This is the first ever anthology of Gaelic poetry and song from the seventeenth century and includes the melodies for the songs where known. Forty-three poems have been chosen to illustrate the full range of verse from that turbulent century - work songs and rowing songs, political songs and songs of the clans, songs of anger and songs of grief. For the first time on record the song of the people bursts forth from the older medieval learned tradition.
This poetry gives us a last glimpse of the heroic age in Europe. It shows the chief as a warrior and hunter, surrounded in his torchlit hall by the sounds of gambling, harps and poets, as his retainers feasted and drank. In other songs, many composed by women, we hear of the hopes and disappointments of the people.