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MackIntosh's Lament and Gaelic Funeral Traditions

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  • MackIntosh's Lament and Gaelic Funeral Traditions

    I seem to remember reading an article or two I read several years ago talking about various folks trying to discourage the singing/wailing of women at the grave side in the Highlands and Islands. I thought I remembered there being a suggestion that MackIntosh's Lament was related to these older laments. Any help?
    Check out the latest episode of my podcast if you want to hear to some historic piping tunes. You can find it on any of your favorite podcast listeners or here:

    https://www.wetootwaag.com/

  • #2
    http://www.altpibroch.com/learning/k...ocal-evidence/
    Cheers
    Scratch

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    • #3
      Professional keeners are an old tradition in the Highlands and Ireland. It's where the surname Keena comes from.
      I'm from a Doric family, so not quite traditional Gaelic, but when my Aunt Mary died, we all went up to the funeral in Aberdeenshire, about 10 years ago, I'd guess. My wife and children were all born in England, so when they followed the sounds of voices singing and glasses clinking, they went into the living room and were shocked to see my Aunt Mary there in an open casket, surrounded by family and friends, coins on her eyes. They were used to the English way of "off the the undertaker with you".
      Callander Pipe Band FB page Please click and "like". Thanks
      Lowland and Borders Piper's Society

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      • #4
        Ooh, Thank you Scratch, that wasn't an article I read, but it did the work!
        And, thank you too Adam, didn't know the coins on the eyes practice was still a thing. It seems like more and more it shows up in American media as a spooky horror trope.
        Check out the latest episode of my podcast if you want to hear to some historic piping tunes. You can find it on any of your favorite podcast listeners or here:

        https://www.wetootwaag.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Barry Shears published an article in 2020 that you would find interesting:

          "Patriarchs, Pipers and Presidents: Gaelic Immigrant Funerary Customs and Music in North America"--it was in the journal Genealogy, available open-access here: <https://www.mdpi.com/2313-5778/4/2/63>.

          Ian

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JeremyKingsbury View Post
            And, thank you too Adam, didn't know the coins on the eyes practice was still a thing. It seems like more and more it shows up in American media as a spooky horror trope.
            I think it's dead, (no pun intended), by now. My uncle Samuel Gill was very much a keeper of the old traditions, has featured in several books and newspapers and has had a television documentary made about his life.
            .
            The expression "You'd steal the coins from a corpse's eyes" is an insult that's fading away with time too.
            Callander Pipe Band FB page Please click and "like". Thanks
            Lowland and Borders Piper's Society

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            • #7
              Greetings to All,

              If memory serves--The Coins--were to--Pay the Boatman...
              to help secure Passage... to The Next World...

              Regards to All,

              Pip01
              My friends all know,
              With what a brave carouse...

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