OT: 6 July 1901 – [Unsigned] “Songs of Lorn X: Cruachan-Beann”

The Oban Times, 6 July, 1901

The following Gaelic song, “Cruachan-Beann,” was composed by the late Mr. Patrick MacIntyre, teacher, who was brought up in Leitir-beann, Lochaweside, and not, as has been sometimes erroneously stated, by Capt. Patrick MacIntyre, R.M., author of “Cumha Chlann-an-t-Saoir.” [ed. the following English translations are by Malcolm MacFarlane and Alan Armstrong.  A piano and voice transcription, with the MacFarlane translation is in Alfred Moffat ed. The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Highlands.  A Collection of Highland Melodies, with Gaelic and English Words. (London: Bayley & Ferguson, 1900).]

The authorship of the following song is credited to Eoghann Mac Cithich (Hugh Keith), a Lismore man, who was in the service of Mairi Bhàn’s father at Dalness, Glen Etive. Mairi Bhàn was the daughter of Aonghas Mac Fhraing (Angus Rankin) farmer.  At the time of her parents being at Dalness they were in affluence, but having become reduced through careless management, they migrated to Achatriachtain, Glencoe. Mary was accounted very pretty. Her complexion was fair. She was never to be seen barefooted, and it was said in the glen that she had a dark birth mark that showed on one of her feet. She was ultimately married, possibly to Keith. At any rate, the following lines which were current on the banks of Loch Etive 70 years ago seem to indicate that such was the case:–

Na ‘m bu leat-sa na miltean,
Agus frith Dhail-an-eas,
Cha b’e ‘m bard odhar Mac Cithich
A bhiodh sínte ri d’ leas.

Mary’s birth must have been about 100 years ago.