On a Tattoo

Embed from Getty Images

No – This post is not about body art.

No – This post is not about Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) proclaiming “De plane! De plane!” from the Fantasy Island tower.

Yes – This post is about an evening signal calling soldiers to their quarters.

Yes – This post is about an extravaganza of music, marching, and performance by military bands from across the globe as England, Scotland, France, India, and Japan providing precision and power.

Yes – A night including 11 pipes and drum bands from Scotland (5), Australia (3). Germany, Malta, and one composed of 45 players invited from at least Argentina, Chile, Mexico, USA, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia; all combining together (at least 300) to bring a layer of complexity through a national tradition.

Yes – A night when about 50 fiddlers from the Shetland Islands, a local children’s choir of at least 30, an international dance company, and The Queen’s Colour Squadron supplied elegance and poise to the instrumentation.

Yes – For us, a night of spectacle, exhilaration, and awe. Welcome to the 2017 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – the 68th edition of a 3-week celebration of music, culture, and tradition.

The castle quietly waits …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The call is made.

They emerge from Edinburgh Castle.

They keep coming onto the Castle Esplanade …

… to entertain with music and theatrics

… with music and dance

… with music and fire

… with grace and majestic grandness

All in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle that also served as a beautiful backdrop

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Attending this event wasn’t on our radar, but for other cruisers this is the reason this took this itinerary. Two days before the event, we noticed tickets remained through a ship excursion, so we decided pay the price and go. Maybe because of my music and band experience, hte finale with over 600 musicians and others was so moving with moments of chills running through my spine. The video below is a high-quality edited version (2+ minutes). The full 5+minute fixed-camera version is linked below the video.

Full version link of the final dress rehearsal (5+ minutes)

Next stop: Edinburgh by day

44 thoughts on “On a Tattoo

  1. Frank you have brought back some great memories to me! First, how great that you got to see it in the flesh so to speak! When my children were very young – and even before children I think – my husband had introduced me to this phenomenon. He was once a member of the Queens Guards (those guardsmen who wear the tall hats and parade up and down outside Buckingham Palace) and had taken part in the Edinburgh Tattoo. It used to be shown annually on television here and we followed it for years. The children enjoyed very much that their dad had taken part and could still remember many of the marching formations. I learned to appreciate much about it and enjoyed the lights and pageantry as much as the music and marching. I always thought it would have been great fun to see it in person.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carrie,
      The price through the cruise ship is ridiculous – but the ship was 90 minutes away, so I’m not sure we had a choice … so we sucked it up.

      The sound of the finale was unbelievable. The show was about 90 minutes … and continuous … as one band leaves, the other is ready. All the performances were entertaining … the Royal Marines (England) was off the charts. … Groups form Japan and India also come to mind. Bottom line – we loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Susie,
      Spectacular it is! 90-minutes of nonstop entertainment … and the sound of the finale still gives me goosebumps! … BTW …. I’ll be posting about Edinburgh probably tomorrow evening … plus two posts back was my post on the Highlands.


  2. The combination of the video (edited), the ticket cost (less than a NY Broadway Musical), and your marquee “chills running through the spine” recommendation (last given for a performance you attended of the Philadelphia Mummers String Band) convince me to move the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo onto my Top 25 Before I Die Bucket List.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      You probably saw smaller crowds during your September trip than August (will explain in the next post). A plus in many ways … but missing the Tattoo. 😦 … Simply a fabulous show. Maybe next time. 🙂


Comment with respect.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.