Made In Chicago: Shannon Rovers

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.

Made In Chicago: 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.”

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