The Hebrides and Gaelic Highlands are one of the world’s great treasure-houses of song. In this new anthology, world-renowned singer Anne Lorne Gillies has gathered together 175 of her favourite Gaelic songs. As well as a general introduction to the Gaelic musical and poetic tradition, she includes notes on the background of each song plus full references to other sources, notes on the technical aspects of the music, and a full discography.
The songs included here span hundreds of years. Many date back to at least the fifteenth century, but reflect a culture far older still – a non-literate but far from ignorant society in which the arts were held in the highest reverence. They paint a vivid picture of life among the Gaelic-speaking peoples, filling many of the gaps left by official histories and documents, and provide a window into the lives of the people who composed and sang them – their hopes and fears, their jokes and preoccupations, what it was that made them angry or afraid. In their beauty and humanity they are amongst the jewels of western civilisation. (pb)