Na h-rain

The Songs




Na h-rain air 'Uam' / The songs on 'Uam'

Beagan bhliadhnaichean air ais, fhuair mi leabhar beag laghach de dh' rain a chaidh an sgrobhadh agus an cruinneachadh le Pdruig Moireasdan, Griomasaigh, Uibhist a Tuath. Bha mi gu math measail air ainm an leabhair 'Thugam agus Bhuam' agus na bha e a' ciallachadh dhuinn mar Ghidheil, mar sheinneadairean agus mar luchd-ciil. Tha mi fhin cho fortanach gu bheil mi a' faighinn cuideachadh, brosnachadh agus taic bho shr sheinneadairean agus luchd-ciil air feadh na Gidhealtachd daoine coibhneil, cir cuid dhiubh nach cluinnear tric air ridio neo telebhisean ach aig a bheil stras de dh' rain agus sgeulachdan.

Tha mi airson taing a thoirt dhaibh uile airson na tha iad air a thoirt dhomh thairis air na bliadhnaichean a dh' fhalbh, gu h-raid Miri Nic a' Ghobhainn, Isa Nic Illip, Catriona Garbutt, Lachlan Mireasdan, Ailig MacAmhlaidh, Ceit-Ann Nic'ill Fhaolain, Seonag Nic Aoidh agus Donnchadh MacFhionghain (Bernaraigh).


Uam Album
1. M' fhearann saidhbhir (My land is rich) / Nellie Garvey's / 'G ioman nan gamhan s mi muladach / Jerrys Pipe Jig
Close x

M' fhearann saidhbhir (My land is rich) / Nellie Garvey's / 'G ioman nan gamhan s mi muladach / Jerrys Pipe Jig


M' fhearann saidhbhir o hg
'S i h i h nam b' ill leibh e

M' fhearann saidhbhir, pailteas stras
Nam biodh Dmhnall Bn againn.

M' fhearann saidhbhir air gach taobh dhom
Mo chrodh-laoigh air irighean.

Tha i tighinn 's chan ann righinn
'S coireal, cridheil, gaiseil i.

Geig air mhaidean, geig air chnagan
Cochaill, mhachail, thraghannan.

Clanaich air chl a chile
'S iad sor igheach sgth oirre.

An fhairge thonnach ghaoireach ghleannach
Thonnach shalach shrcbhalach.

An fhairge ag irigh suas ma toiseach
Cupaill coiteal cirdeisteach.

My land is rich o hg
S i h i h if you liked it

My land is productive with abundant
stores
If we had fair-haired Donald

My rich land surrounds me
My milk-cattle on shielings

She approaches, not reluctantly
She is passionate, cheerful, strong.

Rattle on strakes, rattle on thole-pins
Her shell damaged and exhausted

Waves piling up
Constantly shouting her destruction

The billowing, restless, shelving,
Turbulent, dirty, tearing ocean

The sea rising up round her prow
With shrouds straining and bracing.

2. Bothan irigh am Brigh Raithneach (A sheiling on the Braes of Rannoch)
Close x

Bothan irigh am Brigh Raithneach (A sheiling on the Braes of Rannoch)


Gur e m' anam is m' eudail
chaidh an-d do Ghleann Garadh:
fear na gruaig' mar an t-r
is na pig air bhlas meala.

O hi o hu , o hi o hu ,
Hi r ri hu eile
O h ri ri ri gheallaibh

Is tu as fherr don tig deise
de na sheasadh air thalamh;
is tu as fherr don tig culaidh
de na chunna mi dh' fhearaibh.
Is tu as fherr don tig osan
is brg shocrach nam barrall:
cta Lunnainneach dubh-ghorm,
is bidh na crintean ga cheannach.

An uair a ruigeadh tu 'n fhill
is e mo ghar-sa a thig dhachaigh;
mo chriosan is mo chre
is mo stomag chaol cheangail.

Thig mo chrios Dn Eideann
is mo bhrid Dn Chailleann,
gheibh sinn crodh as a' Mhaorainn
agus caoraich Gallaibh.

Is ann a bhios sinn 'gan rach
air irigh am Brigh Raithneach.
ann am bthan an t-sgraidh
is gur e bu dnadh dha barrach.

Bhiodh a' chuthag 's an smdan
a' gabhail ciil duinn air chrannaibh;
bhiodh an damh donn 's a bhireadh
gar dsgadh sa mhadainn.

It was my love and my treasure
who went yesterday to Glengarry,
the man with hair like gold
and kisses that taste of honey.

You suit your clothes
better than any man on earth;
you look better in your garments
than any man I've ever seen.

You look better in stockings
and comfortable laced shoes,
a dark blue London coat
that cost many crowns to buy.

When you arrive at the fair,
you'll bring home my gear,
my small belt and my comb
and my little narrow fastening
head-band.

My belt will come from Edinburgh
and my marriage head-dress from
Dunkeld,
we'll get cattle from the Mearns
and sheep from Caithness.

And we'll rear them in a sheiling
in Brigh Raithneach,
in the brush-wood enclosed hut of
dalliance.

The cuckoo will sing
its song to us from the trees,
the brown stag and its roaring
will wake us in the morning.

3. Wind and Rain
Close x

Wind and Rain


Bha d phiuthar ann 's iad a' coiseachd sos an t-srid
O an t-uisge is a' ghaoth
Phut an t bu shine an t eile dhan an t-sruth
Sor chaoineadh, an t-uisge, is gaoir na gaoithe.

There were two sisters came walking down the street
Oh the wind and rain
Older one pushed the younger one in
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

Oir thug Seonaidh dhan t b' ige finne lainn ir
O an t-uisge is a' ghaoth
Cha d' fhuair an t eile aon sian dhe chuid
Sior chaoineadh, an t-uisge is gaoir na gaoithe

So she pushed her into the river to drown
Oh the wind and rain
Watched her as she floated down
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

Flodradh gus an d'rinig i linne mhr a' chasg
O an t-uisge is a' ghaoth
Athair, o athair, seall an eala air an t-snmh
Sor chaoineadh, an t-uisge is gaoir na gaoithe

Then out of the woods came a fiddler fair
Oh the wind and rain
He plucked 30 strands of her long yellow hair
Cried oh the dreadful wind and rain

Is rinn e bogha grinn dhen gaoisnear bn
Oh the wind and rain
Then he made a fiddle bow of her long yellow hair
Sior chaoineadh, an t-uisge is gaoir na gaoithe

Agus rinn e cnagan-fidhle dhe a corragan caola
Oh the wind and rain
And made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Sior chaoineadh, an t-uisge is gaoir na gaoithe

And he made a little fiddle of her own breast bone
O an t-uisge is a' ghaoth
Which sound would melt a heart of stone
Sior chaoineadh, an t-uisge is gaoir na gaoithe

Is an aona phort a thigeadh a-mach s an fhidheall
O an t-uisge is a' ghaoth
The only tune that the fiddle would play
Was oh the dreadful wind and rain

There were two sisters came walking down the street
Oh the wind and rain
Older one pushed the younger one in
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

'Cos Johnny gave the youngest one a gay, gold ring
Oh the wind and rain
Didnt give the other one anything
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

So she pushed her into the river to drown
Oh the wind and rain
Watched her as she floated down
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

She floated till she came to the miller's pond
Oh the wind and rain
Cried Father, oh Father there swims a swan
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

Thern out of the woods came a fiddler fair
Oh the wind and rain
He plucked 30 strands of her long yellow hair
Cried oh the dreadful wind and rain

Then he made a fiddle bow of her long yellow hair
Oh the wind and rain
Made a fiddle bow of her long, yellow hair
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

And he made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Oh the wind and rain
And made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

