Mu dhèidhinn a'cho-chruinneachaidh seo
Many Gaelic speakers took a keen interest in politics from the early days of their arrival in this province. This can be seen in a number of political songs and election songs that were composed in Gaelic starting as early as 1830 with the Bard MacLean’s “Brosnachadh Roghnachaidh” said to have been inspired by an alleged aspersion cast by the Liberals against the Highlanders (see Clàrsach na Coille, pp. 124-127). While many of the election songs are rather humorous some make serious attacks on one party or candidate or another. Such a song by the Widow of Hector MacGillivray which appeared in the Antigonish An Cuairtear Óg Gaelach in June 1851 castigated the Liberals and accused them of treating the poor terribly and of bringing calamity upon the world. Other examples of this genre can be found in History of Christmas Island Parish by Archibald J. MacKenzie, in Orain Fuinn is Cladaich by Murdoch Morrison of Ferguson’s Lake, Cape Breton and in Smeòrach nan Cnoc is nan Gleann. Mention must be made here of Angus Y. MacLellan’s excellent song in praise of the Premier Angus L. MacDonald (Gaelic Songs of Nova Scotia, p. 209-210).
The present collection contains some twelve election songs from various regions of Cape Breton.
Ken Nilsen, April 2006
The Politics / Poileataics icon contains a picture of Angus L. Macdonald, Premier of Nova Scotia, 1933 to 1940 and from 1945 to 1954 (photo from the St. Francis Xavier University Archives collection).