MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Lauchie MacLellan. Photo by John Gibson. Used by permission.

Lauchie MacLellan. Photo by John Gibson. Used by permission.

Lauchie MacLellan

Lauchie was known in his home community of Dunvegan, Inverness County, as "Lauchie Dan N." or Lachlann Dhòmhuill Nill," translated as "Lachlann son of Donald son of Neil." Born in 1910, he was the son of Catherine Kennedy of Headlake and Dan N. MacLellan of Dunvegan. The death of his father when Lauchie was fourteen necessitated his learning the skill of carpentry, something which he would work at all of his life in Inverness County.

Lauchie married Kay MacNeil of nearby St. Rose and eventually had a family of eight children. He spent some time working in Labrador and Windsor, Ontario, but only for long enough to return home with enough funds to make a comfortable living in Dunvegan for his family.

He is remembered as one of the Inverness area's finest tradition bearers. Most members of the community recall him as being, "…a small, trim, energetic man whose size was deceiving, for he possessed such physical strength that there were few who could stand up to him" (John Shaw, Brigh an Orain). He is said to have had incredible wit in both English and Gaelic; he was not at all quarrelsome but definitely possessed a sharp tongue.

Most of Lauchie's tales and stories were acquired orally, although he was also literate in the Gaelic language. Many of Lauchie's tales, experiences, genealogy and songs are published in Brigh an Orain, edited by John Shaw.

Leach collected many stories from him, three of which have been published: "Òran nan Dòmhnallach a Eilean a'Phrìonnsa (Song for the MacDonalds of Prince Edward Island)," "Horo Mo Nighean Donn Bhòidheach nan Gorm-Shuil Meallach (Horo, My Brown-haired Maiden of the Alluring Blue Eyes)," and "Òran an t-Sàighdeir (The Soldier's Song)."