Ceòl Mór – The Great Music

The first time I heard Piobaireachd, I recognized immediately why it is considered ceòl mór, or “great music,” as compared to the popular Scottish music of dances, reels, marches and strathspeys, which are called “little music” or  ceòl beag. I was captivated by the measured, stately flow of music that offered subtle variations in note…

The Woman Who Saved Bonnie Prince Charlie

“…a name that will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour.” Engraved on Flora MacDonald’s memorial at Kilmuir Fionnghal NicDhòmhnaill was her Gaelic name, but most will know her as Flora MacDonald. She lost her father, Ranald MacDonald, at a young age and saw her mother abducted by and…

Blàr Chùil Lodair

‘Will ye no come back again’  Scottish lament after Charles Edward Stuart returned to France following the failure of the 1745 uprising. Blàr Chùil Lodair, The Battle of Culloden was the final skirmish of the 1745 Jacobite Rising under the command of Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie.  It was the House…

Highlands & Lowlands

Scotland is divided into two distinguishable historic regions, the Highlands and the Lowlands.  Beginning in the later Middle Ages, a cultural difference appeared when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout the Lowlands.  The Highlands are located north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault.  A’ Ghàidhealtachd which means “the place of the Gaels” includes the area…

I Want A Piper, Too!

“We have heard nothing but bagpipes since we have been in the beautiful Highlands and I have become so fond of it that I mean to have a Piper, who can if you like it, pipe every night at Frogmore.” Queen Victoria, in a letter to her mother. The tradition of The Queen’s Piper dates…

The Pipes are Calling

“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.” Queen Victoria Today, Canadians celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday.   Her reign brought the British Empire into a new world order, during a time of great change and uncertainty.   Born on May 24, 1819, she came to the throne after the…