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Monday, 21 April 2014

Wise Enough to Play the Fool: Gilleasbuig Aotrom

The figure of the wise-fool in Gaelic oral tradition plays a significant role in Highland humour. Such characters as Gilleasbuig Aotrom (‘Daft Archie/Gillespie’) and Fearchar a’ Ghunna (‘Farquhar of the Gun’) are perhaps the most renowned and their exploits have been told over generations. In some ways they were ‘outsiders’ and perhaps would have been sectioned these days. Despite being socially dysfunctional their playful humour and antics were certainly entertaining. At times the situations in which they found themselves in or were apt to create could be interpreted as social commentary in that they spoke their minds when it might not have been that politic to have done so. They were staunchly anti-authoritarian, independently minded, and perhaps even dangerous, and in some ways were the voice of the silent majority. Perhaps this is the main reason why their stories were enjoyed so much for an audience could sympathise with their predicaments and also get a good laugh as well. In this sense laughter was good medicine as it helped to dispel socially awkward situations. The popularity of such anecdotes is also reflected by the fact that they became migratory local legends with the witticisms and/or their comic situations being credited to different people.

            Neil MacLeod (1844–1913), a Skye pastoral poet, from Glendale, should be given credit for bringing Gilleasbuig Aotrom’s name to a wider reading public as he published a number of anecdotes about him in his widely popular book of poetry Clàrsach an Doire, reprinted on many occasions since its first appearance in 1883. Even so not a great deal is known about who Gilleasbuig Aotrom actually was although it is claimed that he was of a MacMhathain/Matheson family from Gleann Hionasdail in the Isle of Skye.


 The first series of anecdotes was recorded by Calum Maclean from his own father, Malcolm MacLean (1880–1951), known as Calum Chaluim Iain Ghairbh, and who was a tailor to trade. Presumably such stories were still then current in Raasay and would have been popular, especially in a family such as the MacLeans who were renowned as tradition bearers
:


Bha Gilleasbuig Aotrom ann bho chionn ceud bliadhna roimhe seo, no beagan a bharrachd, agus bhiodh e a’ falbh air feadh an Eilein Sgitheanaich a-measg uaislean agus ìslean, agus bhathas a’ coimhead air mar amadan, ach s è amadan gu math glic a bha ann air a shon fhèin (Z253.). Bha e aon uair timcheall Dhùn Bheagain aig Caisteal MhicLeòid is ge bith dè a mì-mhodh a rinn e air MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain, s ann a dh’iarr e greim a dhèanamh air Gilleasbuig agus a chur as an dungeon, agus tha an dungeon sin as a’ chaisteal gus an latha an-diugh – rùm beag am meadhan a’ chaisteil agus na ballachan aige glè thiugh agus e mu dheich air fhichead troigh a meud is mu aon dusan na còig troighean deug a dhoimhne, agus nuair a rachadh prìosanach a chur ann a shin, cha robh seòl aige air faighinn às. Bha e air obrachadh le glas, clach gu h-àrd is clach gu h-ìseal agus cha robh àite as am faigheadh tu sìos ann ach mu thrì troighean square, agus bha iad a’ leigeil an duine sìos ann le ròpa is a’ cur leic mhòr throm air beul an tuill a bha sin: agus s ann a chuir iad Gilleasbuig sìos ann a shin fad tìde àraidh (Q433.), agus ge bith cò bha tabhairt biadh do Ghilleasbuig, nuair a bha e seachdain as an dungeon, thuirt e:
“Nam biodh fhios aig MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain nam b’ urrainn mise innseadh dha mu Mhorair Shlèite is a chuid ghìobairean is game keepeirean; an dìol a tha iad a’ dèanamh air stoc is air geama a’ Mhorair, goid chaorach is chruidh is a’ marbhadh geama is a h-uile nì a b’ urrainn dhaibh a dhèanamh air, nam biodh fhios aig MacLeòid air an sin, chan fhàgadh e mise fada ann a sheo. Tha mise ag innseadh sin dhut-sa,” as esan, “oir is è do ghnòthach-sa innseadh dha duine uasal,” agus mar a chaidh iarraidh air an duine, s ann a dh’innis e sin do MhacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain, agus s ann a chaidh MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain gon dungeon agus bhruidhinn e ri Gilleasbuig, agus chuir Gilleasbuig a bhriathran air a leithid de dhòigh is gun robh e uamhasach colach ris an fhìrinn, air chuir e rudan beaga ann a dh’fhaodadh MacLeòid a chreidsinn, oir bha fhios aige fhèin air, ach na rudan uamhasach a bha Gilleasbuig ag innseadh dha, cha chuala esan riamh iad is chàin Gilleasbuig Morair Shlèite ann an cainnt nach fhaodhte sgrìobhadh: Ach s ann a dh’fhalbh MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain ann am fearg agus e a’ creidsinn mòran dhe na thuirt Gilleasbuig: agus chuir e gille is sgrìobh e litir gu Morair Shlèite agus chuir e gille is each air falbh leatha à Dùn Bheagain. Agus ma ghabh MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain fearg, s e ghabh an fhearg Morair Dòmhnallach Shlèite nuair a leugh e an litir is cha tug e freagairt sam bith dha na ghille, ach thuirt e ris falbh an rathad a thàinig e – nach robh esan a’ dol a thabhairt freagraidh dha: agus air an latha màireach, chruinnich e mu cheud de chuid shaighdeirean le n-aramachd agus rinn e air Dhùn Bheagain – e fhèin is a chuid dhaoine agus ràinig e Caisteal Dhùn Bheagain gun dùil sam bith aig MacLeòid ris agus dh’iarr e MacLeòid fhaicinn, agus dh’fhaighneachd e dheth cò thug dha na briathran a chuir e as an litir is cha robh aig MacLeòid ach tionndadh ri Gilleasbuig is chaidh Gilleasbuig a thoirt air am beul-thaobh le chèile is dh’fhaighneachd am Morair Dòmhnallach dheth:
“An tuirt thusa a leithid seo a chainnt ri MacLeòid?” agus dh’innis am Morair Dòmhnallach dha a’ chainnt a bh’ ann:
“Ò, breugadair mòr,” asa Gilleasbuig, “s ann a tha esan ag iarraidh buaireadh, mar a bha a chuid dhaoine eile. Cha tuirt mise facal riamh ris mu Thighearna Mòr Shlèite agus a chuid sheirbhiseach.”
Is ma rinn e càineadh air Morair Shlèite ri MacLeòid, s ann a rinn e càineadh air MacLeòid ri Morair Shlèite. Co-dhiù, chaidh MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain is am Morair rèite-chèile is thuirt Morair Shlèite ri Gilleasbuig:
“Thig thusa cò’l rium-sa, agus cha bhi a chridhe aig MacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain do chur san dungeon ar ais,” agus le sin ag ràdha, dh’fhalbh e ann am feirg agus thug e leis Gilleasbuig is cha leigeadh an t-eagal le MacLeòid a chumail: agus s ann a chuir am Morair Gilleasbuig air muin eich, agus nuair a bha iad suas an gleann s ann a thionndaich am Morair ri Gilleasbuig agus thuirt e ris:
“Saoil a-nis, ‘illeasbuig, an tuirt thu fhèin na briathran a bha na litir MhicLeòid ris?”
“Thuirt, a Mhorair,” ars esan, “a h-uile facal.”
“Ò, carson a thuirt thu sin ris?” ars esan.
“Bha fhios agam, a Mhorair,” ars esan, “nach robh cumhachd eile san Eilean Sgitheanach a bheireadh mise a-mach às an dungeon mura tigeadh sibh-se ga mo thoirt às.”
Agus s ann a chòrd sin ris a’ Mhorair, agus thug e Gilleasbuig air an each cho fada is a bha e ag iarraidh a dhol air a shlighe (K500. & K572.).

