Page 36 - Joe Neil MacNeil Tells a Fenian Tale
ISSUE : Issue 22
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/6/1
Silein, siubhlain, seachrain An t-uan as meataiche''s as mi- Threoraiche na thu fhein A thoirt dhiot do chinn agus do chluas Agus do chaitheamh-beatha Mura bi cas air an taigh'bheag Agus cas air an taigh mhor Agus t'aghaidh ris gach sian a thig a Athar agad Nuair a thilleas mise." Agus ge b'e an turus air an deachaidh Fionn agus an cuideachd dha'n bheinn- sheilg, neo ge b'e c'aite an deachaidh iad, nuair a thill iad bha ise an deagh? aidh tuiteam marbh leis an ardan. Agus sin na bheil cuimhne agam air an sgeulachd air Fear a' Chota Liathghlais. turned she had fallen dead with rage. And that is what I remember of the story of the Man of the Light Gray Coat. This story was recorded in 1976, tran? scribed and translated by John Shaw of Kingsville, Inverness County. John adds: Joe Neil MacNeil heard this tale over fif? ty years ag'o from one of the many accom? plished story-tellers in Middle Cape, Cape Breton Covmty. Although, as he notes at the beginning, some details are no longer remembered, the essentials of the story are given with remarkable accuracy. The tale is of particular interest to Celti- cists, belonging as it does to the nation? al folk epic of Scottish and Irish Gael- dom: the Fenian cycle. The cycle, made up of a long series of tales interspersed with ballads, concerns the miraculous ad? ventures of the hero Fionn MacCumhail: his birth, the wars against the Lochlannaich (Norsemen) and his tragic Pursuit of Diar- maid and Grainne. Tales of Fionn were known from Irish manuscipt sources dating from early medieval times and were popular in Western Scotland at the time of the mi? gration to Cape Breton. Versions of the present tale appear in Gaelic folk-tale collections made in Scot? land in the second half of the 19th cen? tury. Many of the Fenian ballads were re? corded in Scotland at an earlier date; one of these, miraculously, has been recorded recently in Cape Breton, from Joe Allan MacLean of Rear Christmas Island, Cape Breton County. Related tales have been re? corded here at Benacadie Pond (published by C.I.N. MacLeod in his collection of Cape Breton Gaelic tales, Sgeulachdan a Albainn Nuaidh ((Gairm, 1966))) and more recently from the late Hector Campbell of Hillsdale, Inverness County. For Dependable Service, welcome to Proprietor, Paul Boudreau 224-2200 Boudreau Shell Service on Rte. 19?? at the entrance to Cheticamp All Make Car Repairs and Service We Sell and are the Service Depot fori MAZDA BRIGGS and STRATTON MTD PRODUCTS as well as PARTNER and the HUSQVARNA Chain Saws 'peedy Propane PILLING STATIONSI Speedy Propane Bulk Plant Kings Ready Sydney JoEoBenoit* Arichat Robin's. Cheticamp Fraser*s Campground* Baddeck Inlet Campground* Baddeck Bob Wilson's Fina* Reserve "Tires Our Specialty" SYL'S Csso) SERVICE located Two Miles West of Baddeck on the Trans-Canada Highway 24-Hour Towing Service 2' Wreckers • Call Anytime 295-2911 or 295-9970
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