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emigration mania swept the country :: image  2010 cailean maclean :: www.skye-media.comTour 10 – Destruction and Clearance

Gur ann an America tha sinn an dràsd,
Fo dhubhar na coille, nach teirig gu bràth
’Nuair dh'fhalbhas an dùlachdn 's athionndaidh's am blàths,
Bithidh cnothan, bidh ùbhtan 's bithidh an siùrcar a' fàs

FROM 1746, brutal Government oppression and punitive laws impoverished and wasted Highland Gaelic Scotland to the extent that by the 1780s emigration mania swept the country. Depopulation took hold swiftly as Gaels left to find a land where their language and culture could breathe freely.

This tour will provide a clear sense of the voluntary and involuntary wrenching of people from their homeland. In tandem came an increase in the role of the British Army’s Highland regiments and the creation of the Scottish martial spirit in defence of the British Empire. Across the nation, an increasingly romanticised image of the Gaelic Highlands took hold.

We will visit the empty, cleared landscapes of the Highlands, for example at Glen Lyon, Braemar and Glenshee and many others, to allow you to sense the desolation.

The once-vibrant communities will be recreated through poignant music, song and story.

Click on the Listen button below to hear A’ Choille Ghruamach, The Gloomy Forest, composed by Bard Tighearna Chola, the bard of the Laird of Coll and sung by Seumas Greumach as part of BBC Alba's Song for the Day.

We are now in America,
in the shade of the never-ending forest
When winter departs and warmth returns
nuts, apples, and sugar will grow

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