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Metadata for text 115
No. words in text14748
Title Orain Le Gilleaspuig Caimbeul, Aig Ceann-Loch-Earn
Author Caimbeul, Gilleaspuig
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1851
Date Of Language 1850-1899
Publisher Johnson and Hunter (Mac-Iain agus Hunter)
Place Published Edinburgh (Dùn-Eudainn)
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Perthshire
Register Literature, Verse
Alternative Author Name Archibald Campbell
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 15.5cm x 9.8cm
Short Title Orain
Reference Details EUL, Sp. Coll: S.B. .891631 Cam
Number Of Pages 72
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Gilleaspuig Caimbeul was born in 1804 ‘ann an Ionarchadain am Bunraineach’ in the Parish of Fortingall (see Geographical Origins above). His mother was ‘Searlait Nic an Toisich, odha an duine ainmeil sin, “Fear-fad a choin uidhir,”’ (Cameron, p. 138). He later lived in Lochearnhead, where he died on 4th January 1883.
Contents This volume begins with a Clar-Innsidh (p. 3). Orain (pp. 5-72) contains 19 songs on a variety of subjects, including love, hunting, the state of the Highlands, and local people and events. Meek (2003: 474) notes that Caimbeul’s work ‘includes some songs in the style of the township bard, but he also composed more ornately eulogistic pieces, especially love songs, which echo the work of eighteenth-century poets such as William Ross. The truth of this assessment will be demonstrated below.
Sources
Language William Ross’ influence on Caimbeul can be seen quite clearly in the first two songs in the collection, both of which are love songs: Oran-Molaidh do Nighinn Araid (pp. 5-11) and Oran-Molaidh Do Nighinn Uasail Araid (pp. 11-16). In the first song, for example, the first three lines of the eighth stanza are almost identical to lines found in Ross's Oran Cumhaidh, and the rest of the stanza continues to echo Ross: ‘Gur binne leam do chò’radh, \ Na’n smeòrach air ghéig; \ Na ’chuach ’s a’ mhaduinn Mhàigh, \ Cur fàilte le séid’; \ Na pìob nan dosa fàinneach, \ ’N uair b’ fheàrr bhiodh a gleus; \ Na’n t-Easpuig air la Sàbaid \ No clàrsach nan teud’ (p. 9). In the first stanza of the second song, Caimbeul pays homage to Ross’ Feasgar Luain: ‘Feasgar Luain ’s mi a muigh air chuairt, \ ’S a’ ghleannan uaine, neòineanach; \ ’S mi bhi ’m shìneadh air an luachair, \ Bhruadair mi ’s bu neònach leam, \ An rìbhinn uasal, a’s mò buaidhean, \ Bhi cluaineis co-luath rium, \ ’S ’n uair a mhosgail mi o’n tùirneal \ Bha mi tuirseach, brònach, dheth’ (p. 11).

Both of the above songs are minutely descriptive, praising the looks, the manner, and even the dress of the girl in question, e.g.: ‘O! ’s ann air ceann nan iomadh dual, \ A dh’ fhàs a’ ghruag a’s dòmhaile; \ Gu pleatach, cuachach, dreachmhor, snuadh-dhubh, \ Lùbach, dualach, feòirleineach, \ ’S an sìoda, ’thig o na h-Innsean Shuas, \ Air uachdar, cumail còmhdaich air; \ ’Us pàirt dheth crochadh sios gu d’ ghuailnean, \ ’S òr do chluas ’g a chòmhlachadh’ (p. 13). Compare also: ‘Cha’n ann mar chraoibh an coill gun sgoinn, \ A dh’ fhàs an loinn bhean àluinn so; \ No mar lus am fàsach faoin, \ A bhiodh feadh fraoich nan àrd-bheannan; \ Ach slat de’n abhal, a bha daor, \ Ri ’n d’ fhuairear saothair a’ ghàradair; \ ’S i ùrair, dìreach, dosrach, caomh, \ ’S a h-ùbhlan maoth a’ fàs oirre’ (p. 14). This volume concludes with another love song, Oran Gaoil (pp. 69-72), in which Caimbeul compares the subject of his song with Venus: ‘’N uair chàirear ort mar chòmhdach, \ Earradh-shròil ’s an t-òr ’g a ceangal; \ Cha robh Bhenus riamh cho glòrmhor \ Trian do d’ bhòichead cha do mheal i’ (p. 71).

Oran Do’n t-Samhradh (pp. 19-25) is a richly descriptive nature poem, which again shows the influence of William Ross. The eleventh stanza is completely packed with adjectives: ‘An samhradh lusanach, feurach, \ Grianach, maoth-dhealtrach, céiteineach, tlàth, \ Sòbhrach, seamragach, ceuteach; \ ’S neòineanach, gucagach, eudainn gach àird’; \ O! ’s ùbhlach, figiseach, peurach, \ Dearcach, gìniseach geugan neo-ghann; \ ’S an duilleach uainealach, nòsar, \ Mar shuanaich, ’còmhdachadh chrann’ (p. 23). Caimbeul also describes the birds and animals that abound: ‘Bithidh an ruadh-bhoc gu h-ùdlaidh, \ Ann an sgàile, fo dhùslainn nan geug, \ Anns na doireachan giùbhasaich, \ Far an goireadh an smùdan le séisd’; \ ’S an earbag bhian-dearg, uallach, \ Chèir-gheal, ghasganta, ’s luainiche ceum \ ’S a meannan fiata r’a gualainn, \ Anns na glacagan uaigneach, gun bheud’ (p. 23).

