Kitty MacLeod


Singer 1914 – 2000

Traditional singer Kitty MacLeod was described as:

…the doyenne of Scots Gaelic singers and one of the first to bring the music’s traditional style to the attention of an international audience… The Irish Times 20 May 2000

Obituaries were also published in The Guardian and in The Scotsman by Donald macDonald on 9 May 2000, p. 16, from which the following is extracted:

Kitty became a teacher, first in Manchester, then in Glasgow. Kitty and Marietta [her sister] were contracted to sing on BBC Radio’s Third Programme and at concerts arranged by Highland and Island societies. Both made recordings for BBC Archives and for Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies. In August 1951 the sisters were invited by Hamish Henderson to sing at the Edinburgh ” People’s Festival Ceilidh” in Odfellow’s Hall, Forrest Road. Here, to Edinburgh audiences, they introduced among other songs, one that had been brought from Barra by Kitty in the Thirties – a song which was later popularised by Calum Kennedy as Bratach Bana. This concert marked the beginning of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

… not long after… Kitty went into semi-retirement as a singer for she objected strongly to the theft of traditional songs by folk-song “pirates”. Invading the Gaelic world were persons armed with tape-recorders and slick tongues, eager to record singers but not at all eager to offer contracts or promises of remuneration. Not until the autumn of 1961 did she begin recording again. She signed a three-year contract with Gaelfonn Records. The result was her first commercial recording in over a decade.

These two tracks are from the 45 rpm record Gaelfonn GLA.2502 [6113 and 6114].


The song title is reproduced as given on the record.


The song title is reproduced as given on the record.