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Metadata for text 132
No. words in text52037
Title Co-chruinneach dh’Orain Thaghte Ghaeleach, nach robh riamh ann an Clo-buala
Author N/A
Editor Mac Intoisich, Donncha
Date Of Edition 1831
Date Of Language 1800-1849
Publisher (‘Printed by’) John Elder
Place Published Edinburgh
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 N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 17.7cm x 10.6cm
Short Title Co-chruinneach Dh'Orain Thaghte Ghaelach
Reference Details NLS: T.85.e
Number Of Pages 214
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Most of the songs in this volume were composed by Margaret MacGregor, Duncan MacGregor, and Anna Gobha (Margaret’s daughter). Cameron (1891, pp. 168-69) says of Margaret MacGregor that Bu nighean i do Pharra mòr Mac-griogair, bh’ ann an Camuseireachd-mor ’am Braigh-Raineach. Phos i Dònull ruadh Gobha ’an Ach-an-ruidhe, agus bha ceathrar theaghlach aca a thainig gu aois. Theasg Mairearad mu 1820. The compiler of this collection was Duncan MacIntosh (Donnacha Gobha). Margaret MacGregor was his grandfather’s second wife. According to Cameron, Rugadh Donnacha anns an Tulaich ’an gleann-eireachdidh mu 1806. Phos e te mhuinntir Shiorrachd Rois, theasd e ’n Dnneidinn [sic] mu 1846 (1891, p. 165).
Contents This volume begins with a short address To The Public (p. iii) by the editor, which states that ‘The following songs are chiefly the composition of Margaret M‘Gregor, wife of Donald Gow, Auchinrie, Parish of Blair-Athol; and of Duncan M‘Gregor, Braes of Foss; accompanied by a few more ancient and modern songs, never before in print; carefully collected from the most authentic oral sources, and now for the first time offered to the Public’. It is signed and dated as follows: Duncan MacKintosh, Edinburgh, August, 1831. There follows a Clar Inseadh (pp. iv-vi).

The main body of the text contains 72 poems by various authors, mostly by Mairiread Ghrigarach, Donnach Grigarach, and Anna Ghobh. There are also poems by Calum Mac a Phearsain, Tearlach Mor Robastan, and Pegi Stiuard, and poems by a number of unnamed authors.
Sources
Language This text contains poems on various subjects, including warfare, clan matters, praise, love, religion, and local events. The style of the poems varies according to the author. The songs in this text contain excellent examples of Perthshire Gaelic lexis and morphology, in addition to phonological features embedded in the orthography.

A number of the songs relate to war and warfare in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Margaret MacGregor had two brothers who were fighting in America, and she composed a number of songs for or about them, such as Oran le mairiread ghrigarach do bhrathrean bha an cog America (pp. 3-7), which includes the following lines: ‘’S fhad n uine coig bliadhna. \ S tha e nis le riadh ann, \ On a thoisich mia thlachd, \ Bha righ Deorsa cho dioltach, \ Tagra coir air na criochan, \ Mar chaidh ordach a riamh dha, \ S fhad a beo e ma s diolair dha an t eanmheach’ (p. 6). In Oran … do dhiain Stiuart ann blar an athal (pp. 40-44) Margaret comments: ‘Bha righ seamas a h ochd ann \ B aobhar fortain duibh fein e, \ Ged d chaill sibh an cuilodair \ S mor an dosguinn a dheirich’ (p. 41). Later in the poem she asserts: ‘Thig Diuc Athal sa chuirt leat, \ Le eich shunndach a shreuna, \ S thig a apuin ic iain Stiuard, \ Bratach dhubhailt na n eighte iad. \\ Bidh Iarla Bhoid leat air thoiseach, \ Mar ri bhrosnich s cha ghann iad, \ Agus Stuiart Mac Choinnich …’ (p. 41). In Oran … do chornail Alastair Robastan tighearna shruain (pp. 53-55), Margaret expresses the following judgement: ‘Ma bha foill amorfhear [sic, for a Morfhear] Deorsa, \ S gu ba deoin leis e thac[h]airt, \ S cuis eagail ro mhor dha, \ Mar robh e an toir air a cheartas, \ Bha coig cularan siol ann, \ Chuidh n ordugh fo m brataich \ S gun aon duine na choir dhiu, \ Nuair a thoisich am batail’ (p. 53).

In Oran … do brath rean [sic, for braithrean] bha an cog America (pp. 12-15), Margaret MacGregor expresses her sorrow at not being a man and able to join her brothers: ‘Struagh nach mis thachair, \ Bhi m dhuine tapi treubhach. \ S gu m feuchinn pairt na chaireachd, \ Tha m falach ann m chreubhaig’ (p. 14). As it is, however: ‘On thachair dhomh bhi m bhoireannach, \ Nach ura mi so dhianamh, \ S fheudar dhomh tre bhanalas, \ Bhi fanachd ann m righeachd’ (ibid.). Her inner suffering is also expressed in Oran … do anna a nioghan (pp. 25-27), which concludes pessimistically: ‘Cha neil ann san t shaoghal so, \ Ach truailieachd [sic] is caochlaiteachd, \ Gur mor an t aobhar greadhnachais, \ Do neach a chaochlais og ann’ (p. 27).

There are several songs about guns and hunting, all by unnamed authors. They include Oran Dona Ghunna (pp. 110-13), Oran eil do n ghunna (pp. 114-17), and Oran Seilg (pp. 117-21), the last of which contains the following lines addressed to the stag: ‘Mi ga t ialadh feadh fraoich s ghiag an, \ Mo shuile air fiara s mo ghial gu lar, \ Nar chuir mi suas i gu leig i fuaim, \ S tha thus buailt le luoidh ghearr’ (pp. 117-18).

There are two songs about the Highland clansOran Chlann Domhnuill nan eilain (pp. 139-42) and Oran do na Fineochan gaelach an deigh do bhounapart bhi-Air a ghlaca (pp. 189-96). The first is in the manner of vernacular panegyric verse of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; as such, it stands out from the majority of poems in this volume. The following verse is typical: ‘An tir ro fhoirmoil chliuteach ainmail, \ Mhuirneach mheanmneach mhacant, \ Ba lionar sealbh iasg na fairge, \ Tric ga marbh an tai[c]e ri, \ Thig bradan tara gheal ineach mealgach, \ Iteach earraghlan breac lannach, \ Ann fonn an dearbhte an cinn an t[-]arthor, \ Diasach ceann mhor pailt ghrainneach’ (p. 139). The seond song also harks back to earlier ‘Songs of the Highland Clans’. The following verse gives its flavour: ‘Nuair chruinnachas na gaisgach, \ Thig o Apinn icain [sic, for ’Ic ’Ain] Stiuard, \ Sliochd nan righrean Albanach, \ Ga d thig a n arm a rusga, \ Co bheireadh tair dhoibh, \ Nach faithadh paidh dubailt, \ S ma gheibh iad ann a n sas thu, \ Gu brath cha n fhaic thu ad dh uthich [sic]’ (p. 193).

There are a number of songs in praise of people, such as Margaret MacGregor’s Oran … do leanaibh altrum a bha aic (pp. 38-40), which begins: ‘Shiusi Nic callum gur mor mo speis dut, \ Ged thainig sgeul oirn gur fheudar dealeocha, \ O n tha n fheill bride agus ceann no time ann, \ Bithidh mis trial gu d dhillsean rainneach leat’ (p. 38). In Oran … nuair chunnic i pairtidh do reismaid bhlann [sic, for chlann] Ailpain racruitig air feill ceann Loch Rainneach (pp. 86-87), she declares: ‘Tagidh uams nur leann laidair, \ Cuiridh huginn fion is brandi, \ Gu nmi tog [sic, for Gun tog mi] tost do dheogchan slaint, \ Mar tha shannt orm chuir an geil diu bh [sic, for duibh], \\ Tost shirr Tain [sic, for Iain] tighearna Larrig, \ Ceann cinn[i]dh na m fear fallan, \ Gum ba n duchas dut a d shean-athair, \ A bhi an car[a]mh ceann Loch eire’ (pp. 86-87). In Oran Molaidh do Dhonnach Grigarach ciopair n ionbhar bhac (pp. 133-35), the subject is described as follows: ‘Chuna mi dol seachad e, \ Le bhreacan air a ghualain, \ Shaoil leam gus am faca mi, \ Gur spealp a do dhuine uasal, \ Le ghunna caol fo achlas, \ Le dhag s le chris guaile, \ Bonaid gorm san fhasan air, \ Cha n fhac sibh cho uallach’ (pp. 133). In Oran … do chalum Stiuard am Blar da n co ainm Calum Athalach (pp. 168-71), the subject is addressed directly: ‘Tha thu duinail mar charid, \ S ioma doith ann sa n d aithnichd uailse [sic, for aithnicheadh d’uailse (?)], \ Nuair tha maistairan fearainn, \ Caithidh foirneart air clanna na tuath, \ Cha robh fardach no baile, \ Ann s nach baill leo fear thoirt uath, \ Ghleth thu siocha dom charid, \ S mor do mhiagh ann a n rannach so shuas’ (p. 171).

