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Skirling Stereotypes.

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

By now, many of you have seen the GEICO Insurance commercial, Trouble With Noisy Pipes? If not, take 30 seconds and watch the clip below and try not to be as triggered* by the stereotype of noisy pipes as we are; and don't even read the Tweets.

Let's focus on the positive... The pipes are well tuned. The tune, The Atholl Highlanders is a well played and fun arrangement. The bagpiper in the shower and bed are very well deported (no, the piper is not Stuart Davidson from our band).

Commercials like this, while cheeky perpetuate the skirling stereotypes about bagpipes being a nuisance. To GEICO we say booooo. Thankfully, we're in good hands with ALLSTATE.


Some history on the tune -- while there’s some debate exactly who wrote The Atholl Highlanders tune, most people believe it was originally written by William Ross (1823-1891) as a two-part march.

Originally the Atholl Highlanders were organized in 1777 by John Murray (the 4th Duke of Atholl) and were called the “77th Regiment of Foot”. The purpose of the regiment was to act as a relief for other regiments serving in North America, but the group ended up serving most of its time in Ireland and after 5 years of service, the regiment was disbanded in 1783.

More than 50 years later, the regiment was raised again by George Murray (the 6th Duke of Atholl) in 1839 to serve as his personal bodyguard. And a few years later in 1842, the regiment was granted official status by Queen Victoria when she presented the regiment with her colors. Since that time the regiment has served as a bodyguard for the various Dukes of Atholl and any visiting dignitaries.

Today the Atholl Highlanders are officially recognized as the only private army in Europe, but they are mostly considered a small Scottish ceremonial infantry regiment with no military involvement.


* We're kidding GEICO. All in good fun.

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