Ealasaid (trans. from Scottish Gaelic: Elisabeth) sets the poem of the same name by Helen B. Cruickshank. The work is published by McKenna-Keddie Publishing. It is a one-movement work for SATB choir, violin and erhu. The work can also be performed with two violins.
This composition sets the poetry of Helen Burness Cruickshank (1886–1975). Writing in the Scots and English languages, Cruickshank hailed from Angus in the northeast of Scotland, but spent most of her adult life in Edinburgh. In addition to being a poet and a suffragette, Cruickshank is credited with helping mobilize and document the mid-20th century Scottish Literary Renaissance movement. Her dedication and work ethic is evident by the fact that, in passing, she left an unfinished poem about a woman who could not stop for death because she had so much to do! The “wee” island of Tiree, described in 'Ealasaid', lies off the West coast of Scotland and currently hosts a population of around 650. It is the furthermost island in the Inner Hebrides. In setting this poem, Barker chose to commence with the final verse, thereby creating an almost cyclical flow to the order of the verses, as a nod to the cycle of life.