In A Stone on Their Cairn / Clach air An Càrn, Kevin MacLeod weaves an intimate, penetrating and entertaining tapestry profiling the Highland Scots of Cape Breton. The story of the farming community of Loch Dubh is the story of a people whose daily lives reflect the richness of their heritage, their attachment to each other and, of equal importance, their attachment to the magnificent landscape that is Cape Breton — Eilean mo Chridhe (Island of My Heart).
Against the backdrop of the North Shore, A Stone on Their Cairn is a unique glimpse into another era that celebrates the wide spectrum of life — where fiddles and pipes “spoke the Gaelic” at milling frolics and céilidhs and contrite souls were comforted by evening worship in front parlours and lengthy Sabbath services in the stoic Kirk.
Covering a short period of time from the excitement of a Royal Jubilee (1897) to the trepidations of a European War (1914), this Cape Breton saga enables the reader to truly come to know the characters at a specific point in time that proved so pivotal in the evolution of their identity and sense of belonging. It is for this reason that the vast majority of the dialogue is in Gaelic (with English translation) thus underscoring the critical correlation between language and cultural retention for the people of Loch Dubh and, indeed, beyond.
A Stone on Their Cairn / Clach air An Càrn is not only a celebration of our past, of our Celtic roots and heritage; it is also an affirmation of our present, of our Celtic identity and pride. In this content, it is most fitting that this “Cape Breton Saga” was released to coincide with the Celtic Colours International Festival (October 5 -13, 2007).
(Banner photograph: The North Shore of Cape Breton taken from the St. Anns Lookoff)