Rannsachadh digiteach air a' Ghàidhlig ~ Goireasan digiteach airson nan Gàidheal

Stories of Happiness

An image of a white sandy beach with turquoise water and rocky cliffs in the background. The image is taken using a long shutter speed, making the waves blur into the sand. The image is of Port Ness beach on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.

“Port Ness Beach, Isle of Lewis, Scotland” by Chris Golightly is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Today (October 3rd) is Scottish Museums Day, a day to celebrate everything great and wonderful about Scottish Museums, galleries and archives! This year, the theme is: A Museum of Happiness, inspired by Stuart A. Paterson’s poem…

I’ve made my own Museum of
Happiness, which isn’t built of brick
or stone or wood, its walls the thickness
of the day, a flapping tongue of canvass
held in place by rope & peg to stop
it flying off & joyously away
up into everywhere in time & space

I’ll carry it around with me to pitch
beside the sea, in a field or by
that river, a billowing rickety marquee,
a travelling show of personal delights
performing one night only & forever…

A search for ‘happiness’ on Tobar an Dualchais produces some great results, and I thought I would share four School of Scottish Studies Archives stories/songs that demonstrate four different kinds of ‘happiness’.

The first: O NACH ÀGHMHOR AN-DIUGH A BHITH A’ FÀGAIL

A song about the happiness of place and the memories attached to it.

The second: THE BRAES O GLENIFFER

Despite the title, the happiness spoken about in this song is not about a place, but about the memories and feelings of spending time with a loved one.

The third: A STORY OF HOW JACK WAS REWARDED FOR HIS GENEROSITY

A story about finding happiness (and health, a princess and a kingdom) through embracing generosity and turning away greed – at least if you’re a character in a folktale!

The fourth: SOLVING A RIDDLE BY OBSERVING WHAT IS CLOSE AT HAND

This story can be interpreted in various ways, but I see it as a lesson to not rely on external factors to bring you happiness, or that you can search far and wide, but the key to happiness might have been in front of you all along.

What do you think of these stories? Is there a particular folktale or traditional song about happiness that makes you smile?

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks alot for the blog.

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