In Caolasnacon there is a a shed originally built for sheep shearing where a child used to hide with a tape machine and dance to the sound of ceilidh music, her favourite tune being Mairi's Wedding. The song is an invitation to follow that cheerful child whose dancing brings joy. There is a constant contrast between the child dancing in the shed and an oppressive world outside represented by men arguing around the stone in Ballachullish, scholar Samuel Johnson accusing MacPherson of forgery after he translated Ossian's poems or the Bean-Nighe ( the washerwoman ) near the river Coe who is seen as an omen of death.
IN THE SHED
There is a bothy in the garden higher than the sky.,
With a floor for happy dancing humans pass it by.
There a child has stepped the notes played for some newly wed.
And they call her Ceilidh Gayley dancing in the shed.
She knows dance I ‘ve never danced and songs I ‘ve never sung.
And she speak her words of joy just like a mother tongue.
There’s no need to hide a smile or tears I want to shed.
I just follow Ceilidh Gayley dancing in the shed.
Red her cheeks as rowans are
Bright her eyes as any star
Happiest of all by far
She is dancing in the shed.
I will sing a song by Ossian I heard in the cave.
Let the angry scholars curse the whole glen from the grave.
In the quarry by the stone there’s discord, fear and dread.
I ‘ll just follow Ceilidh Gayley dancing in the shed.
There’s a woman by the river washing an old shroud.
And a storm above my head is hanging like a cloud.
Folks can wave the malediction of their diety,
Feed my anguish in the name of self made piety.
I will never find the living dancing with the dead.
I ‘ll just stay with Ceilidh Gayley dancing in the shed.