And he made a little fiddle of her own breast bone
Oh the wind and rain
Which sound would melt a heart of stone
Crying oh the dreadful wind and rain

And the only tune that the fiddle would play
Was oh the wind and rain
The only tune that the fiddle would play
Was oh the dreadful wind and rain

4. Thig am bta (the boat will come)
Close x

Thig am bta (the boat will come)


Thig am bta ill i
Ro illeagan ill i
Moch a-mireach haoi
Ro illeagan ill i
Bidh m' athair innte
's mo thriir bhrithrean
Mo chile donn
air rmh brghad
Gheibh iad mise
air mo bhthadh
Togaidh iad mi
air na rmhan
Mo thrusgan donn
Snmh na fairge
Mo chuailean donn
Am measg nan carraigean
Mo bhroids airgid
Am measg nan gainmheach
Cha b' e 'n t-acras
chuir dhan trigh mi
Miann an duileasg
miann nam birneach
Sraidh eile
gu mo phisdean
Fear dhiubh bliadhna
fear a dh dhiubh
A' fear bliadhna
nach eil lidir
Dh' fhg mi e
as a' chlaist
Iarraidh e a-nochd
coch a mhthar
Ma dh' iarr chan fhaigh e
ach sgan sile
O mo mhollachd
Aig bean eudaich
Dh' fhg i mise
'S an sgeir bhthte
Thig am bta
moch a-mireach
Gheibh iad mise
air mo bhthadh.

The boat will come, ill i
Ro illeagan ill i
Early tomorrow haoi
Ro illeagan ill i
My father will be on board and my three brothers.
My brown-haired husband at the breast-oar.
They'll find me drowned.
They will lift me up on the oars.
My brown cloak swimming in the sea.
My brown locks among the carageen.
My silver broch among the sand.
It wasn't hunger that sent me to the shore
or a craving for dulse or limpets.
Another farewell to my little ones,
one a year old, one a two year old.
The year old, who is not strong,
I left him in the back room.
Tonight he will ask for his mother's breast.
If he does he will get only sea-water.
Oh my curses on the jealous woman
She left me on the rock of drowning
The boat will come early tomorrow,
They'll find me drowned.

5. A Chatrion' g (Young Catriona)
Close x

A Chatrion' g (Young Catriona)


A Chatrion' g 's tu rinn mo len,
's tu dh'fhg fo bhrn 's fo mhulad mi,
mi 'n diugh 's an d air cnoc leam fhin
a' sileadh dheur 's mi turraman.
Ach 's i mo mhthair rinn an call
nuair chuir i shealg na tunnaig mi.
Nuair rinig mi an linne chaol
's ann bha mo ghaol a' sruladh innt'.
'S e an gunna caol a rinn do len
's cha dan mi irleach tuilleadh leatha.
Ged thid mi suas dhan bhail' ud shuas
cha bhi mo chuairt ach diomain ann.
Ged thid mi dhan taigh ud shos
cha chuir Catrona furan orm.
O Rgh nan Dl cm rium mo chiall
Cha robh mi riamh cho cunnartach,
's a Chatron' g 's tu rinn mo len
'S tu dh'fhg fo bhrn 's fo mhulad mi.

Young Catriona, you have wounded me
and left me sorrowing and lamenting,
today and yesterday alone on a hillock,
shedding grief-stricken tears.
But it was my mother who caused the calamity
when she sent me to hunt the duck.
When I arrived at the narrow strait
my love was washing there.
It was the fowling piece which wounded you
and I will never use it again.
Though I visit the upper township
my stay there will be fleeting.
Though I visit the house below,
Catriona will not welcome me.
O Lord of the Elements, save me from madness,
I have never been in such danger,
and young Catriona, you have wounded me
and left me sorrowing and lamenting.

6. H grdh, h grdh
Close x

H grdh, h grdh


H dear, h dear
My dear is the brown heifer
When you go into the byre
My dear is the brown heifer

When you go into the byre
My dear is the brown heifer
Your milking pail would be full
My dear is the brown heifer.

The intelligent brown heifer is my darling
Who never kicked me
Who produced milk in the open air for me
The white milk of the kind heifers.

H hoileagan h h my heifers
H hoileagan h h my heifers
My heifers, hoileagan h h my heifers
My cattle on each side of the fold.

The shaggy heifer is my darling
The fetter is tied on its legs
Not the common fetter of cattle or horses
But the silken fetter from England.

H hoileagan h h my heifers
H hoileagan h h my heifers
My heifers, hoileagan h h my heifers
My cattle on each side of the fold.

H grdh, h grdh
'S e mo grdh 's an t-agh donn
Nuair a thid thu na bhthaich
'S e mo grdh 's an t-agh donn.

Nuair a thid thu na bhthaich
'S e mo grdh-s' an t-agh donn
'S e do chuman bhiodh ln
'S e mo grdh-s' an t-agh donn.

'S e mo ghaol-sa, an t-aghan ciallach
Cha do thog e chas a-riamh rium
Thug e bainne chruidh san t-sliabh dhomh
Bainne geala bhon na h-aighean ciallach.

H hoileagan h h m' aighean
H hoileagan h h m' aighean
M' aighean hoileagan, h h m' aighean
Mo chrodh-laoigh gach taobh n a' bhuaile.

'S e mo ghaol-sa an t-aghan caiteach
Thig a bhuarach air a chasan
Cha bhuarach chruidh na chapuill
Ach buarach shoda thig Sasainn.

H hoileagan h h m' aighean
H hoileagan h h m' aighean
M' aighean hoileagan, h h m' aighean
Mo chrodh-laoigh gach taobh na bhuaile.

H dear, h dear
My dear is the brown heifer
When you go into the byre
My dear is the brown heifer

When you go into the byre
My dear is the brown heifer
Your milking pail would be full
My dear is the brown heifer.

The intelligent brown heifer is my darling
Who never kicked me
Who produced milk in the open air for me
The white milk of the kind heifers.

H hoileagan h h my heifers
H hoileagan h h my heifers
My heifers, hoileagan h h my heifers
My cattle on each side of the fold.

The shaggy heifer is my darling
The fetter is tied on its legs
Not the common fetter of cattle or horses
But the silken fetter from England.

H hoileagan h h my heifers
H hoileagan h h my heifers
My heifers, hoileagan h h my heifers
My cattle on each side of the fold.

7. C n mire rium? (Who will flirt with me?) / Trip to Galway
Close x

C n mire rium? (Who will flirt with me?) / Trip to Galway (composed amon Doorley)


C n mire rium?
H hoireann , c n mire rium?
H hoireann , c n mire rium?

C n sgradh, c n ceanaltas?
C n e mur dan na gillean e?
Latha dhomh 's mi falbh nam fireachan
Thachair orm a' ghruagach cheanealta
Sgian bheag na limh 's i buain biolaire
S i buain neintean an cois na linneadh ud
Theann mi null is fhuair mi bruidhinn rith'
S dh'fhaighnich mi gu d bu chinneadh dhith
S thuirt i riumsa, "Tha ban-Siosalach"
Thuirt mi rith' gum b' e mo chinneadh e
Thuirt i rium, "Cha bhi mo thuras riut
Gura Leathanach mo roghainn-sa
Gun dan Dmhnallach mo choinneachadh"

Who will flirt with me?
H hoireann , who will flirt with me?
H hoireann , who will flirt with me?

