Òran Kirsteen – en

Western Isles

14 June 2016

Composed by: Peigi MacIver (Peigi Aonghais Ruairidh from Knock Carloway, Lewis)
Researched & performed by: Mairi MacLennan

Peigi MacIver from Knock Carloway composed this song for a young girl, Kirsteen MacLeod, who was killed along with her parents in a fire in their home on Pentland Road, Carloway, in November 1988. In the song Peigi commemorates Kirsteen’s beauty and personality and tells of the community’s grief at the accident.


I don’t have the words to convey
In poetry what happened that night,
That will depict the enormity of the awful accident
Which left that dwelling so desolate.

Like the watching criminal
Who grows bold in the shadow of the night,
Death stole into the home
And left us and others to mourn.

He caught you in such a firm grip
That despite the efforts of the medical services,
You departed from us on the wings of night
And ended your journey through time.

It was like a nightmare for us,
And we refused to believe it;
But the charred beams told the story,
Poignant evidence of what had happened.

In the mind’s eye we see your image,
A smile on your face as was your way;
Your cheeks will not wrinkle with age
And no grey will fleck your golden locks.

You were as the precious jewels
Which light up what goes near them,
As a beautiful thread picks up
The brindled colours of the tweed.

You were personable, and kind-natured,
You were beautiful to look at;
But the more beautiful the garden flower,
The earlier it is plucked.

Although your time was so short,
Like a story told too quickly,
We will have fond memories of you forever,
That the pain of your death can never take from us.

You were left beside you parents
In a silent bed beside the beach;
The murmur of the sea will be your lullaby
In the lonely, eternal sleep of death.

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