like a bagpipe band (?) before, so she was enthralled. We stood there and listened to them for a while, and I realized that I had the goofiest, cheesiest grin on my face, and I don't even know why I was so happy, but it was just a really beautiful moment. Then they started a new song, and it sounded familiar, but before I could place it I found myself practically sobbing. I commanded myself to get a grip, and managed to return to control before anything awkward happened, like dropping Hallie, and then I realized what song they were playing so beautifully. It was "Praise to the Man". I'm not sure why it struck me so hard, but I've never heard it put to bagpipes before, with drums and everything. It was so majestic, and tragic sounding at the same time, and yet what a triumphant song! It's hard to describe, maybe you see what I mean. Anyway, by the time they finished I had managed to work my face back into a smile, you can't imagine what a feat of control that was because for some reason I was still battling the desire to weep.

You're probably thinking, 'she's pregnant. and she's crazy.' But it was beautiful, it was in Nauvoo, and it was bagpipes! How could you not feel a surge of emotion when thinking about Joseph Smith in a setting such as that?


  1. Hey Amy! I love bagpipes too! I went to the Scottish day parade last year here in nyc and it was absolutely fabulous! I could listen to bagpipe bands all day.

  2. When I was pregnant I felt the importance of life on a higher level than I ever had before. Some people will chalk up those feelings as hormonal. I will admit to having some hormone driven emotion. But when we are working with God to create a new soul we are close to Heaven. So, I think your feelings are because you are pregnant, but not just 'hormonal.'
    This will be a cherished memory.

  3. I definitely would have been emotional. There is a man who often plays bagpipes outside of Temple Square, and I agree that there is something amazing about hearing the hymns played on bagpipes. That's great that you got to go to the Temple and Nauvoo!

  4. I love hearing bagpipe bands (especially in person). Sounds like it was a wonderful moment for you! :) This Saturday we're planning to go to the Scottish Highland Games and I'm hoping to get there for the opening ceremonies when the pipers play.

  5. That was us!
    My wife, youngest son and I just got back from Nauvoo where we played with the pipe corps. It was an experience we'll never forget. Thank you for your comments Amy.

    Check out my blog at:

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