Who will flirt with me, who'll show kind?
Who'll do that unless the young men will?
One day as I walked the mountain moors
A kindly lass I encountered there
A little knife in her hand, plucking watercress
Plucking flowers by yon river pool
I went over and got to talk with her
I asked what clan she belonged to
She said to me, "I'm a Chisholm girl"
I said to her I was a Chisholm, too
She said to me, "I'll have nothing to do with you
A MacLean is my preference
And a MacDonald will be meeting me"

8. A Chiad Cheum (The First Step)
 
9. Brgan r agam a-nochd (I have new shoes tonight) / The Cat and The Dog / Mu chuachag 's laghach thu (My beloved you are so nice)
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Brgan r agam a-nochd (I have new shoes tonight) / The Cat and The Dog / Mu chuachag 's laghach thu (My beloved you are so nice)


Brgan r agam a-nochd,
Brgan ra, brogan ra,
Brgan r agam a-nochd,
A rinn Tormod Tillear.

Glidh a-null na seana-bhrgan,
Na seana-bhrgan, na seana-bhrgan
Glidh a-null na seana-bhrgan,
A rinn Tormod Tillear.

I have new shoes tonight
New shoes, new shoes,
I have new shoes tonight
Made by Tormod Tillear.

Put away the old shoes
The old shoes, the old shoes,
Put away the old shoes
Made by Tormod Tillear.

Mo chuachag 's laghach thu
Mo chuachag 's cridheil thu
Mo chuachag 's laghach thu

Cha toirinn do Mhac Cuithein thu
Cha toirinn do Mhac Leid thu
Cha toirinn do Mhac Cuithein thu
Cha toirinn do Mhac Leid
Ged a lenadh a chrdhe aige

My beloved, you are so nice
My beloved, you are so jolly
My beloved, you are so nice
I wouldn't let MacQueen near you.

I wouldn't let MacLeod near you
I wouldn't let MacQueen near you
I wouldn't let MacLeod near you
Though it would break his heart.

10. Rugadh mi 'teis meadhan na mara (Me zo ganet kreiz er mor/I was born in the midst of the sea)
Close x

Rugadh mi 'teis meadhan na mara (Me zo ganet kreiz er mor/I was born in the midst of the sea)


Tr log o thr;
An taigh geal beag agam an sin
Le conasg a' fs mun doras.
Tha a' mhinteach ga chuairteachadh.
Rugadh mi 'teis meadhan na mara
An tr nan garbh-thonn.

Bha m' athair, mar a shinnsir,
Na mharaiche.
Be neo-ainmeil, gun ghlir;
Truaghan a bha gann de chli.
Moch-thrth is anmoch air muir, air flod,
Bha m'athair, mar a shinnsir,
'Slaodadh 'chuid ln.

Mo mhthair mar an ceudna 'g obair
Dh' aindeoin bhi liath;
Cmhla rithe, le fallas mo ghnis,
Dh' ionnsaich mi nuair bha mi g
Bhith fs 's a' saothrachadh buntt';
Mo mhthair i fhin ag obair gu cosnadh aran.

Me zo ganet kreiz er Mor,
ter lu r mz;
Un tiig gwenn duhont em-es,
er benal gresk etal en nor
Hag el lann e hol en anvez.
Me zo ganet kreiz er Mor,
e bro Arvor.

Me zad e o, l dadeu,
ur matelod;
Bet en-des kuh ha diglod
er peur ne gan dn glodeu.
Bamd-bamnoz ar er Mor blod.
Me zad e o, l dadeu,
stleijour-roudeu.

Me mamm e e laboura
ha gwenn h blu;
Geti, en hwz ar on taleu,
disket em-es bihannig tra,
Mdein ha tennein avaleu.
Me mamm e e laboura, d'hounid bara.

I was born in the midst of the Sea,
Three leagues off the shore;
A small white cottage, have I there.
Broom grows by its door,
And the moor spreads all around.
I was born in the midst of the sea,
In the Land of the Sea.

My father was, like his forefathers,
A seaman.
He lived obscure, without glory,
Poor soul, no one praises his memory.
By day, by night on the rolling Sea,
My father was, like his forefathers,
Trawling his nets.

Mother as well, she works,
Despite her white hair;
With her, sweat over the forefront,
I learned, as an infant,
To grow and harvest potatoes.
Mother as well, she works, to earn bread.

11. Bodachan cha phs mi
Close x

Bodachan cha phs mi


Bodachan cha phs mi

'S na hr laoi le
Seinn ro nilibh
'S na hr laoi le

Seann duine cha ghabh cha ghabh mi
Bidh e fada 'g irigh
Fada dol 'na eudach
Fada fada ri cuir uime
Cha ghabh mise ludar bodaich
Cha tid e mach gun am bata
Cha tig e steach gun an casda
Saoilidh e gur geidh na cearcan
Saoilidh e gur caoraich clachan
Saoilidh e gur b na h-eachaibh.

I shan't marry an old man

'S na hr laoi le
Seinn ro nilibh
'S na hr laoi le

An old man, I will definitely not have
He is late to rise
Takes a long time to dress
A long, long time to get his clothes on
I shan't have a clumsy old man
He can't go out without a walking stick
He can't come in without a cough
He mistakes hens for geese
He mistakes stones for sheep
And horses for cows.

12. A Mhic Dhghaill 'ic Ruairidh (Son of Dougal, son of Ruairidh)
Close x

A Mhic Dhghaill 'ic Ruairidh (Son of Dougal, son of Ruairidh)


A Mhic Dhghaill 'ic Ruairidh
A chuir am buaireadh fo m' chill-sa

A chuir an tainead mo ghruaidhean
'S dh' fhg mo ghruag air dhroch
ghridheadh

Mo mhle mallachd dha m' phiuthar
Nighean bhuidhe a' chil stidhtich

'S gura diombach mi dha m' mhthair
Ged is mthair i dhmhsa

'S gura buidheach mi dha m' athair
'S e nach cuireadh droch-sgeul orm

'S mo mhle mallachd dhan bhuachaill
A bha 'g uallach na spridhe

Mac bodachain shuaraich
Dha 'm bu dual bhith an gleann geugach

Chaidh a dhsgadh nam balach
Moch sa mhadainn man irich

Air thoiseach bha triir ann
'S air ths bha d-reug ann

Thuirt mo bhrthair bu shine
Ligibh na balaich gu chile

Thuirt mo bhrthair a b' ige
Chan e chir ach an eucoir

'S ann a' dreadh a' ghrraidh
A' leig thu ghridh a cheud igh s

'S ann a' ternadh a' bhruthaich
A fhuair thu am bruthadh a lir thu

'S gu robh fuil do chom chbhraidh
A' sruladh troimh d' linidh

'S ged a dh' l mi ghaoil pirt dheth
Cha do shlnaich do chreuchdan

O nach robh mi 's tu m'eudail
Am Baile Pheairt na Dn ideann

Na 'n tr nam fear dubha
Nan Cigeamh Mumhann na h-Eirinn

Man do chuir mi riamh idh annad
Lb r a' chil cheutaich.

Son of Dougal, son of Ruairidh,
who greatly challenged my senses

You thinned my cheeks
and left my hair unkempt

My curse on my sister,
yellow haired girl of wavy hair

I am resentful of my mother
although she is my own

I am thankful to my father,
he that would not put a bad tale on me

A thousand curses on the cow-herd,
who was watching the cattle

Son of a diminutive mean man,
that should be in a glen of branches

Who went to waken the boys
early morning before rising

At first there were three,
then at last there were twelve

My older brother said,
let the boys go together?

My younger brother said,
it is not right but unjust

It was climbing the garden,
you gave the first shout darling

It was descending the slope,
you got the fatal blow

And your blood on your lovely chest,
pouring through your shirt

Although I drank, my love, some of it,
it did not heal your wounds

O that I and you my love
were in Perth or Edinburgh

Or in the land of the black men,
or Munster of Ireland

Before I ever showed interest in you,
smart young fellow of the beautiful rear!

13. H bha mi, h bha mi (H I was, h I was)
Close x

H bha mi, h bha mi (H I was, h I was)


H bha mi, h bha mi
O bha mar rithe
Ged a bha mi mar tha mi
Bha mo lmh air a' nighinn.

