Máiri Nic an Lìosa
le Fearchar Mac-Amhlaigh (F)
Gleann Dà Ruadhail, Comhghall, 1954
Tàr-sgrìobhamh le Àgnas Nic-Dhomhaill 1968
Deasachamh ‘s eadar-theagachamh le Àdhamh Ó Broin
F: Siuthadaibh ma-thà, nach innis sibh dhomh facal beag na dhà. Ciamar a bha nithean an seo nair a bha sibh òg? Robh Gàidhlig an seo sa ghleann nair a bha sibh òg?
M: O, bha. Gu leòr.
M: ‘S e Gáidhlig a bu mhotha a bh’ ann.
M: Gus an do… mar a tha mi… mar an robh mi ‘g ràdh roimhe; bha sibh cumant’ ‘s bha sibh Heilan
M: Ma bha Goill anns a’… a’ tighinn a-staigh don ath làmh.
F: Seadh. A, tha mi tuigsinn. Agas sin a chuir às dhan Ghàidhlig, an e?
M: Sin a choir ás don Ghàidhlig.
F: O seadh.
M: Gus an duair na h-uaislean e.
F: Seadh. ‘S an uair sin…
M: ‘S an uair sin, tháinig e air ais beagan.
F: Seadh. Agas… dé an cur-seachad ùine bh’ aca ‘n seo nair a bha iad òg?
M: O bha gu leòr a dh’obair aig a h-uile wan diu’ a dhèanamh anns na bailtean… agas camanachd. Sin h-aon de na… sin agas… danns’! Ó danns’ an dràst’ ‘s a-rithist. Nan tigeamh dhà na trì a-staigh don taigh againn, cha robh ach am bòrd air a chor… air a chor ri taobh. Bheil sin ceart?
F: ‘S e. Seadh.
M: Agas an… drum.
F: Dé? Ó drum? ‘S e.
M: An drum. Agas bhitheamh sinn a’ dannsamh sin, na aig canntaireachd.
M: ‘S e.
F: Am bitheadh?
F: Glé mhath.
M: Cha robh na rudan a th’ aca nis …
F: Melodion ‘s…
M: Cha robh. Mu dheireamh bha melodion againn. Bha.
F: Agas am biodh… am biodh… am biodh ‘ad… am biodh céilidhean aca?
M: Ó céilidhean… agas bha ‘d uamhraidh càirdeil.
F: Seadh. Agas dé bhiodh iad a’ dianamh aig na céilidhean a bharrachd air bhith ‘gabhail òran… ‘seinn òran?
M: Ó bhitheamh feamhainn againn a’ dannsamh. Bha bràthair ‘am·is a bha math air… dé a’ Gháidhlig air Heilan Fling?
F: Ó chan eil ach Heilan Fling.
M: Ó Heilan Fling agas Sword Dance.
F: Sword Dance. Seadh.
M: Sword Dance. Bha e uamhraidh math air sin.
F: Agas am biodh iad ag innse sgeul… sgeulan?
M: Ó bha feamhainn diu’ math air sin.
F: Seadh. Bheil cuimhn’ agaibh air gin de na sgeulan a bhiodh iad ag inns’?
M: Chan eil.
F: Chan eil cuimhn’ agaibh có mu dhéidhinn a bha iad?
M: Ó bhitheamh ead ag innseamh… chan eil cuimhn’ agam dé mun cuairt a bha ‘d idir.
F: Chan eil. Agas bha sibh ag innseadh dhomh… gun robh sibh… gu robh hotel agaibh uaireigin.
F: Agas gum biodh sibh ag iasgach.
F: Ciamar… dé… dé seòrsa iasgach a bhiodh sibh a’ dianamh?
M: Bhitheamh… bradan.
M: Thuair mi bradan… sè punnd gu leth.
F: Sè punnd gu leth.
M: Sè punnd gu leth.
F: Glé mhath.
M: ‘S thuair mi h-aon eile trì punnd gu leth. ‘S och, thuair mi móran…
F: …de dh’fheadhainn nas…
M: Na… chan e bradan a their sinn riucha ach…
M: Bric… Bric. Seamh. Bhitheamh punnd na dithist. Ó bha mi math air iasgachd. Ag éirigh sa mhadainn corr’ uair aig cóig uairean air son faodainn uair na dithist air an abhainn mun dèanainn am breakfast aig na daoine bha ‘fanachd ann.
F: Glé mhath. Glé mhath. Bha sibh ag innseadh dhomh mun taigh mhór shìos an seo. Highland Hotel a th’ ann an-diugh, ach có bha sibh a’ ràdh a thog e a-rithist?
M: Ó cha chreib mi nach e Caimbealach.
F: Caimbeal. An e na Caimbealaich —
M: Bhuinneamh e do na Campbells.
F: Agas bha e an déidh sin aig fear Cripps, an robh?
M: Bha… roimhe sin, cheannaich fear Wigan e.
M: ‘S e e·san a thogamh an taigh.
F: Ó seadh. Wigan.
M: Cha chreib mi nach ann shìos á Dùn Phrìs a bha e no…
F: Ó seadh.
M: Ach chaidh rudaigin cearr air an airgead aige·san agas b’ fheudar da a chreic, ach feumaidh gun deach’ e… dé sam bith chaidh cearr nas fhearr, cheann… bha… tog… bha… thog e… bha e… ‘g iarraimh a cheannach air ais.
F: O seadh.
M: Bho Cripps, ach cha reiceamh e e.
F: Cha reiceadh Cripps idir e. Ó seadh. ‘S ann a tha a’ Ghàidhlig a’ sìor·thighinn thugainn a-nis bhon a thòisich sinn!
with Fred MacAuley (F)
Glendaruel, Cowal, 1954
Transcribed by Agnes MacDonald 1968
Prepared and translated by Àdhamh Ó Broin
FM: Go on then, won’t you tell me a little word or two? How were things here when you were young? Was there Gaelic here in the glen when you were young?
MS: Oh there was plenty.
FM: Was there?
MS: Gaelic was the majority of what was there.
MS: As I was saying to you, you were common and you were Heilan.
MS: If there were non Gaelic speakers coming into next hand (ie door).
FM: Yes. Ah, I understand. And that’s what killed off the Gaelic is it?
MS: That’s what killed off the Gaelic.
FM: Oh yes.
MS: Until the nobility got a hold of it.
FM: Yes. And then?
MS: And then it came back a little.
FM: Yes. And what pastimes had they here when they were young?
MS: Oh everyone had plenty of work to be done in the farms… and shinty. That’s one of the… that and… dance! A dance now and again. Supposing two or three would come into our house. The table was just put over to one side. Is that right?
MS: And there would be a drum.
FM: What? Oh a drum? Yes.
MS: The drum. And we’d be dancing there, or at diddling (pipe tunes).
FM: Would you?
MS: We would.
FM: Very good.
MS: There weren’t the things they have now.
FM: Melodeon and that sort of thing?
MS: No. Towards the end we had melodeon. Yes.
FM: And would… would… would they… would they have ceilidhs?
MS: Oh ceilidhs. And they were awfully friendly.
FM: And what would they be doing at the ceilidhs other than taking songs… singing songs?
MS: Oh some of us were dancing. I had a brother who was good at… what’s the Gaelic for “Heilan Fling”?
FM: Oh just Heilan Fling.
MS: Oh Heilan Fling and Sword Dance.
FM: Sword Dance. Yes.
MS: Sword Dance. He was awfully good at that.
FM: And would they be telling stories?
MS: Oh, some of them were good at that.
FM: Yes. Do you remember any of the stories they would tell?
FM: You don’t remember what they were about?
MS: Oh they’d be telling them. But I don’t remember what they were about at all.
FM: No. And you were telling me… that you were… that you had a hotel at one time?
MS: I was.
FM: And that you’d be fishing.
FM: How… What kind of fishing would you do?
MS: It would be… salmon.
MS: I got a salmon… six and a half pounds.
FM: Six and a half pounds?
MS: Six and a half pounds.
FM: Very good.
MS: And I got another at three and a half pounds. And oh, I got many.
FM: …some that were…
MS: Or… it’s not salmon you call them but…
MS: Trout. Yes. They’d be a pound or two. Oh I was good at fishing. Rising in the morning sometimes at five o’clock to get an hour or two on the river before I would make the breakfast for the people that were staying there (ie in the hotel).
FM: Very good. You were telling me about the big house down here. It’s the Highland Hotel today, but who were you saying built it again?
MS: I reckon it was a Campbell.
FM: Campbell. Is it the Campbells…
MS: It would have belonged to the Campbells.
FM: And after that it belonged to a man Cripps, didn’t it?
MS: Before that, a man Wigan bought it.
MS: It was he who would have built the house.
FM: Oh yes. Wigan.
MS: I reckon it was down in Dumfries he was from…
FM: Oh yes.
MS: But something went wrong on his money and he had to sell it, but it must be that it went… whatever went wrong, better… because, he was… he built… he wanted to buy it back.
FM: Oh yes.
MS: From Cripps, but he wouldn’t sell it.
FM: Cripps wouldn’t sell it at all. Oh yes. The Gaelic’s fair coming to us now since we started!