OT: 31 July 1915 – Morag “The Legend of the Highland Piper”

The Oban Times, 31 July, 1915

The Legend of the Highland Piper

27 July, 1915

Sir,–I have found in many widely separated districts of Scotland a legend of a piper who enters a cave playing his pipes (his tune is frequently said to be “The MacCrimmon’s Lament”). The sound of the piping is heard to become fainter and fainter, and finally dies away. The piper never returns.

The details of the story vary greatly in different localities, but one point remains constant. The cave is said to have two entrances, and no mortal has ever gone through from one to the other. The other outlet is always supposed to be on the other side, it may be, of a sound, a wood, a hill, etc.

Have the various versions of this tale a common origin, and are they founded on an actual occurrence, or have we to regard the tale as a symbolical myth? Is the story told only in Scotland, or is there any reason to suppose it common to all Gaeldom? Any information concerning this tale will be gratefully received.–I am, etc.,