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Help: Who Was Kishmul? (Kishmul's/Riever's Galley)

Related threads:
Question, Kishman's galley (26)
Req: Kishmals/Kushmels/Kishmul's/Kishmael's Galley (20)
Lyr Req: Kishmules Galley? / Kishmul's Galley (39)
Lyr req: Kishmul's Galley (22)


Rob the Ranter 01 May 00 - 02:47 PM
Sorcha 01 May 00 - 10:58 PM
Terry K 02 May 00 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,JulieF ( at work) 02 May 00 - 05:26 AM
Sorcha 02 May 00 - 10:01 AM
Susanne (skw) 02 May 00 - 05:53 PM
wildlone 02 May 00 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Philippa 02 May 00 - 06:32 PM
Ringer 03 May 00 - 02:02 PM
John in Brisbane 03 May 00 - 10:37 PM
Victoria H. 04 May 00 - 07:40 AM
Aodh 04 May 00 - 11:52 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 May 00 - 02:18 PM
Aodh 03 Dec 01 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 03 Dec 01 - 10:49 PM
Megan L 04 Dec 01 - 02:18 PM
MMario 04 Dec 01 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 04 Dec 01 - 05:05 PM
Snuffy 04 Dec 01 - 08:09 PM
MMario 04 Dec 01 - 09:14 PM
Snuffy 06 Dec 01 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Philippa 13 Dec 01 - 10:31 AM
MMario 13 Dec 01 - 11:08 AM
captain wheels 13 Dec 01 - 05:49 PM
Tattie Bogle 13 Dec 01 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,No Lairds! 24 Aug 10 - 04:31 AM
GUEST 02 Mar 14 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Jim I 03 Mar 14 - 11:22 AM
Megan L 03 Mar 14 - 12:39 PM
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Subject: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Rob the Ranter
Date: 01 May 00 - 02:47 PM

RE THE REIVER"S GALLEY & KISHMUL'S GALLEY

I understand that Kishmul Was a Laird of Barra but for what deeds is he reknowned in song? Can any one suggest a good source for the backgrounds of stories told in song.

Thanks Heggie


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 May 00 - 10:58 PM

Hi there, Heggie. I don't know either of the songs you mention, but I though that Kisimul (no "h") was the castle on Barra, and thus would have had more than one Laird over the years. Have you any idea of when the events in the songs happened? Sorry I wasn't more help, but this will put it back to the top where someone else might see it.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Terry K
Date: 02 May 00 - 05:21 AM

The version I have is spelt Keishmul's Galley recorded by Owen Hand in 1966. I haven't played it for years but seem to remember the words are indecipherable due to the singer's pronounced Scottish accent (bloody foreigners!!).

The sleeve notes say "..this song, which I first heard sung by Ray and Archie Fisher, is a rough translation from a heroic Gaelic ballad".

That's all I've got.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: GUEST,JulieF ( at work)
Date: 02 May 00 - 05:26 AM

The only version of this song that I heard was the onr Runrig did live mid 80s. I don't think they ever recorded it unfortunately otherwise there would have been sleeve notes. Still it was a wonderful live track. Julie


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 May 00 - 10:01 AM

And I forgot last nite,Kisimul is the seat of Clan MacNeill of Barra, so the Laird of Kisimul would have been The MacNeill, currently Ian Roderick, see here for a short history of the castle:
CLICK


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 02 May 00 - 05:53 PM

[1968:] Kisimul's Castle was built in the thirteenth century at the southern end of the Isle of Barra and was the stronghold of the MacNeills of Barra. The chiefs of the MacNeills were famous for their self-esteem and it is said that every evening after the chief had eaten the MacNeill piper was sent out onto the battlements to announce "The MacNeill has dined. The other potentates of the earth may now dine." They even have their own version of the story 'The Flood', in which God is said to have told Noah to invite, as well as a pair of each species of animal, the MacNeill chief and his wife. A messenger was sent to Barra and returned with the chief's thanks but the reply "The MacNeill has a boat of his own." (Peter Hall, notes Norman Kennedy 'Scots Songs and Ballads')

Philippa contributed the words of a' Bhirlinn Bharrach [the Barra Galley] to a thread on 27 Jan 1999. Can't find the thread again, however. Maybe someone else has more luck. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: wildlone
Date: 02 May 00 - 06:03 PM

The Mac Neils of Barra were famous [or imfamous] sea raiders who would rob ships and coastal areas one of the King James's of Scotland after having yet another of his courtiers complaining about being robbed told the Mac Neil to come before him and answer for his crime.
Mac Neil said "if the King wants to see me let him come to me".
The Mac Neils are also relations of the O Neils Kings of Ulster.


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Subject: KISHMUL'S GALLEY
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 May 00 - 06:32 PM

Suzanne, I found the earlier contribution by doing a forum search for the word "Kishmul". Gaelic words


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEISHMUL'S GALLEY
From: Ringer
Date: 03 May 00 - 02:02 PM

My version of KEISHMUL'S GALLEY comes from Alex Campbell's album, Yours Aye, recorded round 1966 (I'm at work & going from memory).

