PS 294 – The Hen’s March o’er the Midden

      Gogallach nan Cearc

Primary Sources

K2 Gogallaich na’n Cearc / The Hens March o’er the Mudden K2.8: 18
JK Gogalleach nan Cearc JK.25: 63

Notes on Gaelic Title

Gogallach nan Cearc Gogallaich na’n Cearc / The Hen’s March o’er the Mudden K2; gogalleach nan Cearc JK; Gogalaich nan Cearc JKA. The Cackling of the Hens. The pibroch is distantly related to another piece of music, apparently originally made for the fiddle, which the earliest known source (c. 1730) calls ‘Cackling of the Hens’ – see P. Stewart 2007, p. 50. First printed in Scotland as ‘The Hens’ March’ in c. 1756-61 (see D. Johnson 1984, pp. 235, 243), in recent traditions it is also called ‘The Hens’ March o’er the Midden’. Angus MacKay’s English title may be the first attestation of the latter form. His spelling ‘Mudden’ recalls his and others’ spelling of ‘Mac Crummen’, which becomes ‘Mac Crimmon’ in later conventional English. A Gaelic version Spaidsearachd na[n] Cearc’s an t-Sitig PS 13, p. 441) is presumably a modern translation.

Roderick Cannon (2009)

1 thought on “PS 294 – The Hen’s March o’er the Midden”

  1. ‘The Hen’s March o’er the Midden’ is an example of a comic genre, the mock-heroic, which was apparently popular as a type of poetry. The gaelic name, meaning the hen’s clucking, has a different reference, and can be seen as a musical invocation or imitation of that bird. Perhaps the poetic title became attached to the pibroch.

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