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Music Cape Breton's Diversity in Unity

Artist Jimmy Gillis

This song was composed in 1887 by Malcolm H. Gillis (b. 1856), a talented schoolmaster and farmer from South West Margaree who wrote songs in Gaelic and English. He played the fiddle, bagpipes and organ and was also an accomplished dancer. He died in 1929 at the age of 73. His forebears came from Morar in Scotland and his patronymic was Calum Eòghain ‘ic Aonghais ‘ic Caluim ‘ic Dhòmhnaill ‘ic Dhonnchaidh.

Although the quality of the recording is imperfect, we include it in the selection because the song is sung by the composer’s son, Jimmy Gillis, and because it is one of the most significant Cape Breton Gaelic songs.