There are a number of humorous poems in this volume, and a number of poems that deal with local events and people. These too often slip into a highly descriptive mode. For example, Oran do Phachd Chliudain (pp. 16-19) is a song about a marsanta who used to go round the area selling goods from his màileid. Caimbeul describes the màileid in detail, before launching into a long description of its contents: ‘Bha guirmean ’us màdur, \ ’S a’ mhàileid aig Cliùdan; \ Bha tea agus siùcar, ’us ròsaid innte; \ Bha friodhanan mhuc, \ Agus trusachan càrcaich, \ ’Us spiaclairean àrd air son shrònan innte; \ Bha siosar do’n tàillear, \ ’Us snàthadan do’n bhan-fhuaighealaich; \ Briog’sean bàna, ’cumhail blàthais \ Air na caileagan, \ Miarain, ’us fàinnean, ’s làmhainnean tana, \ Agus paid’rinean glana, de’n òmar innte’ (p. 18). The màileid also contained earrasaidean sìod and pìorbhuicean amlagach (p. 18), and Spliùcanan ròin, gloineachan-beachdachaidh, riobanan … mar chailico, Neàpaicean-pòca, and bucuill (p. 19).

Diomoladh na h-Aide Cruaidh (pp. 25-28) is a humorous song about the author’s new hat: ‘Bu mhise an duine goràch, \ ’N uair phàigh mi crùn cho deònach, \ Air ad cho dubh ri ròcais \ ’S i ’sgròbadh an fhionnaidh dhiom.’ (p. 25) … ‘Tha dreach air fiamh na h-oidhche, \ ’S i cruaidh mar adharc-gaibhre; \ ’S cùis-eagail i do thaibhsean, \ ’N uair bhoillsgeadh a’ ghealach oirre’ (p. 26). Oran Molaidh Do ’N Phiob-Thombaca (pp. 28-32) is another humorous song expounding the virtues of the pipe: ‘’N àm bhi suidhe sìos aig bòrd, \ Mar ri cuideachd ’s an tigh-òsda, \ B’ fheàrr leam thu na fìon ’us beòir, \ ’Us stuth na Tòiseachd cuid ris’ (p. 29) … ‘Cha ’n ’eil griasaich, no fear-snàthaid, \ Cùbair chearcall, no fear-spàil, \ Seiclearan no luchd-chlàd, \ Nach iarradh bhi an cairdeas uile dhuit’ (p. 31).

Oran Do Piobair Cheannloch-Earn (pp. 43-50) tells of a local lad who is going to war. Caimbeul describes in detail the piper’s new outfit: ‘An earradh rìoghail, ullach, fhior-mhaith, \ De ’n mherino cheannaiche \ ’S an sìoda ’s feàrr ’s na h-Innsean, \ ’N a stìoma mìne, geala, ann; \ ’S an tartan meanbh-bhreac, ballach, dearg,’ (p. 44) … ‘’N uair nochdar thu fo d’ armaibh, \ Bu dealbhach an gaisgeach thu; \ Le biodaig nam ball airgid, \ ’S an carn-gorm am fasdadh innt; \ Crios-guailne, ’s adharc bhall-bhreac, \ Am sealg bhi an taice riut; \ ’S claidheamh a’ chinn-ìlich \ Chur dìth air luchd-casgaraidh’ (p. 46).

In Oran Do’n Eididh Ghaidheilich agus Do dh’Fhear a Rinn a Dhulan gu a Cur air Chul ’s an Arm (pp. 63-69), Caimbeul praises Gaels in war and attacks the man who wants to abolish the wearing of the kilt in the army: ‘’S olc an seòl do luchd na Beurla, \ Bhi toirt beum do dh’ fhir nam breacan; \ ’S daoine euchdach iad fo ’n éididh, \ Tapaidh, treubhach ri uchd gaisge; \ Bha iad buadhar anns na blàraibh, \ ’S ri àm gàbhaidh cha bu tais iad; \ ’S minic bha ’n lannan stàilinn, \ Dol troimh àirnean luchd nan casag’ (pp. 63-64) … ‘’S gnothuch faoin dhuit a bhi smaoineach, \ Le d’ cheann aotromain gun eanchainn, \ ’N fhéil’ chaomh thoirt bhàrr nan daoine, \ ’S briogais chaola chur mu ’n calpan; \ Chaoidh cha ghéill iad duit ’s a’ chùis ud, \ Ged dhùirigeadh tu marbh iad; \ ’S e bhi sgaradh craoibh o’ rùsga, \ Bhi toirt dhiubh na h-earradh mheanbh-bhric’ (p. 65).

