Gaelic Scotland is one of the world’s great treasure-houses of song. In this anthology, Anne Lorne Gillies has gathered together music and lyrics from all over the Gaelic-speaking Highlands and Islands – an extraordinary tradition that stretches in an unbroken line from the bardic effusions of ancient times to the Celtic fusions of today’s vibrant young Gaelic musicians and poets. They paint vivid pictures of life among ordinary Gaelic-speaking people, their hopes, fears and preoccupations, births, deaths and marriages, and personal reactions to the great changes that blew their lives about.
Everything about this book is designed to make the songs accessible to musicians and general readers alike. Anne Lorne Gillies provides a unique and informative introduction to Gaelic tradition, simple yet highly sensitive musical transcriptions, and English translations. She portrays the social and historical background of the songs, offers her own commentary on technical aspects of the music and its performance, and adds carefully researched biographical notes and a full discography in order to bring to life not only the people who composed the songs but also some of the singers and musicians who have continued the tradition into the twenty-first century. ‘Songs of Gaelic Scotland’ was winner of the 2006 Ruth Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize in Folklore and Folklife.