The Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Poem by Angela Wybrow
An August evening, and people make their way to
Edinburgh Castle for the world famous Military Tattoo.
Once everyone has arrived and taken their seats,
From the battlements, sounds a steady drum beat.
Soon, a large corps of drummers appears,
To the audience’s applause and rousing cheers.
Each of the soldiers, dressed in their smart uniforms,
Has been up, rehearsing, since the first break of dawn.
The drummer’s skills are most highly rated:
They perform all kinds of rhythms, including syncopated.
The sound of the big bass drum, through my body, resonates;
Its booming beat similar to that of my own pulsing heart rate.
The drummers are replaced by another military band;
No drums this time, but they have bagpipes in hand.
The whole event is a real feast for ears and eyes.
Some of the tunes played, I instantly recognise.
During the show, the arena is constantly filled,
With military personnel demonstrating their skills.
Soldiers stand to attention in a long regimented, straight line,
Then, as one, move their feet, as they stand there marking time.
The spectacle of the Massed Band of The Royal Air Force,
Makes the blood in my veins race and excitedly course.
You can’t help but be moved by the sights and the sounds,
Of one of the world’s most famous military displays around.
The audience of some seven thousand people strong,
Sit enraptured, taping their feet and clapping along.
The Esplanade, where the action all takes place, sits
In front of the impressive stone castle which is floodlit.
This stunning pageant has a truly international flavour.
Talents from around the world, the audience can savour.
To a Scottish fiddle, traditional dancers swirl.
Regimental flags are ceremoniously unfurled.
And, just as all this action has made the audience rather hyper,
They are calmed down again by the lament of the lone piper.
To the ramparts, where the piper is stood, all eyes are drawn,
As the pipes play a haunting melody, traditionally, used to mourn.
Near the end, my neighbours link their arms with mine,
As, together, we sing a rousing chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’
The audience make their way home, and soon, a hush falls.
I stroll back to my hotel, feeling glad to have been a part of it all.
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