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TITLE
MusicMemory Store - Margaret Viscountess Thurso of Ulbster chooses "Dhe
EXTERNAL ID
PC_ACG_MMS_18
PLACENAME
N/A
DATE OF IMAGE
2010
PERIOD
2010s
SOURCE
An Comunn Gàidhealach
ASSET ID
21680
KEYWORDS
music
songs
MusicMemory Store - Margaret Viscountess Thurso of Ulbster chooses "Dhe

Margaret was born in Midlothian in the village of Roslin. Soon after this, she was brought to Wick and lived in "Norwood" on the edge of the town, opposite the old Bignold hospital. She lived here until she went off to school in Edinburgh. When she was 18 she went to Bedford Physical Training College. In her last year, she came back to Wick at Christmas to find the town full of handsome young servicemen of all the forces. She met her 1st husband who was in the Fleet Air Arm and attached to the Ark Royal. Unfortunately he was lost in 1942 at sea in the Indian Ocean. Their first child Deirdre had been born by then. After the war, Margaret took Deirdre out to South Africa to meet her grandparents, She stayed there for a year and came back to a somewhat changed town.

She met Robin in Sept 1948, fell in love and married. John, Patrick and Camilla came along soon afterwards. She took the children to the first nursery school in Thurso and was a relatively older mum in her 30s, surrounded by the new Dounreay mothers. She now lives at Thurso East, near the old castle, with a wonderful grandstand view of the town, the bay and all the international surfing that takes place there.

"My music memory goes back to a song that was recorded by Robin's brother Angus and sung by him at Eton, in 1936 as the first Gaelic song that had been sung at the school up till then.

Robin and his siblings used to come up from London to spend long idyllic summers at Dalnawillan in the heart of the Flow Country. They were always reluctant to leave the freedom of the country and the wonderful times they had. It was during one of these sojourns that Angus, Robin's younger brother, decided he wanted to learn Gaelic. Dr MacInnes was the Church of Scotland minister at Halkirk in the mid 1930s and took the service at Altnabreac, 3 or 4 miles away from Dalnawillan, once a month and agreed to teach him. He learnt a certain amount of Gaelic and learnt a number of songs. Several of these he took back to Eton and recorded on a Bakelite record. These recordings have recently been transferred for me onto CD, by Anthony West-Samuel, of the Recorded Music Society.

When I first heard these songs myself I was taken with all of them, especially with Angus' soulful rendition of them all. However, one particular song, "Dheirich mi moch madainn cheitein", stays with me. One reason for this is that Angus took the verses and re-wrote them with references to Dalnawillan and the freedom and beauty of the area, using phrases such as "All the joy of peeling rushes" and "Back to freedom, back to Scotland".

At 12 years old, it said a lot about his love for the north of Scotland that he wanted to learn the language and adapt a traditional Gaelic song to express his feelings in this form."

This is one of the contributions to the MusicMemory Store project which is being run as part of the build-up to the National Mòd 2010 in Caithness. A variety of local people have been asked to select a favourite traditional or Gaelic music track which has a personal meaning for them, and to share the music and the story with the public.

The project seeks to raise the profile of the value of traditional and Gaelic music within the community and its relationship to the National Mòd 2010 which is being hosted in Caithness for the very first time, from 8 to 16 October.

Copies of the albums containing their chosen track are available to borrow from Wick and Thurso libraries. A new contribution will be published each week from May until the start of the Mòd.

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MusicMemory Store - Margaret Viscountess Thurso of Ulbster chooses "Dhe

2010s

music; songs

An Comunn Gàidhealach

MusicMemory Store

Margaret was born in Midlothian in the village of Roslin. Soon after this, she was brought to Wick and lived in "Norwood" on the edge of the town, opposite the old Bignold hospital. She lived here until she went off to school in Edinburgh. When she was 18 she went to Bedford Physical Training College. In her last year, she came back to Wick at Christmas to find the town full of handsome young servicemen of all the forces. She met her 1st husband who was in the Fleet Air Arm and attached to the Ark Royal. Unfortunately he was lost in 1942 at sea in the Indian Ocean. Their first child Deirdre had been born by then. After the war, Margaret took Deirdre out to South Africa to meet her grandparents, She stayed there for a year and came back to a somewhat changed town. <br /> <br /> She met Robin in Sept 1948, fell in love and married. John, Patrick and Camilla came along soon afterwards. She took the children to the first nursery school in Thurso and was a relatively older mum in her 30s, surrounded by the new Dounreay mothers. She now lives at Thurso East, near the old castle, with a wonderful grandstand view of the town, the bay and all the international surfing that takes place there.<br /> <br /> "My music memory goes back to a song that was recorded by Robin's brother Angus and sung by him at Eton, in 1936 as the first Gaelic song that had been sung at the school up till then.<br /> <br /> Robin and his siblings used to come up from London to spend long idyllic summers at Dalnawillan in the heart of the Flow Country. They were always reluctant to leave the freedom of the country and the wonderful times they had. It was during one of these sojourns that Angus, Robin's younger brother, decided he wanted to learn Gaelic. Dr MacInnes was the Church of Scotland minister at Halkirk in the mid 1930s and took the service at Altnabreac, 3 or 4 miles away from Dalnawillan, once a month and agreed to teach him. He learnt a certain amount of Gaelic and learnt a number of songs. Several of these he took back to Eton and recorded on a Bakelite record. These recordings have recently been transferred for me onto CD, by Anthony West-Samuel, of the Recorded Music Society. <br /> <br /> When I first heard these songs myself I was taken with all of them, especially with Angus' soulful rendition of them all. However, one particular song, "Dheirich mi moch madainn cheitein", stays with me. One reason for this is that Angus took the verses and re-wrote them with references to Dalnawillan and the freedom and beauty of the area, using phrases such as "All the joy of peeling rushes" and "Back to freedom, back to Scotland".<br /> <br /> At 12 years old, it said a lot about his love for the north of Scotland that he wanted to learn the language and adapt a traditional Gaelic song to express his feelings in this form."<br /> <br /> This is one of the contributions to the MusicMemory Store project which is being run as part of the build-up to the National Mòd 2010 in Caithness. A variety of local people have been asked to select a favourite traditional or Gaelic music track which has a personal meaning for them, and to share the music and the story with the public.<br /> <br /> The project seeks to raise the profile of the value of traditional and Gaelic music within the community and its relationship to the National Mòd 2010 which is being hosted in Caithness for the very first time, from 8 to 16 October. <br /> <br /> Copies of the albums containing their chosen track are available to borrow from Wick and Thurso libraries. A new contribution will be published each week from May until the start of the Mòd.