#TuneTuesday | Susan MacLeod & Thomson’s Dirk

Rose Gardens at Stirling CastleWith the start of the Highland Games season upon us, I thought I’d introduce some dance tunes to the blog. In the competitions that happen during the games, these are the main tunes that are played, other than pibroch.

The first time I heard the strathspey, “Susan MacLeod” was when I performed with my cousin’s pipe band in the Queen Anne Garden of Stirling Castle in Scotland (pictured above). To this day it remains one of my favourite tunes!

It’s rare that pipers play a strathspey on it’s own; they are usually combined with a reel. “Thomson’s Dirk” was one of the first four-parted reels I learnt for solo competition.

If you’re into pop music you may have heard this tune played during Madonna’s Reinvention Tour as the intro to her song “Into the Groove.”  Madonna and bagpipes – who would have guessed that?!

Enjoy and stay “tuned” for next week’s #TuneTuesday!

–Andrew