And the translation goes something like the following:

Gilleasbuig Aotrom (‘Daft Archie/Gillespie’) lived around a hundred years ago, or a little further back, and he used to travel around the Isle of Skye among the gentry and commoners, and they looked upon him as a fool, but so he was a wise-fool (Z253.). He was one time going around Dunvegan at MacLeod’s Castle and whatever cheek he had given to MacLeod of Dunvegan, he asked for Gilleasbuig to be arrested and thrown into the dungeon, and the dungeon is in the castle to this day – a wee room in the middle of the castle where the walls are very thick, around thirty feet in length, and around a dozen or fifteen feet in depth, and when a prisoner was incarcerated there was no way of escaping. It was worked by a lock, a stone above and a stone below and there was no way you could get down but through a three-foot square, and they let the man down by a rope and a large, heavy flagstone was placed over the mouth of the hole: Gilleasbuig had been imprisoned down there for a quite a while (Q433.), and whoever had been giving Gilleasbuig food, when he had been a week in the dungeon, he said:
“If MacLeod of Dunveagan knew about what I could tell him about Lord MacDonald of Sleat and his gamekeepers, and the damage they are doing to the Lord’s stock and the game, stealing sheep and cattle and killing game and everything else they could do to him, if MacLeod knew about this, he wouldn’t leave me here for so long. I’m telling you this, he said, “for it’s your business to tell this gentleman. And just as it was asked of the man he went and told MacLeod of Dunvegan. Then MacLeod of Dunvegan went to the dungeon and he spoke with Gilleasbuig, and Gilleasbuig told him in such a way that what he was saying was very close to the truth by adding little bits so that MacLeod would believe him, for he knew about it himself, regarding the terrible things Gilleasbuig was telling him, he had never heard before and he was berating Archibald MacDonald, Lord of Sleat, in such language that could scarcely be written down. So MacLeod of Dunvegan left in anger as he believed much of what Gilleasbuig had said. And he sent a for servant lad and he wrote a letter to Lord MacDonald of Sleat and he sent the servant lad on horseback from Dunvegan. And if MacLeod of Dunvegan was angered, then Lord MacDonald was likewise angered when he read the letter but he didn’t give any reply to the servant lad and told him to be on his way back from whence he came – he was not going to offer him a reply. And the next day, he gathered around one hundred armed solders and he made his way to Dunvegan – himself and his men and he reached Dunvegan Castle and MacLeod had not expected him and he asked to see MacLeod, and he asked him who had given him the information that he had written in the letter and MacLeod had no recourse but to turn to Gilleasbuig and he went to get Gilleasbuig to be placed in front of both of them and Lord MacDonald asked him:
“Did you use such and such language with MacLeod?” and Lord MacDonald related to him the language used:
“O, great liar,” said Gilleasbuig, “he’s trying to tempt me just as his other men are. I never said a word to him about the Great Lord MacDonald of Sleat and his servants.”
And if he berated Lord MacDonald of Sleat before, he then berated MacLeod of Dunvegan to Lord MacDoanld of Sleat. But in any event, MacLeod of Duvegan and Lord MacDonald of Sleat were reconciled and Lord MacDonald of Sleat said to Gilleasbuig:
Come along with me, and MacLeod of Dunvegan will not have the heart to put you back in the dungeon,” and with that, dear, he left in anger and he took Gilleasbuig with him and the fright which MacLeod took wouldn’t let him keep him; and so Lord MacDonald of Sleat placed Gilleasbuig on horseback, and when they were a bit up the glen MacDonald of Sleat turned to Gilleasbuig and said to him:
“Now, do you suppose, Gilleasbuig, that you actually said those words in MacLeod’s letter?”
“Yes, I did, Lord,” he said, “every single word.”
“Oh, why did you say that to him?”
“I knew, Lord,” he said, “that there was no other power in the Isle of Skye that could get me out of the dungeon if you didn’t come to release me.”
And this pleased Lord MacDonald of Sleat and he took Gilleasbuig on horseback as long as he wanted while he went his way home (K500. & K572.).

