We are currently working with the team at DASG to develop a fully searchable database to house the songs we have catalogued as part of the Language in Lyrics project (read more on that here). In the meantime, we are releasing a spreadsheet of song metadata every week on Google Sheets which we hope will be useful until the full database is ready. These are still works-in-progress and we encourage you to leave feedback through the comments function on Google Sheets.
The second in this series is Mac-Talla nan Cùl, a collection of the poems of Hugh Francis MacKenzie of Rear Christmas Island, Cape Breton. (You can view information on all the indexes we have released so far here.)
The songs in Mac-Talla nan Cùl focus mainly on themes and events connected to Hugh F.’s community and the collection is, as he describes it, ‘a labour of love’. We’re including his very touching forward below, hoping he would be pleased to know that the work of collecting, sharing and learning the songs of the Gaels continues, with your support!
You can find many of the songs published in the book ‘Mar a b’àbhaist sa Ghleann’, edited by Kim Ells.
Mac-Talla nan Cùl
The poems of Hugh Francis MacKenzie of Rear Christmas Island, Cape Breton.
Index of song metadata available on Google Sheets via Language in Lyrics.
Biographical information from The Beaton Institute:
‘”Hughie” MacKenzie was born in 1895 in Rear Christmas Island, Cape Breton. The “seanachaidh” of the Gaelic Society of Cape Breton, he taught classes in the Gaelic language and had a weekly Gaelic radio program at the time of his death in Sydney in 1971. In addition to his fluency in Gaelic, he played the bagpipes and violin, as well as composing many Gaelic songs. He was the son of the bard Archie Sheumais MacKenzie and brother to Archie Alex MacKenzie.’
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Forward from Mac-Talla nan Cùl, written by Hugh Francis MacKenzie: