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Metadata for text 174
No. words in text46200
Title Duanaire Colach, 1537-1757
Author N/A
Editor Ó Baoill, Colm
Date Of Edition 1997
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher An Clo Gaidhealach
Place Published Aberdeen (‘Obar-Dheathain’)
Volume N/A
Location National, academic, and local (Inverness Reference) libraries.
Geographical Origins Coll
Register Literature, Verse
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 20.5cm x 15cm
Short Title Duanaire Colach
Reference Details EUL: PB1631Dua
Number Of Pages liv, [1], 119
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This volume is a collection of poetry from the Isle of Coll, beginning with Caismeachd Ailean nan Sop by Eachann mac Iain, which was composed around 1537 (pp. 1-2), and ending with Oran do Shir Ailein agus do dh’Eachann Chola by Niall MacLaghmainn, which was composed in 1757 (pp. 42-43). The volume contains seventeen songs, along with notes on subject-matter, meanings, variant readings, metre, and tune.
Contents This volume begins with a Roi-ràdh (pp. vii-liv), which describes the island and introduces some people of note in the island’s history. This includes a short section on Na Bàird (p. xl), where it is pointed out that we have little information on some of the poets in this volume. This is followed by a section on A’ Bhàrdachd (pp. xli-liii) which provides a general introduction to the songs.

Duanaire Colach (pp. 1-43) contains seventeen poems from c. 1537 to 1757, presented in chronological order. These include songs by Mòr Nic Phàidein (Cumha do Niall Og, p. 4-6), Dòmhnall Moireasdan (e.g. Oran do dh’Eachann MacGilleathain, pp. 38-39), Niall MacLaghmainn (Oran do Shir Ailein agus do dh’Eachann Chola, pp. 42-43), and a number of MacLean poets, including Màiri NicGilleathain (Oran do Lachainn MacGilleathain, Tighearna Chola, pp. 11-13) and Catrìona NicGilleathain (e.g. Cumhadh do Sheumas MacGilleathain, pp. 23-25).

The texts in this volume are followed by extensive notes on sources, interpretation and variant readings (pp. 45-100), together with three appendices: Appendix I, a discussion of the song Bhiodh an Deoch-sa air Lamh mo Ruin (pp. 101-10); Appendix II, an examination of the song Gur h-e robair ro làidir rinn mo mhàileid a spùinneadh (pp. 110-12); and Appendix III, an examination of the song ’S ann aig Lachlann a ta an còta (pp. 112-16).

This volume is completed by the Faclair Roghnach (pp 117-19) containing a list of words nach eil cumanta, is de chruthan dhiubh nach eil cumanta, together with the number of the line in which they appear. No definitions or glosses are given, although most of the words are covered in the Notes. The editor warns us that words which appear in Dwelly’s dictionary have not been included in this list.

The whole of this work is in Gaelic. There are no English translations.
Sources Information on the sources consulted in regard to the seventeen poems is given in the Notes (pp. 45-100).
Language All but three of the songs in this volume are elegies or eulogies, or as Ó Baoill puts it, òrain molaidh do cheannardan Gaidhealach (xli), and all embody the values that constitute the panegyric code.

The songs are in a variety of metres. Turas mo Chreiche Thug mi Chola (pp. 7-8) has the structure of a waulking song, and is more personal than the rest of the praise songs, although it too contains images rooted in the panegyric code. Na Deich nAitheanta, by An Clèireach Beag, puts the Ten Commandments into a succinct poem. It begins ‘1. Creid díreach do Dhia na ndúl, \ 2. ’S cuir ar chúl umhladh do dhealbh. \ 3. Ná tabhair ainm Ríogh na Ríogh \ Ma géabhthar dhíot san ghníomh geall’ (p. 3). Ascaoin Molaidh na Pìoba, by Lachlann mac Mhic Iain (pp. 29-31) is said to be a sgig-aithris … air Moladh na Pìoba le Iain mac Ailein (p. liii). It includes the following lines: ‘Ge b’e glocaire thòisich an toiseach ri fonn \ A thoirt as a bian, \ Gu bheil mi deimhinn gu robh bruadar is breisleach ro mhòr \ Na chlaigeann ri cian: \ Cha tig ceòl ioraltach drithleannach luath \ Air tollaibh a miar: \ ’S ann a bhios ri stadail ’s ri gagail gun fhonn \ Mar ghogail nan giadh’ (p. 29).

The other fourteen songs are either elegies or eulogies, drawing on the traditional assumptions, ideas and images of Gaelic panegyric verse. Cumha do Niall Og, by Mòr Nic Phàidein (pp. 4-6), contains these lines: ‘Bu shealgair fèidh air an drùchd thu \ ’S trom a lotadh le t’fhùdar, \ A’ call na fala is do chù air a lorg. \ Bu tu an cèarraich mòr prìseil \ Air chairtean ’s air dhìsnean: \ ’S tu gum buidhneadh a’ chìs air an torm’ (p. 5). In Oran do Dhomhnall Mac Eachainn Ruaidh, Tighearna Chola, the poetess termed ‘An Aigeannach’ praises her subject as follows: ‘’S a dheagh Mhic Iain na fèileadh, \ Làmh nach euradh dàmh thu, \ Làn de mhòralachd ’s de ghliocas \ ’S de ghibhteanan sàidhbhir - \ Gur h-e an t-ainm a thug mi nis ort \ Mura brist thu an càirdeas; \ A Rìgh, gum meal thu do stoidhleadh \ ’S do mhac oighre at àite’ (p. 34).
Orthography The orthography in this edition has been modernised to a greater or lesser extent. In Na Deich nAitheanta (p. 3), whose language is the earliest, the orthography is in keeping with the Early Modern linguistic forms. Some original readings from source texts are given in the Notes (pp. 45-100).
Edition First edition. Some of these poems will be found in earlier texts, including Professor Ó Baoill’s SGTS volume Eachann Bacach and other Maclean poets (i.e. Text 191). The present volume gives sources and bibliographical details for all the poems contained in it; editors should excerpt from original sources or from modern scholarly editions where these exist. On the other hand, the Notes in the present volume contain much valuable lexicographical information.
Other Sources
Further Reading Ó Baoill, Colm (ed.), Eachann Bacach and other Maclean poets, 1979.
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