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Account of fulling cloth and accompanying song, 1867

Identifier: Coll-97/CW114/31

Scope and Contents

Account of fulling cloth on Miulay [Miùghlaigh/Mingulay] describing how he heard the singing coming from a hut as he passed by and so he went in and found 'six good looking comely girls waulking cloth. One sung the verse the rest the chorus and all took their turn at this. All songs suited the body made in ful[ling] and all to my ear wild weird and beautiful. One was a fairy song and fairy like'. Carmichael notes that he measured the arms of two of the girls and that while the others seemed 'generally stout' none of them seemed to have any 'surp[lus] flesh about them.' He describes the fulling activity, how the singing and work increases in speed, how the cloth 'is sent round with the sun. Upon no ac[count] would they attempt the con[verse]'. The 'cleibh luai' is described as 'a plank a few in[ches] thick 1½ f[eet] broad and 10 f[eet] long. It must have been tossed ab[out] in the At[lantic] for a time for it is perfor[ated] all over by [teredo].' Carmichael states that he asked them to sing the fairy song again but they refused saying that if they repeated a song the cloth would 'become as thin as before and ins[tantly] lose all its col[our] and become pure white!' The accompanying song begins 'M eudail an t uac[hd]ran cl[i]uteach, Nach dean[adh] an tua[th] a spuil[l]eadh.' The song is composed of nine lines.


  • Creation: 1867

Language of Materials

Gaelic English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 88 folios ; 16.6 x 19.8 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 62v, line 1 to folio 63v, line 1


Carmichael, Alexander, Carmina Gadelica, vol. IV (Edinburgh, 1941), p. 89

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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