As a piper, I've played many gigs. Anything for a buck and to subsidise my travels.
Arriving in Jacksonville I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a paupers' cemetery in the Florida back country in America.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop to ask for directions.
I finally arrived an hour late, and saw that the funeral director had evidently left, and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
The only people left were the gravediggers crew, and they were eating their lunch.
I felt bad and apologised to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down.
The 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 round.
I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. For this homeless man I played as I'd never played before.
As I played 'Flowers of the Forest' the workers began to cry. They cried; I cried; we all cried together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started to go to my car. Though my head was hanging low, my heart was full to bursting.
As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothin' like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Edited by Flure, 31 May 2012 - 11:15 PM.