There are four songs which relate to guns and hunting: Oran do dh’ Fhear na Seilg (pp. 32-34), Oran Do ’n t-Sealgair (pp. 35-39), Oran Do D[h]amh na h-Earnaich (pp. 50-52), and Oran Do’n Ghunna (pp. 53-56). The first of these consists of irregular stanzas, in one of which, as in Oran Do’n t-Samhradh, Caimbeul lists the animals that can be found in the area: ‘Fhir tha fuireach ’s an tùr àrda, \ ’S lìonmhor annlann teachd gu d’ thalla, \ Cearcan-tomain, geàrran caola, \ Eoin-fhraoich ’us cearcan-callaid, \ Coilich-dhubha ’s cearcan-liatha, \ ’S còineanan riabhach nan creagan, \ Càpain òga ’s uibhean shean-chearc, \ Bradain tharr-gheal ’s mucan ballach’ (p. 32). Oran do ’n Ghunna is in effect a praise poem addressed to the poet’s gun: ‘O! ’s iomadh damh ’us agh, ’us maoisleach, \ ’Us ròn maol, a rinn thu mhilleadh, \ Dh’ fhàg thu air an taobh gun éirigh, \ ’Us an creuchdan bras a’ sileadh; \ ’S iomadh coileach dubh, ’us liath-chearc, \ Chuir thu bhàrr nan sgiath am mionaid; \ ’S tric bha geàrr nan casa caol’ leat, \ Air a taobh an clais an imir’ (p. 53). The same poem also contains a description of the act of shooting a stag: ‘Chaidh mi air mo ghlùn gu foirmeil, \ ’S chuir mi beul na cuims’ air sorchan; \ Chaog mi an t-sùil, mar thuilleadh dearbhaidh, \ Gu bhi earbsach àm a seòlaidh \ ’S gann gu’n ghabh am fùdar teine, \ ’N uair bha ’m peilear troimh na còmhla; \ ’S ged bhiodh am fiadh ri cùl sin, \ ’S e mo dhùil gu’m biodh e leònta’ (pp. 53-54). He also praises the gun’s battle prowess: ‘Bha thu buadhar anns na blàraibh \ ’S tric a dh’ fhàgadh le do theine \ Naimhdean gunaideach an aobhair \ Striochdta air an raon fo dheireas \ Cnàmhan briste ’s claignean sgaoilte \ Smuais ’us gaor feadh fraoich ’us phreasan \ ’S fuil o’n creuchdan bras a’ taosgadh \ Mar chaochain á aodainn beinne’ (p. 55). There is also a poem in praise of An Lorg Dhubh (pp. 58-59), where we find ‘’S na’n tàrladh dhomh ’s na blàraibh, \ Bhi cogadh ri mo nàmhaid, \ Ma bhios mo lorg ’s an àraich, \ Air nàile cha tig beud rium’ (p. 59).

Interesting for different reasons is Caimbeul’s song Oran air Cor na Gaidheilteachd (pp. 39-43). In it, he bemoans the situation of the Highlands, and the attitudes of the landowners to the native population: ‘Cha bheag an cianalas dhomh bhi smaoineachadh, \ ’A liuthad caochladh ’s tha ’n ar tìr; \ Na glinn ’s am b’ àbhaist eich ’s daoine, \ Bhi gnìomhach saothaireachail anns gach tìm, \ An diugh cha ’n fhaicear ach coin ’s caoraich, \ S ruadh chrodh mhaol-bhreaca air feadh na tìr’, \ Aig daormuinn shaoghalta, agus gruaim ’n an aodainn \ Nach nochdadh aoidheachd do dhuine sgìth’ (p. 42) … ‘Co riamh bha dìleas air taobh na rìoghachd, \ ’S a sheasamh fìrinneach anns gach càs, \ Ach luchd nam breacan ’s nan lannan lìomhta, \ Le ’n cruadal inntinn nach fuilingeadh tàir; \ Am tarruing phìcean bu gharg ’s an strìth iad, \ Bhiodh cuirp gun chinn leo ’n an sìneadh air blàr, \ ’S a bha ’n reachd ’s a’ meamnadh gu tric ’g a dhearbhadh, \ ’S na blàraibh marbhtach air muir ’us air tràigh’ (p. 42).
Orthography The orthography is characteristic of the mid-nineteenth century. Of particular interest is the author’s use, in a number of his songs, of the /ia/ diphthong for many words with historical /e:/. This is indicated in the text by spellings with ia (e.g. bial), while footnotes give the eu spellings (e.g. beul). The diphthongal pronunciations would not have been familiar in any of the Perthshire districts associated with the poet, and it is not clear why he used them.

Also of interest is the spelling speurad (rhyming with creutair and feur) for ‘spirit’ (p. 20), while the more usual spelling spiorad is given in a footnote. The poet’s dialect is not particularly evident in the text, although it is possible that some of the poet’s terms for birds and animals may reflect his local usage.
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Cameron, Paul, ‘Perthshire Gaelic Songs’, TGSI, 17 (1890-91), 126-70.
MacLean, Donald, Typographia Scoto-Gadelica (Edinburgh, 1915: J. Grant).
Meek, Donald. E., Caran an t-Saoghail (Edinburgh, 2003: Birlinn).
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