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Metadata for text 61
No. words in text59126
Title Guthan o na Beanntaibh (Voices from the Hills)
Author (MacDonald)
Editor MacDonald, John
Date Of Edition 1927
Date Of Language 1900-1949
Publisher An Comunn Gàidhealach
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Geographical Origins Harris
Register Literature, Prose and Verse
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 25.5cm x 19.5cm
Short Title Guthan O Na Beanntaibh
Reference Details EUL: PB1681Voi
Number Of Pages xvi, 304
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context The title page of this volume reads ‘Voices from the Hills. (Guthan o na Beanntaibh). A Memento of the Gaelic Rally, 1927’. The Gaelic Rally of 1927 aimed to raise funds for An Comunn Gaidhealach to enable them to better serve the Gaelic language and culture.
Contents The volume contains over 100 essays, stories, and poems, in Gaelic, English, Scots, and French, relating to Gaelic and the Highlands.

The Gaelic material includes essays on a variety of subjects including Bardachd Spioradail na Gaidhealtachd by an t-Urr. an t-Ollamh Domhnall Mac Gill’Eathain (pp. 108-11); Uilleam MacDhunleibhe, am Bard Ileach by Rev. Dr. Gilleasbuig Mac Dhomhnaill, which tells of the life of the bard and gives some examples of his poetry (pp. 190-93); A’ Ghaidhlig anns na Sgoiltean by Daibhidh Urchardainn, on the introduction and benefits of Gaelic in schools (pp. 245-47); Sir Cailean Caimbeul, Tighearna Chluaidh by T. D. MacDhomhnaill, about Caimbeul’s life and achievements (pp. 278-82); and Na h-Orduighean by Domhnull Mac-a-Phi, which explains the purpose and ritual of na h-orduighean and describes how they used to be held (pp. 290-94).

There are a number of stories and items of beul-aithris, such as Domhnull Ruadh a’ Bhuinne by his grandson Donnchadh MacIain, from Islay, which tells the story of Domhnull and the horse race on market day (pp. 49-52); Seann Sgeul mu Aiteachadh Eilein Hirt by Iain N. MacLeoid, about MacLeod of Dunvegan’s servant; Murchadh Sgiobalta, who found himself in trouble when he saw some of his neighbours killing a cow belonging to someone else at the shieling (pp. 87-90); Sean Cheatharnaich Braighe Lochabair, Iain Odhar by Rev. Dr. D. A. Caimbeul, which recounts some of the heroic tales of Iain Odhar (pp. 157-59); and Raonall MacDhomhnaill, fear Obair-ardair, an Lochabar by Iain MacDh., a short passage telling how MacDhomhnaill is remembered in the area (pp. 269-70). Other stories include Dealachadh nan Rathad by Domhnall Mac Na Ceardach from Barra, a rather abstract piece of prose (pp. 17-23); Thig Sonas is Slainte bho Thoileachas-inntinn by Alasdair MacDhomhnaill, a story of a sick man who could be cured by getting the shirt from a man who was completely happy with his life (pp. 136-37); Na h-Ailleagain ’s an Calman by Aonghas Mac Dhonnchaidh, Ceann-suidhe a’ Chomuinn Ghaidhealaich, about the deaths of two beautiful sisters (pp. 153-56); Taisbeanadh by Iain Mac Cormaic, where the subject of the story is shown a vision of the Gaelic language by an old man he meets on top of a hill (pp. 188-90); Mu Shobhraig Oig by Catriona Ghrannd, about a primrose that comes up to the surface before it is fully grown (pp. 226-28); Grianan by Seumas MacLeoid, Scalpay, about a boy, Grianan, who dies at the end of the story, and his friends Brian and Mìlread (pp. 248-52); and Tobar Nighean an Righ by Eachann MacDhughaill, a story about Rìgh Art, his three daughters, and Tormull Mac Aiteil, a Scandinavian prince (pp. 271-77).