Another couple of anecdotes from the same source, the first one of which places Gilleasbuig in Portree and is probably the most famous humorous story about him:

Bha e Gilleasbuig àm eile aig Fèill na Fèill Màrtainn. Bha uachdarain agus luchd-thacaichean an Eilein Sgitheanaich agus croiteairean nan eilean, bha iad cruinn am Port Rìgh, agus iad a’ togail an rent, agus tha e colach gun robh latha uamhasach fliuch agus fiadhaich ann, agus bha na daoine mòra a-staigh as na taigheansta is biadh is deoch gu leòr aca, agus bha na daoine bochda gu leòr dhiubh a-muigh gun àite aca san d’ rachadh iad, agus s ann a chaidh Gilleasbuig a-staigh mar a b’ àbhaist dha a-measg nan uaislean agus dh’fhaighneachd fear dhe na h-uaislean dheth:
“Cò às a thàinig thu, ‘illeasbuig?”
“Thàinig à Iutharna,” orsa Gilleasbuig.
“Dè tha dol an sin?” ors an duine uasal.
“Tha,” orsa Gilleasbuig, “car mar a tha seo fhèin: na daoine uaisle gan gabhail a-staigh is na daoine bochda air an cumail a-mach.”
Agus aig an àm sin fhèin, nuair a bha e dol a-mach às an taigh, chunnaic e aiseid feòla as a’ chidsin is stop e fo achlais i, an aiseid mar a bha i is dh’fhalbh e gu taigh tè b’ àbhaist dà a bhith a’ faighinn cuid na h-oidhche aice is chuir e an aiseid air a’ bhòrd aice is thuirt e rithe:
“Seo dhuibh-se, a chreatair. Is tu is feumaiche air an seo, na an fheadhainn dha robhas ga dheasachadh (Z253.).”
Agus air an latha màireach nuair a smaoinich e air falbh dhachaigh chaidh e a-staigh a Royal is fhuair e cleòca fear dhe na daoine uaisle, fear Moireach, is stop e an cleòca uime agus dh’fhalbh e. Is nuair a bha e null am monadh, thòisich e air dèanamh òrain:

Cleòca a’ Mhoireich o hao ri ò,
Hù bhì bhò lùbainn tharam
Cleòca a’ Mhoireich o hao ri ò.
Siud an cleòca a dh’fhàs gu h-aotrom,
Gu siubhal an fhraoich is a’ mhonaidh.
Siud an cleòca a dh’fhàs gu dìonach
Cha d’ leig e riamh deur gun chraiceann.
Cleòca a’ Mhoireich o hao ri ò

Is an ceann seachdain na dhà dh’fhalbh Gilleasbuig dhachaigh leis a’ chleòca, agus nuair a ràinig Gilleasbuig bha am Moireach, bha e air falbh fada roimhe sin: agus s ann a dh’fhan an cleòca aig Gilleasbuig.
’S e Gilleasbuig mac Mhurchaidh an t-ainm ceart a bha air ach s e Gilleasbuig Aotrom a theireadh iad ris.

Bha e trip eile ann an Ùige san Eilean Sgitheanach agus an-còmhnaidh s e aodach ministeir a bhiodh air, oir an-còmhnaidh nuair a thigeadh e a thaigh ministeir, dh’iarradh e còta is briogais is clerical vest is bha comanachadh san eaglais air an t-Sàbaid a bha seo agus goirid an deaghaidh dhan t-searman tòiseachadh, thàinig Gilleasbuig a-staigh agus deise a’ mhinisteir air, agus ghabh e suas a chùbaid, agus shuidh e ri taobh nam ministeirean is chan eil fhios, co-dhiù, dh’aithnich na ministeirean e gus nach do dh’aithnich (K1826.5.) ach cha tuirt iad guth, ach bha mòran dhe na h-èildeirean nan suidhe as a’ bhogsa fon chùbaid agus chunnaic Gilleasbuig aon fhear a-measg nan èildeirean nach robh tlachd sam bith aige dheth agus chuir Gilleasbuig a làmh na phòcaid agus thug e a-mach ugh grot aiste, agus sgailc e sìos air ceann an èildeir e: agus thuirt am ministear dithis na triùir dhe na choimthional èirigh agus an duine ud a chur a-mach às an eaglais:
“Cha leig sibh a leas,” osa Gilleasbuig, “chan fhanainn na air cuideachd, co-dhiù.” Agus às an dol a-mach dha, bha dithis na triùir de ghìobairean a thàinig far a’ mhonaidh a’ tighinn a-staigh an eaglais is tha e colach gun robh na coin ga leanail is nuair a bha Gilleasbuig a’ dol a-mach, bha à-san a’ tighinn a-staigh le n cuid chon. S ann a thuirt Gilleasbuig: “Piss, piss.” Siud na coin an cràichdeann a chèile. Co-dhiù, dh’fhalbh Gilleasbuig a-mach agus as an dol a-mach dha, chunnaic e each bàn aig ceann na h-eaglais is e ag ithe an fheòir ann a shin agus s ann a fhuair Gilleasbuig greim air an ròpa a bha ri bell na h-eaglais is cheangail e ri iorball an eich e is thug e sràchd dhen bhata dhan each, is na ma bha stir a-staigh, s ann a bha stir a-muigh is am bell a’ ringeadh is an t-each a’ leumadraich is dh’fhalbh Gilleasbuig is thug e an rathad eile air.

And the translation goes something like the following:

Gilleasbuig was another time at the Martinmas fair. Landlords, tacksmen from the Isle of Skye as well as crofters were all present in Portree and they were taking the rent; and it was apparently a very wet and wild day, and the “big” men were in the inn with plenty of food and drink, and there were many poor folk outside without any particular place to go, and in went Gilleasbuig and, as was his wont, to be in the company the nobles and one of them asked him:
“Where have you come from, Gilleasbuig?”
“From hell,” replied Gilleasbuig.
“What’s doing there?” asked the nobleman.
“Well,” said Gilleasbuig, “about the same as here: the rich folk inside and the poor folk kept outside.”
At the same time as he was coming out of the inn, he saw an ashet of meat in the kitchen and put it under his oxter, and just as it was he went to a woman’s house where he used to stay for the night and he placed the ashet on the table and said to her:
“Here you are, woman, and you deserve this more than those that it was originally prepared for.”

And the next day when he thought he would leave for home but went into the Royal [Hotel] and he got hold of a cloak that belonged to one of the noblemen, a man called Murray, and he put it on and left. And when he was over on the moor, he began to compose a song:

Murray’s cloak o hao ri ò,
Hù bhì bhò lùbainn tharam
Murray’s cloak o hao ri ò,
That’s the very cloak that’s worn so lightly,
In order to traverse the heather and moor.
That’s the very cloak that’s watertight
That will not let a drop through to the skin
Murray’s cloak o hao ri ò,

And at a week or two Gilleasbuig went home with the cloak, and by the time Gilleasbuig reached home Murray had left a long time since and so Gilleasbuig kept the cloak.
Gilleasbuig mac Mhurchaidh (Archie son of Murdo) was his real name but they’d call him Gilleasbuig Aotrom (Daft or Giddy Archie).

