Tag Archives: MacMhuirich

Fíor mo mholadh ar Mhac Dhomhnaill – medieval bardic poetry performance

This is the final set at the Ceòl Rígh Innse Gall concert in the museum at Armadale, Isle of Skye, last month: medieval Gaelic ‘bardic’ poetry, sung with accompaniment played on the replica of the medieval Scottish ‘Queen Mary’ harp.

Fíor mo mholadh    ar Mhac Dhomnaill
Cur la gceanglaim    cur gach comhlainn
True my praising of MacDonald, hero I am tied to, hero of every fight

Croidhe leómhain   láimh nár tugadh
Guaire Gaoidheal   aoinfhear Uladh
Lion’s heart, hand that did not reproach, Guaire of the Gael, sole champion of Ulster

Aoinfhear Uladh   táth na bpobal
Rosg le rugadh   cosg na cgogadh
Champion of Ulster, welder of people, eye which caused the ceasing of warfare

Grian na nGaoidheal   gnúis í Cholla
Fa bhruach Banna   luath a longa
Sun of the Gael, face of the sons of Coll, around the Bann his galleys were swift

Cuiléan confaidh   choisgeas foghla
Croide connla    bile Banbha
Furious hound, stopping raiders, steadfast heart, tree of Ireland

Tír ‘na teannail   deirg ‘na dheaghaidh
A bheart bunaidh   teacht go Teamhair
The land is a blazing beacon behind, his ancestral duty to go to Tara

Measgadh Midhe   onchú Íle
Fréimh na féile   tréan gach tíre
The confuser of Meath, the wolf of Islay, the root of bounty, the defender of each land

Níor éar aoinfhear   no dáimh doiligh
Craobh fhial oinigh    ó fhiadh n-Oiligh
Refusing no-one, no pleading poets, generous honourable branch from the land of Oileach

Níor fhás uime    acht ríoghna is ríogha
Fuighle fíora   fíor mo mholadh
No-one raised with him but kings and queens. True these judgements; true my praising

Poet: anonymous MacMhuirich c.1500
Singer: Gillebrìde MacMillan
harpist: Simon Chadwick

After the music finishes we hear Godfrey, Lord MacDonald, speaking with the ‘vote of thanks’.

Makars Court Stone Unveiling


Yesterday I was at Makars Court in Edinburgh for the unveiling of the stone dedicated to Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich, the famous Gaelic poet. This photo (thanks to Karen Loomis) shows me playing the harp to accompany Malcolm Maclean reading Lachlan Mòr’s Brosnachadh or incitement to Clan Donald before the Battle of Harlaw, July 1411. Seated behind are Elizabeth Grubb, Lady Provost of Edinburgh; Alan Currie (hidden); Councillor Deirdre Brock, Convener of the Culture and Leisure Committee, Edinburgh City Council; Dr. Donald William Stewart, University of Edinburgh; Robert Currie, President of the Clan Currie Society, and George Grubb, Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich and the Battle of Harlaw

On Friday, July 22nd, and Saturday July 23rd, I am taking part in interesting and important events in Edinburgh, organised by the Clan Currie Society.

On Friday 22nd, at 11am, a stone will be unveiled in the Makar’s Court, outside the Writers Museum just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The court is paved with stone slabs, each commemorating an important Scottish writer, and the latest stone is for Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich, and will be engraved with the first two lines of his famous brosnachadh, or incitement to Clan Donald before the battle of Harlaw in July 1411:
A Chlanna Cuinn, cuimhnichibh
Cruas an am na h-iorghaile

On Saturday 23rd, starting at 10am, in the Royal Scots Club on Abercrombie Place, Edinburgh, there will be a symposium on Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich and the Battle of Harlaw, with a good selection of speakers.

You can find out more details on the Clan Currie event website.

See also my Harlaw music pages.