This volume also contains around 12 poems in Gaelic, including two old poems edited by Prof. William J. Watson: Duanaire na Sracaire, from the Book of the Dean of Lismore, with commentary (pp. 64-67), and On the Imprisonment of Argyll, in 1661, taken from the Edinburgh MS. xxxvi, 114a , with translation (pp. 252-55). Other poems include Oran a’ Phrionnsa by Alasdair Mac Mhaighistir Alasdair (p. 91), and some more modern poetry, such as Tuireadh an t-Saoidh by Iain MacCormaic, Bàird a’ Chomuinn Ghàidhealaich (pp. 15-16); Is Togarrach a dh’Fhalbhainn by Domhnull MacLeoid (pp. 68-69); Am Fiadh by Seumas Mac An Rothaich (pp. 128-29); Na h-Eilthirich Ghaidhealach by Murchadh Mac Ghille Mhoire (pp. 175-76); An Uiseag by Niall Mac Gille Sheathanaich, Rùnaire a’ Chomuinn Ghàidhealaich (p. 197-98); Long nan Saighdearan a’ Seoladh Dhachaidh by Iain MacPhaidein, Bàrd a’ Chomuinn Ghàidhealaich (pp. 213-14); and Ros Aluinn by Domhnull Mac Na Ceardach (p. 228-29).

This volume is embellished with illustrations, each accompanied by a title, quote, or saying in Gaelic, Scots, English, or Latin.
Sources The authors are named throughout and where a piece has been published previously, the name of the previous publication is also given.
Language There are a number of different types of texts in this volume (poetry, essays, beul-aithris, and stories), and different types of vocabulary and terminology are employed in each.

Poetry
The two poems presented by Prof. Watson will not be discussed here because improved versions of these were published elsewhere. The modern poetry presents no lexicographically interesting items with the exception, perhaps, of Seumas Mac An Rothaich’s Am Fiadh (pp. 128-29), the second stanza of which reads ‘A chuinnean fiata ’sa ghaoith, ’s e dian-ruith \ Feadh thoman riabhach nan cian-bheann ceò; \ Le ’àrd-uchd àluinn, le ’chabar cràcach, \ ’S le 'eangaibh sàr-chlis an ám na tòir’ (p. 128).

Essays
Domhnull Mac-a-Phi’s essay on Na h-Orduighean (pp. 290-94) contains a number of religious terms, sucha as là na traisg (p. 290), Là nan Daoine (p. 292), làn de choimhthional (p. 291), ri féin rannsachadh (p. 292), and Leabhar nan leabhraichean (p. 292). In addition, the essay on Bardachd Spioradail na Gaidhealtachd contains some examples of religious poetry, such as this extract from Alasdair Rothach: ‘Ged tha mi gòrach, O Righ, treòraich, \ ’S le brìgh t’ fhocail dìon mi’. 109).

Colin Sinclair’s English language article on “The Bothan” (The Highland Cottage) (pp. 214-17) gives some housing terminology in Gaelic, e.g. druim-àrd (p. 215) and fàirleus (p. 216).

Stories and Beul-aithris
The beul-aithris and the stories are generally written in an informal, storytelling register. In Domhnull Ruadh a’ Bhuinne (pp. 49-52), for example, we find words and phrases such as eachlaireachd (p. 49), An-dà (p. 50), Bha iad tacan a’ dol sìos ’s a suas, air an ais ’s air an aghaidh (p. 50), a ghalad (p. 50), Saor no daor, cha rachadh Ceit air mharcachd (p. 50), le móran pliotairt (p. 50), Moire, b’e sin an gnothuch (pp. 50-51), and a leithid de langaid orm (p. 50). In Seann Sgeul mu Aiteachadh Eilein Hirt (pp. 87-90), we find mhionnaich e dhoibh air gach cumhachd, àrd is ìosal, nach robh lochd air an talamh air aire (p. 88) and An uair a sheall iad uatha is ’gan ionnsaigh, cha robh aon spaid aca (p. 89). In Thig Sonas is Slainte bho Thoileachas-inntinn (pp. 136-37), we find o chionn àireamh bhliadhnaichean air ais (p. 136), Anns na seann tìmeannan fada o chian (p. 136), and cha robh sgil no eòlas aig neach seach neach dhiùbh, a bha a chum feuma do’n fhear (p. 136). In Taisbeanadh (pp. 188-90), we find mun do bhuidhinn mi mullach na crùlaist (p. 188), agus sùil gun d’ thug thar mo ghuaille, chunnaic mi seann duine le ceum trom (p. 188), and is ann an uair a bha e ag cuallach na tàine a chaidh e air thùs an caidreamh na Ceòlraidh (p. 190).

