Dow S, shada mar so tha sinn / Duke of Atholl’s Marc Dow.39: 44
C2 McFarlans Gathering / Index: Mac Farlan’s Gathering C2.77: 169
H H.10: 19v
D1 ’SFhadde Mar Seo Tha Sinn / Too long in this Condition D1.6: 34
K1 Is fhad mar so tha Sinn / Too long in this condition K1.70: 161
Notes on Gaelic Titles
’Thogail nam Bò. Lifting the Cattle. This title is not attached to music in any early source but is traditionally linked with Is fhada mar seo tha sinn which appears in C2 as McFarlans Gathering. The links are provided by a historical note published by Walter Scott and a version of the tune and words stated to have been collected in the late nineteenth century. Scott wrote ‘The Clan of Mac-Farlane… were great depredators… Their celebrated pibroch Hoggil nam bo, which is the name of their gathering tune, intimates similar practices…’ (Waverley, Note XV). The later version of the tune was published by Malcolm MacFarlane (C.M.P. 1894) and from it was arranged the modern setting of ‘The MacFarlane’s Gathering’ (C.S. Thomason 1900, p. 131, and PSB7, p. 210). The College of Piping owns a sheet music edition, undated but presumably circa 1900, published by Alexander Lawrance, Church Place, Dumbarton. The spelling with initial ‘Th’ (in contrast to Togail bho Thìr) is confirmed by Scott’s version with initial ‘H’ and is followed in the set of words first published by Malcolm MacFarlane. In straightforward Gaelic prose these would be Théid sinn a thogail nam bò, ‘We are going to lift the cattle’, but in the verse as set to the music they are inverted to ’Thogail nam Bò, ’Thogail nam Bò,’Thogail nam Bò, théid sinn…
Is fhada mar seo tha sinn S, fhada mar so tha sinn / Duke of Atholl’s March Dow; Sad Mar Sho tha Shinn C2; ’SFhadde Mar Seo Tha Sinn / Too long in this Condition D1; Is fhad mar so tha Sinn / Too long in this condition K1. We are too long like this (conventionally ‘Too long in this condition’). Campbell (C2) gives this title to PS 165 whereas Dow, MacDonald (D1) and MacKay (K1) give it to PS 161. MacDonald attributes the tune to ‘great Peter MacCrimmon’ when ‘striped of all his clothes by the English’ at Sherrifmuir. Another story, with a four-line verse, concerns a piper who played all night at a wedding and got poor refreshment – see the Historic, biographic and legendary notes to the tunes by “Fionn” (1911), p. 13.
Is fhada mar so tha sinn (Too Long in this Condition):
Togail nam Bó (The MacFarlanes’ Gathering):
c.1900 Ceol Mor: 17 and 237 Too long in this condition; 131 The Macfarlane’s Gathering (Leech of Glendarual & Gillies’ Version). Thomason notes on page 17: “What is usually played by pipers of the present day differes from this [D1] considerably, and I find it amongst those in A. MacKay’s MS.S. I myself doubt the correctness of the latter, because it is too like “Togail na’m bo,” a long lost pibroch, for the recovery of which we are indebted to Pipe-Major J. MacDougall Gillies”.
1938 PS Book 7: 210–12 Togail nam Bó (The MacFarlanes’ Gathering) / Is fhada mar so tha sinn (Too Long in this Condition)