MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

 

Cape Breton Locally Composed Songs

Locally composed songs are often associated with the title "bard" (one who addresses community concerns and works within the vernacular idiom). Historically, bards were members of a highly esteemed class of poets. They were honoured and given diplomatic immunity when they travelled, for instance. Their songs and poems were the means by which the histories and legends of their communities were maintained.  

The compositions of modern bards such as Hector Carmichael and George MacAskill in the Leach collection, comment on community events that were often considered extraordinary by the residents. Some songs name specific community members. Many feature dialogue between characters. These compositions may be Aoir (satire), humorous songs, or Caoidh (laments). The tunes are usually well-known, and may be very old. Unless performed at a milling, the chorus is usually sung only once at the beginning of the song and once again at the end. Many of the following songs have been preserved in bound collections or sung by contemporary artists.

An Cota a Fhuar Màrtainn (The Coat that Martin Got)

MacCorick, Mrs.

An Oidhche. Bha'n Luadh Ann (The Night of the Milling Frolic)

Macleod, Malcolm Angus

An Tè a Chaill a Gàidhlig (The Woman Who Lost Her Gaelic)

Macleod, Malcolm Angus

Chaidh Tu Phèigi air Chall (You Got Lost Peggy)

MacIsaac, Angus

Chan Fheàrrde Mi Bhith Sochairach (It's Not Good For Me To Be Bashfull)

MacDonald, Angus "The Ridge"

Chunnaic Mi'n Lair Dhonn aig Seumas (I Saw James' Brown Mare)

Macleod, Malcolm Angus

Cumha (Lament)

Gillis, Archie

Ged a Chaidh Ali Dha'n Leabaidh (Although Ali Went to Bed)

Carmichael, Hector

Ma Phòsas Mi, Cha Ghabh Mi Tè Mhòr (If I Marry, I Won't Wed a Large Woman)

Morrison, Dan

Ma Phòsas Mi, Cha Ghabh Mi'n Tè Mhòr (If I Marry, I Won't Wed a Large Woman)

MacAskill, George

Marbhrann (Elegy)

Campbell, John

Nàile, Chunna Mi Uair Bhiodh an Drama 's a Chuach ri Ol (I've Seen the Time When the Dram Was in the Cup to Drink)

MacDonald, Angus "The Ridge"

O'n dh'Fhalbh Mi Fhìn 'nam Mharaiche (Since I Became a Sailor)

MacCorick, Mrs.

Òran a'Bhradain (Song of the Salmon)

Carmichael, Hector

Òran Iain Ceitein (Song of Iain Ceitean)

MacDonald, Angus "The Ridge"

Òran na "Corns" (Song of the Corns)

MacCorick, Mrs.

Òran na Pìoba (Song of the Pipe)

Macleod, Malcolm Angus

Òran nan Dòmhnallach a Eilean a'Phrìonnsa (Song for the MacDonalds of Prince Edward Island)

MacLellan, Lauchie

Òran na Sparrows (The Sparrow Song)

MacKinnon, Alex

Banais MhicPhàil (MacPhail's Wedding)

MacKinnon, Alex

Smùid a-Null Gu Dùthaich nan Gallaimh (I Took a Trip to the Lowlands)

Gillis, Archie

Tha Buaidh air an Uisge Bheatha (Whiskey Has An Influence Over One)

Carmichael, Hector and Alexander Kerr

Tha Mi'n Diugh gu Tìnn (Today I am Ill)

MacDonald, Angus "The Ridge"

Throid a Bhean 's Gun Throid i Rium (My Wife Quarreled and She Scolded Me)

MacDonald, Angus "The Ridge"

 

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