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April 17, 2013

Boston Reporter: For Some Reason I Can't Fathom, Someone Is Playing Amazing Grace on Bagpipes in Boston

"For no explicable reason," he says.

In fairness, @DanFosterNRO also tweeted something along these lines so I suppose the remark was more about questioning why at the Courthouse, rather than "What does Amazing Grace have to do with funeral rites and what do Bagpipes have to do with Boston?"

And I suppose it's one of those "Tweet everything you see on the scene to prove that you're doing some reporting" sorts of things. Combined with the two imperatives of Twitter: Say something, no matter how mundane, and try to say it Snarky, because The Kids All Love The Snarky.

To explicate some hypotheses for Boston Globe reporter/Harvard night school professor Billy Baker: Amazing Grace is a devotional song most frequently heard during funerals or memorials for the dead. Bagpipes, being Irish/Scottish, are a popular instrument to render the tune on, especially in heavily-Irish Boston.

And buskers -- street musicians -- tend to play music where there are large groups of people with dollars in their pockets. It may make more sense to play the song on Boylston Street, but given that that's a crime scene and that civilian bagpipers aren't welcome there, he probably went to where the crowds were gathering, which was at the federal courthouse.

I hope this dispels your confusion, Mr. Baker.

Incidentally, while the Expert Baker was baffled, most of the non-experts seemed to understand the connection between Amazing Grace and solemn moments.


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posted by Ace at 06:21 PM

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