r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: October 2017

November Eve

In this video, with an original audio recording by Peigi Macrae, we see that on the Island of South Uist the Scottish Halloween tradition of Guising or ‘galoshin’ was alive and well for young residents. By dressing in old clothes and painting their faces they could venture out safely without being detected by wicked ghouls. However, they were expected to perform with a song or poem before receiving any treats!

Oran Domhnall Iain

He was a strange fellow for our village
with a peculiar reason for his fame.
There'd never been an ISBN attached to his name,
no play of his had been performed on stage,

and what was worse, there was no word of verse
ever written by him, no epitaph
to accompany a relative being carried to the dark
of the graveyard on a black and shining hearse.

No words of love for Catriona Ban
or Peigi. Even when he was affected by the nonsense
lyrics of loud rock songs in his adolescence,
he just failed to understand

the impulse that drives most of us to song
from time to time. The lark's surge and fall.
The sweep of waves. The call
of home. It's as if he doesn't quite belong with us.

Instead, he's been banging on and on about a wall
to be built between his croft and Mexico.
It's at times like this we know for sure
he doesn't really come from here at all.

Donald S Murray

October Running

A Small Car’s Day

The Highland Road's been sung before and will be sung again, So long as bards give thanks for good in the way of honest men; And let who will be contrary, the lave will yet agree, And cry again,‘The Highland Road, the Highland Road for me!’

Fife was a shadow across the Firth
When the Granton boat put out;
Over the sea and the solid earth
The mist lay all about;
But a rousing wind from the Isle of May
On the ruffled waters strode
And blew us a clear October day
To ride on the Highland Road.

Loch Leven lay like a silver shield,
Glenfarg was amber and jet,
Earn ran grey in a harvest field,
Perth was a moonstone set;
But the north hills beckoned us fold on fold
Till round Rohallion bend
Birnam in glory of russet and gold
Smiled like a long-sought friend.

Tummel and Tay ran hand in hand,
Farragon challenged us on
Through the old enchanted Atholl land,
Grim heart of Caledon;
And the laughing Garry led us a dance
By heather and rowans and rills
Till we saw the red deer watching askance
On the grave Drumouchter hills.

A minstrel wind from Badenoch sang
Laments for the waning day,
As from the darkling Ericht the Truim sprang
To carry us down to Spey
By crags and corries and grey rock spurs
Where the steadiest head may flinch,
Till evening fell on the Laggan firs
And the sunlit birks of Insh.

Then thanks be given whate’er betide
That still as heretofore
A man may waken in Morningside
And couch him in Aviemore;
Thanks for the rare road running North
And a day that gave its due,
From the mounting sun on the Firth of Forth
To the moon on the Lairig Ghru.

The Highland Road's been sung before and should be sung again, With a verse for every heather hill and every rowan glen; And, though God’s earth is a goodly place and a many roads there be, It’s the North Road, the Atholl Road, the Highland Road for me!

Hilton Brown