Ùrachadh mu Dheireadh 21/09/2017
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TIOTAL
Gaelic Arts Agency Storytelling Project - clip 6
EXTERNAL ID
PC_LEWIS_STORY_TELLERS_1_6
DEIT
1999
LINN
1990an
NEACH-FIOSRACHAIDH
Essie Stewart
AITHNEACHADH MAOINE
2687
KEYWORDS

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Donald ......(Dòmhnall Lìosaidh)? ((I recognise his face, but can't put a name to him - Morag)) is asked to come up and tell a story. After a quick personal comment he goes on to tell about the first 'taigh-aire' he ever attended, a house where a wake was taking place. He tells how fortunate he feels that his connections are to Bragar and Shawbost in Lewis, and when a young man reached a certain age, the habit at that time was that he was expected to attend at the taigh-aire of near neighbours or relatives. This story is about a man they called 'Spaidsear' whose wife was related to the old woman who had died. He tells how they sat round the fire at the wake, and the district elder, who was in charge, went from man to man, naming each and saying to each, 'Stand up and say a short prayer'. Things were coming round to the young Donald, who was seated next to the Spaidsear, who, seeing that it would be his turn next, turned and nudged Donald and said 'Go on, Donald, hone your skills - you next.'
This was just to explain how Donald feels he is honing his skills tonight too, after some time out of the scene.

He then goes on to start a new story, based in seventeenth century Bragar, and about a tacksman called Iain Mhurchaidh 'Ic Ailein (John son of Murdo, son of Alan). He was the father of the 'Blind Harper', Roderick Morrison. John was a clever, educated man and a good speaker, and he rented his tack from the MacKenzies who owned the island at that time, and most years there would be argument with the bailiff over the negotiations of the terms of his rent. This particular year John received a summons from the Castle telling him that he was to attend in person in front of the minister. He sent word back saying that he would not go, that it was easy enough for them to come to the tack if they wished to see him. He refused a number of times, but eventually agreed to go to Stornoway, feeling he could give a better account of himself in person. He went over on horseback, but when he reached the gate of the castle, realised it would have been deemed an insult, against the MacKenzie rules, if he did not dismount. He also had a stick, a Highland crook, and this big dog appeared out of the trees, so Iain defended himself by giving the dog a blow with the crook, just as the estate ghillie arrived on the scene, ready to lay into John. But John defended himself once more, using his crook, then set off on foot up to the castle, thinking over what had just happened and what other dangers might lie ahead. When he reached the Castle door, he sounded the bell and a servant appeared and asked him who he was. John told him 'Iain Morrison of the Bragar tack' and that he wished to speak to Mr MacKenzie, the owner. The servant told him to wait, and Iain/ John observed the big flagstone at the door. The man came back and told him to come in, but John said, 'No. Slippery is the stone at the Big House door!' And MacKenzie had to come out to see him. But when he went home to Bragar, the day's events were running through his mind. Now John was a great rhymer and when his wife asked him how the day had gone with MacKenzie in the Castle, he told her many things had happened, not all smooth. He said that those on the way to the castle were the most surprising. He said if the situation were to be repeated he would be careful and counsel anyone that if the same beasts and happenings befell them as he had encountered, then this rhyme would be appropriate : 'Dà nì nach bu chòir do dh'earbs' às, gille tighearna is cù mòr: Buail an gille mun a' charbad 's am balgair mun an t-sròin!' (Two things you shouldn't trust, a lord's servant and a big dog: Hit the man in the jaw and the devil on the nose!).

Donald then goes on to recount another tale that he first heard from Angus Patrick, he thinks, a tale about the Blind Harper, Roderick, on his return from Ireland and from working as harper to Clan MacLeod. John, Roderick's father, of the previous tale, had four sons and one daughter, and he had put two of his sons through university and they were now ministers. And another son, Murdo, he was the 'Gobha' (Blacksmith - a famous historical figure in Lewis), who had gone to an estate on the Mainland.

Roderick, the harper, (the fourth son) was blind and he had been sent by his father, John, to Ireland to learn the harp. Now when he returned, after many years away, it seems even his mother didn't recognise him, and our man John made up a verse saying how much wiser the beasts were than the women - at least the cow would recognise her first-born calf. Anyway, when they had settled themselves indoors and had eaten, John said to his son Roderick, 'what new thing have you to show me after what I have spent on you?' He said that the two brothers he had put through university had not cost as much as the Harper had. So what did he learn and what talents were now his as a result of the outlay? So the harper said to him to wait till morning and he would play the Clarsach, the small harp, which he did on the hill, called for many years 'Hill of the Clarsach', but renamed some one hundred years ago because of local events. So the next morning he went and played the Clarsach out on the hill and the music was so strong and powerful, almost supernatural, spreading throughout the area, and, tradition says, the music could be heard as far away as Ness, it was as strong as that (and surely they didn't have the use of a satellite in those days!)