Aside: I don't think I've played this record since about 1975 until just a few weeks ago when I was discussing with an old pal all the versions we had between us of She Moved Through the Fair. A Campbell's version of that song is so bad that it brings tears to your eyes. K'sG is better./Aside:

High upon the Bannochie,
On this day of days, seaward I gaze
Watching Keishmul's Galley sailing.
Oh lee oh doh far lee oh doh. (or words to that effect)

Bravely home she battles
'Gainst the hurtling waves, no more to roam.
Anchor cable nor tackle has she.
Oh lee etc

Now, at last, 'gainst wind and tide
They've brought her to 'neath Keishmul's walls.
Keishmul's castle of ancient glory.
Oh lee, etc

Here's red wine and feast for heroes;
And harping too, and fish and roe (?)
For those young and daring heroes.
Oh lee, etc

Hope I haven't offended any Scot by my spelling or transliteration. And it's all from memory.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 03 May 00 - 10:37 PM

I have seen this in print in recent times (perhaps in Scots Minstrelsy or Songs Of The North VolI or II). I didn't pay it too much attention because as I recall it lacked the tune. I will wait for Bruce O to reply before volunteering to find it again. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Victoria H.
Date: 04 May 00 - 07:40 AM

There's an excellent version (and slightly different lyrics) on Davy Steele's "Chasing Shadows" album, using didgeridoo and lots of different drums. Check it out if you get a chance, it's bril! :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Aodh
Date: 04 May 00 - 11:52 AM

Halo! If you want any more songs about Clann MacNeill and their pirate ways, I suggest you find the Uist song 'S'fluich an oidhche' Capercaillie use it as the second half to the song 'coisich a ruin' as it has the same tune. A better version is by the Barra singer Cathy Ann MacPhee.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 May 00 - 02:18 PM

Aodh, actually, 'S Fluich an Oidhche, is actually a portion of the Waulking Song Coisich a Rùin.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Aodh
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 07:10 PM

not in south uist its not!?! 8-P


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 10:49 PM

Scottish singer Kenneth McKellar (b.1927 in Paisley, Scotland) included Kishmul's Galley among his many fine recordings. It's still available on CD. I have it on vinyl. Haven't listened to it in ages but could find it and transcribe it if necessary. Kishmul is the spelling used on his recording.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Megan L
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 02:18 PM

It is one one of the Corries videos , not sure which one though as they are all down at my brothers house.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: MMario
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 03:03 PM

Big Daddy do you mean transcribe the tune? If so - it would be greatly appreciated. The lyrics are already in the forum three or four times.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:05 PM

No, MMario. I meant the lyrics, as Bald Eagle was trying to recall them from memory. If you need the tune, I could tape it from the LP and mail it to you.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 08:09 PM

Mario, PM me later this week to remind me and I'll see about doing the tune over the weekend.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: MMario
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 09:14 PM

ho-kay!


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Subject: Tune Add: KISIMUIL'S GALLEY
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 04:50 PM

Here's a version of the tune I transcribed from a 1976 recording by the Cambridge Crofters, with lead vocal by Andrew Kendon. The sleeve notes say:
The Western Isles retain an aura of myth today with the bleakness of landscape and rich remains of stone circles, standing stones and castles. Kisimuil's Castle stands on an island in Castlebay harbour on the island of Barra. It is not difficult to imagine, with this haunting melody, the approach of the chieftain's galley, laden with food, slaves, and other plunder, returning from a successful raid on the mainland or another island. The song was collected by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser in Mingulay, but Andrew had it from the singing of Colin Wilkie

MIDI file: KISIMUIL.MID

Timebase: 480

Tempo: 120 (500000 microsec/crotchet)
Key: G
TimeSig: 4/4 48 8
Name: KISIMUIL'S GALLEY
Start
0000 1 74 127 1439 0 74 000 0001 1 74 090 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 74 127 3359 0 74 000 0001 1 74 090 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 76 127 1439 0 76 000 0001 1 79 090 0479 0 79 000 0001 1 71 127 0119 0 71 000 0001 1 69 090 0119 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 2639 0 67 000 0481 1 62 090 0239 0 62 000 0001 1 62 090 0239 0 62 000 0001 1 64 127 1439 0 64 000 0001 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 71 127 2879 0 71 000 0481 1 74 090 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 76 127 1439 0 76 000 0001 1 79 090 0479 0 79 000 0001 1 71 127 2879 0 71 000 0481 1 74 090 0239 0 74 000 0001 1 74 090 0239 0 74 000 0001 1 76 127 0319 0 76 000 0001 1 74 090 0639 0 74 000 0001 1 71 090 0319 0 71 000 0001 1 69 090 0639 0 69 000 0001 1 71 127 1439 0 71 000 0001 1 74 090 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 71 127 0119 0 71 000 0001 1 69 090 0119 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 1679 0 67 000 1441 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 76 127 1439 0 76 000 0001 1 74 090 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 71 127 0119 0 71 000 0001 1 69 090 0119 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 3599 0 67 000 0001 1 69 127 1919 0 69 000 0001 1 71 127 1439 0 71 000 0001 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 67 127 1919 0 67 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X: 216
T:Kisimuil's Galley
M:4/4
L:1/4
Q:1/4=60
K:G
d3 d|d4-|d3 d |e3 g |{BA}G4-|G2zD/D/|
E3G|B4-|B2zd |e3 g |B4- |B2zd/d/|
e<dB<A|B3d |{BA}G4|z3 ||G |
e3d|{BA}G4-|G4|A4|B3G|G4||


