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Corrienessan's Salute

This lyrical piobaireachd is attributed to Ruaridh MacKay, piper to MacKenzie of Gairloch and father of Iain Dall MacKay, the blind poet, piper and composer extraordinary. Their friend Blind Ruaridh Morrison, bard and harpist, wrote a poem which seems to have served as a theme for Ruaridh MacKay's tune. The linkage between Blind Ruaridh Morrison's poem and MacKay's musical salute tells much about the culture that MacKay honoured with this piobaireachd.

 

This Salute is a tune thought to have been composed about the mid to late 1600's. It is named after a site in the Parish of Tongue, NW Scotland. It describes a cascade in a corrie secreted high on the hillside of a glen south of Tongue – a favorite hunting area of the Reay family.

 

In 1696, son Iain Dall MacKay composed an outstanding poem on the site and called it Corrienessan's Lament in honour of his cousin, Colonel Robert MacKay who was severely wounded at Killiekrankie and died in 1696. The poet lamented the glorious days of the past when the Chieftain, kinsmen and guests would hunt the Red Deer and, after the hunt, celebrate with a great feast in the glen.

 

The Salute was in a fragmented state until Charles Bannatyne reconstructed it in the 1920's.

 

Return from Corrienessan's Salute to Salute Piobaireachd Stories

 

 


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