Bha 'n c 's e sor dhranndan
as a' cheann sa robh 'n nighean
Bha mise gam chrbadh
sa chil san robh 'n t-snighe.

Thuirt am bodach 's e 'g irigh
as a line na shuidhe;
"C tha cmhl' riut, a Shenaid?
A bheil thu 'd nrachd a' bruidhinn?"

S lbhair Senaid ghrinn uasal
Air uachdar a cridhe
"Barail leam gur e bruadar
A ghluais sibh nur dithis."

H I was, h I was
O I was with her
Although I was as I am
I was embracing the girl.

The dog was ceaselessly snarling
in the area where she was.
I was crouched in the leaky little room.

The shirt-clad old man sat up and said
"Who's with you, Senaid,
or are you talking to yourself?"

And noble, beautiful Senaid
spoke from her heart.
"I think it was a dream that roused the
pair of you."


The title of the this album 'Uam' means 'from me' in English. The idea of passing a song, a tune or a story from one person to another is a common one throughout Gaelic Scotland, and I often feel being given a song is like being given a gift. One you can use and enjoy yourself, but one which ultimately must be passed on to someone else. The song is always more important than the singer and must be passed on to survive.

This album represents much of my own background, upbringing and musical experiences over the last few years. It also represents the sound that people have come to expect from our concerts over recent times the backbone duo of myself and my husband, amon Doorley, with lyrical Highland fiddler Duncan Chisholm, driving guitarist Tony Byrne from Dublin plus the rhythmic beats of Martin O'Neill's bodhrn playing. I am very pleased to welcome some long term friends and extraordinary musicians to the album too Phil Cunningham, Mary Smith, Eddi Reader, Allan MacDonald, Jerry Douglas, Sharon Shannon and Ewen Vernal, plus of course our own family members Tom Doorley and Michelle Fowlis.




Songs from Cuilidh


Cuilidh Album
1. Hug Air A Bhonald Mhoir
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Hug Air A Bhonald Mhoir


Dh’ionnsaich mi a’ chiad òran bhon t‑seinn aig Alasdair Boidhd à Uibhist a Deas.  Mo thaing do Mhòrag Dhòmhnallach airson a cuideachaidh.  ’S e Màiri NicAonghais a thug dhomh an dàrna òran, nuair a bha sinn air chuairt le Gillebrìde Mac a’ Mhaoilein ann an 2005.

These are two songs from Uist which evolved into a set after Eamon, John Doyle and I got together one night in Glasgow.  Thanks to Mòrag Dhòmhnallach for her help here.

Hùg air a’ Bhonaid Mhòir
Hùg air a’ bhonaid mhòir,
Cuiribh oirre ’s leigibh leatha;
Tuilleadh air a’ bhonaid eile,
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre.

Bhonaid a bh’ aig Dòmhnall Bàn
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh,
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr,
B’ àird’ i na lòban.

Celebrate the great bonnet!
Celebrate the great bonnet!
Add to it, leave it alone.
More on the other bonnet.
There’s not half enough on it.

Donald Ban’s bonnet
is to be found in Bothalam.
It was as high as the roof joist,
higher than the corn-stack frame.

Da Thàbh air an Fharaidh,
Da thàbh air an fharaidh,
Tha rud shìos anns a’ charaidh;
Da thàbh air an fharaidh,
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig.

Ged tha mi gun rud agam,
Tha rud shios anns a’ charaidh;
Ged tha mi gun rud agam,
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig.

Two Spoon Nets in the Loft
Two spoon nets in the loft,
There’s something in the fish-trap;
Two spoon-nets in the loft,
The seagull has a catch.

Although I’m empty-handed,
There’s something in the fish trap;
Although I’m empty handed,
The seagull has a catch.

2. Mo Ghruagach Dhonn
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Mo Ghruagach Dhonn


Òran gaoil à Uibhist a Tuath.  Thug Ceit-Ann Hùna dhomh an t‑òran nuair a chaidh mi air cheilidh oirre an‑uiridh. 
This is a North Uist love song which I heard for the first time in the house of Kate-Ann MacLellan in Hùna, North Uist. 

We welcome a special friend onto this track, Chris Thile from California.  Thanks to Norrie also for the lovely vocals.

Mo Ghruagach Dhonn
Hi ho ro, mo ghruagach dhonn,
’S ann ort fhèin a dh’fhàs an loinn:
Dh’fhàg siud acaid na mo chom,
An gaol cho trom ’s a ghabh mi ort.

Fhuair mi do litir Dimàirt,
Dh’innseadh dhòmhsa mar a bha:
Gu robh thu a’ tighinn gun dàil
A-mach air bàta Ghlaschu.

Nuair a leugh mi mar a bha,
Ghabh mi sìos am Brumalà:
Chunnaic mi a’ tighinn am bàt’
’S an t‑àilleagan, an ainnir, innt’.

Nuair a shìn mi mach mo làmh,
Thionndaidh thu le fiamh a’ ghàir’
’S labhair thu facal no dhà
Dh’fhàg iomadh tràth gun chadal mi.

’S ann ort fhèin tha ghruag a’ fàs ‑
Cha dubh ’s cha ruadh is cha bhàn,
Ach mar an t-òr as àille snuadh,
Gu buidhe, dualach, camalagach.

Dhèanainn sgrìobhadh dhut le peannt,
Dhèanainn treabhadh dhut le crann,
Dhèanainn sgiobair dhut air luing,
Air nighean donn nam meall-shùilean.

Meòir is grinn thu air an t-snàth
No cur peannt air pàipear bàn,
Ach ma chaidh thu null thar sàil
Dh’Astràilia, mo bheannachd leat.

Cha bhi mi tuilleadh fo leòn,
Glacaidh mi tè ùr air spòig ‑
Solamh bu ghlice bha beò,
Bha aige mòran leannanan

My Brown-haired Lass
Hi ho ro, my brown-haired lass,
whose beauty becomes more beguiling.
The deep love I have for you
has left me sorely wounded.

Your letter arrived on Tuesday
Telling of what was to be.
It told that your ship would arrive
in Glasgow without delay.
 
When I read this,
I immediately headed for the Broomielaw.
I saw the ship carrying the jewel,
the maiden, approach.

When I held out my hand
you turned  with a slight smile and
uttered a couple of words
which left me sleepless many nights

You have the lovliest hair,
neither black, nor red nor fair,
but the colour of the most beautiful gold,
yellow, braided and curled. 

I would write for you with a pen.
I would cultivate  for you with a plough.
I would captain a ship for you,
brown haired lass of the deceiving eyes.

You are skilled at working wool
and at writing on blank paper.
But if you have gone overseas, to Australia,
goodbye to you.

I will no longer be in despair.
I’ll grab a new one by the hand.
Solomon, the wisest man who lived,
had many sweethearts.

3. A T-Aparan Goirid's A T-Aparan Ur: Oran Do Sheasaidh Bhalle Raghnaill
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A T-Aparan Goirid's A T-Aparan Ur: Oran Do Sheasaidh Bhalle Raghnaill


Seo fear dhe na h-òrain a rinneadh mu dheidhinn Seasaidh Bhaile Raghnaill, nuair a theich i le fear às an Eilean Sgitheanach.  Mo thaing do Cheit-Ann Hùna airson a cuideachaidh ’s a comhairle.  ’S e bràthair mo mhàthar, Anndra, a dh’iarr orm an t‑òran seo ionnsachadh an toiseach, agus tha mi ’n dòchas gun còrd e ris!

This is one of many, many songs composed about the famous elopement of Jessie of Balranald with a Skye man.  She was supposed to marry a man named Cooper, but she took advantage of her engagement celebrations to elope on the ship “Eliza Jane”with a MacDonald man from the Isle of Skye. 

