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Metadata for text 182
No. words in text42827
Title Highland Songs of the Forty-Five
Author N/A (Edited work)
Editor Campbell, John Lorne
Date Of Edition 1933
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher John Grant
Place Published Edinburgh
Volume N/A
Location National, academic, and local libraries
Geographical Origins Various
Register Literature, Verse
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 23.5cm x 17cm
Short Title Highland Songs of the Forty-Five
Reference Details EUL, Celtic Library: LI G CAM
Number Of Pages xxxvi, 327
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This volume is a collection of Jacobite songs, the majority composed at the time of the Jacobite rising of 1745. The editor of this volume was John Lorne Campbell. Campbell was born in Edinburgh in 1906. He was the eldest son of Colonel Duncan Campbell of Inverneill in Argyll, and of Ethel Harriet from New Jersey in America. On leaving school, Campbell studied rural economy at Oxford and graduated in 1929. In 1930, he was awarded a diploma, also in rural economy. In addition to rural economy, Campbell studied Gaelic at Oxford with John Fraser, the Jesus Professor of Celtic. Campbell had first become interested in Gaelic, through hearing it spoken in Oban during his teenage years. In 1933 Campbell published Highland Songs of the Forty-Five. In the same year he travelled to Barra, where he met Compton Mackenzie, and the two men set up the Sea League which campaigned for local fishermen’s rights. Their paper The Sea Leaguer included some Gaelic articles. The two men also worked together on The Book of Barra (published in 1936), which was intended to raise money for the Sea League. It was during the preparation for this book that Campbell met Margaret Fay Shaw (see Text 49), who was then living in South Uist. They met in 1934 and married the next year in Glasgow. They then spent three years in Barra, before moving to the island of Canna, which Campbell bought in 1938. They were based in Canna for the rest of their lives, farming and encouraging the community there. Their home at Canna House became an archive of books, sound recordings, and photographs, relating to Gaelic and to Highland life and culture. They had no children, but travelled widely. Both Campbell and Shaw visited Nova Scotia, and collected songs from the Gaelic communities there. Campbell’s Songs Remembered in Exile was published in 1990. They visited North America and Europe regularly, but their research was based mainly on South Uist, Barra, Eriskay, and Canna.

Campbell published on a variety of topics related to Gaelic and to Highland life. His publications include Gaelic in Scottish Education (1950), Fr. Allan McDonald of Eriskay, 1859-1905 (1954), Edward Lhuyd in the Scottish Highlands (1963) (with Professor Derick Thomson), Strange Things: the Enquiry by the Society for Psychical Research into Second Sight in the Scottish Highlands (1968), A Collection of Highland Rites and Customs (1975), and Canna: the Story of a Hebridean Island (1984). He also edited Angus MacLellan’s autobiography under the title Saoghal an Treobhaiche, which was published in 1972 (see Text 46). Of particular note are the three volumes of Hebridean Folksongs, edited by Campbell and Francis Collinson (1969, 1977, and 1981). Campbell was interested in Highland development and conservation, and in environmental issues, and in 1939 he produced Act Now for the Highlands and Islands, a survey of the report of the Scottish Economic Committee, in collaboration with Alexander MacEwen. Campbell was also interested in butterflies, and in 1970 he published Macro-lepidoptera cannae: butterflies and moths of the Isle of Canna, Inner Hebrides. In 1981 the Campbells gifted the island to the National Trust for Scotland, although he and Margaret continued to live on the island at Canna House. Campbell died in Italy on 25th April 1996, while he and his wife were on holiday. His wife died in 2004, at the age of 101. For information on Margaret Fay Shaw, see Text 49.
Contents This volume opens with a table of Contents (pp. viii-xi), which lists the names of the authors whose works are included in this volume and the titles of their songs. This is followed by a short Preface (pp. xiii-xiv) by the editor, and a List of Abbreviations (pp. xv-xvi).

There follows an Introduction (pp. xvii-xxxvi) to this work, the authors, the poems and their translations, the sources used, and the editorial principles employed. Regarding his coverage, Campbell states as follows: ‘When the compilation of this anthology was undertaken, every collection of Gaelic poetry to be found in the Bodleian and in the British Museum was searched with the greatest care for poems of the required type. About seventy were discovered which could be called Jacobite … Nearly half of these were the composition of one man, Alexander MacDonald’ (p. xx).

