biography

John "Hoddan" Macdonald - One of Gaelic's finest traditional singers was born and raised in the tiny village of Upper Bayble in the district of Point on the Isle of Lewis.

From the age of eight he was singing in the Ceilidh houses and was soon in great demand to perform at weddings and other village gatherings.

His father used to write Gaelic songs and verse, and Hoddan grew up immersed in the Gaelic tradition. As his popularity grew many of the best Gaelic songwriters would give him their latest work – some with the proviso that only he would perform their songs.

In the 60's and 70's he made several records and appeared on numerous BBC Scotland radio and television programmes.

Hoddan became a legend among Gaelic speakers throughout the world and his music was played and enjoyed from the frozen wastes of Canada to the southern plains of Chile while many an exile in Australia and New Zealand shed a tear listening to his music.The Leòdhasachs were everywhere.

His songs varied from being very humorous to the sadness and longing of the exiled Gael and could evoke joy and sorrow in equal measure. No one could express them better.

His style was pure, traditional and unaccompanied.

Hoddan loved singing, he loved Gaelic.