PS 004 – The Blue Ribbon

      An Ribean Gorm

      Port na Srian

Primary Sources

C1 Porst na Striane C1.2: 3
D2 Ruibain Gorm / Blue Ribbon D2.47: 262
K1 An Ribean Gorm / The Blue Ribband K1.77: 175
JK A Ribbean Gorm JK.57: 156
SC Riban Gorm SC.32
Angus MacKay, ‘Specimens of Canntareachd’ (c. 1854), no. 32

Notes on Gaelic Titles

An Ribean Gorm  Ribban Goarm C2; An Ruibain Gorm / The Blue Ribbon D2.31; Ruibain Gorm / Blue Ribbon D2.47; Riban Gorum Dj; An Ribean Gorm / The Blue Ribband K1; A Ribbean Gorm JK; Riban Gorm SC. The Blue Ribbon. Donald MacDonald gave the title Ruibean Gorm to two different tunes – this one and PS 107. Colin Campbell and Angus MacKay also transcribed An Ribean Dearg (The Red Ribbon) – PS 5. MacDonald wrote, ‘there are four of these Ribbons, one of them an Island of Mull Ribbon, another of them an Isle of Skye Ribbon, another of them belongs to the MacGregors; and this one [PS 4] belongs to the clan Grant’. In his note for PS 107, MacDonald wrote, ‘It would be difficult to make out to whom this air belongs. The Macniels, the MacLeans, and also the MacQuarries, claim it’. C.S. Thomason (1900) assigned it to the Isle of Mull, presumably having noted that traditionally the MacQuarries possessed Ulva, and the centre of MacLean territory was Mull.

Port na Srian  Porst na Striane C1; Port na Srian K1. The Horse’s Bridle Tune. For srian, Dwelly gives ‘Bridle, curb, bridle and reins. 2 Restraint. 3 Stripe, streak.’ Horses were highly prized in Gaelic culture and were kept on many of the islands, including Islay, Jura, Mull, Rum, Skye, Barra, Eriskay, the Uists, Harris, and Lewis. MacNeil of Barra used Arab stallions on native breeds, probably in the sixteenth century, and MacDonald of Clanranald introduced Spanish stock to South Uist in the early eighteenth century (see Colin Campbell and Angus MacKay both transcribed PS 4 and PS 107, calling one An Ribean Gorm and the other Port na Srian but switching the titles about.

      Allan MacDonald and Barnaby Brown discuss the Gaelic titles of PS 107

Roderick Cannon (2009), rev. Barnaby Brown 2015

Other Material

2013 William Donaldson: Set Tunes Notes

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