The main body of this text comprises 32 songs by 12 different authors, along with a short introduction to each author and his or her works (pp. 1-291). The authors whose works are included in this volume are Iain Mac Lachlainn (1 song), Aonghas Mac Dhomhnuill (1 song), Nighean Aonghais Oig (1 song), Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alastair (15 songs), Iain Ruadh Stiùbhart (3 songs), Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir (3 songs), Rob Donn (2 songs), Iain Mac Codrum (1 song), Alasdair Camshron (1 song), Dubhghall Ruadh Camshron (1 song), Iain Camshron (1 song), and Uilleam Ros (2 songs). The songs are given in Gaelic and English on facing pages.

The volume is completed by the following ancillary sections: The Tunes (pp. 293-306), Focail-Iasaid o’n Laidinn (pp. 307-08), Focail-Iasaid o’n Bheurla (pp. 309-11), Loan-Words from Norse and Loan-Words from Norman-French and Anglo-Saxon (p. 312), a Glossary (pp. 313-17), and Notes on the Poems taken from MS. 63 (pp. 319-20). There is also (pp. 321-24) an Index containing the names of people and places mentioned in the poems. The index gives the number of the poem, and the number of the line in which each name appears.
Sources When discussing his textual principles Campbell explains (p. xxiii) that he distinguished three categories of source material: the author’s own MS as published (only in the case of Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair), transcriptions taken from the bard’s own recitation, and transcriptions made from other reciters.
Language The songs in this volume contain martial and political vocabulary; their moods range from ecstasy to despair.

A number of the songs are  praise songs. Some are in praise of the Prince, e.g. Mac Mhaighstir Alastair’s Oran do’n Phrionnsa (pp. 48-51) and Tearlach Mac Sheumais (pp. 52-61), and Rob Donn’s Oran do Phrionnsa Tearlach (pp. 230-35). Others are in praise of others who played a leading part in the Jacobite Rising, e.g. Alasdair Cameron’s Oran do Dhomhnull Ban Mac Dhomhnuill Dhuibh, Tighearna Loch Iall (pp. 256-63) and William Ros’s Oran do Mharcus nan Greumach agus do’n Eideadh Ghaidhealach (pp. 280-85).

There are also songs of incitement addressed to Gaels in general, urging them to rise with the Prince. These songs include Aonghas Mac Dhomhnuill’s Oran Brosnachaidh do na Gaidheil (pp. 10-19); Nighean Aonghais Oig’s Oran air Teachd Phrionnsa Tearlach (pp. 22-31); and Mac Mhaighstir Alastair’s Oran nam Fineachan Gaidhealach (pp. 72-85), Brosnachadh do na Gaidheil (pp. 124-27), and Oran Nuadh (pp. 62-71). The last of these includes the following very typical lines: ‘Nì na Gàidheil bheòdha, ghasda, \ Eirigh bhras le sròlaibh, \ Iad ’nan ciadaibh uim’ ag iathadh, \ ’S coltas dian-chuir gleòis orr’; \ Gun fhiamh, ’s iad fiadhta, claidhmheach, sgiathach, \ Gunnach, riaslach, stròiceach, \ Mar chonfadh leómhannaibh fiadhaich, \ ’S acras dian gu feòil orr’’ (p. 62). In Fuigheall Eile (pp. 128-31), also by Mac Mhaighstir Alastair, the same sentiments recur: ‘Eiridh sinne le conbhadh leómhann, \ ’N uair bhiodh acras geur gu feòil orr’, \ Sinn cho sgairteil gu sgrios nan Deòrsaich \ Us lasair bhras nam fraoch-chnoc mòintich’ (p. 130).

A number of the songs are about the battles which were fought during the 1745-46 Jacobite Rising. Examples include Iain Ruadh Stiubhart‘s Latha Chùil-lodair (pp. 168-75) and Oran Eile air Latha Chùil-lodair (pp. 176-85), and Donnchadh Bàn’s two songs on the Battle of Falkirk (pp. 196-205 and 206-17). Some of these songs describe the events that took place during the battles. For example in Latha Chuil-Lodair (pp. 168-75), Stiubhart exclaims: ‘Mo chreach mhór! na cuirp ghlé-gheal \ Tha ’nan laigh’ air na sléibhtean ud thall, \ Gun chiste, gun léintean, \ Gun adhlacadh fhéin anns na tuill; \ Chuid tha beò dhiubh an déidh sgaoilidh \ ’S iad ’gam fògair le gaothan thar tuinn, \ Fhuair na Chuigs an toil féin dinn, \ ’S cha chan iad ach ‘reubaltaich’ ruinn’ (p. 170). In Blar na h-Eaglaise Brice (pp. 206-17), Donnchadh Bàn describes the action from the Hanoverian side: ‘Bha sinn gu misneachail, dàna, \ Dol an aird a dh’ionnsaigh ’n t-sléibhe, \ ’S mu’n deachaidh sinn ceart an ordugh \ Thàinig iad oirnne na Reubail! \ Cha b’fhada mheal sinn an àrach \ ’N uair a sgànr sinn as a chéile, \ ’S ann an sin a bha ’n droch-càradh \ Air na bhà luchd aodaich dhéirg ann’ (p. 208).

