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Lament For Donald Ban MacCrimmon

 

The Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon is a musical creation that ranks among the world's great compositions. It was composed by Donald's brother Malcolm MacCrimmon; both were sons of Padruig Og.

 

In 1910, the Reverend Neil Ross put the matter thusly: “when properly rendered it has an impressive and beautiful effect.” Jack Lee once said when introducing the tune, “Donald Ban gave his life, and his brother created a memorial that any piper would die for.”

 

Donald Ban was the only man killed in a minor night skirmish in 1746 that came to be known as The Rout of Moy. In one of those eerie stories so common to the old Gaelic world, it was said that MacCrimmon was seen in Inverness the day before and the shade of death was on him.

 

Donald Ban's sweetheart composed a poem, MacCrimmon's Lament, shortly after his death. The poem was translated from the Gaelic in the late 19th century by the Gaelic scholar, Professor Blackie. The first verse goes like this:

 

Round Cuillin's peak the mist is sailing,
The Banshee croons her note of wailing;
Wild blue eye with sorrow are streaming
For him that shall never return, MacCrimmon.
No more, no more, no more forever,
In war or peace shall return MacCrimmon.

 

Another piobaireachd linked to Donald Ban's death is the Pretty Dirk, composed by his father. The dirk in question was owned by his father but because Donald was the family member accompanying his Chieftain to war against the Jacobites, he was given the dirk to carry while in service. It was probably dropped when he was killed or when his body was removed from the field in the dark of night. It was recovered by the leader of the Jacobites, Fraser of Gorthleck.

 

Exit Lament For Donald Ban MacCrimmon and return to the Lament Piobaireachd Stories

 

 


 


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