Thanks to Mark Kelly for this one, and to Kathleen MacInnes.

An t‑Aparan Goirid ’s an t‑Aparan Ùr:
Òran do Sheasaidh Bhaile Raghnaill
An t-aparan goirid ’s an t-aparan ùr,
An t-aparan goirid nach ruig ach a’ ghlùin,
’S nuair bha mi òg ’s mi furast’ rim lùb’,
’S e dh’fhàg mi fo leòn ach an t-aparan ùr.

Bha cliù ort, a Sheasaidh, ’s tu ’n ainnir bha suairc,
A chumadh rid ghealladh ’s a leanadh rid luaidh;
’S ann unnad bha ’n spiorad, ’s tu ’chinneadh nam buadh
Nach gabhadh an giorag ’s nach tilleadh ron chuan.

’S ann ort a bha biùthas san dùthaich a bh’ ann:
Cha ghabhadh tu Cooper, cha b’ bhuidh’ leat a chainnt;
’S ann bha thu nad bhiùtaidh, ’s tu ’m flùr gun mheang,
’S nam faighinn mo dhùrachd, bhiodh diùc leat air làimh.

’S nuair fhuair an Eliza Miss Jessie air bòrd,
’S ann oirre bha ’n sgoinn ’s iad a’ hoidhsteadh nan seòl;
Bha muir air gach taobh dhith a’ sgaoileadh mu bòrd
’S bha h‑aigne cho aotrom ri faoileag air lòn.

Bha seorsa duine aca mach air a’ watch
A’ geàrd a’ bhaile ’s na thigeadh mun cuairt,
Ach cheangaileadh a chasan ’s a làmhan gu cruaidh,
’S mun tàinig a’ mhadainn, chaidh a ragadh le fuachd.

Dh’fhàg thu do mhàthair is d’ athair fo leòn
Nach d’ rinn iad dhut banais le aighear ’s le ceòl,
Ach tillidh tu fhathast do dh’Uibhist an eòrn’,
’S bidh siùcar an glainne ’s todaidh ga òl!

The Short Apron and the New Apron:
Song for Jessie of Balranald
The short apron and the new apron;
the short apron which only reaches the knee
When I was young and easily led
the new apron was the cause of my hurt.

You were famous, Jessie, as a polite young woman
who would keep your word and be faithful to your beloved.
How spirited you were, a descendant of the  truly virtuous clan,
which knew not fear and for whom the sea held no dread.

You became famous in the area.
You wouldn’t entertain Cooper; you cared not for his conversation.
What  a beauty you were, a flower without blemish,
and had I my wish, a duke would have you by the hand.

When Miss Jessie boarded the Eliza,
there was a flurry of activity as the sails were hoisted.
The sea was parting for her bow
and her spirit was as light-hearted as a seagull.

They had a kind of man on watch,
guarding the village and all who approached.
But his feet and hands were tightly bound and,
by morning, he had stiffened with the cold.

You left your mother and father depressed
because they were unable to provide for you a wedding with music and merry-making.
But you’ll return some time to Uist of the barley
and there will  be sugar in glasses for drinking toddies!

4. Ille Dhuinn, 'S Toigh Leam Thu
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Ille Dhuinn, 'S Toigh Leam Thu


Oran gaoil eile à Uibhist a Tuath.  Tha mi air a bhith cluinntinn an òrain o chionn bhliadhnaichean, ach ’s e Isa NicPhilip à Càirinis a dh’ionnsaich na faclan dhomh.

A song composed by Mairead nighean Ailein, great‑aunt of Dòmhnall Ruadh Choruna, one of the most famous bards from North Uist.  She composed this song for the man who was to become her husband, Iain na Càrnaich, who was my Great Great Grandfather’s brother.  Her parents would have preferred her to marry the man from Harris referred to in verses 6 and 7. 

Special thanks to Donald Shaw, Iain MacDonald & John McCusker for their beautiful playing here.

Ille Dhuinn, ’S Toigh Leam Thu
’Ille dhuinn, ’s toigh leam thu,
’S toigh leam fhìn thu, laochain;
Mas toigh leat mi, is toigh leam thu ‑
’S gur òg a thug mi gaol dhut.

Dh’fhalbh mi mar a b’ àbhaist dhomh
Air sàillibh coimhead chaorach ‑
’S beag a bha dhem fhor orra,
’S mo leannan air a’ chaolas.

Nuair dhìrich mi suas Criongrabhal,
’S e m’ inntinn nach robh aotrom ‑
Bha ’m bàta mach gu Saighdeanais,
’S i toidhdidh fo cuid aodaich.

’S ann a their mo phàrantan
Gur tàmailt leotha m’ fhaoineas ‑
Gum faighinn fear na b’ fheàrr na thu
Le bàtaichean ’s le birlinn.

Ged gheibhinn fear na b’ fheàrr na thu
Le bàtaichean ’s le birlinn,
Gum b’ fheàrr leam fhìn an gille donn
Is e gun bhonn dhen t‑saoghal.

Ged gheall mi dhut gun leanainn thu
’S gun dealaichinn ri mo dhaoine,
Cha d’ rachainn dha Na Hearadh leat
Air cheannachd air an t‑saoghal.

Ged a bhithinn pòsta riut
Is còir agam air d’ fhaotainn,
Cha b’ fhada bhithinn beò agad
’S an Dòmhnallach às m’ aonais.

Brown-haired Lad, I’m Fond of You
Brown-haired lad, I’m fond of you,
I’m really fond of you, boy;
If you’re fond of  me, I’m fond of you-
I’ve loved you since I was young.

I set off as usual
to look for the sheep
but scant attention gave I to them,
knowing my beloved was in the strait.

When I climbed Criongrabhal,
my spirits were low –
the ship, with well-trimmed sails, 
was out near Saighdeanais.

My parents say that
my foolishness is a source of shame to them –
that I could attract a better man than you,
an owner of ships and galleys.

Though I could have a better man than you,
an owner of ships and galleys,
I would much prefer the brown-haired lad
though he hadn’t a penny in the world.

Though I promised you I’d follow you
and part company from my people,
nothing in the world
could induce me to go to Harris.

I wouldn’t survive long if  married to you,
while pining for MacDonald.

5. Puirt-a-beul Set 'S Toigh Leam Fhin Buntata 'S Im/Tha Fionnlagh Ag
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Puirt-a-beul Set 'S Toigh Leam Fhin Buntata 'S Im/Tha Fionnlagh Ag


Trì puirt-a-beul à Uibhist.  Dh’ionnsaich mi a’ chiad phort bhon t-seinn aig Niall Mac a’ Phiocair nach maireann à Griomasaigh, oir chòrd na faclan rium!  Thog mi an dàrna port às an Eilean Sgitheanach. ’S ann bhon t‑seinn aig an Urr Uilleam MacMhathain a dh’ionnsaich mi am fonn aig a’ phort mu dheireadh, bho chlàradh a rinn e do Sgoil Eòlais na h‑Alba. 

These are three songs, also known as ‘mouth music’, which are common in Uist.  The first is a humorous song about an old man who likes potatoes, butter and women.  The second I heard for the first time on the Isle of Skye, when performing with Anna Murray and Anne Martin for a concert called “Island Women”.  The slightly different tune to the last song is a version I learned from a recording of the wonderful Rev.William Matheson in the School of Scottish Studies.

Our thanks to our favourite West Coast pirate Ross Martin for this set!

’S Toigh Leam Fhìn Buntàta ’s Ìm
’S toigh leam fhìn buntàta ’s ìm,
’S toigh leam fhìn na caileagan,
’S toigh leam fhìn buntàta ’s ìm
Is nìghneagan a bhaile seo.

