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Lament For The Earl Of Antrim

 

The Lament for the Earl of Antrim is a majestic tune, a glorious piobaireachd that well deserves to be called the great music.

 

In 1594, MacDonalds and MacLeods of Skye were persuaded by an Irish Chieftain, O'Donnell, to join with him in warfare against Queen Elizabeth. In 1595 when invited to return to Ireland by Antrim's progenitor, MacLeod went with 600 men, one of whom was Donald Mor MacCrimmon.

 

At some time in his younger days, Donald Mor is believed to have studied at one of the secret Irish piping schools that still existed in the late 1500's and early 1600's.

 

Whether the tune was composed by Donald Mor or his son Padruig Mor remains an open question. Some say that because of the style, the probability rests with Padruig. MacLeod tradition has it that Donald was still alive when the first Earl of Antrim, Ranald MacDonnell, died in 1636 and that it was Donald Mor who composed the lament for the Earl.

 

Whether composed by the father or the son, we can be truly thankful for this great music.

 

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