The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8189   Message #2396823
Posted By: Big Tim
24-Jul-08 - 11:37 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Kishmules Galley? / Kishmul's Galley
Subject: RE: factory girls and Kishmules Galley lost lyric
A classically trained musician, Marjory Kennedy-Fraser (1857-1930), from Perth, collected the air in 1907, the lyrics in 1908, both on-site in Barra, and published the song in the first volume of her massive 3 volume work, 'Songs of the Hebrides', in 1909.                                                         

The lyrics, she wrote, were obtained from 'an old woman' [Mrs. Maclean of Barra] and the air from the singing of Mary MacDonald of Mingulay. Additionally, a Mrs. Boyd of Mingulay also sang the song to MKF, giving the Gaelic title as 'Latha dhomh am Beinn a Cheathaich' ('one day on the misty mountain'). Barra quay is wrong.

MKF wrote 'Kishmul's Galley' is my own translation, [it] is literal, save that I have omitted merely the local sixteenth-century names of the men on board the vessel' [which she did include in her parallel Gaelic version of 1909].   

The original Gaelic version by Nic Iain Fhinn ('daughter of fair-haired John'), bardess of the Macneils, was written about 1700.