Malcolm MacFarlane

Malcolm MacFarlane
Malcolm MacFarlane
Born 30 November 1853(1853-11-30)
Dalavich, Loch Awe, Scotland
Died 22 February 1931(1931-02-22) (aged 77)
Greenock, Scotland
Occupation Architect and Land Surveyor

Malcolm MacFarlane (1853–1931) was a Scottish Gaelic scholar and songwriter. He was a Secretary and President of Gaelic Society of Glasgow and an active member of An Comunn Gàidhealach.



He was born at Kilmun Farm, Dalavich, Loch Awe on 30th November 1853.[1] His father was John Macfarlane, a labourer, and his mother Sarah Macintyre. He was brought up at Inkerman near Paisley, Renfrewshire and was educated there. He was a 'measurer' by profession — the early name for a quantity surveyor. He was also a member of the Inverness Gaelic Society, the Irish Texts Society, and the Folk Song Society.[2] He was the author of works such as The Phonetics of Gaelic and Songs of the Highlands, Inverness: Logan & Co., 1902.[3] He died unmarried in Greenock on 22nd February 1931.[1]



  • The Phonetics of the Gaelic Language. With an exposition of the current orthography and a system of phonography. Paisley: J. and R. Parlane, [1889].[4]
  • Orain agus dain - Fo chùram. A. Guinne agus C. Mhic-Phàrlain. (Songs and Poems by Rob Donn Mackay. Containing unpublished melodies collected in the Reay country; sketch of the bard and his times - glossary. Edited by Rev. A. Gunn and M. MacFarlane. Illustrated.). Glasgow: Iain Mac-Aoidh: J. Mackay, 1899.
  • Songs of the Highlands. Inverness: Logan and Co., [1902]. Musical accompaniments were supplied by Frederick Wilson Whitehead. These songs include 'the Thistle o' Scotland', the words of which were translated by MacFarlane from the Gaelic of Evan MacColl.
  • Bardic Melody: a book in which the poems, songs and ditties of the Scottish Gaels are exhibited along with their airs. Stirling: Eneas Mackay, 1908, etc.
  • The School Gaelic Dictionary. Prepared for the use of learners of the Gaelic language. Stirling: Eneas Mackay, 1912.[4]
  • Uirsgeulan Gaidhealach: leis an do choisneadh duaisean aig Mòid A' Chomuinn Ghaidhealaich. Edition: An dara clobhualadh / fo làimh Chalium Mhic Phàrlain. Struibhle: Aonghas Mac Aoidh, 1912. [Four Scots Gaelic stories that apparently won prizes at the Mod of An Comunn Gàidhealach.][5]
  • An Comh-threòraiche. Stirling: Eneas Mackay, 1913.[4]


  • Binneas nam Bàrd, etc. (Bardic Melody. A Book in which the Poems, Songs and Ditties of the Scottish Gaels are exhibited along with their Airs, etc. [Staff and tonic sol-fa notation. Stirling: E. Mackay, 1908, etc.,[4]
  • A Lament for Nurse Cavell. [Song.] Words by M. Maclean. Melody and Gaelic words by M. Macfarlane. Edited and arranged by A. W. Marchant. Stirling: E. Mackay, [1917].[4]


  • Printed material from the papers of Malcolm MacFarlane. Some pamphlets in Gaelic. Includes book prospectuses, catalogues of music, concert programmes, publications of various Scottish clan societies and miscellaneous publications to do with Scotland and the Scottish way of life. National Library of Scotland, shelfmark HP4.89.319.


  1. ^ a b Births, marriages and deaths information available at the General Register Office for Scotland, Scotland's People Centre in Edinburgh, and also at
  2. ^ Lachlan MacBean, The Celtic Who's Who. Kirkcaldy: The Fifeshire Advertiser Ltd., 1921, p.94.
  3. ^ Magnus MacLean, Literature of the Highlands. London, Glasgow: Blackie and Son Ltd., 1904, p. 175.
  4. ^ a b c d e As listed in the British Library catalogue at http//
  5. ^ As listed in the library catalogue of Glasgow University.