CHICAGO (CBS) — If there’s one thing the members of the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band have down pat, it’s jokes about kilts.
“You know, I’ve had more fun in a kilt than I’ve ever had in pants.”
Bill McTighe plays the bagpipes – and he’s also the band manager.
This is his 46th St. Patrick’s Day with the Shannon Rovers.
“And the opportunity to meet people and the opportunity to make them happy and to have a laugh with them – it’s very important to me. And as long as it stays fun I’m going to do it.”
WBBM: Why is it so much fun? Because when I think of bagpipes I think of plaintive, almost mournful music.
“You know, I think that happens because of the popularity of ‘Amazing Grace’ and funerals. But bagpipes were used for celebration as well. I think a lot of people haven’t had that opportunity to see that side of it.”
WBBM: When I think bagpipes, should I think Scotland or Ireland?
“The truth of the matter is, any country in the world that ever had shepherding developed a bagpipe.”
McTighe says the Shannon Rovers was founded in 1926. Now – with more than 80 members – men and women – playing pipes and drums.
And McTighe claims everybody is at least part Irish – except for one man, David Cormalleth, whose family is all from Wales.
And he, too, has perfected the kilt quips.
“There are a lot of people in town who would not recognize us with our pants on.”