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Scotch with Soul

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  • Scotch with Soul

    Rufus Harley? Now, there’s one cool cat!
    He was the MAN with the music!
    Women, when seeing that cocked hat
    take the stage, would swoon as though sick!
    And when he played—ah! The sounds he made!
    That black jazz man extraordinaire—
    no one would deny his sound swayed
    like a kilt at a Scottish fair.

    Back up now— What did you just say?
    ‘bout a black jazz man with kilts a-sway?

    Well—of jazz musicians there’s all type.
    Rufus marched to a different beat
    and played the Great Highland Bagpipe.
    Picked up his first set on the street
    after scouring New York’s pawn shops
    and learned to play—a self-taught feat.
    Though his neighbours often called the cops
    he kept right on skirling in his suite,
    and when they'd show, his words were true—
    Officer, you jiving me, man?
    Now, do I LOOK Scottish to you?

    (Bagpipes shoved behind the divan...)

    He played ‘em loud! He played ‘em strong!
    That Afro-wearing Scots Wha Hae—
    to Clan MacLeod he did belong
    (though, unorthodox his style of play!)
    It didn’t take him long before he learns
    to play the blues, some funk and jazz
    (in tribute—‘course—to Robert Burns)
    he hit those grace notes with pizzazz!

    'twas such a shame he had to die—
    as all good Scots before him—sent
    to a Celtic ceilidh in the sky
    while we back here sing his lament.

  • #2
    Love, love, love this! Wish I could hit the like button over and over! Pf, you know how to write a poem! I hadn't heard of Rufus Harley before this, but from the opening line I was hooked to know more. I am so happy right now. Thanks for adding to an already great day!


    • pipersfancy
      pipersfancy commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh RLW— DO look up Rufus Harley on the internet! There are some clips of him playing the pipes on YouTube that I've watched. To be honest, he wasn't the most technically skilled piper the world has ever seen... but, the man had pizzazz while playing! I like to learn about lesser known artists who never made it big in their career, yet still contributed something unique and worthwhile... Rufus was actually one of my heroes as a kid... I mean, a skinny, 14-year old GIRL in an all male pipeband was not exactly common either!

      Many thanks, RLW! Your reviews always put a smile on my face!

    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, I did! I've not heard a lot of bagpipe playing - and from what I could remember, it mostly sounded like a dirge. But I loved the videos I watched where he jazzed it up. And what an amazing story - it makes me want to be an amazing person too!

  • #3
    Oh Piper, you always take me to a place with deep meaning. A place were I have to raise my game. A place where my imagination CANNOT be lazy. But when all is said and done, I feel invigorated and excited for new day.


    • pipersfancy
      pipersfancy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Bobby! Yet, this particular work is not of my imagination... no—Rufus Harley was the real deal! You can still find clips of him playing the pipes on YouTube! I like to write poems based on factual people, events, etc... stretches my brain in some ways as it's always a challenge!


  • #4
    Ok PF, now I have to really burn the Midnight Oil. Rufus Harley on YouTube or keep reading Rhymezone Poems.. Hmmmm?


    • pipersfancy
      pipersfancy commented
      Editing a comment
      Ehhh... it's music, Bobby. You can put it on in the background, then switch back over to RhymeZone to keep reading... problem solved!

  • #5
    A fitting, humorous, and well-crafted eulogy from one piper to another, pf, and always teaching us something in the process!


    • #6
      Ha! My Scots ancestors are from clan McLeod too.


      • #7
        Wow, impressive, pf - fun, teaching, excellent rhyming and writing; kudos!