The Piper's Cave

The composer of this tune, James Sutherland, was born at Rosskeen, Ross-shire and was taught by Pipe Major James MacDonald. He joined the 1st Seaforth Highlanders as a piper in 1883. He served 21 years with the Regiment, becoming Pipe Major in 1893.

While posted to Egypt he composed 'The Pipers' Cave,' named after the Pipers' room in the Barracks in Cairo. The officers saw the potential of the tune but did not like the title and persuaded him to name it '3rd Seaforth's Farewell to Cairo'. This is how it was first published, but took its original title when it was finally included in the Seaforth's book.

The connection between pipers and caves is legendary. There are several old stories of pipers who went into caves, never to return, whose pipes were occasionally heard from deep within. Dogs who followed them in sometimes escaped with singed fur, presumably from getting to close to the fires of hell.