Another time he was Uig in the Isle of Skye and he always used to wear minister’s clothing as when he would visit a manse he would always ask for a coat and trousers as well as a clerical vest. And there was Sunday communion at the time and shorty after the sermon had begun Gilleasbuig entered dressed as a minister, and went to the pulpit and sat down along with the other ministers and no one knew if the ministers would recognise him or not (K1826.5.) but not a word was said. Many elders were sitting in the box below the pulpit and Gilleasbuig saw one of the elders whom he despised and Gilleasbuig took out of his pocket a rotten egg and slapped it on this elder’s head and the minister ordered two or three of the congregation to eject him from the church.
“You needn’t bother,” said Gilleasbuig, “I wouldn’t stay in your company anyway.”
And out he went, and as he did so two or three of the keepers were coming off the moor and going into the church and it appears that their dogs were following them as Gilleasbuig came out as they were going in with their dogs. Then Gilleasbuig said: “Piss, piss.” There’s the dogs in good company. Anyway, Gilleasbuig went out and, as he was going, he saw a white horse at the gable end of the church grazing on hay and Gilleasbuig got hold of a rope for the bell and tied it to the horse’s tail and struck the horse with his stick. And if there was a stir earlier inside then there was certainly a stir outside as the bell rang as the horse jumped about and off Gilleasbuig scampered.

Another three anecdotes about Gilleasbuig Aotrom were recorded on the 18th of February, 1951, from John MacDonald of Highbridge, Brae Lochaber:

Bha duine anns an Eilean Sgitheanach ris an abradh iad Gilleasbuig Aotrom. Bha iad air latha fèile ann am Port Rìgh agus latha fliuch ann. Chan ann tric a thàinig a leithid. Nuair a ràinig e ’un an taigh-òsta bha na daoine bochda a-mach, croiteirean is feadhainn nach fhaigheadh a-staigh. Bha na h-uachdarain is na daoine a bha a’ saoilsinn gun robh iad fhèin ro-mhath dheth a-staigh anns an àite a b’ fheàrr dhen taigh.
”Gu dè tha sibh a’ dèanadh a-mach an seo?” thuirt Gilleasbui’.
Dh’innis iad dhà nach fhaigheadh iad a-staigh leis mar a bha an fheadhainn eile an deaghaidh nan seòmraichean a ghabhail.
”An-dà, thèid mise a-staigh,” thuirt Gilleasbui’.
Ràinig e an seòmar anns an robh iad cruinn.
“O, ‘Illeasbuig, an tàine tu a-staigh?”
“Thàinig.”
“Cò às a thàine tu latha fluich mar seo?”
“Thàinig a Ifrinn,” thuirt e.
“O, tut, is làidir a’ chainnt sin,” thuirt iad. “Is ciamar a tha gnothaichean a’ dol air adhart an sin?”
“Dìreach mar a tha e a’ dol air adhart ann an seo fhèin – na daoine saidhbhir gan gabhail a-staigh agus na daoine bochda gan cumail a-muigh.”

Chaidh Gilleasbuig Aotrom air Didòmhnaich don eaglais. Nuair a chaidh e a-staigh dè chunnaic e sin ach bodach mòr a bha na fhìor-nàmhaide dhà is cha bu toigh leis idir e. Dh’fhalbh e a-mach is rinn e gàire beag ris fhèin. Agus fhuair e ugh tunnaig is bha i aige na phòca. Nuair a dh’èirich an coimhthional aig a’ chiad ùrnaigh, thòisich Gilleasbuig air cuimse a dhèanadh air sgall a’ bhodaich. Leig e às an t-ugh tunnaig agus chaidh e na smùir air sgall a’ bhodaich. Agus ma chaidh, chaidh an coimhthional gu gàireachdainn agus chaidh a h-uile duine a bh’ ann gu ùpraid.
“O bhoabh!” thuirt am ministear, “b’ fheàrr leam gun cuireadh sibh a-mach an duine truagh a tha sin às an eaglais. Chan eil e a’ dèanadh ach aimhreit agus a’ milleadh a’ choimhthional.”
“O!” thuirt Gilleasbuig Aotrom, ”cha ruig iad leas dragh sam bith a chur orra fhèin mise a chur a-mach.Thèid mi a-mach gu sìobhalta agus cha mhòr is fhiach a bhith a’ fuireach a-staigh. Agus mas ceòl feadaireachd – an t-searmain agad, mòran ga ràdha is beagan ga dhèanadh, latha math leat, fhir mo chridhe.”
Chaidh Gilleasbuig a-mach. Bha each bàn ann a sin an ceangal ri cairt goirid bhon eaglais. Chan fhaca Gilleasbuig dad na b’ fheàrr na an t-each a thoirt a-nunn ’un a’ ghlag. Agus cheangail e earball an eich ris a’ ghlag. Cha robh an t-each a’ cur mòran dragh air fhad ‘s a bha e a’ faotainn criomadh teann air. Ach dar a thòisich an criomadh air a dhol na b’ fhaide nach tàinig an t-earball agus an glag a’ slaodadh a chèile agus a thuig an t-each bàn gur h-ann leis fhèin a bha an glag an ceangal chaidh e gu ùpraid a bha fuathasach. Cha robh leum a bheireadh an t-each bàn às nach toireadh an glag buille às. Thàinig an coimthional a-mach agus iad a’ coimhead dè thachair na dè an t-iongnadh a bh’ ann. Mu dheireadh bha am ministear air an ceann. Agus sin agad an co-dhùnadh gur an tàinig an t-searmain aige – Gilleasbuig shìos anns an raon agus e a’ gàireachdainn.
“Dh’aithnich mi gun tigeadh an ceòl agad gu feadaireach mu dheireadh,” thuirt e.

