The Slim Swarthy Champion – Notes, p.329.

[Popular Tales Stories Contents]

A third version of this curious tale was told to me in South Uist, by MacPhie. It was very like the version told by James Wilson, blind fiddler in Islay. 

It is evidently a composition fallen to bits, and mended with prose, and it is equally clear that it points to Ireland, though the hero was made a Scotchman by the three old men. 

As a picture of bygone manners, this is curious, and I know nothing at all like it in any collection of popular tales. 

I believe it to be some bardic recitation half-forgotten. It is said that in the mouth of one reciter in Islay, the story used to last for four hours. 

I lately (September 1860) heard MacPhie repeat his version in part. It was a mixture of the two versions here given, and a fifth, Irish grandee, was added. 

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