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Metadata for text 100
No. words in text30821
Title Am Filidh Gaidhealach or the Highland Minstrel: A Collection of the Most Popular Ancient and Modern Songs of the Gael of Scotland
Author N/A (Anthology)
Editor MacKenzie, Hugh
Date Of Edition 1873
Date Of Language Various
Publisher Hugh MacKenzie
Place Published Inverness
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 N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 15.4cm x 10.4cm
Short Title Am Filidh Gaidhealach
Reference Details NLS: H.M.248
Number Of Pages 120
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context The Prefatory Note reads: ‘The “Highland Minstrel” is issued with the view of supplying Highlanders with the most popular songs of their country at the lowest possible price. The songs (with the exception of Oran Bhraigh Rùsgaich, and Oran Chaiptein Huistein, which, although old, and favourites in Glen-Urquhart and Glenmoriston, are now printed for the first time), are mainly selected, without alteration, from the “Beauties of Gaelic Poetry;” and the publisher has to acknowledge the kindness of the Rev. Mr Ross of Rothesay, the present proprietor of the “Beauties,” in granting permission to make use of that excellent work.’
Contents This text comprises 40 poems and songs on a number of subjects, by a variety of authors, including Mairi Nighean Alasdair Ruaidh, Rob Donn, Uilleam Ross, and Donnchadh Bàn.

Òran Bhràigh Rùisgich (pp. 94-98) and Òran do Chaiptein Huistein (pp. 118-20) are both said to belong to the Urquhart and Glenmoriston area. The former, attributed to ‘Iain Mac-Dhughaill, Gleann Urchudainn’, is a poem of longing to be in the Highlands. It is an imitation or ‘re-make’, of the Ciaran Mabach’s Ge socrach mo leaba, b’annsa cadal air fraoch, transposed to the bard’s own homeland. A footnote (p. 94) explains that ‘the bard composed this song in Edinburgh, where he died and was buried.’ (This could perhaps be an additional echo – of the Edinburgh setting of the Ciaran Mabach’s song.) The song to ‘Caiptein Huisdein, Lochlaiteir’ is attributed to Lewis Cameron (Luthais a’ Ghobhainn) of Glenurquhart. It is a substantial and effective traditional eulogy to a Highland gentleman who was devoted to hunting, shooting and fishing. The bard reveals that the Captain is o Chrasgaig so shuas uainn, and that he is an Ailpineach (a Skye Mackinnon?) by birth.
Language Both the original songs in this volume show an easy familiarity with earlier Gaelic literature and the linguistic conventions associated with the genres in question. Òran Bhràigh Rùisgich contains closely observed description of the habits of the red deer, and Òran do Chaiptein Huistein contains references to the practicalities of deer-stalking, angling and sailing.
Orthography The orthography of the two original songs, and of the volume as a whole, is typical of the mid to late nineteenth century.

Where a comparison can be made, the orthography in this edition differs slightly from that in Sar-Obair nam Bard Gaelach. Where in this volume we find Mu’n (p. 2), ’M b’eil (p. 4), mais’ ’s is (p. 4), an diombain (p. 11), in Sar-Obair we find M’an (p. 15), B’ eil (p. 16), mais’ ’s a’s (p. 16), and an diombuain (p. 36).
Edition First edition. Another edition, described as ‘third edition’, was published in 1877; if there was a second edition, no copies of it appear to have survived.
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