Ailein duinn

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Ailein duinn ("Dark-haired Alan") is a traditional Scottish song for solo female voice, a lament that was written in Gàidhlig for Ailean Moireasdan ("Alan Morrison") by his fiancée, Annag Chaimbeul ("Annie Campbell"). Ailean Moireasdan was a sea captain from the isle of Lewis. In the spring of 1788 he left Stornoway to go to Scalpay, Harris, where he was to marry Annag Chaimbeul ("Annie Campbell"). Unfortunately, they sailed into a storm and all the crew sank with the vessel, except Annag. The broken-hearted Annag wasted away through grief and composed this lament for her lost love. Annag lost her will to live and died a few months afterwards. Her body was washed ashore near where her fiancé's was found.


There are many versions of the lyrics and of the melody; the following version was used in the film Rob Roy (the untranslated words are vocables):

Popular culture[edit]

The song was sampled, somewhere around 2000, as a solo voice in a music library called "Vocal Planet" by Spectrasonics, making the a cappella version of the original song very accessible to lot of composers, this would be one of the reasons for which there are so many appearances in the media. The following is a list of songs, some of them using the sample of that music library, while others offer their own new interpretation:


Movie Year Name Orchestrator Vocal singing Album Track number Length
Rob Roy 1995 "Ailein Duinn" Carter Burwell Karen Matheson Rob Roy: Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack From The Film
7 2:35
N/A N/A "Ailein Duinn"[1] David Beard Spectrasonics sample N/A N/A 3:33

Modern music[edit]

Name Year Length Artist Genre/Style Spectrasonics
"Ailein Duinn" [2] 1993 5:17 Mac-talla Traditional No shazam
"Ailein Duinn" 1995 3:35 Capercaillie World No youtube
"Ailein Duinn" 1998 3:42 Celtic Spirit World No youtube
"Ailein Duinn (Theme From Rob Roy)"[3] 2000 4:33 Méav World No youtube
"A Tear in the Open"[4] 2002 9:23 DJ Tiesto Trance Yes youtube
"Ishka" 2002 5:23 Angel Tears (duo) Goa chillout Yes youtube
"Cura Me" 2002 8:31 Signum Trance Yes youtube
"Dust" 2002 9:33 Pole Folder & CP Progressive House Yes youtube
"Splitting An Atom" 2003 7:22 Ott Dub Yes youtube
"A Tear in the Open (Leama & Moor remix)" 2005 9:55 DJ Tiesto Trance Yes youtube
"Ailein Duinn" 2005 1:39 Trobar de Morte Neofolk No youtube
"Cry No More" 2005 5:53 Ryan Farish New Age Yes youtube
"Pacific Wind" 2005 5:26 Ryan Farish New Age Yes youtube
"World Inside My Heart" 2006 5:20 Deep Spirit of Native Americans New age, World Yes youtube
"Hall Of Dreams" 2006 5:47 En Voice Ambient enigmatic Yes youtube
"Hymn to The Celts"[5] 2006 5:37 Tim Aur Celtic Yes youtube
"Uninvited" 2007 5:21 Freemasons House Yes youtube
"Pacific" 2007 5:34 Freemasons House Yes youtube
"Friendship to Last"[citation needed] 2007 3:13 Two Steps From Hell World/Trailer No youtube
"Ailein Duinn"[6] 2007 2:36 Nathalie Kuijpers Acapella No youtube
"Ailein Duinn" 2007 5:06 Crépuscule Traditional Folk No amazon
"Anna" 2008 6:10 Spectrum Vision Psybient Yes youtube
"Ailein Duinn"[7] 2010 4:28 Wine and Alchemy World No youtube
"Avalon" 2010 8:00 Protoculture Psy Yes youtube
"Ailein Duinn" 2011 N/A Quadriga Consort Early Music, World No artistdirect
"Ailein Duinn" 2012 9:36 Niteworks Electronic, Celtic fusion N/A N/A
"Ailein Duinn" 2016 3:57 Siobhan Owen Celtic No youtube
"Annie Campbell's Lament" 2016 3:11 Estrange Waters World No bandcamp

Listen to the previous table as a playlist on youtube

Video games[edit]

Video Game Year Composer Appearance Spectrasonics
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos 2002 Tracy W. Bush Starts when the player loses as a Night Elf Yes youtube
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (video game) 2003 N/A Very briefly used in one of the songs N/A N/A
Chaos Legion 2003 Hideyuki Fukasawa BGM for "Kuzca the Grand Cave" entitled "I can hear the shriek" N/A youtube
Rome: Total Realism 2005 Vlad Kuryluk Title Credits Yes youtube
Spartan: Total Warrior 2005 Jeff van Dyck After the final mission in Athens, as the
heroes mourn the slain Pollux
N/A youtube
World of Warcraft 2004 N/A First cinematic, before the game was released Yes youtube
Tomb Raider: Legend 2006 Troels Folmann Main theme includes the song
with an Ave Maria chorus
Yes youtube
Tomb Raider: Legend 2006 Troels Folmann In Nepal, original pitched down voice
together with a male voice
Yes youtube
Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms 2007 Jeff van Dyck In its Britannia campaign as part of
a composition entitled Dream of Albion
Yes youtube


External links[edit]