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Allan MacLeod
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 Catalone, Cape Breton County  Birth Place
Allan MacLeod
Ailean Ruairidh Aonghais Dhòmhnaill Uilleim
Catalone, Cape Breton County

A descendant of emigrants from Lewis, Allan MacLeod was born and raised in a Gaelic speaking home in New Boston, a farming community close to Louisbourg. A well known singer, Allan learned his songs from his father Rory (Ruaridh Aonghais), an exceptional tradition bearer possessing an extensive repertoire taking in all different types of Gaelic song. Among the songs in Rory's repertoire were a great number of puirt a beul (mouth music) that he would sing for step-dancers. When he was tired of that he'd play for the dancers on the Jew's Harp. Allan's mother was a great step-dancer and fine singer in her own right. Allan remembers times when they would spread the chairs out and lay planks between them to make more seating for people in for an evening's visit. Allan's driving style has enlivened many a milling frolic and he continues to be a favorite singer wherever Gaels gather to share songs. - Hector MacNeil (Comhla Cruinn CD)

Interviewed by Jim Watson
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
January 30, 2006

Total Play Time: 01:19:05

00:15 Allan introduces himself, his people, and the community he is from
01:59 His great great grandfather returned to Scotland; people didn't talk much about memories of the Old Country
03:42 eight siblings in Allan's family
05:39 Allan married in 1960. He built his own house.
07:22 going to church; sermons in English and Gaidhlig; precenting
10:47 past times, games and fun
11:16 livestock
11:51-16:10 going to town; going visiting View | Listen
16:10 Jim tells a story
17:35 food they ate, types of fish
21:44 deer, lynx, fox, cougar
31:56-33:01 they all had gaidhlig at school; lunch at school; walking to school; school started with a prayer View
33:47-37:18 they all had gaidhlig at school; lunch at school; walking to school; school started with a prayer View
00:37:19 Jim tells a story
39:38-43:09 more about school; children's games View | Listen
46:16-47:16 stilts View | Listen
47:27-50:57 Halloween; fuarag; tricks they played View | Listen
52:23 New Year's Eve
56:57 clothes
58:58 rhyme about fly of the pants
59:57 parts of pants, mittens
1:01:00 knitting, weaving, spinning wheel, drop spindle, skein winder
1:05:05 parts of shoes; winter boots - shanks, moccaisean
1:09:32 wooden spoon, potato masher
1:13:46 luaidh hymn: anns a' chrann

Interviewed by Jim Watson
Interviewed by Jim Watson, Mary Jane Lamond
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
July 31, 2007

Disc One
Total Play Time: 1:01:00

06:20-09:24 people who gave up the gaelic Listen
09:40 Allan's father, mother was a war orphan from Kennington Cove
11:20-15:07 Allan's father was a great singer, visitors came from everywhere Listen
19:30 Allan grew up in New Boston, no one lives there now
20:40-26:15 song: Thug mi Ghaol dha 'n Fhear Bhàn View | Listen
27:25 question about signs
31:23-34:29 song: An Seann Ford by Willie MacVicker View | Listen
38:30-41:15 Allan shaping logs View | Listen
41:44-46:36 history of the axe, Allan made the handle View | Listen
46:40-52:36 he cuts the other side View | Listen

Disc Two
Total Play Time: na

00:51 Allan tells his slaineadh
02:40-07:57 names for tools; story about fellow who got hurt with the axe View
09:50-19:09 more tools View | Listen
20:18-27:26 big saw; threshing floor View | Listen
27:39-35:37 milk house, charm against fairies for the barn, song of the fairies; making and selling butter; winter butter View | Listen
35:39-38:08 retirement, food was scarce; the old house his grandfather built, a log house View | Listen
39:16-42:24 lighting the fire, getting water; how the house was laid out Listen
42:30 the old house was big; where they found wood; Jim tells a story
46:30-50:11 lights, homemade matches; types of trees View | Listen
50:12-56:37 women's work; washing clothes View | Listen

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