Some of the songs in this volume discuss the political context of the 1745-46 Jacobite Rising. For example, Mac Mhaighstir Alastair’s Oran a Rinneadh ’sa Bhliadhna 1746 (pp. 94-105) includes these lines: ‘Ciod è do cheart-s’ air crùn \ Ach adhaircean bhith sparradh ort? \ ’S co sean ri d’ chòir o thùs, \ Brìos òr-cheart bha ’n Renfriù; \ Ach bha ion-faileis ann \ De thrusdar de dh’achd Pàrlamaid, \ A dh’fhoil an crùn mu d’ cheann; \ Ach tog so leat ’nad sgéith, \ An t-Uilleam rinn an t-achd-sa dhuit \ Gum b’eucorach è-féin’ (p. 96).

Other songs look at the aftermath of the Rising, and the measures which were enforced after the defeat of the Jacobite army at Culloden. A number of the songs refer to the Disclothing Act and the Disarming Act, including Mac Mhaighstir Alastair’s Am Breacan Uallach (pp. 154-63), Donnchadh Bàn’s Oran do’n Bhriogais (pp. 218-25), Rob Donn’s Oran nan Casagan Dubha (pp. 236-45), and John MacCodrum’s Oran an Aghaidh an Eididh Ghallda (pp. 248-53). Donnchadh Bàn’s Blar na h-Eaglaise Brice (pp. 206-17) contains the following indictment: ‘Cha bhi oirnn ach ad us casag, \ An àite nam breacanan ùra, \ Stocainnean us briogsa glasa, \ ’S iad air glasadh mu na glùinean; \ ’N uair chaill sinn ar n-airm ’s ar n-aodach, \ Cia mar dh’fhaodas sinn bhith sunndach? \ Le’r casagan leobhar liath-ghlas \ Nach robh roimhe riamh ’nar dùthaich’ (p. 212). In Donnchadh Bàn’s Oran do’n Bhriogais (pp. 218-25), a similar note is struck: ‘Is ann a nis a tha fios againn \ An t-iochd a rinn Diùc Uilleam ruinn, \ ’N uair dh’fhàg e sinn mar phrìosanaich \ Gun bhiodagan, gun ghunnachan, \ Gun chlaidheamh, gun chrios tarsuinn oirnn, \ Cha n-fhaigh sinn prìs nan dagachan, \ Tha comannd aig Sasunn oirnn \ O smachdaich iad gu buileach sinn’ (p. 224).
Orthography The orthography of this volume embodies a consciously scholarly refinement of early twentieth-century spelling. It includes some idiosyncratic choices, e.g. the spelling us is preferred to is ‘and’, as though the latter were a reduced form of agus. Campbell claims in his Introduction that ‘no effort has been spared to prepare these texts consistently and correctly … In short, the spelling of all silent consonants and all unaccented vowels has been made uniform. Differences due to local pronunciation, especially where they involve rhyme, have on the other hand been carefully preserved, and where necessary restored’ (p. xxxv). Campbell uses both grave and acute accents. The grave accent is used to mark historically long vowels, and the acute accent to mark ‘the closed sounds of long o and e’ (ibid.). Historically short vowels lengthened in the Modern Scottish Gaelic of these texts, in words such as ard and comhnadh, are not marked as long. Tha, bha, and bidh are accented ‘where the metre demands it’, and mi, thu, e, and i are accented where they are pronounced long, e.g. after the copula is. There are no accents on capital letters.

On pp. 42-47, Campbell discusses the particular difficulties raised by the texts of Mac Mhaighstir Alastair and describing how they have been dealt with by previous editors and in the present edition. On pp. 228-29, Campbell discusses briefly the language of Rob Donn and the practices of his previous editors.

Campbell records in footnotes throughout this volume the readings of earlier collections where these vary from each other or differ substantially from the reading he adopts.
Edition First edition. A second edition was published in 1984. It contains a new section (pp. 321-40) entitled ‘Corrections and Additions to the text of the First Edition (1933)’. As stated above, this volume contains valuable, though occasionally tendentious, background information regarding the Jacobite songs of the mid-eighteenth century, and valuable suggestions as to the correct form and meaning of the texts here edited.
Further Reading Campbell, J. L., Highland Songs of the Forty-Five, 2nd edition (Edinburgh, 1984: Scottish Gaelic Texts Society).
Gillies, W., ‘Gaelic songs of the Forty-five’, Scottish Studies, 29 (1991), 19-58.
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