The Bards o' Allan Water
The Bards o' Allan Water anthology & community project,
9th April - 9th November 2015:
To view or purchase click on image of the book cover.
If you are USA then click here.
For imovie/You Tube videos of the songs and poems with words:
Chapter & Phase I:
On the Banks
Chapter & Phase II:
Chapter & Phase III:
The funding for this project provided by the National Lottery & Creative Scotland's Open Funding was for:
" Research, collecting, editing, writing of biogs with contributions, explications and the publishing of an anthology e-book on Kindle of 100 – 120 pages, on the poetry and songs of traditional and modern Dunblane bards, or those whose works reflect the Dunblane area of Strathallan, expressed in all of Scotland’s languages.
The book (230 pages!) is now be available (click on the image above) for all as a cultural resource, for education, and to assist the growing population of the area to gain or increase a cultural identity focal point, helping to generate more of an interest in the local community through its native literature."
As part of my own partnership contribution to the project, there was periodic showcases at the end and in some cases throughout the project of each phase throughout the compilation period exhibiting the corresponding performances of the work advertised in the Public Events page of this site.
In addition to this also as my part of the partnership contribution to the project, samples of the collection in imove/You Tube video of the songs and poems with the words added on-screen for the listeners/viewers to follow and learn at home concurrently added. See the links for each sub-page with the videos at the top of this page. 31 movies in all.
The starting date of this project was Thursday 9th April, 2015 and finishing date was Monday 9th November 2015 in time for the Battle of Sheriffmuir 300th anniversary in Friday 13th November.
The publication of an anthology was in the form of an e-book containing selections of the work of traditional bards who have composed either in poem or song pieces who were from the Dunblane area of Strathallan or who have written in verse about the area or both.
The second section of this work includes traditional verse in Scots, Gaelic and English about the Battle of Sherrifmuir. in order to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the this historical event and the Jacobite rising of 1715. The book was published about two weeks before the 13th November, the date of the Battle. The third phase was be that or the present day bards and with the same criteria.
The ebook contains 115 contributions in all from 65 bards with biogs, blurbs, anecdotes, reminiscences and indexes etc.
Both the project and the book is divided into 3 phases and chapters for which I was constantly keeping all interested and concerned parties up to date with the sub-web pages.:
Home-made You Tube video samples of the material with the lyrics to sing or recite along to have been added to each sub-page above as the project progressed. See above for the links to the 31 movies.
" The midsummer bard evening (June - Phase &
Chapter I) lit us all up! The whole evening took up and down paths that we didn’t know about, let us stop in wonder at all we met on the way, and we’d now like to see those very places. Wonderful! And what a great project, I’d love to hear the lassies again too ,
Moran taing dhuibh uile, "
Dr. Margaret Bennett, Scottish ethnologist & traditional singer, June 2015,Phase I showcase 19th June, 2015
The Bards o’ Allan Water anthology &community project.
I attended Paraig MacNeil’s showcase of this project featuring the songs and history of the ’15’ Jacobite rising (Kinbuck - phase & chapter II - August). This erudite presentation in story, exposition and song focussed on the events around the Battle of Sherriffmuir had the virtue of making and immediate oral appeal to the audience which ranged in age from about 11 year to 80. This direct infusion of history in this appealing and readily assimilated form is not only a continuation of an invaluable oral tradition but combined with the other features of Paraig’ project,i.e. the video and audio material makes in appealing and available to a wide range of people. Paraig has a well stocked memory of tales and songs. His songs have a communicative immediacy and his sense of humour adds to the mix.I heartily recommend support of any kind to this worthwhile work.
David Campbell, Traditional Storyteller, Poet, Broadcaster and reviewer
Just a note of thanks for that wonderful and colourful slice of Scottish history and tradition. The residents thought it was fun. Andrew Hennessay Events Coordinator, Bandrum Nursing Home Fife
Paraig's rich historical knowledge fascinates the pupils and provides a wealth of information about their local area and ancestry. The songs are a great vehicle to assist with delivery.
Julie Russell, Deputy Head Teacher, Bridge of Allan Primary School.e
Paraig brought life ,meaning and explanation to many traditional songs and allowed the audience to reflect on the past as well as understand the Scottish tradition of passing on information through songs and poetry."
" Paraig was guest speaker at the memorial service to the 6th Earl of Mar and the fallen of both sides at the commemoration of the 300th Battle of Sheriffmuir.The service was very poignant and atmospheric in the Mar & Kellie private mosoleum in Alloa. It was great to see the children attending hang on paraigs every word as he outline some of the aspects of the Battle."
Donald Balsille Councillor Clackmannshire Council.
Phase III and beyond
Delighted to see the project of this ebook completed so magnificently by Paraig MacNeil. I was at two of the showcase events in Dunblane and Kinbuck, and they served their purpose briliantly, bringing in local people even in small communities such as Kinbuck, and presenting beautifully performed work, whether in singing, music or words. There was something for everyone to enjoy and learn from , including local memories and distant historical perspectives, and there was a sense of co-operation among the various performers who were glad to have these opportunities. The audiences were most appreciative and there were opportunities to talk to the writers and musicians over tea and refreshments. All very well done.
Sally Evans, Poetry Scotland.
This is a lovely store of songs and poems with some background information on the author, where known, and the subject matter of the piece. The author is a natural story teller with a neat sense of humour. There are links to audio files on utube where you can listen to select songs/poems as well.
This will be of great interest to singers, songwriters, historians and locals to the Dunblane area who will probably find interesting wee stories they never knew they never knew. I did!
This book will quickly establish itself as a major resource in the world of traditional music. A wee gem.
Creative Scotland, Support for Traditional Arts
Since Open Project Funding was launched in October 2014, we have awarded funding of £1.4m to 156 individuals, organisations and projects whose work falls within the traditional arts, including Gaelic and Scots. This includes writers, musicians, theatre makers, festivals and creative organisations across Scotland, such as major events like Heb Celt Festival and the Celtic Media Festival, arts organisations such as Proiseact nan Ealan, through to musicians such as Ross Ainslie and Breabach and writers such as Paraig MacNeil. This funding is a significant proportion of the £8.5m total funding awarded so far through the Open Project route. See full details on all our Open Project Funding awards.