MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Kenny MacLeod

Kenny MacLeod was born in 1921 in North River Bridge on the North Shore of Cape Breton. He was known locally as "Ceannaidh Sine" or, "Kenny son of Jane." His family emigrated from the Islands of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and the similarity of his accent to that heard in Lewis is commented upon in John Lorne Campbell's 1937 journal.

Kenny is remembered as a composer and singer of songs. He composed one of the most recent North Shore love songs, for a lady from Englishtown. "Oran Whilena" ("Whilena's Song") was very popular and sung by many on the North Shore.

Kenny was a member of the group the North Shore Gaelic Singers and travelled several times to America to perform. He was also known as a storyteller and often told humorous tales, especially at milling frolics. At the time Leach was recording in Cape Breton, Kenny was a successful farmer on the North Shore. He died in 2001.