Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club meets the Epic Ballad!
The club had use of Gleann Lichd House behind the Five Sisters of Kintail, and we used to spend New Year there. Hogmanay on the hills, a retiral to the Kintail Lodge after dark, and then up the glen to the bothy, where pipes, guitars, songs and whisky all flowed in abundance as the head torches flickered over the approach through the peat hags by the river. And yes, the place was apparently haunted.
I made up the whole thing, bringing in two ghosts for good measure. The climber lad could have been any of us, and his accoutrements were pretty much standard at the time.. The wicked stalker is a complete fabrication, and I’m sure there have never been more than a handful of such errant characters among the sporting fraternity. But, as they say, there is a moral to this tale....
I deliberately set out to make this a "lang song" as they call them, and at something approaching ten minutes, I believe I succeeded. It owes something of its style to Country Joe MacDonald’s setting of the Robert Service poem "The Tale of Jean Dupres"; but is obviously a much more frivolous work. Let’s just say that my imagination ran riot.