The Laird of Achallader and MacIntyre

Ruin of Achallader Castle. The castle formerly rose to three storeys and a garret, well defended by shot-holes. Now only two walls, one with a trace of corbelling, remain, sheltering the farm buildings of Achallader Farm.
Ruin of Achallader Castle. The castle formerly rose to three storeys and a garret, well defended by shot-holes. Now only two walls, one with a trace of corbelling, remain, sheltering the farm buildings of Achallader Farm.

DUNCAN BÀN was forester in the upper part of Glenlochy (Gleann-lòcha). Achallader removed him thence, and put a friend of his own in his place. The bard was of course much offended, and consequently composed a bitter satirical song to his successor. This offended Achallader, who was resolved somehow to punish Duncan for it. Duncan Bàn attended Killin (Cillfhinn) fair, and Achallader saw him, struck him hard with his staff, and said to him —

“Make a song to that!”

“Well, Sir Achallader,” rejoined the bard, “I will do that, sir, as you have asked me to do so.”

Achallader was a thin, slender, ill-favoured, ill-formed man, and he squinted. Duncan sang extemporarily the following song:–

“Bha mi latha ‘siubhal sraid,
‘S fhuair mi tàmailt ro mhòr;
‘S ann o fhear na h-amhaich caoile —
‘S e Iain claon an Achaidh-mhòir.
“I was one day walking a street,
And a great insult I received;
‘Twas from the man of the thin neck —
Squint-eyed John of Achamore!
Fear crot-shuileach — haothaill-hothainn
Fear geoc-shuileach — hòthaill eo:
Gur coltach thu — haothaill-hothainn
Ri crochadair — hòthaill ò.”
A skew-eyed fellow — hooill-hothin —
A wry-eyed fellow — hohill yaw:
How like is he — hooill-hothin —
To a hangman — hohill aw.”

Written down as given by Catherine MacFarlane already mentioned.

HECTOR MACLEAN.

BALLYGRANT, ISLAY, November 23, 1883.

— Supplied by Mr. Hector MacLean, Ballygrant, Islay; Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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