I’m Fond of Potatoes and Butter
I’m fond of potatoes and butter,
I’m fond of the ladies,
I’m fond of potatoes and butter
and the girls of this village.

Tha Fionnlagh ag Innearadh
Tha Fionnlagh ag innearadh,
Tha Fionnlagh ag innearadh,
Tha Fionnlagh ’s a mhàthair
A’ ràcadh na h-innearach.
 
Theab Màiri a mharbhadh,
A mharbhadh, a mharbhadh,
Theab Màiri a mharbhadh
Fon an eallach arbhair. x 2
 
Tha Fionnlagh ag innearadh,
Tha Fionnlagh ag innearadh,
Tha Fionnlagh le bhriogais odhar
A’cur fodh’ na h‑innearach.
 
Finlay is Spreading Manure
Finlay is spreading manure
Finlay is spreading manure
Finlay and his mother
are raking the manure.
 
Mary nearly killed him,
killed him,
killed him,
Mary nearly killed him
with the load of corn.
 
Finlay is spreading manure,
Finlay is spreading manure,
Finlay with his dun-coloured trousers
is digging in the manure.

Hùg Oiridh Hiridh Hairidh
Hùg oiridh hiridh hairidh,
Hùg oiridh Maireabhal,
Hùg oiridh hiridh hairidh,
’S buaidheach na taighean ann.

’S brèagha na taighean sglèat,
’S brèagha na glainneachan,
’S brèagha na taighean sglèat
Thog iad ann am Maireabhal.

Dh’fhaighneachd mi ’m faighinn dram:
Theann iad ri fanaid orm ‑
“Seinnse san taigh ud thall,
’S cabhraich an crannachain.”

Nìghneagan air an tràigh:
Bràighdeanan iomairt orra;
Nìghneagan air an tràigh:
Plàtaichean murain orra.

Hùg Oiridh Hiridh Hairidh
Hug oiridh hiridh hairidh
Hug oiridh, Maireabhal,
Hug oiridh hiridh hairidh
Bonnie are the houses there.

Beautiful the slate-roofed houses,
Beautiful the glass windows,
Beautiful the slate-roofed houses
They built in Maireabhal.

I asked if I could have a dram
They began to mock me -
“A hostelry in yonder house
and froth on churns”

Girls on the beach:
Wearing striped shawls;
Girls on the beach:
Wearing plaids of bent-grass.

6. Set Of Jigs
 
7. Mo Dhomhnallan Fhein
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Mo Dhomhnallan Fhein


Fhuair mi an cothrom seinn còmhla ri Flòraidh NicNèill airson sreath de phrògraman rèidio an‑uiridh, agus bha mi toilichte an t‑òran seo fhaighinn bhuaipe. ’S e fìor urram a bh’ ann dhòmhsa a bhith a’ seinn còmhla rithe.  Tha mi ’n dòchas gun còrd seo ribh, a Fhlòraidh. 

This is a song by Neil MacLeod of Skye that I was fortunate to learn from Flora MacNeil for a BBC Scotland radio series called Trad Roots, directed by Donald Shaw and Alasdair MacCuish.  It was a great honour to sit for a day with her and learn songs.  This is one of them.

Mo Dhòmhnallan Fhèin
Nuair chruinnicheas an òigridh
Gu mire ’s gu sòlas,
Bidh mise nam ònar
An seòmar gun ghleus,
A’ cuimhneachadh còmhradh
An fhleasgaich a leòn mi,
’S an gaol thug mi òg do
Mo Dhòmhnallan fhèin.

Bidh m’ athair ’s mo mhàthair
Ri gearain ’s ri cràmhan,
A’ cantainn nach fheàrr mi
Na pàiste gun chèill,
Mo ghaol thoirt a dh’òigfhear
Bhios daonnan a’ seòladh
’S a sgaoileas a stòras
Gun ghò ris gach tè.

Nuair thachradh an còmhlan
Sa chlachan Didòmhnaich,
Nam measg cha robh òigfhear
Cho còmhnard na cheum;
Cho beusail na chòmhradh,
Cho fearail na dhòighean ‑
Bhiodh sùil aig gach òigh air
Mo Dhòmhnallan fhèin.

Tha dualagan bòidheach
Dhed chuailean nam phòca,
Do dhealbh air a còmhdach
Le òr ann an cèis;
Do shùilean cho beò leam,
Do ghruaidh mar na ròsan,
Ag ùrachadh dhòmhsa
Mo Dhòmhnallan fhèin.

Tha bliadhn’ agus còrr bhon
A thriall e o eòlas,
’S tha ìomhaigh cho beò leam
’S ged sheòladh e ’n‑dè;
Cha ghèill mi do dh’òigfhear
’S cha chèill mi na bòidean
No ’n gaol a thug mi òg do
Mo Dhòmhnallan fhèin.

My Own Donald
When the young gather
For sport and play,
I will be alone
In a room without music,
Remembering conversations
With the lad who caused me pain,
And the love I gave young to
My own Donald.

My father and mother
Complain and moan:
They say I am no better
Than a foolish child
To have given my love to a young man
Who is always at sea
And freely dispenses gifts
To every girl.

When the company used to meet
In the village on Sunday,
Among them there was no young man
As surefooted,
Nor as well spoken
And manly in his ways ‑
All the young girls admire
My own Donald.

I have beautiful locks
Of your hair in my pocket,
Your photograph is enclosed
In a gold frame;
Your eyes are alive to me,
Your cheeks are like  roses,
Reminding me of
My own Donald.

It’s a year and more
Since he left home,
And his face is as alive to me
As if he had sailed yesterday;
I won’t yield to any young man
And I won’t conceal the promise
That I gave when young to
My own Donald.

8. Turas San Lochmor
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Turas San Lochmor


Rinn Pàdraig Moireasdan à Griomasaigh an deagh òran seo mu 1950, às dèidh turas a thachair a bhith gu math garbh air an Lochmor.  ’S e bàta ainmeil a bh’ anns an Lochmor, agus ’s iomadh turas a rinn i. 

I learned this song from Lachie Morrison (Lachlainn Phàdraig) last summer in his house in Grimsay, North Uist.  This was a song that his father, Peter Morrison, composed after a particularly memorable journey on a well known boat that served the Hebrides and the West Coast of Scotland called the Lochmor.

Turas san Lochmor
An nì a bha nam inntinn gun inns mi dhuibh an rann:
Gu falbhainn dh’aindeoin sìde air sgrìob do thìr nan Gall,
Le baga làn de chearcan agus rudan a bha gann –
Gum bithinn aig Bliadhn’ Ùir ann ’s gun chùmhnadh air an dram.

Diciadain dh’fhalbh mi casruisgt’ le mo bhagaichean nam dhòrn,
A’ dol a Loch nam Madadh ghabhail aiseag san Lochmor;
Bha fuachd na mo chasan-sa ’s bha sneachd’ air bhàrr nan lòn ‑
Cha dìochuimhnich mi ’n t‑allaban cho fad’ ’s a bhios mi beò.

Nuair ràinig mi a’ cheàrdach, àrdach duine chòir
A thug a‑staigh gun dàil mi ’s a nochd dhomh càirdeas mòr,
Thug dhomh tì a b’ fheàirrde mi ri aghaidh bhlàth an stòbh ‑
Gu seasainn fuachd nuair dh’fhàg sinn le mo chaiseart blàth ’s lem chòt’.

Nuair dh’fhalbh an carbad-ola leinn ’s ar n‑aghaidh thoir dhan tuath,
Bha sinn greis an Cearsabhagh a’ blasad air stuth cruaidh;
Gun tàinig Bean na Maise ’s am muir geal oirre mun cuairt,
’S chanainn fhìn gum b’ amadan a rachadh innt’ air chuan.