Chaidh Gilleasbuig turas eile gu taigh cìobair ann an àite iomallach don dùthaich. Dh’fhorfhaisich e ciamar a bha iad nan slàinte, cà robh fear an taighe:
“O mo thruaighe,” thuirt a’ bhean, ”tha fear an taighe na laighe.”
“A bheil e fada air an leabaidh?”
“Tha bliadhna.”
“O, mo thruaighe, tha e tuillidh is fada mar sin. Ach ‘s e lighiche a th’ annam-sa agus chì mi e. Thèid mi a choimhead air.”
Chaidh e a choimhead air. Thill e air ais. Cha tuirt e mòran.
“Ach dè th’ agad sa phrais air an teine? “
“Tha cearc a th’ agam ga bruich do dh’ Iain.”
“O, air na chunna tu riamh na toir dhà a’ chearc. Ma dh’itheas e a’ chearc a tha sin,” thuirt e, “bidh e cho marbh agad ri sgadan mun tig ceithir uaire fichead.”
“O, nach mi tha taingeil‘ur leithid tighinn an rathad.”
Is dh’fhalbh e. Thill e an ceann latha na dhà is bha ìm is càise is uibhean is a h-uile seòrsa aige don bhoireannach. Is dh’fhàg e siud aice airson Iain:
“Gu dè tha mi a ‘ dol a dhèanadh ri Iain a-nise, a lighiche?” thuirt i.
“Tha laogh agad. Chunna mi a-mach ann an sin e. Agus beir air an laogh agus beir air an laogh agus dèan feannadh bhuilg air. Agus cuir seiche an laoigh air Iain agus gabh am bata dha a-mach às an leabaidh. Agus cuir fon bhò e. Agus mura gabh an bhò ris, cuir a h-uile cù sa bhaile ris a-mach air na creagan. ‘S e sin is adhbhar do dh’ Iain a bhith air an leabaidh – an leisg.

And the translation goes something like the following:

There was a man in the Isle of Skye called Gilleasbuig Aotrom. There was a cattle mart in Portree and it was a wet day. It wasn’t often that this happened. When he reached the inn, he saw the poor people outside, crofters and others who couldn’t get in. The landed proprietors and those who thought they were well-off were inside in the best part of the inn.
“What are you doing out here?” asked Gilleasbuig.
They told him that they couldn’t get in as others had taken the rooms.
“Well, I’ll go in,” said Gilleasbuig.
He reached the room in which they had assembled.
“Oh, Gilleasbuig, you’ve come in?”
“Yes.”
“Where have you come from on a wet day like this?”
“I came from Hell,” he retorted.
“Oh, tut, that’s strong language,” they said. “And how are things there?
“Just as they are here in this very place – the rich folk kept inside and the poor folk kept outside.”

One Sunday Gilleasbuig Aotrom went to church. When he entered who did he see but a big old man who was his mortal enemy and whom he detested. He went out and had a little laugh to himself. He found a duck’s egg and placed it in his pocket. When the congregation arose at the first prayer, Gilleabsuig began to take aim on the old man’s bald pate. He let go the egg and it splattered all over the old man’s bald pate. And if he did, the whole congregation were convulsed in laughter and everyone was involved in having a row.
“Oh, dear,” exclaimed the minister, “I’d much prefer it if you would eject that poor man from the church. He’s only creating trouble and disrupting the congregation.”
“Oh!” said Gilleasbuig Aotrom, “you needn’t trouble anyone by ejecting me. I’ll go peacefully as it’s not really worthwhile staying. And as your sermon is just like whistling – much to say but little to do – a good day to you, my dear man.”
Gilleasbuig went out. There was a white horse roped to cart at a short distance from the church. Gilleasbuig could see nothing better than to take the horse over to the bell. He tied the horse’s tail to the bell. They horse wasn’t put to much trouble at all as long as it had a bit of grass near to eat. But when the bit of grass got further away the tail pulled at the bell and when the horse realised that it was tied to the bell and almighty racket ensued. The horse only had to jump about and the bell rang. The congregation came out and looked at what was happening or to see what all the fuss was about. Finally the minister appeared at their head. And there you have the finale to the minister’s sermon – Gilleasbuig laughing down in the field.
“I well know that your music [i.e. sermon] would finally amount to just whistling,” he said.

On another occasion Gilleasbuig went to a shepherd’s house in a remote part of the country. He asked who they all were and where the goodman of the house was:
“Oh, alas,” said the goodwife, “the goodman is in bed.”
“Has he been long in bed?”
“A year.”
“Oh, alas, he’s been like that too long. But since I’m a physician I’ll go and see him. I’ll take a look.”
He went to look at him and then returned. He didn’t say much.
“What have you got cooking in the pot on the fire?”
“I’ve got a hen on the boil for John.”
“Oh, whatever you’ve seen don’t give him the hen. If he eats that then,” he warned, “he’ll be as dead as a dodo before the day is out.”
“Oh, I’m so grateful that you came our way.”
He set off and returned in a day or two and he had butter, cheese and eggs and everything else for the woman. He left them with her for John.
“Whatever am I to do with John now, physician?” she asked.
“You own a calf – I saw it out there. And if you catch the calf and skin it. Then cover the hide over John and take a stick to him to get him out of bed. And put him under the cow. And if the cow doesn’t take to him then send every dog in the township to chase him over the rocks. That is the reason for John to have been in his bed – idleness.

A further six anecdotes, possibly as a result of recollecting previous anecdotes about Gilleasbuig Aotrom, were also recorded from Calum Maclean’s own father. The first one mentions one of Gilleasbuig’s ‘victims’ who was the Rev. James Souter, minister of Duirinish, who died in 1839:

Bha ministear an ceann a tuath an Eilein Sgitheanaich, ministear Eaglais Slèite. Bhiodh Gilleasbuig Aotrom a’ tadhall air gu math tric, nuair a bhiodh e air a thuras: ach air oidhche àraidh, thàinig e an deaghaidh dhaibh a dhol a chadal is thug e na ratlaichean sin air an doras aig Sutar – am ministear. Dh’èirich Sutar is chuir e a cheann a-mach air tè dhe na h-uinneagan àrda is dh’eugh e:
“Cò tha siud?”
Fhreagair Gilleasbuig, “Tha mise,” ars’ esan, “èirich thusa agus leig a-staigh mi.”
“Ò,” ars’ am ministear, “chan eil leabaidh eile air dòigh againn, ach tha leabaidh mhath air lota an stàpaill. Bidh thu glè chomhartail innte gu madainn.”
“Ma tha i mar sin,” arsa Gilleasbuig, ”èirich thusa agus seall dhòmh-sa an leabaidh sin.”
Agus thàinig air a’ mhinistear èirigh agus a chuid aodaich a chur uime. Dh’fhalbh Sutar a-mach cò ris agus lainnear aige, agus ’s ann le àradh a bha iad a’ dìreadh gu lota an stàpuill, agus thuirt am ministear ris:
“Dìrich suas a-nis air an àradh sin, agus tha leabaidh mhath air a cur air dòigh ann.”
“Dìrich fhèin romham,” arsa Gilleasbuig, “gu faic sinn dè seòrsa leabaidh a tha ann.”
Is nuair a fhuair Gilleasbuig am ministear suas, leig e an t-àradh fo lota an stàpuill agus thuirt e ri Sutar:
“Ma tha an leabaidh cho math is a tha thu ag ràdha, gabh do leòr dhith gu madainn is thèid mise ruig an leabaidh agad-sa.”
Ghabh Gilleasbuig sìos agus chaidh e gu leabaidh a’ mhinisteir. Chan fhaigheadh Sutar far lota an stàpuill fad na h-oidhche, gus an tàinig duine èigineach sa mhadainn rathad an stàpuill a chuir an t-àradh suas dhà (L141.).

