OT: 5 October 1912 – John MacLennan “The Piobaireachd Society’s New Collection”

The Oban Times, 5 October, 1912

The Piobaireachd Society’s New Collection

Edinburgh, 30 September, 1912

Sir,–Mr. John Grant in your issue of the 28th inst. is anxious to know why I did not fulfill my promises, and the numerous readers “The Oban Times” will be anxious to know why he has constituted himself the champion of the Piobaireachd Society.

The Piobaireachd Society is a strong, influential and intellectual body of men, who could crush me in a moment had there been an opportunity for doing so, and that without the least assistance from outsiders.

Mr. Grant plays on the bagpipe, but he is not a piper, and having no knowledge of the literature, poetry, or songs of the Highlands, he is quite unable to compare the notes with the words of the piobaireachd, especially as he has never been through a school of music. But, to his credit be it said, he has, at immense labour gathered a great number of notes, which forms some twenty-one pieces–a creditable monument to his hard industry–but we can never call them piobaireachd.

When Mr. John Grant learns the Gaelic language, reads the Gaelic poets, and goes through a school of music, I shall be pleased to fulfill my promise to his satisfaction, but in the meantime I think it would be premature. I am, etc.,

John MacLennan