Nuair thog i mach gu farsainneachd, ’s sinn airsnealach is sgìth,
Nuair thòisich cur na mara oirnn, bu mhath a bhith air tìr;
Bha mise mar bha càch, le spàirn orm a’ strì ‑
An drama dh’òl mi ’n Cearsabhagh, bu duilich dhealaich sinn.

On ear‑dheas bha i sèideadh oirnn, gun choltas tighinn na b’ fheàrr,
Bha sinn uil’, oir b’ fheudar dhuinn, nar sìneadh air an làr;
Nuair readh i sìos dhan chlaisidh leinn ’s am muir a’ sgailceadh àrd,
Bha cùram air gach neach againn nach tilleadh i gu bràth.

B ’e siud an oidhche ànranach a bh’ againn anns a’ bhàt’,
Ach ràinig sinn Loch Baghasdail le dìon an Tì as Àird;
Thug mi leam mo bhagaichean agus thàrr mi às a’ bhàt’ ‑
Chan fhanainn‑sa na b’ fhaid’ innte ged rachainn dhan taigh-gheàrd!

Fhuair mi cadal socair ann an dachaigh dhaoine còir,
Aig Maiseig Ruadh, ’s mo ghràdh oirre, oir nochd i càirdeas dhòmhs’:
Guma fada slàn i, oir ’s bàidheil i na dòigh
Gu gabhail ro aon ànranach a dh’fhàgadh an Lochmor.

Mun crìochnaich mi an t-òran seo, gun inns mi dhuibh an còrr:
A‑màireach thill mi dhachaigh agus botal na mo phòc;
Chruinnich sinn na càirdean gu pàrtaidh dhe gach seòrs’,
Is cha robh h‑aon a thàinig leinn a chàineadh an Lochmor!

A Journey in the Lochmor
I’ll tell you in verse what my intention was.
Regardless of bad weather, I would pay a visit to the Lowlands,
carrying a bag full of chickens and other scarce goods.
 I’d be there at New Year and there would be no stinting on whisky

Barefoot, I left on Wednesday, clutching my bags,
heading for Lochmaddy and a crossing on the Lochmor.
Snow had fallen and my feet were freezing.
It was a journey I’ll never forget.

I reached the smithy,  home of a good man, 
who took me in and showed me great kindness.
In front of a warm stove he restored me with tea.
I was able to withstand the cold when I left with warm shoes and a coat. 

The motor car left, heading north,
and we spent a while in Cearsabhagh sampling whisky.
Bean na Maise appeared through foaming seas all around and,
in my opinion, only a fool would take to sea in her.

By the time she reached open seas we were depressed and weary.
As seasickness started we longed to be ashore.
I was like the others, fighting it valiantly.
But sadly I had to part from the dram I drank in Cearsabhgh.

A south-easterly wind was blowing hard and showing no sign of abating.
We were all, of necessity, lying on the floor.
When she plunged into the trough, with seas breaking high above her,
we were all terrified that she’d never right herself again.

Despite having  such a stormy night in the ship,
under the protection of the Almighty, we reached Lochboisdale.
I took my bags and escaped from the ship. 
Threat of imprisonmemt wouldn’t have made me stay on board.

I had a good night’s sleep in dear Maiseag Ruadh’s, 
the home of generous, friendly  people.
May she live long for the kindly welcome she gave
to at least one wanderer who deserted the Lochmor.

Before I finish this song I’ll tell you the rest.
The following day I returned home with a bottle in my pocket.
Friends gathered and we had a splendid party and
no-one  in the company bad-mouthed the Lochmor.

9. Oran Nan Raiders
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Oran Nan Raiders


Rinn Fionnlagh Moireasdan (Fionnlagh mac Ruairidh Iain, neo Fionnlagh Cìobair) an t‑òran seo dha na balaich a Cnoc an Lìn, às a’ Bhaile Mhòr agus à Cnoc an Torrain (na Raiders) nuair a ghabh iad sealbh air Paiblisgearraidh, pairt de dh’oighreachd Bhaile Raghnaill.  ’S e Ailig MacAmhlaigh a dh’ionnsaich an t‑òran dhomh – b’ e athair, Aonghas Ailig an t‑Saoir, fear dhe na Raiders, agus tha an teaghlach fhathast air a’ chruit a fhuair e.  Taing do dh’Ailig airson a chuideachaidh, na h‑òrain a thug e dhomh agus an aoigheachd a fhuair sinn aige.

A great song composed by Finlay Morrison about the men who were promised land in  “A Land Fit for Heroes” if they went to fight in WW1.  Those who returned got nothing, and so this group of men gathered together and raided the land they had been promised.  I was fortunate to learn this song from the son of one of the Raiders, Alick MacAulay, in his house on the croft his father secured after disagreements with the landlord and a jail sentence. Eamon doubles up here on bouzouki and fiddle.

Òran nan Raiders
O, ’s ann tha na diùlnaich thall
Air an taobh ud dhen a’ Bheinn:
Fhuair iad fearann ann gun taing
Bhon an aingidh rinn am mealladh.

Fhad ’s a bhios an linn seo beò
Bidh cuimhn’ air cainnteanas Lloyd George:
Gheall e fearann do na seòid,
Ach na thill beò dhiubh, ’s mòr an gearain.

Nuair a thuig na gillean còir
Gu robh an Government fo sgleò
’S nach robh cainnteanas Lloyd George
Ach mar cheò a’ falbh à sealladh,

Chruinnich iad is fhuair iad pìob,
’S am port a chluich iad Morair Sìm,
’S cha robh fear a bha san sgìr’
Nach robh cruinn aig roinn an fhearainn.

Thàinig Raghnall le mòr‑uaill,
Le each ’s le ghunna dol mun cuairt:
’S gann a bhruidhneadh e le gruaim –
Thug e ’n dualchas ud bho sheanair.

An Dotair Moireach, suas a chliù,
Faic mar thagair e sa chùis:
Thug e mach iad às an tùr
Gu an saors’ a dheòin ’s a dh’aindeoin.

Sguiridh mise nis dhem dhàn:
’S e mo dhùrachd sibh bhith slàn,
Le bhur sabhail mhòra làn
Leis a’ ghràn gu àird nan sparran.


O, what heroes there are
O, what heroes there are
on that side of a’ Bheinn.
No thanks to the wicked one who deceived them,
they got land there.

While this generation is alive
Lloyd George’s speech will be remembered.
He promised land to the heroes
but those who returned alive have much to complain about.

When the good lads realised
that the government was suspect
and that Lloyd George’s words
were like mist disappearing out of sight,

they gathered together and found a set of bagpipes.
The tune they played was Morair Sim
and there wasn’t a man in the district
who wasn’t present at the division of the land.

Arrogantly Raghnall, armed with a gun, 
appeared on horseback.
So sullen was he, he could hardly speak –
a trait inherited from his grandfather.

Salute Dr Murray
who prosecuted the matter.
Despite everything, 
he managed to get them released from jail.

I’ll now stop my song.
My earnest hope is that you will all be well,
with your great barns full
to the rafters with grain.

10. Bodaich Odhar Hoghaigearraidh
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Bodaich Odhar Hoghaigearraidh


Port beag èibhinn à Uibhist a Tuath a fhuair mi bho chlàradh a rinn Uilleam MacMhathain.

A funny song about the old men of Hougharry, North Uist. Eaval and Teach an Triubhais are the highest peaks in North Uist and South Uist respectively.  The other two hills mentioned, Dorghais and Beinn a’ Charra, are low‑lying hills in North Uist.

This song is sung to a strathspey version of the tune Lord MacDonald’s Reel, which we play after.

