Carmina Gadelica

Hymns and Incantations

Compiled by Alexander Carmichael; Introduction by John MacInnes

Available to buy

Quick Look

The most comprehensive collection of lyric poems and prayers from the Gaelic tradition of oral poetry, gathered from the highlands and islands of Scotland.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Religion & Spirituality
688 pages
Publication date:
01 Sep 1992


The Carmina Gadelica is the most comprehensive collection of poems and prayers from the Gaelic tradition of oral poetry. Gathered by Alexander Carmichael, in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, 'from Arran to Caithness, from Perth to St. Kilda'. The poems had been handed down through the generations in a living oral tradition. This tradition and the way of life which sustained it have now disappeared but these poems and prayers live on to remind us of the faith of the unknown poets who composed them.

Previously only available as a bilingual text in six volumes, this one-volume edition in English only is an important contribution to the wider awareness of Celtic literature. John MacInnes' introduction puts the poems in the context of the life and folklore of the Gaelic community.


'This is a beautiful book … to have for quiet moments and to use for teaching.'
--Yoga Scotland, Jan 2007


Alexander Carmichael was born in 1832 on the island of Lismore. His work as a civil servant took him all over the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides. During his travels he recorded these poems and prayers. Two volumes of the collection appeared before his death in 1912. The remaining volumes appeared later, edited by his daughter and grandson.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors