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Metadata for text 157
No. words in text16320
Title Orain Nuadh Ghaidhealach
Author Cham’ron, Marairead (pp. 54-68)
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1785
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher D. Mac-Phatraic
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 Various
Register Literature, Verse
Alternative Author Name Margaret Cameron
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 16cm x 10cm
Short Title Orain Nuadh Ghaidhealach
Reference Details NLS: H.M.246
Number Of Pages iv, 68
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Margaret Cameron was born at the farm of Clashgour in Glen Orchy. Her father was Peter Campbell. She married Angus Macintyre of Lochaber and, later, Mr Cameron of Fort William. Nigel MacNeill records that on her second marriage ‘she became much reduced in circumstances’ (1929, p. 478). In addition to this text, a volume of her Laoidhean Spioradail was published in 1810. Cameron is also associated with Perthshire, and with Callander in particular. A handwritten note in a copy of MacLean’s Typographia, housed in the Celtic Library at Edinburgh University, reports that Cameron was ‘residing at Callander, Montieth, Perthshire’ (p. 54), and the last song by Cameron in this volume is indeed entitled Oran air Clag Challasraid. Thomson’s Companion merely states that Cameron was from Badenoch (presumably because she appears in Rev. Thomas Sinton’s Poetry of Badenoch), and that she may have flourished around the year 1760.
Contents This volume opens with An Clar (pp. iii-iv). Orain Ghaidhealach (pp. 1-53) contains twenty songs by Margaret Cameron. This is followed by Co’-chruinneacha do Shean Orain (pp. 54-68), which comprises six songs by other authors. The songs are numbered continuously as nos. I-XXVI.
Sources
Language At least nine of Cameron’s songs are styled Moladh ‘A Song of Praise’: Moladh do Thearlach Cam’ron Loch-Iall, Ceann-Cinnidh Chloinn Cham’roin (pp. 6-12), Moladh do Chaiptin Dughal Cam’ron, Fear na Sroine ann Lochabar (pp. 14-16), Moladh do Mhic Achaladair (pp. 17-19), Molla do Chaiptin Alastair Mac-Phearsain (pp. 19-21), Moladh do I. Mac-Ghrigair Tighearna La’raig (pp. 28-29), Moladh do Iain Mac-an-Abba (pp. 37-39), Moladh do Dhughal Mac-Dhughail Piob-fhir ann Aird-mac-Maoin (pp. 39-41), Oran do Iain Mac-Chionlaidh (pp. 41-42), and Oran Molaidh do Iarla Bhraid’-Alban (pp. 43-45).

The subjects of the songs are praised for their military prowess and leadership. For example, in Moladh do Chaiptin Dughal Cam’ron, Fear na Sroine ann Lochabar, we are told: ‘’S iomadh gallan prioseil, boidheach, \ Th’ eadar Gleann-laoigh is Srath-locha, \ ’Dh’eireadh leat a ruin ann d’ còmh’ail, \ ’S leat Cloinn Chamshroin is Cloinn-an-Tosaich’ (p. 15). Such praise was not reserved entirely for active soldiers. In Moladh do Iain Mac-an-Abba, whose subject was a drover, the poet uses the same chiefly formula: ‘Dh’eireadh leat-sa Cloinn-an-Abba \ Na suinn neart’ar, reachd’ar, mhòrail, \ Dh’eireadh Clann Domhnuil a’ d’ thaice, \ O ’s ionnan bratach fui’n seol sibh’ (p. 38). There are several references to war in the praise songs. For example, in Moladh do Mhic Achaladair the chief’s sons are addressed as follows: ‘Ach ’Illeaspuig oig Achaladair \ Is Alastair ùir àluinn, \ Mu chaidh sibh do dh’ America \ Thoirt teine air ’ur naimhdibh, \ Ma theid sibh ’m blar na ’m batailte, \ Gu’n teasairg Righ na ’n gràs sibh, \ ’S gu’n dean suibh talamh bhuantachd, \ Mar sin agus buaidh larach’ (pp. 18-19). In Oran Molaidh do Iarla Bhraid’-Alban the Earl’s riding and hunting skills praised: ‘’S tu sàr mharcaich na’n each cèumnach, \ ’S ro-mhaith giùllachd feathamh t-fhèuma. \ A ghearra srann, ’s nach pillte an lèum, \ ’S minig bhuidhinn cliu, ’sna rèisibh. \ Sealg’aìr feìdh ’s a bheinn le gunna, \ Iasg’air bric thu air a bhuinne, \ Said’ear cruadalach ’s gach cunn’art, \ Leòmhan garg, ’s am blar ’g a cunbhail’ (p. 44).

The subject’s appearance is frequently praised, e.g. in Moladh do Iain Mac-an-Abba: ‘Fear mor, cumadail a’ d’ phears’ thu, \ Ga maith d’an tig breacan is Còta. \\ Calpa grinn nach iarr’ an gartan, \ Troighibh ’n caiseart chuimir comhnart’ (p. 39); in Oran do Iain Mac-Chionlaidh the emphasis is likewise on the fine figure and fine clothing of the subject: ‘’S math thig leine ghrinn an anart, \ An diaigh banna, mu chaol do dhorn. \\ ’S math thig dèise as a bhù dhuit, \ A chosta cruntain dearg do’n òr. \\ ’S math thig osan gearr, is gartan, \ Mu’d chalpa gasta nach dochainn bròg. \\ Cha mheas’ thig breacan gast’ am fèil’ ort, \ Dhol chunn na feille a reiceadh bhò’ (pp. 41-42). There is one praise song for a woman, Moladh Riobhainn Uasail Araid (pp. 49-51), which emphasises appearance: ‘Gur deirge do ghruaidh \ Na sùbhag am bruaich, \ Bèul meachair o’n suairc thig ceòl. \\ Gur guirme do shuil, \ Na criostal a’ bùrn, \ Na daoimein air dhùn an òr’ (p. 50).

A number of the praise songs also contain an element of social commentary. For example, in Moladh do Thearlach Cam’ron Loch-Iall, Ceann-Cinnidh Chloinn Cham’roin (pp. 6-12) the painful results of the Jacobite Rising are recalled: ‘Thainig mill air do dhaoine, \ ’S mi dh’fhaotadh sud innseadh, \ ’S é Ladha Chuil-fhodair, \ A chuir an grad dhi’ orr’ \ Chaidh ’n ceannard thoirt uatha, \ Mo thruaighe! a’s bi ’n dio-mhail, \ Chaidh iadsan air faondradh, \ Mar chaoirich gun chiopair’ (p. 7). The restitution of the Forfeited Estates is the theme of Oran do na Fineachaibh Ghaidheileach a fhuair an Oighreachdan, ann Bliaghna 1784 (pp. 1-6), which begins ‘’S è naidheachd ùr ’fhuair mi ’n drasta, \ O laimh Righ Deorsa ann sna Gàsaidibh, \ Rinn mo chridhe ris mòr ghairdeachas, \ Gach oighre dligheach ’bhi faighinn àite. \\ Chaill an sinnsir sud le’n goraich, \ ’S cha chion aithne bh’ orr’ na folum, \ ’Mhain nach gèille iad le ’m Beo-shlaint, \ Ach le Tearlach ann aghaidh Dheorsa’ (p. 1).

There are three laments, Cumhadh Dhomhnull Mac-’Pharlain Choillechratha (pp. 12-14), Cumhadh airson Clemi Bean Innis-Eoghain (pp. 21-24), and Cumhadh do Chloinn Iain Chaimbeil, air dhoibh Falbh dh’ America (pp. 46-48). This last song also contains an element of social commentary, as the poetess reflects on the effects of the emigrations which were taking place throughout the Highlands at the end of the eighteenth century, with special reference to those left at home, e.g.: ‘Fhuair mi sàruch is gleachd, \ Ghaoil aig àrach do mhac, \ ’S gun duine dhiubh ’m bheachd na’m chòir. \\ Ge do chluinn mi ceol pìob, \ ’S ann a dh’ fhàsas mi tinn, \ O n a dh’fhalbh iad uam fheìn na seòid. \\ Dh’fhalbh Domhnull air tùs, \ Bu mhor gliocas, a’s tùr, \ ’Bha gu foighidneach ciuin na sheòl’ (pp. 46-47).

Another lament of a sort is Do Dhonnacha Mac-Neachduin (pp. 32-34), in which the author expresses her sadness at the poor circumstances in which the subject now finds himself. It also makes references to droving: ‘Leam bu duilich thu sa chàs ud, \ A’s do ghillean bhi ga’n sàrach, \ Nach fhaighe tu dhoibh na pàircean, \ Ach gan sparra ann an gàra. \ A’s droch leab’ ort daor am pàidhe. \\ Cha b’é sud, a ghaoil a chleachd thu, \ Ach leaba chloithe bhi fui d’ leasaibh, \ Do chuirteanan an deigh ’s am pasgadh, \ A’s do cheìle ghasd’ a’ d’ ghlacaibh. \\ Ach tha mo dhuil ann Righ na màra, \ Gu’m bi’dh gach cuis duit mar bu mhath leam, \ Gun thig thu fein ’s do chroth bainne, \ Sàbhalt dha-thigh Bhaile Chaillean’ (pp. 33-34). Other references to droving can be found in the two songs to Alastair Domhnullach: Oran do Alastair Ban Domnullach, Thulaich-Crommi (pp. 30-32) and Rann do’n ti Cheudna (p. 32). In the first of these we learn that the poetess was unable to afford the price of an ox, but Alastair Bàn gave her one as a gift: ‘Alastair òig na gruaige àluinn, \ O’n Gharbha-mhor ann Bàid-aineach, \ Gu ma fada fallain slàn duit, \ Thug thu gibht dhomh ’san damh àluinn’ (p. 30). The songs concludes: ‘M’ fheadail is m’ullaidh is m’ aiteas, \ Air Alastair an òr fhuilt chleachdaich, \ Dh’ fhalbh thu ’n dè le d’ dhròbh a Shasgann, \ ’S gu ma slàn, gu ’m pill thu dha-thigh’ (pp. 31-32). Moladh do Iain Mac-an-Abba (pp. 37-39) begins ‘I’n Mhic Sheumais Mhic-an-Abba, \ Gu ma mhaithreann duit le sòlas, \\ ’S Drobhair grinn a cheannach mhart thu, \ Far an tachair thu air còmh’ail. \\ Tha thu shìol nan uaislean gasda, \ Bu ro-mhaith am feachd na’n toir iad’ (p. 37).

Cameron’s remaining songs are more light-hearted in nature, and are concerned with local people and events: Do Chlann Domhnuil Bhrai’-Lani air Cumhadh Briseadh a Chaptin Domhnulaich (pp. 25-28), Fearas-chuideachd mu chaonaig bh’ aig Clann Domhnuil (pp. 34-36), and Oran air Clag Challasraid (pp. 51-53). It is noteworthy that there are only one or two references to religion in the poems in this volume, e.g. the casual mention of Righ na màra (p. 33), Righ na ’n gràs (p. 18), Ard Righ nam buagh (p. 48).When young Calum Campbell is praised for reading his Bible (p. 48), it is the poetess’s hope that his study will lead him to become a ‘fine minister’. Similarly, the new bell in the Callander church-tower is a local news item rather than a call to deeper devotion (pp. 51-53).

The six songs in the Co’-chruinneacha do Shean Orain (pp. 54-68) are as follows: one elegy, Marbh-rann do T[h]ighearna Chinn-Locha Muideart, composed by his wife (pp. 54-57); one lament, Iain Lom’s Cumhadh do Chloinn na Ceapaich (pp. 57-61); one praise song, Oran do Dhuin Uasal Araid (pp. 65-67); and three love songs: Oran na Luinneag eadar Oig’ear agus a Leannan (pp. 61-64), Luinneag with the chorus A nighean donn a chota bhuidh (pp. 64-65), and another Luinneag with the chorus ’S i luaidh mo chagair Morag (pp. 67-68).
Orthography This work provides a relatively regular and consistent example of late eighteenth-century orthography. There are some uncertainties over l/ll, n/nn and especially r/rr spellings, e.g. fuirreach (p. 17), mo shoirridh (p. 34) mhaithreann (p. 37), chunn (p. 30). The grave accent is employed fairly frequently, though it is sometimes misplaced or added incorrectly, e.g. on p. 32: , dròbh, slàn, etc., but also Thulàich, ùasail, eìbhneis; on p. 33: ceòl, dàra, sàile, etc., but also màra. There are also a number of ‘experimental’ spellings for individual words, e.g. the historically sound dha-thigh for dhachaidh (p. 11), and the historically unsound Piob-fhir for Pìobair (p. 39).
Edition First edition. A second edition was published in 1805. The orthography was considerably revised for the 1805 edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Clan Cameron Archives: http://www.lochiel.net/archives/arch088.html.
MacLean, Donald, Typographia Scoto-Gadelica (Edinburgh, 1915: J. Grant).
MacNeill, Nigel, The Literature of the Highlanders (Stirling, 1929: [n. pub.]).
Newton, Michael, ‘Jacobite Past, Loyalist Present’, e-Keltoi, 5 (2003), 31-62.
Newton, Michael, ‘Border Disputes: Gaelic Cultural Identity and Interaction in the Lennox and Menteith’, Celtic Cultural Studies, 2.
Thomson, Derick S., ed., The Companion to Gaelic Scotland (Glasgow, 1994: Gairm).
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