A piobaireachd story from Ron MacLeods collection.
The piobaireavhd MacLean's March tune is said to be the composition of Ailean nan Sop, a Duart MacLean, brother of Hector Mor, second son of Chieftain Lachlan Cattanach (hairy or rough) and father of Hector for whom the piobaireachd Hector MacLean's Warning.
Unlike Chieftain Hector Mor, his older brother, Ailean was an evil man. He was a freebooter of dubious renown in the period 1540–60, committing some of his wildest and vilest offenses in the 1550's.
The word Sop can be translated as a wisp of straw. Ailean may have got the designation because of his uncivil habit of lighting straw at the mouths of caves to smoke out victims who were attempting to hide from him. Not a very nice character – but not unique for his time.
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