Airson stiùireadh mu bhith a’ cleachdadh ìomhaighean agus susbaint eile, faicibh duilleag ‘Na Cumhaichean air Fad.’
’S e companaidh cuibhrichte fo bharantas clàraichte ann an Alba Àir. SC407011 agus carthannas clàraichte Albannach Àir. SC042593 a th’ ann an High Life na Gàidhealtachd.
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Gaelic Arts Agency Storytelling Project - clip 6

1990an

Essie Stewart

Lewis Storytellers (short films)

Donald ......(Dòmhnall Lìosaidh)? ((I recognise his face, but can't put a name to him - Morag)) is asked to come up and tell a story. After a quick personal comment he goes on to tell about the first 'taigh-aire' he ever attended, a house where a wake was taking place. He tells how fortunate he feels that his connections are to Bragar and Shawbost in Lewis, and when a young man reached a certain age, the habit at that time was that he was expected to attend at the taigh-aire of near neighbours or relatives. This story is about a man they called 'Spaidsear' whose wife was related to the old woman who had died. He tells how they sat round the fire at the wake, and the district elder, who was in charge, went from man to man, naming each and saying to each, 'Stand up and say a short prayer'. Things were coming round to the young Donald, who was seated next to the Spaidsear, who, seeing that it would be his turn next, turned and nudged Donald and said 'Go on, Donald, hone your skills - you next.'<br /> This was just to explain how Donald feels he is honing his skills tonight too, after some time out of the scene.<br /> <br /> He then goes on to start a new story, based in seventeenth century Bragar, and about a tacksman called Iain Mhurchaidh 'Ic Ailein (John son of Murdo, son of Alan). He was the father of the 'Blind Harper', Roderick Morrison. John was a clever, educated man and a good speaker, and he rented his tack from the MacKenzies who owned the island at that time, and most years there would be argument with the bailiff over the negotiations of the terms of his rent. This particular year John received a summons from the Castle telling him that he was to attend in person in front of the minister. He sent word back saying that he would not go, that it was easy enough for them to come to the tack if they wished to see him. He refused a number of times, but eventually agreed to go to Stornoway, feeling he could give a better account of himself in person. He went over on horseback, but when he reached the gate of the castle, realised it would have been deemed an insult, against the MacKenzie rules, if he did not dismount. He also had a stick, a Highland crook, and this big dog appeared out of the trees, so Iain defended himself by giving the dog a blow with the crook, just as the estate ghillie arrived on the scene, ready to lay into John. But John defended himself once more, using his crook, then set off on foot up to the castle, thinking over what had just happened and what other dangers might lie ahead. When he reached the Castle door, he sounded the bell and a servant appeared and asked him who he was. John told him 'Iain Morrison of the Bragar tack' and that he wished to speak to Mr MacKenzie, the owner. The servant told him to wait, and Iain/ John observed the big flagstone at the door. The man came back and told him to come in, but John said, 'No. Slippery is the stone at the Big House door!' And MacKenzie had to come out to see him. But when he went home to Bragar, the day's events were running through his mind. Now John was a great rhymer and when his wife asked him how the day had gone with MacKenzie in the Castle, he told her many things had happened, not all smooth. He said that those on the way to the castle were the most surprising. He said if the situation were to be repeated he would be careful and counsel anyone that if the same beasts and happenings befell them as he had encountered, then this rhyme would be appropriate : 'Dà nì nach bu chòir do dh'earbs' às, gille tighearna is cù mòr: Buail an gille mun a' charbad 's am balgair mun an t-sròin!' (Two things you shouldn't trust, a lord's servant and a big dog: Hit the man in the jaw and the devil on the nose!).<br /> <br /> Donald then goes on to recount another tale that he first heard from Angus Patrick, he thinks, a tale about the Blind Harper, Roderick, on his return from Ireland and from working as harper to Clan MacLeod. John, Roderick's father, of the previous tale, had four sons and one daughter, and he had put two of his sons through university and they were now ministers. And another son, Murdo, he was the 'Gobha' (Blacksmith - a famous historical figure in Lewis), who had gone to an estate on the Mainland.<br /> <br /> Roderick, the harper, (the fourth son) was blind and he had been sent by his father, John, to Ireland to learn the harp. Now when he returned, after many years away, it seems even his mother didn't recognise him, and our man John made up a verse saying how much wiser the beasts were than the women - at least the cow would recognise her first-born calf. Anyway, when they had settled themselves indoors and had eaten, John said to his son Roderick, 'what new thing have you to show me after what I have spent on you?' He said that the two brothers he had put through university had not cost as much as the Harper had. So what did he learn and what talents were now his as a result of the outlay? So the harper said to him to wait till morning and he would play the Clarsach, the small harp, which he did on the hill, called for many years 'Hill of the Clarsach', but renamed some one hundred years ago because of local events. So the next morning he went and played the Clarsach out on the hill and the music was so strong and powerful, almost supernatural, spreading throughout the area, and, tradition says, the music could be heard as far away as Ness, it was as strong as that (and surely they didn't have the use of a satellite in those days!)