There also a number of love songs, touching on various aspects of love. Examples include Duncan MacGregor’s Oran … do leannan is e air Cluinntin gu n robh i leth tromach aig fear eil (pp. 93-94), the same poet’s Oran Gao[i]l (pp. 98-99), and the anonymous Oran le te do leannan as e air a treigsinn (pp. 123-25). In Margaret MacGregor’s Oran … nuair q [sic, for aphos i (pp. 72-74), says of her marriage and new husband: ‘Ged do dh fhag gle og leam, \ An tir an robh mi eolach, \ Cha neil aon bhonn broin orm, \ Comhnach ann sa nait, \ Ged do dh fhalbh mi phos leat, \ Dhaindheon mo luchd eolais, \ Choidh cha churam stor dhomh, \ S domhnull a bhi lathair’ (p. 73). In Duncan MacGregor’s impressive love song to Janet Stewart (pp. 174-78), the poet declares: ‘Se do ghaol rinn mo leire, \ S rinn mo chridhe a cheus ann m fheoil, \ Gum bheil m inntinn ga reuba, \ Stric [s]nith am leir sinn [sic, for om leirsinn] gu m bhroig, \ Bhriste an rioghailt bha ri m aigne, \ Dhalbh mo chial n thain laga air m threoir, \ Tha mo chom fo throm eis-slainnt, \ Se do ghaol chuir an t eug air mo lorg’ (p. 176).

There are a number of songs about local events and local people, such as Margaret MacGregor’s Oran … do n chat a s i aig seirbhais annam peart (pp. 51-52) and Oran … Nuair Ghabh na h eich an galar greadh (pp. 70-72). Some are humorous or satirical, e.g. Oran Muilair an t shadich (pp. 200-03). Donncha gobh’s Oran do n uaigh agus do n bhas (pp. 204-05) and Oran do n t shaoghal (pp. 206-09) strike a more reflective and melancholy note. In Margaret MacGregor’s Oran … air an nairidh (pp. 36-37), she laments the demise of the sheilings in the age of sheep-runs: ‘Chaidh na giamanaich uile air dio-chuimhne, \ Theich am fiadh chaidh e cian a eolas, \ Cha chluinn mi iorgan mi ni sno criochan, \ Ach fir gan ciosnach aig iarraidh oisgain’ (p. 37). In Margaret’s Oran … nuair thuit tulchnan tighe (pp. 64-68), she tells of a domestic mishap and records how the community rallied round to set things to rights: ‘Chaidh sinne an leaba dhuint, \ Agus chrubain sinn tiot beag, \ Thainig cadal air ar suilean, \ Chum duna mar thigead doibh. \ Se chiad ni chuir fuathas oirn, \ Am fuaim bh[’]aig nan clisnichan, \ S gum b ealamh rinn sinn glua [sa]d, \ Nar luasgain air misneach oirn’ (pp. 64-65).