WassaiL! V


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Subject: KISHMUL'S GALLEY
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 10:31 AM

there's also a midi, from Peter Kennedy's collection, at this other thread (the one with Gaelic lyrics)


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: MMario
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 11:08 AM

Phillipa - I'm sorry, I missed that the first AND second times around.

They do appear to be different renditions of the tune though.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: captain wheels
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 05:49 PM

Story from the Marjory Kennedy Fraser book

Kishmul's Galley

Una the lonely sat on a hill top on the isle of Barra, thinking of the queer things of life--the heath that is plucked ere it comes to bloom, the boat that goes down in the mouth of the harbour, the great sea that brings wealth to one and death to the other

She had drunk her fill of the three sorrows of a woman, the sorrow of the orphan, the sorrow of a widow and the sorrow of the mother, and sure, having nothing now to work or hope for in this life, it would be no sorrow at all for her to sleep with the other tired women in the quiet kirkyard.

Una the lonely looked out to sea and looking forgot her thoughts. The waves were boiling with rage because the wind was laughing and mocking them; and far out, Kishmul's Galley, with Macneill of Barra and the bravest of his lads on board, was turning her head towards the bay and the old castle of the clan. But Oh Great being of the graces, as soon as the waves and wind noticed the galley, they straightaway forgot their own quarrel and must need join hands to drown the pluckiest galley in the Isles. Let me swallow her said the sea, opening it, s great mouth--but like the mountain stag, Kishmul's galley bounded to the top of the nearest wave. Let me topple her over said the wind, loud blowing with all its might, but like the seal of Lochlann, the galley darted down into a sea-glen. Wild with anger the waves sprang at her planks and the wind tattered her sails and snapped her rigging--but let them do their worst, Kishmul's Galley was ever the darling to carry her dear ones safely home. And Macneill of Barra and his men began to sing a song of triumph--they could see the old castle now, where the good things in life were waiting for them; the red wine, the feasting, the harping, and the best of all, the love of women and the prattle of children. Don't be so sure said the wind, drawing its whole breath into its lungs. But ere the great effort came, the galley suddenly darted into the quiet of the bay, leaving wind and wave taunting each other with defeat.

And Una the lonely, watching from the hilltop, leapt to her feet and--O Mother of God cried she what if yon galley be me.


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 07:22 PM

Thought everyone on Barra was called MacNeill, as in MacNeill the post, Macneill the milkman, MacNeill the farmer: I believe there is a MacNeill directory! Tattie B


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL? (Kishmul's/Riever's Galley)
From: GUEST,No Lairds!
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 04:31 AM

My own ancestors come from Barra,and they were and I am a MACMILLAN,and I feel I should point out that before the 19th century the clan chiefs weren't "lairds" as such,as the Clan System was essentially a tribal system not a feaudal system!


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Subject: RE: Help: WHO WAS KISHMUL? (Kishmul's/Riever's Galley)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 01:48 PM


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Subject: RE: Help: Who Was Kishmul? (Kishmul's/Riever's Galley)
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 11:22 AM

Haven't sung this for many's the year but my version (I think from the singing of the Corries) is only slightly different to Ringer's above.

High upon the Ben A Heaval
On this day of days
Seaward I gaze
Watching Kishmuil's galley sailing

Chorus:   
Ahee, ahuo, Valee ahuo

Homeward she bravely battles
'Gainst the hurtling waves
Nor hoop nor yards,
Anchor, cable, nor tackle has she.

Bravely, 'gainst wind and tide
They bring her to
'Neath Kishmuils walls
Kishmuil's castle of ancient glory

Here's red wine and feast for heroes
And harping too.
Hyree, Hyroo
Sweet harping for our gallant Kishmuil

(Heaval is the highest point on Barra)


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Subject: RE: Help: Who Was Kishmul? (Kishmul's/Riever's Galley)
From: Megan L
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 12:39 PM

finally found a link that cleared up a problem I had with the song. sung in Gaelic I had often hear it sung as Bennachie which is in Aberdeenshire but I knew Kisimul Castle was on the island of Barra. Kisimul (Kishmul) Castle . Turns outit is not the name of the mountain but a description , the misty mountain.


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