February 7, 2010

Funeral Gig


As a Bagpiper, I play many funeral gigs.

Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a grave side service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Kentucky back-country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the service was over and the hearse was nowhere in sight.

There were only the diggers left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before.

And as I played 'Amazing Grace ,' the workers began to weep, I wept, we all wept together.

When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car.

As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the workers sob,

"Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."