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Gaelic Songs and the history of Murdo MacFarlane

START: 27 July 2021
END: 29 July 2021
COST: £110

The Gaelic Songs and history of Murdo MacFarlane, The Melbost Bard, on Zoom through the medium of Gaelic with Margaret MacLeod

This course will be taught in Gàidhlig and will consist of nine classes over three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10.00-11.00 / 11.30 – 12.30 / 13.30 – 14.30).  The class will be limited to eight participants.

Margaret had the pleasure of meeting Murdo when he was 70 years young and she was in her early 20’s! She heard his songs on a tape and decided to ask his permission to learn them and also change them slightly. She was delighted with his reply, ‘I am the man who takes the stone out of the quarry, you are the sculptor’, and this lead to a wonderful friendship.What surprised Margaret, not only had he written wonderful poetry, but he had also created beautiful melodies. Margaret kept all their correspondence his views on life and his poetry and recorded many of his songs, a great archive of his work. During this course,Margaret will be delighted to share these memories and teach you his amazing work which would delight him so much, knowing people are able to enjoy and learn his native language through the medium of song in 2021!

Margaret MacLeod / Nicolson

Brought up in a Gaelic speaking household, Margaret’s lifetime of song began when she was just eleven years of age. After winning many Mòd prizes for her Gaelic singing, she won the prestigious An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal in the Mòd of 1970. Her singing, especially in Gaelic, could be heard on radio stations and television sets world-wide as she performed from the Faeroe Isles to the United States and Canada, throughout Europe, the middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

In 1971, Margaret, with her brother Donnie Macleod and Noel Eadie, beamed Gaelic song and culture through televisions and recordings into living rooms throughout the world, and filled many concert venues with the iconic band Na h-Òganaich.

As an important part in the wave of interest in Gaelic Language and Culture that was emerging at that time, Margaret played a driving role in the fundraising concerts, fiddlers’ rallies and cèilidhs that were taking place to support the embryonic Gaelic college started by Sir Iain Noble on the Isle of Skye.

It was partially in recognition of the importance of that hard work in the early days of our Sabhal Mòr Ostaig that led to the internationally recognised centre of learning that we have today, but also as an acknowledgment of her life-time of work in promoting, teaching and encouraging the use of Gaelic, that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig awarded her the well-deserved honour of Sàr Ghàidheal in 1980.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig are delighted and honoured to welcome Margaret back to us as a tutor on our short courses programme.                   

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