The Twelve Days of Christmas – Eleven Pipers Piping

Day Eleven of The Twelve Days of Christmas – Eleven Pipers Piping.

Verse eleven of the Twelve Day of Christmas says:

On the eleventh day of Christmas,

My true love sent to me

Eleven Pipers piping.…..

I wonder what type of Pipe the Eleven  Pipers were playing?

When I hear of Eleven Pipers Piping, I naturally thinks of Scottish Bagpipe players.

Although I am not a Scot myself, the skirl of the Pipes and sound of The Drums of a Highland Pipers piping, gives me a “tingling feeling” all over. I loved to march behind a band of pipers piping.

History of the Bagpipe

I think it safe to say that most people associate the bagpipe with the Scots and Irish. However in one form or another the bagpipe has been played around parts of Europe, the Caucasus, around the Persian Gulf and in Northern Africa for centuries.

The Oxford History of Music claims that a sculpture of bagpipes has been found on a Hittite slab at Eyuk in the Middle East, dated to 1000 BC. In the 2nd century AD, Suetonius described the Roman Emperor Nero as a player of the tibia utricularis. Dio Chrysostom,  in the 1st century, wrote about a contemporary sovereign (possibly Nero) who could play a pipe with his mouth as well as with his “armpit”

Actual examples of bagpipes from before the 18th century are extremely rare; however, a substantial number of paintings, carvings, engravings, manuscript illuminations, and so on survive. They make it clear that bagpipes varied hugely throughout Europe, and even within individual regions. Many examples of early folk bagpipes in Continental Europe can be found in the paintings of Brueghel, Teniers, Jordaens and Durer.

Styles of Bagpipes

Bagpipe making was once a craft that produced instruments in many distinctive local traditional styles. Today, most bagpipes are mass produced, with Scotland and Pakistan being the two largest centres of factory production in the world.

Modern Scottish Bagpipe

Spanish Bagpipe

Turkish Bagpipe

Swedish Bagpipe

French Bagpipe







The modern Bagpipe is mainly associated with the Military although, many Police and Fire forces in Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States have also adopted the tradition of pipe bands.


Foreign militaries patterned after the British Army have also taken the Highland bagpipe into use, including Uganda, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Oman.

There are many famous British Regimental Pipe Bands such as The Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The Black Watch and The London Scottish Regiment.

One of the world renowned events,  featuring  massed Pipe bands isThe Edingurgh Military Tattoo, heldin Edinburgh , Scotland

If  Eleven Scottish Pipers Piping does not appeal to you as a gift on Day Eleven of The Twelve Days of Christmas, then I’ll leave it to you to investigate other forms of Piping more suited to your taste!


Doctor Bill

Other Posts in the Series:

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve days of Christmas Day 1

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 2

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 3

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 4

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 5

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 6

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 7

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 8

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 9

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 10

Watch for my next Post about  “Day Twelve of The Twelve Days of Christmas”


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6 Responses to “The Twelve Days of Christmas – Eleven Pipers Piping”

  • Comment from docbill

    I must admit I have learned a lot while researching my Twelve days of Christmas series. Published No.13 yesterday – 12 Drummers Drumming. Have a great New Year Wilson

  • Comment from Wilson

    I’ve always found the bag pipes an interesting instrument. It sure does take some skills to play it. And wow, I didn’t know there was so much fact about them. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Comment from docbill

    Thanks for the comments Sue-Ellen. Although a Brass band player myself, I was never game to try the Bagpipes. However I am a great lover of “The Pipes”
    Have just puplished No13 “Drummers Drumming “

  • Comment from Sue-Ellen

    I never knew all the different styles of bagpipes and have learnt so many interesting facts.
    I once attempted to play the bagpipes and I have a lot of respect for people who do play them well, as I completely ran out of air before I could get a note out, let alone walk whilst playing. Cheers the bagpipe players everywhere 🙂

  • Comment from docbill

    You are probably right Jenny. It’s just my querky mind at work and something different for people to think about.

  • Comment from Jenny Locke

    The school I went to had a pipeband (brother school) and it was always a thrill to hear them play at school events. I must admit I had not thought of bagpipers in the context of the Twelve Days of Christmas but rather pipers as in a flute or smaller pipe.

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