“Beinn a' Cheathaich”


Scots Gaelic. (The singer, gathering sheep, looks out and sees) (McNeil's) galley head for Kismul. (Those aboard are listed). The ship (survives a rough passage to) arrive at the castle, where there is joy and feasting


N. A. M. Rodger's _The Safeguard of the Sea_, p. 290, links this song to events of the reign of Elizabeth I: "Ruari Og MaNeill of Barra made a career of piracy... Throughout Elizabeth's reign the 'Galleys of Kisimul' (still celebrated in Gaelic folksong) raided the length of the Irish Sea as far south as the Bristol Channel."

I can see no hints of this in either the Kennedy or Kennedy-Frasier versions, though the two versions are very distinct. - RBW


  • Flora MacNeil, "Beinn a' Cheathaich" (on FSB6)


  1. Kennedy 2, "Beinn a' Cheathaich (The Misty Mountain") (1 text+English translation, 1 tune)
  2. Kennedy-Fraser I, pp. 80-83, "Kishmul's Galley (A' Bhirlinn Bharrach)" (1 text+English translation, 1 tune)
  3. BI, K002


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1909 (Kennedy-Fraser)
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Hebr))