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Two songs relating to Seumas Sasunach and accompanying story, 8 August 1867 to 17 June 1869

Identifier: Coll-97/CW114/36

Scope and Contents

Two songs and accompanying story collected from Ruary an Ruma MacNeil [Roderick MacNeil] aged 88, Miùghlaigh/Mingulay. The story tells how 'Seumas Sasunach mac Eoin mhic ogh an Oll[amh] Illeaich' came to Mingulay and stayed for a year at the house of a man who had a very beautiful wife. He poisoned the husband and he and the man's widow decided to marry she being pregnant with his child. Seumas was in the boat waiting for his wife to be, when he saw her coming down the beach, she realised that she had left the house door open and so went back to close it but Seumas thought that she had changed her mind and was not going to marry him so he sailed away without her. The song begins 'San[n] dh'fhag mi mo ghradh, San [Eile/eill] mun d fhas sinn' is composed of fourteen lines and a note states that the woman was Màiri niean Ruari ic Ruary ic Neil, sister of the informant's grandfather. Before the second song, the story continues stating that Seumas was a surgeon in the army and that a nurse in An t-Eilean Sgitheanach/Isle of Skye had heard about what happened and composed a song about it beginning 'Sheumas ic Eoin Ho bo ghiulain, S gorach thu Ho bo ghiulain' and made up of twenty eight lines. While on the Isle of Skye, Seumas heard the song and sought out the nurse. He pretended that she looked ill to him and asked her to stick out her tongue so that he could check it. She obliged but he cut it off saying, 'There now...go and make a song about me again to affront me.'

Much of the text of this item has been written over transversely. On the first page is written 'Book III page [-] 17 June 1869 A[lexander] A[rchibald] C[armichael]'. On the second page are eleven lines of the nurse's song over which is written 'B[ook] 3 p[age] [-] 17 June 1869 A[lexander] A[rchibald] C[armichael]' and also a synopsis of the story in English. This synopsis is continued onto the third page and in addition is the story of Seumas's revenge on the nurse, which is in darker ink and which has been crossed out in ink.


  • 8 August 1867 to 17 June 1869

Language of Materials

Gaelic English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 88 folios ; 16.6 x 19.8 cm