Cumhadh Fhinn

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CUMHADH FHINN (Ossian's Lament for his Father). AKA and see "Oisin's Lament," "Ossian's Lament," "Ossian's Lament for his Father," "Oran an Fheidh." Scottish, Slow Air (3/4 or 6/8 time). G Mixolydian (most versions): A Minor (Campbell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The air, according to Neil (1991), is thought to be the original melody popular in Lochaber and environs as "Oran an Fheidh" (Song of the Deer). It commemorates the legendary warrior Fingal, Ossian's father, a brave and shrewd Highland warrior chieftain who was "a faithful friend but an awesome and unforgiving foe as was illustrated when he showed no mercy towards his nephew Diarmid, who had eloped with his beautiful Queen Grainne." O'Neill (1913) is of the opinion that this ancient lament "makes no appeal to modern ears" and points out that old laments as a genre display much diversity in composition. Paul de Grae finds O'Neill's air to be a near-duplicate of "Cumhadh Fion: Ossian's Lament for his Father," printed in The Scottish Gael, vol. 2 (London, 1831), by James Logan. See also note for "Goat's Song (The)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Captain John Campbell and Archibald Campbell (Kilberry Book of Ceol Meadhonach), 1908; No. 1, p. 1 [1]. Lerwick (Kilted Fiddler), 1985; p. 79 (as "Ossian's Lament"). Logan (The Scottish Gael, vol. 2), 1831; no. 9 (as "Cumhadh Fion"). Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 1), 1854; p. 97. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 144, p. 183. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 132, p. 23 ("Ossian's Lament").

Recorded sources:




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