Bodaich Odhar Hoghaigearraidh
Bidh Eòghainn is fear a’ chiubha is fear an rubha cuide rinn; [’s fear an rubha?]
Bidh Eòghainn is fear a’ chiubha is fear an rubha cuide rinn;
Bidh Eòghainn is fear a’ chiubha is fear an rubha cuide rinn;
Bidh Eòghainn is fear a’ chiubha is fear an rubha laimh rinn.

’S ann bha ’n othail aig an fhadhail, bodaich odhar Hoghaigearraidh;
’S ann bha ’n othail aig an fhadhail, bodaich odhar Hoghaigearraidh;
’S ann bha ‘n othail aig an fhadhail, bodaich odhar Hoghaigearraidh,
Thug iad aghaidh air na fir à Malacleit is Bhàlaigh.

Bidh Fionnlagh ’s an gille pìob dol san ruidhle iollagach;
Bidh Fionnlagh ’s an gille pìob dol san ruidhle iollagach;
Bidh Fionnlagh ’s an gille pìob dol san ruidhle iollagach,
Bidh Tormod ’s an gobha bodhar dol a thogail bhàirneach.

Bidh Eubhal is Teach an Triubhais an dà Uibhist muladach;
Bidh Eubhal is Teach an Triubhais an dà Uibhist muladach;
Bidh Eubhal is Teach an Triubhais an dà Uibhist muladach,
Dorghais is Beinn a’ Charra cur an cath an òrdugh.

The Dun-Coloured Old Men of Hoghaigearraidh
Eoghainn, Fear a’ Chiubha and Fear a’ Rubha will be with us x 3
Eoghainn, Fear a’ Chiubha and Fear a’ Rubha will be beside us.

What a commotion there was at the ford, the dun-coloured old men of Hoghaigearraidh x 3
They challenged the men from Malacleit and Bhalaigh.

Fionnlagh and the piper’s assistant will dance a sprightly reel x 3
Tormod and the deaf blacksmith will go to pick limpets.
Eubhal, Teach an Triubhais, the two Uists will be forlorn x 3
Dorghais and Beinn a’ Charra drawing the battle-lines.

11. Mo Bheannachd Dhan Bhaillidh Ur
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Mo Bheannachd Dhan Bhaillidh Ur


Seo òran eile mu Sheasaidh Bhaile Raghnaill.  Chuala mi an t‑òran seo an toiseach ann an Sgoil Eòlais na h‑Alba, agus ’s e Beileag NicPhàil (Beileag Bhàn) à Cairinis a bha ga ghabhail.  Mhair an t‑òran seo ann an iomadach dreach eadar-dhealaichte. 

This is another song written after the elopement of Jessie of Balranald.  It survived in many different versions, with extra verses being added and the story being extended, depending on where the song travelled to. This particular version I learned from the singing of Bellag MacPhail from Cairinis, North Uist.

Mo Bheannachd don Bhàillidh Ùr
Mo bheannachd dhan bhàillidh ùr,
’S tu fhèin a choisinn an cliù
Nuair a thàinig e le thrùp
Dh’uaislean o dhùthaich MhicLeòid.

Is thàine tu led bhàirdse cruinn,
Ghabh thu timcheall air Port Rìgh;
Thogadh do shaighdearan cìs
Fhad ’s a mhaireadh strì nan dòrn.

Is thàine tu led bhàirds’ mun cuairt,
Ghabh thu timcheall ’Chinn a Tuath
Is dh’inns thu dhaibh gun gheilt gun ghruaim
Gur e ’n cuan a bha fo sròin.

Is ùr a’ chraobh on d’ rinn thu fàs,
Na bha fon talamh dhith ’s gu h-àrd
Gun mhosgan am bun no ’m bàrr
Ach an giuthas àlainn òg.

Is Dòmhnallaich sibh taobh air thaobh,
Làmh dhearg as suaicheantas dhuibh,
Long is bradan ’s leòmhann, craobh,
Gidheagan is fraoch glas òg.

My Compliments to the New Bailiff/Factor
My compliments to the new bailiff/factor
who earned a reputation
when he arrived with his troop
of noblemen from the land of MacLeod

You came with your  barge
and went round Portree.
Your soldiers would collect tax
while the fight lasted.

You came with your barge
and went round the North End,
informing them without cowardice or gloom
that you were master of the open seas.

You are the offshoot of a vigorous tree,
 in  root and branch.
A beautiful young fir,
without decay in root or foliage.

You are MacDonald on both sides.
Your crest is a red hand,
a galley, a salmon, a tree, a thistle
and young green heather.

12. Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir
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Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir


Òran tàlaidh a dh’ionnsaich mi bho Chatrìona Garbutt, seinneadair agus pìobaire air leth ainmeil à Beinn na Fadhla. 

A lullaby song sung as a warning, which I learned from Catriona Garbutt, a great singer and piper from Benbecula, whose late brother Calum taught me the pipes at Carinish School when I was a youngster.  The word Aoidh can mean “Guest” but it is also a Christian name, which is still used in Ireland for the name “Hugh”.

Aoidh, na Dèan Cadal Idir,
Aoidh, na dèan cadal idir,
Aoidh, na dèan cadal trom;
Aoidh, na dèan cadal idir – 
Thoir a-mach ris an tom.

Aoidh, na dèan cadal idir,
Aoidh, na dèan cadal trom;
Seall a‑staigh fo thaobh do leaba:
Gheibh thu ’n gaoirdean rag ’s e trom.

Aoidh, na dèan cadal idir,
Fois chan fhaigh ’s a’ chreach air bhonn;
Seall rid leis, an claidheamh geur ann,
’S thoir a-mach ris an tom.

Aoidh, don’t sleep at all,
Aoidh, don’t sleep at all,
Aoidh , don’t sleep deeply;
Aoidh don’t sleep at all -
Take to the hills immediately.

Aoidh don’t sleep at all,
Aoidh, don’t sleep deeply;
Look under your side of your bed:
You’ll find the stiff, heavy arm.

Aoidh, don’t sleep at all,
You’ll get no peace with the raid underway;
Ensure your sharp sword is on your thigh
And take to the hills immediately.




Songs from Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe


Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe Album
1. Oganaich Uir A Rinn M' Fhagail
 
2. Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird A' Chuan
 
3. Biodh An Deoch Seo 'n Laimh Mo Ruin
 
4. Jigs And Reels
 
5. Tha Caolas Eadar Mi's Iain
 
6. Ged A Sheol Mi Air M' Aineol
 
7. Reels
 
8. Mo Bhean Chomain
 
9. Puirt
 
10. A Mhaighdeannan's A Mhnathan Og
 
11. Strathspey And Reels
 
12. Moladh Uibhist
 

Gach sgeul, the new album, OUT NOW

Julie Fowlis performing Hè Gràdh Hò Gràdh’ on BBC's Transatlantic Sessions

Cuirmean-ciil

Tour Dates

7th May
INVERNESS, SCOTLAND
The Waterside Hotel, 19 Ness Bank, Inverness IV2 4SF Scotland. UK.
24th May
HEXHAM, ENGLAND
Queen's Hall Arts Centre ('Folkworks Hexham Gathering 2014' Concert), Beamont Street, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 3LS England. UK.
26th May
BROMSGROVE, ENGLAND
Artrix, Slideslow Drive, Bromsgrove, West Midlands B60 1PQ England. UK.
27th May
SHOREHAM BY THE SEA, ENGLAND
Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham by the Sea, West Sussex BN43 5EG England. UK.
28th May
MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND.
The Stables Theatre (Jim Marshall Auditorium), Stockwell Lane, Wavendon, Milton Keynes, MK17 8LU England. UK.
29th Jun
STIRLING, SCOTLAND.
'Bannockburn Live' - The Battle of Bannockburn, Glasgow Road, Whins of Milton, Stirling FK7 0LJ

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