Gaelic Mod

To our Celtic forbears, a “Mòd” was a judge’s, court, such as those held on “duns” or hills by he Lord of the Isles, There are place names throughout Scotland-e.g., Mote Hill, Renfrewshire and Muthill in Fife, which are reminders of such courts. Indeed, US law students are familiar with the term, “moot court,” in which hypothetical cases are “tried.” And we often use the term “a moot debate.” The Gaelic word took on its present meaning in 1891, when enthusiasts at the Oban Highland Games began competitions in Gaelic singing and verse recitation. Loosely modeled on the annual Eisteddfod in Wales, the Oban event grew into a week-long national celebration.

The NC Mòd was started in 1997 by Dr. Jamie MacDonald and Donald F. MacDonald. Dr. MacDonald served as the judge at the first two mòds until he was joined by an additional judge from Scotland in 1999. Adjudicators in the following years have included some of Scotland and North America’s finest Gaelic singers and teachers. Past winners of the NC Regional Mòd include Rhiannon Giddens, lead singer of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Grandfather Mountain North Carolina Gaelic Mòd 2024

~ The Rules:

  1. Sing one Scottish Gaelic song, preferably a slow one like a waulking song, rowing song, lullaby, òran mòr, or lament.
  2. The competitor must supply the judge with two copies of the Gaelic words to their songs. They should also supply an English translation.
  3. It is preferred that songs be learned by heart prior to the competition without the need to resort to written text.
  4. Please keep the songs to a reasonable length, no more than 4 verses. If the song has a repeating chorus, sing it once at the beginning and once at the end.
  5. Explanations about the song must be kept short.
  6. Turn in two copies of this form with two copies of your song, no later than 1:00 PM on the Saturday of the Mòd.
  7. The Mòd will be held at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Donald’s Ceilidh Tent at 2:00 PM on the Saturday, July 13th
  8. For more information, contact Dr. Jamie MacDonald at [email protected].




Jamie MacDonald

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