Ceapach na Fasach

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CEAPACH NA FASACH (Keppoch a Wilderness). Scottish, Slow Air (9/8 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA. "Ceapach na Fasach" was composed by the Reverend Patrick Macdonald of Kilmore, Argyllshire, who was the compiler of the first setting for Highland pipe tunes for the violin and piano (according to Josephine Macdonell), though his brother Joseph, who was also an accomplished musician, may have been responsible for the work. Neil (1991) relates the story the tune commemorates (also the theme of a poem entitled "Murt na Ceapaich" by one Iain Lom), regarding an infamous 17th century murder in which the next in line of the family of Macdonell of Keppoch conspired to slay his two brothers, in order to inherit both lands and clan title. The title comes from the fact that the fields of Inverlair (the area the murderers inhabited) had their field sowed and harrowed, while the acreage of the murdered men in Keppoch lay fallow and desolate, there being none to manage. Iain Lom was a contemporary of the Highlandmen involved in the crime and was tireless in his pursuit of justice, resting only when the murderers were caught and executed. Another melody inspirated by the same poem was Simon Fraser's 1816 "Cheapuich na Fasoch" (Keppoch Desolate), and Neil thinks both airs may have been written as the music for Lom's work. See also Daniel Dow's "MacDonald of Keppach's Lamentation being Murdered by his two Cusin German's."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 159, p. 205.

Recorded sources:




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