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Song entitled 'Ailean Duinn' and accompanying story, 9 July 1870

Identifier: Coll-97/CW116/44

Scope and Contents

Song entitled 'Ailean Duinn' [Ailein Duinn] collected from Roderica MacDonald, Tarasaigh/Taransay beginning 'Meud nan siantan us fuac[hd] na gaillein, Dh fhuad[aich] sin na fir on challa'. The song is composed of forty three lines. The accompanying story tells of how Ann Campbell, the composer of the song came to be buried at sea, owing to the tradition that if while at sea a mermaid was seen, the only was to get rid of it was to throw something into the water. The mermaid present on this occasion did not leave until the coffin had been thrown into the sea. The story also tells how Captain Campbell of Strannd's vessel was caught in a storm and he suggested that it be lightened by throwing out the old men whereas Ann Campbell's brother suggested throwing the corpse overboard not living men. This was done but the seas were so mountainous the coffin nearly came aboard again but they managed to keep it out. The vessel was driven to Loch Sniosabhort where the crew were able to find shelter for a week while everyone else thought they were lost. They are noted as having composed many beautiful songs in that time and eventually managed to get to Rodail/Rodel and raise the alarm. The text has been scored through in ink with a transverse note which reads 'Transcribed to No III Book page 126'. Also written transversely over the text in pencil is 'From Miss Roderica MacDonald Taransay who sung this beautiful lament very prettily Saturday 9th July 1871' [1870].


  • Creation: 9 July 1870

Language of Materials

Gaelic English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 64 folios ; 19.5 x 23 cm