Eilean Fhianain

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EILEAN FHIANAIN (Finan's Isle). Scottish, Air (6/8 time). D Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The tune was composed by Charles MacFarlane. Eilean Fhianain is a small island in Loch Shiel, Moidart, Inverness-shire, named for Saint Finan, a Celtic saint who lived there around 575 A.D. and a contemporary of St. Columba. He was known as 'Fhianan Luibre' (the Leper) or as 'the infirm' from the disease which was said to have been self-inflicted, received from a child whom he ministered. Later a fair named in his honor was held on the island each March 18th. Neil (1991) relates:

One of the few ancient bronze bells, in use in Scotland in the 9th century, is to be found on Finan's Isle. It is on record that the bell was stolen by one of the English troops during the 1745 Rebellion, while they were garrisoned near Moidart. Fortunately he was apprehended by Niall Mor Man Eilean (Big Niel of the Island), who was custodian of the bell. Niall had given chase and had caught him at Glenfinnan. It is said that the culprit was tied to a tree by Niall, who then gave him a severe thrashing as a punishment for his misdeeds, while his companions simply looked on, without lifting a finger to help. It was found that the tongue of the bell had somehow been removed, and it subsequently had to be replaced with on of iron.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 145, p. 185.

Recorded sources:




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