One can read quite a bit into the name of this tune. It’s title might suggest a tune similar to “Niel Gow’s Farewell to Whisky,” composed in remorse after the ban on whisky distillation in 1757. Then again, it’s certain that many a piper of the past has been known to swear “never again” after one whisky-fueled night too many. The vintage of the tune suggests it might relate more to the likes of William MacDonald, student of Donald Cameron who, at mid-piping career, swore off drink, bagpipes, and all music. He is said to have burned his stand of pipes in favor of more pious pursuits. One might also think of the deleterious effects of too much whisky on a person’s life and livelihood. Perhaps the tune throws a nod to the piper who pulls himself together and swears off whisky before his life spins too far out of control.
View the score for “The Piper’s Farewell to Whisky.”