Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

17th May: a sad day for Scottish musical history

Personal Tragedies: Campbell and Tannahill

(17th May 1810)

On 17th May 1810, we find our hero, song-collector Alexander Campbell (whom I mentioned earlier in the week) back in his Highland  home in Clianaig.  His wife - a wealthy widow whose family disapproved of him - had left him; they simply couldn't get along.  Poor old Sandy!

Robert Tannahill, 1774-1810
Not as bad as the fate of Paisley poet Robert Tannahill, though.  A tortured soul, he committed suicide by drowning, the very same day.  There's a commemorative stone just round the corner from the University of the West of Scotland.

You could say it wasn't a good day for traditional Scottish music! 

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