Bha Sutar uair eile a’ tighinn à Port Righ agus e a’ rideadh each. Cò thachair ris air a’ mhonadh ach Gilleasbuig is sheas e a’ bruidheann ris. Ach rug Gilleasbuig air bridle an eich is thuirt e ris a’ mhinistear:
“Cha tèid do chas às an seo gus an tòir thu airgead dhòmh-sa a cheannaicheas paidhir bhròg am Port Rìgh.”
Bha iad greis a’ disputadh mu dheidhinn an airgid, ach mu dheireadh thuirt Sutar ris: “Sgrìobhaidh mi laine dhut,” ars’ esan, “gu fear de cheannaichean Phort Rìgh, agus bheir e paidhir bhròg dhut.”
Leig Gilleasbuig leis an litir a sgrìobhadh agus shìn e gu Gilleasbuig i. Thug Gilleasbuig sùil air a litir agus thuirt e ri Sutar:
“Dè feum a tha na do laine dhòmh-sa? Cha phàigh sin na brògan.” Thòisich am ministear ag innseadh dha mu na laine – nan tugadh e an laine dhan cheannaiche gu faigheadh e na brògan is gum paigheadh esan iad.
“Ò, mhinistear,” ars esan, “cha chreid mi t-innleachdan idir.”
Agus shad e bhuaithe an laine.
“Thoir dhòmh-sa an t-airgead,” ors’ esan, “nò cha tèid do chas às an seo.”
Mu dheireadh thàinig air a’ mhinistear an t-airgead a thòirt dha. Thuirt Gilleasbuig an uair sin:
“Tha mi na air comain, a mhinistear. Gheibh an laine na brògan” – is e a’ togail an laine a thilg e – ”is nì an t-airgead feum eile.” (L141. & K100.)

Bha e trip eile an ceann a deas an Eilein Sgitheanaich agus ’s è aodach ministeir a bha air, mar a bhiodh air glè thric, air bha e an-còmhnaidh a’ tadhall air ministeirean agus chan fhalbhadh e gus an tugadh iad dha deise ( K1826.5.) Thachair seachdnar no ochdnar de ghillean òga an Eilean Sgitheanaich ris is iad a’ falbh gu iasgach as an àird a n-ear, agus bha iad a’ feitheamh ann a shin gus am faigheadh iad an t-aiseag a null thar Chaol Reithe, gus am faigheadh iad chon a’ mhainland.
’S ann a thuirt Gilleasbuig riutha:
“Ma tha taigh-òsta faisg oirnn,” ors’ esan, “bheir mi suas sibh gun toir mi dhuibh drama mus dealaich sinn.”
“Ò, tha,” arsa fear dhe na gillean, “taigh-seinnse shuas air a’ chnoc ann a shin.”
Agus ghabh Gilleasbuig a-staigh an taigh-òsta agus na gillean às a dheaghaidh agus ring e am bell, agus dh’iarr Gilleasbuig botal uisge-bheatha airson drama a thòirt dha na gillean òga mus falbhadh iad is dh’innis e càite robh iad a’ dol. Thàinig i a-nuas leis a’ bhotal agus thuirt i ri Gilleasbuig:
“Ò, ’dhuine choir,” os ise, “bu sibh fhèin an duine uasal, nuair a tha sibh a’ dèanamh cho math ris na gillean.”
“Ò,” arsa Gilleasbuig, “chan eil an seo ach an tòiseachadh, bidh tuilleadh againn cuideachd.”
Is nuair a dh’òl iad am botal sin, dh’iarr Gilleasbuig fear eile is thòisich iad air òl an fhir sin cuideachd is nuair a shaoil Gilleasbuig gun robh gu leòr aca, thòisich e air an stialladh leis a’ bhata, ach bha e a’ tabhairt deagn-aire nach robh e gan goirteachadh. Thàinig bean an taighe a-nuas is i ag èigheach.
“O ho, gu dè tha seo?”
“Ò, bhean chòir,” ars’ esan, “dad gum faigh mi na biastan seo a-mach às an taigh.”
Rinn na gillean leis a’ bhruthaich is Gilleasbuig nan deaghaidh leis a’ bhata is cha d’fhuair bean an taigh-sheinnse pàigheadh an dà bhotal uisge-bheatha fhathast.
Chunnaic Gilleasbuig bàta às Ratharsair aig cìdhe Phort Rìgh. Chaidh Gilleasbuig sìòs chon a’ bhàta agus thòisich e air coimhead air an iasg a bha innte – bha i ri taobh a’ chìdhe. Thuirt e riutha:
“Ma tha sibh air a shon, fhearaibh, falbhaidh mise agus creicidh mi an trosg a tha seo dhuibh.”
“Glè mhath,” ors’ an sgiobair.
“Dè tha sibh a-nis ag iarraidh air?” ors’ Gilleasbuig
“Ochd sgillinn deug,” ors’ an sgiobair.
“Ò, tha sin saor gu leòr,” a’sa Gilleasbuig agus dh’fhalbh e chon a’ chiad taigh leis agus dh’fhaighneachd e dhiubh an ceannaicheadh iad trosg, trosg math, thuirt e.
“De tha thu ga chur?” ors’ am boireannach a chunnaic e.
“Tha dà thasdan,” orsa Gilleasbuig. Is thug i dha sin, mar a dh’iarr e agus nuair a fhuair Gilleasbuig an dà thasdan, thuirt e rithe:
“On a tha mo làmhan fhìn salach,” orsa esan, “thèid mi sìos gun allt agus glanaidh mi dhuibh e – bheir mi am meanach às.”
“Tha mi glè thoilichte,” ors’ ise.
Is dh’fhalbh Gilleasbuig leis an trosg mar a bha e is chaidh e gu taigh eile agus thuirt e a’ cheart-bhriathran rithe-se. Ach nuair a ruith e air còig taighean, smaoinich e gun robh gu leòr aige air a shon is chaidh e sìos chon a’ bhàta leis:
“Seo dhuibh,” ors’ esan, “a dhaoine còire ur trosg air ais, is ma phàigheas e dhuiibh-se cho math is a phàigh e dhomh-sa, faodaidh sibh a bhith glè thoilichte (K441.3. & K100.).

