Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 21 > Page 45 - A Milling Frolic on the North Shore

Page 45 - A Milling Frolic on the North Shore

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/12/1 (345 reads)

in the Irish ship? .Then if there were 9 or 10 around the milling board, you'd start at one end. Like if I was singing it and John Shaw was sitting there, I'd sing: It's John Shaw that we'll put in the Irish ship. (Gur e John Shaw chuireas sinn anns an luing Eireannach.) After that comes: Co fear te og a theid ri thaobh anns an luing Eireannach? Who's the young girl that we'll put there with him on the ship? Then name one of the girls at the milling board, that she'd go with him. And it fol? lows all around the milling board. One fellow would name the girl and the boy and all the rest would take in the chorus. We used to call them Oran Leannanachd (Court? ship Song). I remember when there were two or three of those kinds of sings. And some people would take offense if you'd name them and name a certain girl to go with them. Perhaps some fellow would do it for devilment. If there was a yoimg fellow and his name was mentioned, then when it came to who were they going to put with him in the ship • perhaps they'd name an old crow of 70 or 80 years old. Used to get some of them wild. (Were millings pretty much the only place people sang?) Well, yes. Millings and wed? dings. When there'd be weddings they'd al? ways have-a reel some part of the house, perhaps 15 or 20 of the people • the ones that weren't dancing would sing. The el? derly people. They were great scouts. Some of the elderly people • they'd get in a reel and they'd sing all night. Pretty much the same as milling songs • something lively • and the younger people would dance. (Were there work songs?) No. Not sung a- round here. Now over the old country they had songs for working out in the fields and songs for plowing and all that • but I don't think too much of that here. I re? member when I was a kid going to school, I used to stay down at my grandfather's at French River, at Tommy Tom's, you know. And his mother would sit at the spinning wheel singing--and she always sang some of the psalms or hymns they call Peter Grant's hymns, Gaelic hymns. She'd start off that wheel and she'd be singing there and she wasn't conscious of anyone being in the kitchen but herself. And I remember my mother was pretty much the same way when we were kids, she'd be humming or singing a song when she'd be knitting or weaving or churning. (But were there special songs for each task?) No, just the regular songs, to keep time. (Would they hold concerts like in recent years?) No. (What about the North Shore Gaelic Singers?) Well, the way we started like that, there were two or three years that they had an exhibition up in Baddeck. An agricultural representative we had, William Milligan, he was a wonderful work? er, you know. He started up an exhibition just for the local surrounding farmers. They used to bring in their produce and they'd have calf shows • and he got the i- dea to have a competition in Gaelic sing? ing. So he spoke to me to get a team from the North Shore organised. There was going to be a team from lona, Washabuckt, 4 or 5 teams. So I got 7 or 8 of us together and we practised. In those days there was Mal? colm Angus MacLeod and I, John Malcolm Maclnnis, John Alex John X. MacDonald, Neil MacAulay, and John Shaw. I don't think Sandy Kenny Morrison was with us then. This was in the late 'aOs or early RnrHor K'ntol (902)667 3865 I'V'I vJv7l IVIvyl !7l at the Nova gpotia/New Brunswick Border We Feature Full Services Showers • TV • Phone • Radio • and Reasonable Rates A Family Operated Business, We Serve Everyone Leaving or Entering Nova Scotia by Car EXIT La Planche Street off Trans-Canada • HOSTS: Joe & Billie Smolenaars • > 902-667-3865 Fienie Tables Well*water tee Cubes Morrison's General Store WRSeK COVB Newly Renovated Grill at Sydney River? Town and Country RBSTAURAIcr Red ond White FOOD STORBS Baddeck Port Hawkesbury Sydney River % Glace Bay fort Hawkesbury We Specialize in Camping Bquiinnent and Clothing of All Kinds as well as Hardware, Plumbing and Electrical Supplies Reuben McEvoy's General Store Ltd. INOONXSR BBACR Open all year. at the entrance to the beautifia Cape Breton Highlands National Park Cape Breton's Magazine/45
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