Up the Chanter!

This one I created just for fun.  If you’ve been reading my blog up to now you’ll probably know that a chanter is the part of the Irish uilleann (pronounced “ill-un” or “ill-en”) pipes that you play the melody with.  You might be wondering now what “up the chanter” means.  It is a bit hard for me to articulate because the phrase is one that I know just from being around Irish culture but I’ll do my best to explain it. 

County Clare, Ireland has long carried the nickname, “the Banner County.”  Clare has a very rich traditional music culture and is one of the places I’d like most to visit in the world.  The phrase, “Up the Banner!” is what a Clare native might use to express pride and enthusiasm for their home county (think along the lines of cheering at a footbal match).  You also sometimes hear it modified in a more specific way such as, “Up Tulla!” (Tulla is a town in County Clare) to cheer for the home town.  My cousin, friend, and fellow piper, Eric came up with this particular modification.  So, to put it simply, “Up the Chanter” is a bit of a shout out to fellow pipers.