OT: 3 June 1911 – Loch Sloy

The Oban Times, 3 June, 1911

27 May, 1911

Sir,–It gives me much pleasure to again contribute to your valuable columns upon the above subject, and to do my utmost to support the truly native claim that the bagpipe is most decidedly a Highland instrument. British history cannot help us much because numerous indeed are the important native incidents, etc., of poor Scotland that have never been recorded. The “Sassenach” cannot give us what is not expected of him, namely an born love for instrument which has proven so mighty in peace and war, and his contributions upon the above teach me nothing.

The best way to form an opinion about unknown beginnings is to watch how like things begin now. Much as I admire Dr. Bannatyne’s knowledge of our instrument, especially the construction of its music, it will never come to pass that he or any other will be able to prove our instrument of other than Highland origin. Piobaireachd (Ceol Mor) has been handed down to us in numerous compositions with many of their authors’ names unknown, but the Highlander as he plays the unnamed and unclaimed piobaireachd, can find embedded with in its beautiful theme the pathetic appeal and love for the native Highland home which existed so long ago in some lovely glen. And we are to renounce all, renounce the instrument that stirs the hearts of Scotsmen in far-off countries, renounce the gift of our forefathers? Never!

The Great Highland Bagpipe, handed down to us by our ancestors, is a noble heritage we Highlanders must cherish against all attack. Dr. Bannatyne suggests as his earliest date 1326. On good authority I suggest to Dr. Bannatyne the range of Malcolm Cannmore of Scotland as a far earlier period of mention of our instrument. To this day a large cairn marks the spot where the piper stood as the clansmen fought in fierce conflict to settle a well-known family grievance.

In conclusion, I thank your correspondent “Morag” most sincerely for his kind remarks as to my support. I admire “Morag’s” noble heritage of bagpipe music and his wholehearted enthusiasm for an instrument he loves so well. –I am, etc.,

Loch Sloy