Blog #055 & #56 Background page


Is a village in the Argyll in the western Highlands of Scotland. Its name is a contamination of the Gaelic words Glen for Valley and Coe, the name of the river. (Compare Amsterdam as contamination of Amstel and Dam). The Glen Coe is a glen of volcanic origin. It is very well known as one of the most beautiful and places with a spectacular scenery in Scotland. It is part of a National Scenic Area. You can reach it by the A82, which runs from Glasgow along the Loch Lomond to the Glen.

Glen Coe is the remains fo the volcano which erupted some 400 million years ago in the Silurian period. The volcano is now extinct. The landscape of Glen Coe was further shaped during the processes of glaciations during the last ice age, some 10k years ago.



Some gaelic words:

Glen: Valley, formed glacially, long deep, U shape
Loch: lake or Sea inlet
Lochan; small lake, more inland
Firth: coastal inlet, compare with Fjord
Etive: name of the river, springs from the north for Rannoch Moor
Glen Etive: river valley of the Etive.
Mòr: bit as in Glen Mor, great valley
Stob: Mountain as prefix, Stob Dearg.



The Glencoe Massacre:

After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the protestant Stadtholder Willem III of the Netherlands became King William III of England and Scotland. The leader of the Scottish clan of the MacDonalds, through no fault of his own, was too late pledging allegiance to the new king.
About five in the morning of 13 February, 1692, the MacDonalds were treacherously assaulted by Archibald Campbell and his soldiers in the valley of Glencoe, just a few miles east of Ballachulish. About 40 members of the MacDonald clan, men and women, were brutally butchered. Although Campbell was under orders of the government, probably a feud between the MacDonalds and Campbells was the prime reason for this bloodbath.
For more details and full explanation go to Wiki:
link to wiki



Music, of course only my own small selection:

  • The Rankin family 

Chì mi na mòrbheanna – Mist Covered Mountains –
Text by John Cameron, Bard of the Glasgow Ossian Society
To listen to this song on Spotify, click here:

link naar spotify


Original Gaelic:

O, chì, chì mi na mòrbheanna

O, chì, chì mi na còrrbheanna

O, chì, chì mi na coireachan

Chì mi na sgoran fo cheò

Translation English

O, I see, I see the big mountain

O, I see, I see the big mountain

O, I see, I do see the corriea

I see the mist-covered peaks


Original Gaelic:

O, chì, chì mi na mòrbheanna

O, chì, chì mi na còrrbheanna

O, chì, chì mi na coireachan

Chì mi na sgoran fo cheò


Vertaling Nederlands

O,ik zie de hoge bergen

O,ik zie de hoge bergen

O, ik zie het bekken

Ik zie de toppen in de mist

  • Beethoven,

Scottish songs, ± 1815, Beethoven was commissioned to write the song by George Thomson, a leading member of the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufactures in Scotland, an organization that promoted business and trade as well as art and culture in Scotland.

  • Beethoven,

On the Massacre of Glencoe, Second version of WoO 152 nr. 5, Hess 192. (1812).
link naar spotify

Text by Sir Walter Scott, here a selection, 16 more verses.

O tell me Harper
wherefore flow
they waywards notes
of wail and woe

for down the desert
of Glencoe
where none may list
their melody?

  • North Sea Gas, Corries and others:

Glencoe Massacre
link naar spotify

Text Jim McLean 1963.

They came in a blizzard
We offered them heat
A Roof o’er their heads
Dry shoes for their feet
O cruel is the snow
That weeps Glencoe

  • Max Bruch,

Scottish Fantasy 1880
Opus 46, comp. for Violin and Orchestra

  • Mendelssohn

Ouverture Hebriden, 1830
Op. 26, part of Symphony #3, Scottish, 1842

  • Johannes Brahms,

Edward Ballade, Op. 10

  • Leroy Anderson,

the Scottish Suite 1954,
Bonnie Dundee; Turn Ye to Me; The Campbells are coming; Bluebells of Scotland

  • Arnold,

Scottish Dances 1957
Op. 59 1-2-3
Orchestra, for the BBC light music festival


Castle Stalker

More on castle Stalker


Literature, again only a very, very small personal selection

  • Robert Burns

     ‘National Poet of Scotland’ 1759-1796. A.o. Auld Lang Syne; A Red, Red Rose, A Man’s a Man for A’That.

  • Walter Scott

    , 1771-1832
    Ivanhoe (Saturday evening, in my pyama’s watching Roger Moore as Ivanhoe); Rob Roy; The heart of the Midlothian

  • James MacPherson

    ‘Epos of Ossian’ collection myths. Hype at the time, but now doubts and discussion.

Two English writers:

  • William Wordsworth

    , 1807 after a tour through Scotland and Hebrides: ‘The Solitaryk Reaper’

  • William Shakespeare

    – MacBeth.

And one more contemporary:

  • Irvine Wells



Work and books of the most writers above can be found, free of rights, at the website of Project Gutenberg. Here one link you can find the rest yourself.

Heart of the Midlothian – Sir Walter Scott



Other Links:

Glencoe tourist websites

Link to undiscovered Scotland

Link to the UK rivers with maps