Algy Sings Puirt-à-Beul to a Fallen Pine

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Algy was in high spirits on this beautiful afternoon but he felt sad when he saw that a whole row of large Scots Pine trees, which had lined the edge of the beach leading to the old castle, had been uprooted by last winter’s storms. So he settled on one of the toppled branches, and sang puirt-à-beul (mouth music) at the top of his voice, to try to comfort the fallen tree.

Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – Algy made no recording of his singing, but other, much better singers have recorded their puirt-à-beul. Try listening to Catherine-Ann MacPhee from the island of Barra, across the water from Algy’s home – she sings puirt-à-beul in just the way that Algy would like to – or to Mary Ann Kennedy, who lives in Algy’s area of the West Highlands of Scotland.

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