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Song entitled 'Gipsy Song In Gipsy Language', accompanying story and vocabulary note, 17 September 1885

Identifier: Coll-97/CW87/39

Scope and Contents

Song entitled 'Gipsy Song In Gipsy Language' collected from 'a band of "tinners" working in a cart shed at Bailemartin, N[orth] Uist' [Baile Mhàrtainn/Balmartin, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist] beginning 'Dheirc gearradh agus glomhach, Misealac leth blainteag' with a translation into Gaelic beginning 'Chunnaig/Chunnas bean agus duine, Falbh le bo'. At the top of the page in two different inks Carmichael has written 'Gailig Nan ceard' and 'Cainnt Nan Ceard' to indicate that the language of the song is in the travelling people's version of Gaelic. The story states that one of the band was Daonald MacDonald from Gearrloch [Geàrrloch, Ros is Cromba/Ross and Cromarty] who fell in love with a gipsy girl and joined them. Carmichael speculates as to who was related to whom within the band and notes their healthy appearance. He adds 'They had stories, songs and ports; and curious conundrum, very ingenious drawn from sacred and profane history. Had I been able to stay I might have obtained much curious old lore from these decent tinkers'. Carmichael was told by one of the women that they had been buying old brooches and other ornaments for a watchmaker in Stornoway [Steòrnabhagh] who was selling them 'at high prices to English tourists'. The vocabulary relates to the travelling people's Gaelic, in particular linen and meat. A page has been cut out of the note book (probably contemporaneously) before this entry.


  • Creation: 17 September 1885

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 41 folios ; 18 x 23 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 24r, line 1 to folio 25r, line 5

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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