There are two songs about sexual matters. The anonymous Oran Mar deanabhean agus duine e (pp. 151-57) is a dialogue between a fractious married couple, and Allan MacDougall’s Oran comhairle nan Gruagichan (157-63) offers advice to young men and women. The latter poem includes the following verse: ‘Comhairle oirbh a mhaidnean, \ Gad fhaigh sibh caomh an cainnt, \ Nach fhearr dhuibh fuireach saor s iad, \ S fanachd daonan seang, \ Ma thuitas sibh le faondalachd, \ A ni le staoram clann, \ An sin aithrisar le caoinadh e, \ Ma bhios an t aobhar ann’ (p. 158).

A comparable message underlies the song entitled Oran n Sgiobair (pp. 166-68). It opens with a sailor’s boast about a maiden he has deflowered, but develops into a narrative with a moral conclusion, which tells how the girl commits suicide, but eventually returns in ghostly form to pursue and destroy her despoiler.

Religious feeling surfaces in a number of Margaret MacGregor’s songs. For example, Oran … do thuath an t shlis mhin (pp. 20-24) includes this verse: ‘Nuair bha clann isral sa n eiphait, \ Na n sleabha aig cach, \ An teanntach na h eigin, \ Dh eisd righ nan gras, \ Sgaoilte e mhuire na clar re, \ Ga n toirt tearaint gu traigh, \ Sthain a naimhde nan deigh s dhoibh a b fheudar bhi bathte’ (p. 22). Later in the same poem the following lines occur: ‘A chuideachd a dhileas \ Bithidh direach gach uair, \ Ann nonair sa m firinn \ Is bi sibh cinntich a duais, \ Gheibh sibh coir air an righeachd \ Marri sith ann sa n uaigh, \ Solus gun chrich ann siorruidheachd bibhuan’ (p. 24). Margaret’s Laoidh (pp. 82-85), contains the following verse: ‘Nuair a pheacaich adhamb [sic, for Adhamh], \ Chaidh am bas chuir nan deigh, \ Ba chruaidh le righ nan grasa, \ Gun cailta sinn gu leir, \ Thuair sinn an sin an slan-ear, \ Gar sabhal o gach beud, \ S thug e fein na iobairt, \ A dhial a ceartas De’ (p. 84). In her Laoidh (pp. 108-10), Anna Gobh uses the analogy of war to express her view of the Christian struggle: ‘Ma chog[a]s sinn gu dileas, \ Fo bhratach righ na gloir, \ Buaidh thoirt air n inntin, \ S gach iodholl tha gar leon, \ Se airm a na soilse, \ Bheir e shaidarain an tos, \ Cha leig e h aon gu bas, \ Ma sacl [sic, for Mas ail] leo theachd na choir’ (p. 109).
Orthography The orthography of this volume approximates to the standards of the early to mid-nineteenth century. There are many inconsistencies, e.g.: dhain-dhoin (p. 72) beside Dhaindheon (p. 73). There are many pronunciation spellings, and the spelling of l/ll, n/nn and r/rr is notably imprecise, as is the representation of vowels in unstressed syllables. The rule of caol ri caol is leathann ri leathann is regularly ignored. Internal and final spirants are often omitted, e.g. Tha mi sgi baileach sgi (p. 27), and mochra Diciadain (p. 65). Additionally, there are a number of typing errors in the text, e.g. moi chrdhse (p. 4) and Faodihh (p. 13). These, coupled with the inconsistencies in orthography and eccentric use of capital letters, make the texts awkward to read at times.

Although the erratic spelling sometimes obscures this, the clipped Perthshire dialect of the poets is frequently discernible in the rhythm of their verse, which regularly requires the elision of final -a and -e and -(e)adh in nouns and verbal nouns. Many other non-standard forms, such as pùs for pòs and uails(e) for uaisle, may also be attributable to the Gaelic dialect(s) of the poets.

A number of words borrowed from English appear in a number of texts in this volume. Examples include: O nach bfhiu leat do phorsan (p. 5), Ann a probhans Niuyorc, \ An taogh ordugh is fortain (p. 6), racruitig (p. 86), and ann a momant (p. 191).
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Cameron, Paul, ‘Perthshire Gaelic Songs’, TGSI 17, 1891, pp. 126-70.
M. Ó Murchú, East Perthshire Gaelic, 1989.
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