Bha e (Gilleasbuig) trip eile a’ dol ro phàirce, ach cò thachair ris as a’ phàirce ach an t-uachdaran agus am bàillidh agus cha robh dad a’ fàs as a’ phàirce de dh’fhiar a b’ fhiach idir, ach luachair is gìogannan is fraithneach, is bha à-san a’ coimhead air a’ phàirce gu dè ghabhadh dèanamh rithe – an t-uachdaran is am bàillidh:
“Saoil thu fhèin, a Ghilleasbuig,” ors’ an t-uachdaran, “gu dè dh’ fhàsadh as a’ phàirce tha seo?”
“Tha glè mhath,” arsa Gilleasbuig, “cuiridh sibh-se,” ors’ esan, “bàillidhean innte, is thèid mise an urras gu fàs iad-san mar tha a’ fàs air feadh an eilein uile,” oir bha Gilleasbuig a’ faicinn mar a dh’fhàs am fear ud na dhuine mòr fon a thàinig e an eilein.
Bha duine a chaidh às a rian am Port Rìgh agus bha na poileasmanan is an fheadhainn sin a’ coimhead às a dheaghaidh is chuala Gilleasbuig gun robh e ma na pholice office. is nuair a ràinig e am police office, bha e ann a shin is e glè fhiadhaich. Nuair a bha Gilleasbuig greis ga choimhead  thuirt e:
“Ò, a thrusdair, ‘s è th’ ort-sa cuthach nan con, nam b’ e cuthach ceart a bhiodh ort-sa, bhiodh t’ aran fuinte.”

Chuir am ministear Sutar Gilleasbuig gu duine uasal air choreigin san Eilean Sgitheanach is thuirt e ris a bhith cinnteach gun toireadh e “Sir” dhan duine uasal, agus nuair a ràinig Gilleasbuig an duine uasal, thuirt e ris:
“Chuir sir ministear mise gu sir sibh-se le sir muc ann an sir poca, agus dh’iarr e oirbh sir còta a thabhairt dhomh.”

Thachair Gilleasbuig ri bàillidh Mhorair Shlèibhte is dè bhiodh Gilleasbuig a’ dèanamh ach a’ criomadh craimh feòl’. Thuirt am bàillidh ri Gilleasbuig:
“Cha chreid mi gum bheil mòran air, a Ghilleasbuig. Faoda’ tu thòirt dhan a’ chiad chù a thachras riut.” “Seo dhut e,” arsa Gilleasbuig, “cha thachair cù orm nas miosa na thusa (J1250.).”

And the translations of these anecdotes goes something like the following:

There was a minister in the northern part of the Isle of Skye; he was the minster of the Church of Sleat [in the south]. Gilleasuig Aotrom used to visit him often, when he would be out on a journey. One night, he came when they had all gone to sleep and gave at rattle at Souter’s door – the minister. Souter got up and he stuck his out out of the upper windows and shouted:
“Who’s there?”
Gilleasbuig answered, “It’s me,” he said, “get up and let me in.”
“Oh,” the minister said, “I haven’t got another bed prepared but there’s a good bed in the stable’s loft. You’ll be very comfortable there until the morning.”
“If it’s like that,” said Gilleasbuig, “get up and show me the bed.”
And so the minister had to get up in the clothes he put on. Souter went out to him with a lamp, and they climbed up the ladder to the stable loft, and the minister said to him:
“Climb up that ladder and there’s a bed already prepared.”
“You climb up before me,” said Gilleasbuig, “so we can see what sort of bed it is.”
And when Gilleasbuig had got the minister up, he let the ladder drop from the stable loft and said to Souter:
“If the bed is as good as you say it is you can take it until the morning and I’ll go to your bed.”
Gilleasbuig climbed down and he went to the minister’s bed. Souter couldn’t get out from the stable loft all night until a man came in the morning who was passing by the stable and put the ladder up for him (L141.).

Souter was another time coming from Portree riding a horse. Who did he happen to meet on the moor but Gilleasbuig and he stood talking to him. Gilleasbuig caught hold of the horse’s bridge and said to the minister:
“You’ll not move a muscle until you give me money to buy a pair of shoes in Portree.”
They spent a while disputing about money, but finally Souter said to him:
“I write a line for you,” he said, “for the merchant in Portree and he’ll give you a pair of shoes.”
Gilleasbuig let him go to in order to write the letter and he handed it to Gilleasbuig. Gilleasbuig took a look at the letter and he then said to Souter.
“What use is that letter to me? It won’t pay for the shoes.”
The minister began to explain to him about the line – that if he gave the line to the merchant that he would get shoes and he would pay for them.
“Oh, minister,” he said, “I don’t believe in that new-fangled thing at all.”
And he threw the line away.
“Give me some money,” he demanded, “or you’ll not move a muscle from here.”
Eventually the minister had to hand him some money. Then Gilleasbuig said:
“I’m much obliged, minister. The line will pay for the shoes” – as he picked the line up – “And the money will come in handy for something else.” (L141. & K100.)

