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Story entitled 'Mac Mhuirich' and accompanying song, 29 January 1875

Identifier: Coll-97/CW106/128

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'Mac Mhuirich' probably collected from John MacInnes, aged 70 years, Stadhlaigearraidh/Stilligarry, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist. The story tells how MacMhurich is coming back from Rum [Rhum] when 'gille glas' asks if MacMhuirich will take him as far as Uist [Uibhist]. Reluctantly, MacMhuirich agrees exchanging some balast for the gille glas. En route water starts coming in so all are called upon to bale out the vessel but to no avail. The gille glas takes control of the steering and eventually they make land at Carnan aird Fhuidhey [Càrnan Àird Fuidheigh/Fuday]. The crew are all lying on the deck motionless. MacMhuirich asks gille glas what his name is and he says 'Fionnla[gh]' and so MacMhuirich dismisses everyone but Fionnlagh. He then sings a song beginning 'Gao an ear o'n eilbhinn chrinn, Mar achain eir Ri nan Dhul'. The song is composed of ten lines. The story continues that in Ireland MacMhuirich was a widow's son who called up the wind to set sail and consequently found himself in Uist. He fell asleep and when he awoke there was a red book under his head. He read the book because it was full of stories about the people of Scotland and Ireland. When he came to Uist he was given Stadhlaigearraidh/Stilligarry and a note is made of the values of the property. There is also a vocabulary note which reads 'Iomarcach = superfluous'.


  • 29 January 1875

Language of Materials

English Gaelic

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 117 folios ; 20 x 16.5 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 70r, line 7 to folio 71v, line 20


Gillies, William, 'Alexander Carmichael and Clann Mhuirich', Scottish Gaelic Studies, Vol. XX (2000) p.1-66.
Gillies, William, 'Alexander Carmichael and the Folklore of the MacMhuirich Poets', in Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart (ed.), The Life and Legacy of Alexander Carmichael (Port of Ness, 2008), pp. 96-114.
Hogan, J. A., Raising Storms and Drowning People:

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

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