Scottish Music

Local Gaelic Folk Singing

Hebridean Folk songs sung in Gaelic and English by Alex Dell MacDonald (1895-1971), of Canterbury, Quebec.
Alex Dell was born in Dell, Quebec in a Gaelic-speaking family, son of Murdo J. MacDonald and Catherine Matheson, and was involved all his life in the traditions and culture of the Hebridean community there. Late in life he made a few private recordings for his family from which the following brief samples come:

  1. Isle of the Heather =Eilean an Fraoich (sung in English)
    Chorus only, no verses (25 sec., 100K .mp3 file)
    All verses (2-3 minutes, 963K .mp3 file) Chorus Lyrics:
    "I wish I was now in the Isle of the Sea,
    The Isle of the Heather, and happy I'd be,
    With deer in its mountains and fish in its rills,
    Revere ...[unclear]... that have cover hills."

    The words Alex Dell sings here vary from those in the poem by Murdo MacLeod originally set to this tune.

    MacLeod, M. (1962). Bardachd Mhurchaidh, A' Cheisdeir Laoidhean Agus Orain: Songs and Hymns by Murdo MacLeod the Lewis Bard, Darien Press, Edinburgh. (born in Harris in 1913).

    Gaelic clips of Alex Dell coming soon (June, 2003). Stay tuned.
  2. The Tragedy of A. D. Morrison (sung in English)
    Chorus only, no verses (29 sec., 102K .mp3 file)
    All verses (2 min., 12 sec., 529K .mp3 file)
  3. Leaving Lewis (sung in Gaelic)
    Chorus only, no verses ( 25 sec., 101K .mp3 file)
    All verses ( 3 min., 50 sec., 936K .mp3 file)
  4. Ho ro mo nighean donn bhoidheach (sung in Gaelic) (Ho ro my nut brown maiden)
    A love song to a highland maiden in which her lover vows to return and reclaim her to share his life of exile in the lowlands of Scotland.
    Chorus only, no verses (21 sec., 86K .mp3 file)
    All verses ( 2 min., 20 sec., 550K .mp3 file)
  5. Unidentified Traditional Song #2 (sung in Gaelic)
    Chorus only, no verses (22 sec., 90K .mp3 file)
    All verses (2 min., 33 sec., 610K .mp3 file)
  6. Maraiche nan Tonn or sometimes just known as Hillean na Hillean I (identified for me by Fiona Mackenzie) (sung in Gaelic)
    Chorus only, no verses (17 sec., 67K .mp3 file)
    All verses (3 min., 18 sec., 775K .mp3 file)
  7. The size and playing time are given for each one.
    To turn the music off, use the controls on your computer's midi synthesizer.
    Please note the Credits listed at the end.



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