“Brughaichean Ghlinn-Braon (Braes of Glen Broom)”


Scottish Gaelic. "Lying in a French prison... No order from England To send me home free...." The singer thinks of his lost love, "the maid of thick tresses ... In the braes of Glen Broom"


Peacock notes that this "is called a milling song... used to accompany the work of shrinking wool homespun. The wet cloth is alternately kneaded and pounded on a large table by several people either seated or standing. A leader sings the verses, and everyone comes in on the chorus." "Milling wool" and "waulking tweed" is the same process. For a note on the process and the songs see "Waulking" by Craig Cockburn at the Silicon Glen site.

The description is based on a translation by George Calder in _Gaelic Songs_ by William Ross Collected by John MacKenzie Translated by George Calder (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1937), specifically Ross 25, pp. 148-151.

Calder's Note G to Ross 25: "The song may have been composed by a prisoner of war in France and improved by Ross, or it may have been composed by Ross himself and based on one or other of the many tales of the French wars which raged during his short life." p. 192 - BS


  1. Peacock, pp. 773-774, "Brughaichean Ghlinn-Braon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Pea773


Author: William Ross (1762-1790)
Earliest date: 1959 (Peacock)
Found in: Canada(Newf)