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The Black Watch

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Regimental Music

Regimental Music

Music has been an important part of the life of the Black Watch from the earliest days. In particular, pipe music has been integral to the lives of Highland soldiers.

Played into battle, the sound of the pipes raised the spirits of the Highlanders and put fear into the hearts of the enemy. In recent years the Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch have carried out 11 band tours to North America on behalf of Columbia Artists. They were often accompanied by the Band of The Black Watch who were accomplished military musicians and in 1963 they played at the White House for President Kennedy, eight days before his assassination. The Pipes and Drums then played at his State Funeral.

For many years, soldiers from both bands had war roles and whilst the Band of The Black Watch was disbanded in the early 1990s the Pipes and Drums are still a favourite at the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo. They still have a vital role as soldiers, manning the battalion’s medium machine guns.

The spirit of the Black Watch is summed up in the title of the Regimental Quick March “Hielan Laddie”. The Regimental tunes of note are:

Pipes and Drums

  • Quick March: Hielan’ Laddie
  • Slow Marches: My Home and Highland Cradle Song 

Military Band

  • Quick March: All The Blue Bonnets are over the Border
  • Slow March: The Garb of Old Gaul

The Regimental Lament is Lochaber no more.

CDs and DVDs of their spirited music can be bought on our online shop.

The Kandahar Reel