Original bagpipe tune honouring Tom Gilzean will raise money for his charities

The tune was written with the blessing of Mr Gilzean's family.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Tom Gilzean settles into Erskine Care Home. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

A bagpipe performer has composed an original song dedicated to fundraising hero Tom Gilzean.

Rich Gordon, 34, who owns and operates his own music company in Cupar, composed the bagpipe tune to honour Mr Gilzean who died on November 4 aged 99.

Mr Gordon is selling downloads of the tune online to raise money for the charities Mr Gilzean supported.

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Once purchased it can be downloaded as an MP3 file or played unlimited times on the streaming site Bandcamp.

The tune costs just £1, but Mr Gordon is hopeful that supporters will choose to donate more to the cause.

The money will be passed to Mr Gilzean’s family, who have backed the tune, for them to distribute between causes close to Mr Gilzean’s heart - primarily the Erskine care home for veterans and the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital.

“There’s not really a set target, I just wanted to continue raising money,” said Mr Gordon.

“I don’t really know how much interest there’s going to be.”

Mr Gordon said the track was something he had been ‘thinking about for a while’, even before Mr Gilzean died.

Some years ago Mr Gordon had arranged with Mr Gilzean’s family to travel to Edinburgh from his home in Fife to play for the fundraising legend, but the arrangement fell through after Mr Gilzean suffered a fall.

“I wanted the pacing and the melodic tune to sound heroic, like a fanfare,” said Mr Gordon.

“When I listen to it I think of him and the kind of person he was.”

Mr Gordon released the track, which he began writing in early November and then performed himself, last week.

The tune will be on sale ‘indefinitely’, so long as it continues to raise funds.

Mr Gordon, a professional performer who also plays saxophone and guitar, has been playing the bagpipes for 24 years.

Mr Gilzean, who drove with Lothian buses, served with the Royal Engineers in World War Two from 1938 to 1946.

n the 1920s and 1930s he volunteered at the Royal Infirmary Parade on Princes Street collecting donations to pay for hospitals and doctors.

He became the eighth recipient of the Edinburgh Award in 2015, and received an MBE in June this year after raising more than £1 million for charity.

He died in veterans' hospital Erskine House in the capital following a series of small strokes.

To find out more or purchase the tune by click here.