Gaelic Literature of the Isle of Skye: an annotated  bibliography   


Traditional poetry and song:  collectors and collections







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DHUGHLAS, Catriona  (1893-1965)


Daughter of Iain Mac-an-Aba, himself a poet (q.v.) Catriona Dhùghlas (Katherine Douglas) was born in Kilmuir, Trotternish and lived there all her life.  Educated at Kilmuir Primary School, where her father was headmaster.  She was taught Gaelic by her cousin, Anna Dhomhnallach.


Catriona coached young people for Mod competitions and composed a number of Gaelic songs (see her entry  in the section for poetry and song of known authorship).  After her death her husband gave her manuscripts to the Rev. Domhnall Buidse, who undertook the task of publication, a task in which, in spite of all his efforts, he was only partially successful.  The Rev. Buidse’s account of Catriona’s life and work is to be found on pp. 596-601 of his article ‘Bàird an Eilean Sgiathanach: Clann-an-Aba, Throdairnis’ (TGSI 48: 584-601).


Catriona collected many old Gaelic songs and some of her collections were to win prizes at Mod competitions.  Apparently when collecting songs she learnt the tunes, then played them by ear on her harmonium and from her playing made transcriptions of the tunes (information from Dr. John MacInnes).





An Gaidheal, 35 (1939-1940)


i     ‘Cha bhì mi buan is tu bhì bhuam’, p. 60.


From the singing of Catriona Chamshroin of Valton.  Fifteen verse-couplets and a three-line refrain.  For another version of this song, see the Calum I. MacLean Collection.


ii    Chaidh mo Dhonnachadh dha ‘n bheinn’, p. 77.


See individual entry for this song.


iii   Duanag an t-Seòladair’, p. 175.


Niall MacLeòid’s song, with the tune to which it was usually sung in Skye.   The composer himself sang it to the tune of ‘Eirich agus tiugainn O’.


iv   Oganaich ma chuir thu cùl rium’, p. 46.


From the singing of Anna Dhùghlas of Valtos.  Five verse-couplets

and a refrain.


v     Tha mo chridhe brùite briste’, p. 107.


Lament of a mother for her dead daughter, from the singing of Catriona Chamshroin of Valtos.  Eleven verse-couplets, with the second line of each repeated as the first line of the following one, and a vocable refrain.



An Gaidheal, 36 (1940-1941)


‘Iain Shomalta é ho ’, p. 14


From the singing of Anna Dhùghlas of Valtos.  A pibroch song which celebrates a cattle raid (Collinson 1966:196).



An Gaidheal, 38 (1942-1943)


i    ‘Air fàill ill éilo’, p. 143.


An òran-luaidh (waulking song) from Mrs. Annie Arnott of Kilmuir.  Five verse-couplets and a vocable refrain.


ii   Fhir a shiùbhlas am bealach’, p. 83.


From the singing of Iain MacLeòid of Kilmuir.  A love song, with five eight-line verses.



An Gaidheal, 39 (1943-1944)


i     ‘Air pilltean o na blàraibh’, p. 82.


Song composed by Major Neil MacLeod of Waternish, see his entry in section for poetry and song of know authorship.


ii   ‘Oran Leannan Sìthe’, p. 143.


From the singing of Aonghus MacLaomainn of Bornaskitaig.  Possibly a composition of Iain Og Moraidh, see his entry in section for poetry and song of know authorship.





i     Fior Sheann Orain Taghta le an Ceòl a chaidh a chruinneachadh ann an Tròtairnis an Eilean Sgiathanaich.  Catriona Dhùghlas.


A collection of upwards of sixty songs, the manuscript of which came into the possession of the Rev. Donald Budge after Catriona’s death (TGSI, 48:596-601).  The Rev. Budge hoped to have the collection published, but sadly he himself died before this could be done (information in a note from the National Library of Scotland’s Lending Services Department).


ii    Catriona collected some songs attributed to the Trotternish poetess Beathag Mhór: see entry in section for poetry and song of known authorship.


iii   See individual entry for Chaidh mi le ‘m leannan a’s t-foghar.



III : Songs connected with Catriona in GAELIC SONGS OF SKYE


Orain an Eilein: Gaelic Songs of Skye.  Cairistìona Mhàrtainn.  Taigh na Teud: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, 2001.


i     ‘E o nighean, is o nighean’.  , p. 88.


From Eòin Dòmhnallach, who had heard it from Catrìona

who collected it in Trotternish.  Seven four-line verses and a refrain.


ii   Gu bheil an gille dubh-dhonn’, p. 92.


The words collected by Catrìona, the tune as sung by Eòin

Dòmhnallach.  Five couplets and a three-line refrain.


iii   Oran le Seòladair’, p. 96.


Song about the sailor’s boat, as if to a sweetheart.  Six couplets and

a three-line refrain beginning ‘Dhèanainn sùgradh … ‘























Traditional: known authorship

A-C       D-Domhnall       Domhnallach-Dz        E–G       H–L       M–MacA       MacB–MacC        MacD        MacE-MacK,  MacLa-MacLeod        MacLeòid A-H        MacLeòid I-Z        MacM-MacN       MacO-MacZ      M      N      O-Q      R-Z


Traditional: anonymous

A-B      C-D      E-K      L-N       O       P-Z     


Traditional: collections

Annie Arnott       An Cabairneach        Carmina Gadelica        Catriona Dhùghlas        Tormod Domhnallach                  Marjory Kennedy-Fraser         Angus Lamont        K. N. MacDonald         Johan MacInnes          Hugh MacKinnon          Calum I. MacLean         Sorley MacLean        Kenneth MacLeod         Niall MacLeòid        Màiri Nighean Alasdair

Cairistiona Mhàrtainn         Alexander Morison          Kenneth Morrison         Angus Nicolson          Portree HS Magazine   Lachlann Robertson         Frances Tolmie I          Frances Tolmie II



Somhairle MacGill-Eain         The New Poetry



Books etc: A-L         Books etc: MacA-MacL         Books etc: MacM-Z   Periodicals, MSS, AV



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