It’s not often we have competition for sound-space at a funeral, apart from the occasional helicopters or low-flying planes.
However, at crematoriums with two chapels, the middle of one service coincides with the arrival of the funeral procession to the doors of the other chapel. Which is fine, so long as the funeral doesn’t involve a piper piping in the family.
Let me say right away, I’m half Scots, so bagpipes are part of my cultural heritage and I genuinely admire any player who can coax a tune from several sticks and a tartan bag.
However, bagpipes were designed to be heard in the heat of battle, so a pair of supposedly soundproof chapel doors is a breeze. The sound travels through them beautifully, unless, of course, the piper is playing the song you’re about to sing – Amazing Grace – but in a different key.
So, the savvy vicar in charge of the funeral service in question talked until the bagpipes gave their final finishing wheeze, and then announced “Kirsty will now sing and see if she can beat that!” The organist and I struck up Amazing Grace in our key (a fourth up), the chapel filled with music, the congregation smiled, and we even got a ripple of applause at the end!
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All our articles are written either by Toni or Kirsty. If you'd like to write a guest blog, just let us know!