PS 106 – Salute to Drunkenness

      Fàilte na misge

Primary Sources

C2 Fhailt na Misk C2.22: 56

Note on Gaelic Title

Fàilte na misge Fhailt na Misk C2. Salute to drunkenness. A piece of music with title Failte na miosg is in the MacFarlane MS (F), in J. Oswald, A curious collection of Scots tunes for a violin, bass viol or German flute, Edinburgh (c. 1739), p. 39, and in JO (vol 1, p. 22). It is set for violin but is considered by K. Sanger and A. Kinnaird (Tree of strings… a history of the harp in Scotland, Temple, Midlothian [1992], p. 188) to have been originally a harp piece. In the MacLean-Clephane MS it is Failte na misc. In the anonymous Celtic Melodies, vol 1, p. 16, Faillte na meisg / Salute to Drunkenness. The English name is also proposed by J. MacIver, ‘Remarks on the titles of ceol mor tunes from the Campbell canntaireachd collection,’ Piping Times 19, No 2: 7–11; No. 3: 6–8 (1966). The tune was used as air for Burns’ song ‘My heart’s in the Highlands’ – see Johnson, The Scots Musical Museum, 6 vols, Edinburgh (1790) vol iii, No. 259, p. 268. Stenhouse (see Johnson, ibid., vol ii, p. 243) amends or misquotes the title as Failte na moisg and translates it as ‘The Musket Salute’: in modern spelling ‘musket’ is musg ‘musket’, hence *Fàilte na muisg. The pibroch is very different from the harp/violin settings but may be a creative adaptation to the limitations of the chanter.

Roderick Cannon (2009)

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