Rev. Dr. D. A. Caimbeul’s Sean Cheatharnaich Braighe Lochabair, Iain Odhar contains flowing descriptions of Lochaber and contains numerous names of places. For example, the second paragraph reads: ‘Beagan fodha, tha Abhainn Ruaidh i fhéin, far am faighear am bradan tàrr-gheal, a’ bhànag sheòlta, ’s an dubh-bhreac diùid, an uair a tha an abhainn air at leis an tuil, agus a’ ruith ’s a’ leum le cabhaig aig Boinne-an-Tàilleir, a’ sguabadh seachad air Allt-Uilleim, an Stac-Buidhe, a’ Chreag-Dhearg, is Dail-Bhuchaidh, a’ taomadh eadar coille challtuinne is bruachan fheàrna, a’ dannsadh aig Torran-na-Mòna ri ceòl nam bras-shruthan feargach; an sin a’ tarruing air a rathad, le braise nach caisgear, a sìos gu Torran-nan-Ceap, is Linn-na-Nighinn, gu doimhneachd is sàmhchair Amhainn Spiothain’ (p. 157). Also of interest are the terms Abrach (p. 157), fuilteach (p. 158), and Casan a’ Ghlinne, which a footnote tells us is ‘The Gaelic name given in Lochaber to the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy’ (p. 159).

Aonghas Mac Dhonnchaidh’s Na h-Ailleagain ’s an Calman (pp. 153-56) is also very descriptive and contains such phrases as B’ iad an dà lurag an da-rìreadh (p. 153), ‘Tha cóinneach a nis a’ fàs mu’n liath-lic air an do dh’fhadaidh Annag is Flòrag an teine-càisg mu dheireadh. [...] Oir, nach ann an sud a bhiodh leannain-shìth a’ dèanamh falach-fead mun tigeadh ceann-dubh air a’ ghealaich, is mireadh na h-àirigh gu a bhith ag cur mactalla ás a chéill le cion cadail?’ (p. 153), and ‘Beannaich mi! gu dé a tha thu a’ faireachadh?’ (p. 155).
Orthography Noteworthy features of the authors’ Gaelic may be reflected in the use of such words and constructions as Gum b’ urrainn mi (p. 17), uair air bith (p. 115), ròidean (p. 115), gu maith (p. 136), is e a h-aon de na cunnartan (p. 245), focal (p. 248), ag innseadh (p. 269), Bhrist (p. 270), Bitear (p. 269), a’ deasbaireachd (p. 269), and an sgìreachd uile fuidh thàmh (p. 290). Of particular interest is the use of the subject pronoun forms se and si when followed by the object pronouns e and i., e.g. dh’ fholuich se e fhéin (p. 88), dh’fheuch se e ’na làimh (p. 211), and dh’oibrich si i fhéin (p. 226).

The orthography is that of the early twentieth century. The form ag is used before verbal nouns beginning with c-, e.g. ag cur (p. 153), ag cuallach (p. 190). Also of interest are the dative form of ás a chéill rather than ás a chiall (p. 153), the genitive case of obair in air son oibre (p. 290), the syncopated form of o’n d’ ghluais sinn (p. 213), the use of ’Us rather than is (p. 91), the shortening gam to am in a’ tighinn am ionnsuidh (p. 188), and the possessive pronoun in air ar n-ais (p. 189). Both grave and acute accents are used throughout the text.
Edition First edition.
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