He was on another occasion in the southern end of the Isle of Skye, and he was wearing clerical gear, as he often would, when he always visited ministers he wouldn’t leave until they gave him a suit (K1826.5.). He happened to meet seven or eight young Skyemen as they were leaving to go to fish in the North-east and they were waiting there for the ferry to go over to Kylerhea so that they could get over to the mainland.
It was then that Gilleasbuig said the following to them:
“If there’s an inn near us then I’ll take you for a dram before we part.”
“Oh, indeed,” said one of the lads, “there’s an inn up on the hill over there.”
And Gilleasbuig went to the inn with the lads coming after him and he rang the bell and Gilleasbuig asked for a bottle of whisky in order to have the young lads a dram before they went their way and he told them where they were going. She came over with a bottle and she said to Gilleasbuig:
“Oh, affable fellow,” she said, “you’re such a noble man as you are being so good to the lads.”
“Oh,” replied Gilleasbuig, “that’s only the start, we’ll be having more as well.”
When they drank the bottle, Gilleasbuig asked for another one and they began drinking that one too. When Gilleasbuig thought that they had had enough, he began beating them with his stick but he made damn sure that he wasn’t hurting them. The landlady came over and shouted.
“Oh ho, what’s going on here?”
“On, my dear lady,” he said, “nothing as long as I get these beasts out of the inn.”
The lads made for the hill with Gilleasbuig chasing them with his stick and the landlady of the inn had yet to be paid for the two bottles of whisky.
Gilleasbuig saw a boat from Raasay at Portree Harbour. Gilleasbuig went down to the boat and he looked at the fish – he was at the pier-side. He said to them:
“If you’re up for it, men, I can go and sell that cod for you.”
“Very well,” said the skipper.
“What do you want for it?” asked Gilleasbuig.
“Eighteen pennies,” replied the skipper.
“Oh, cheap enough at the price,” said Gilleasbuig and he set off to the first house with it and he asked them if they wished to buy good cod:
“What do you want for it?”
“Two shillings,” replied Gilleasbuig. And she paid what was asked of her and when he got the two shillings he then said to her:
“Seeing as your hands are so dirty,” he said, “I’ll go down to the burn and I’ll clean it and I’ll gut it.”
“I’m very pleased with that,” she said.
And Gilleasbuig set off with the cod and he went to another house and he did the very same thing again. But after he had got around five households, he then thought that he had had enough and he went down to the boat:
“Here is your cod back,” he said, “affable fellows, and if it pays you as well as it has me then you’ll be very pleased indeed.” (K441.3. & K100.).

He, Gilleasbuig, was another time going through a park and who did he meet there but the landlord and factor but no grass worth talking about was growing at all, only rushes, weeds and fern, and they were examining the park in order to see what could be done about it.
“What do you think yourself, Gilleasbuig,” asked the landlord, “could grow in this park?”
“If you planted factors there,” replied Gilleasbuig, “they would grow very well just as they have done throughout all the island,” for Gilleasbuig saw that he had grown into a great man since he arrived on the island.

There was a man who went out of his mind in Portree and the policemen and others were looking after him and Gilleasbuig hear that he was around the police office. When he got to the police office, he was still there and very wild. Gilleasbuig stood there and watched a while and then said:
“O, rotter, you’re suffering from hydrophobia/rabies but if you had really been barking mad then the bread would be well baked.”

The minister Souter sent Gilleasbuig to some nobleman or another in the Isle of Skye and he said to him to make sure that he called him
“Sir”, and when Gilleasbuig went to see the nobleman, he said to him:
“The minister sir sent me sir to you with a sir pig in a sir pocket, and he asked you to give sir coat to me.”

Gilleasbuig met Lord MacDonald of Sleat’s factor and what was Gilleasbuig doing but gnawing on a wee bit bone. The factor said to Gilleasbuig:
“I don’t think much is left, Gilleasbuig, you may as well give it to the first dog that you meet.”
“Here you are then,” retorted Gilleasbuig, “I very much doubt I’ll meet a worse dog than yourself (J1250.).”

The final short anecdote entitled Ghoid Gilleasbuig Aotrom Uircean (‘Daft Archie Stole Piglets’) was also collected in Raasay on the 4th of January 1946 from his uncle Angus Nicolson (1890–1965), known as Aonghas Shomhairle Iain ’ic Shomhairle. This time Gilleasbuig Aotrom is seen as more of a fool than anything else:

Ghoid Gilleasbuig Aotrom uircean muice ann an Sligeachain. Nuair a bha e suas Coire Each, thàinig tàirneanaich is dealanaich is ghabh e an t-eagal. Bha e a' smaoineachadh gur h-e breitheanas a thàinig air is thuirt e :
A Thighearna, nach b’ e an fhuaim e airson uircean muice a ghoid."
is thilg e bhuaithe an t-uircean [sic], is dh’fhàg e ann a shiud e.

And the translation goes something like the following:

Gilleasbuig Aotrom stole some piglets from Sligachan. When he was up in Coire Each (‘Horse Corrie’), it began thunder and lightening and he became frightened. He thought that the Lord’s judgement had come upon him and he said:
“Oh Lord, wasn’t that such a noise made for stealing piglets.”
He threw the piglet away and left it there.

Illustrations:
Malcom MacLean, c. 1940s. By courtesy of Cailean Maclean on behalf of the MacLean family
Portrairt of Neil MacLeod from Clàrsach an Doire
Fearchar a’ Ghunna, Farquhar MacLennan from Ross-shire

References:
William MacKenzie, Old Skye Tales: Traditions, Reflections and Memories (Isle of Skye: MacLean Press, 1995), pp. 89–91
A. B. MacLennan, Fearchair-a-Ghunna, The Ross-shire Wanderer, His Life and Sayings (Inverness: John Noble, 2nd ed., 1887)
Niall MacLeòid, Clàrsach an Doire: Dàin, Òrain agus Sgeulachdan (Glaschu: Gairm, 6th ed., 1975), pp. 229–39
NFC 1026, pp. 197–215
NFC 1026, p. 249
SSS NB 4, pp. 379–83
Further bibliographic details of tales about Gilleasbuig Aotrom are available at the following link: http://www.apjpublications.co.uk/skye/prose/collect6.htm

Labels:
Malcolm MacLean, John MacDonald, Raasay, Highbridge, Brae Lochaber, Gilleasbuig Aotrom, Humurous Anecdotes, Gaelic oral tradition, Isle of Skye, Wise fools, Angus

Illustrations:
Malcolm MacLean, c. 1940s. By courtesy of Cailean Maclean on behalf of the MacLean family
Portrairt of Neil MacLeod from Clàrsach an Doire
Fearchar a’ Ghunna, Farquhar MacLennan from Ross-shire

References:
William MacKenzie, Old Skye Tales: Traditions, Reflections and Memories (Isle of Skye: MacLean Press, 1995), pp. 89–91
A. B. MacLennan, Fearchair-a-Ghunna, The Ross-shire Wanderer, His Life and Sayings (Inverness: John Noble, 2nd ed., 1887)
Niall MacLeòid, Clàrsach an Doire: Dàin, Òrain agus Sgeulachdan (Glaschu: Gairm, 6th ed., 1975), pp. 229–39
NFC 1026, pp. 197–215
NFC 1026, p. 249
SSS NB 4, pp. 379–83

Further bibliographic details of tales about Gilleasbuig Aotrom are available at the following link: http://www.apjpublications.co.uk/skye/prose/collect6.htm