Gaol Ise Gaol I (My Love Is She)

Women waulking the cloth, Eriskay, 1899

A Scottish “waulking song” (Òrain Luaidh) today.  According to the font of knowledge that is Wikipedia – “Waulking songs were traditionally sung in the Gaelic language by women while waulking cloth. This practice involved a group of people beating newly woven tweed rhythmically against a table or similar surface to soften it. Simple, beat-driven songs were used to accompany the work.”  Katherine MacInness is joined by others from the Highland Sessions.

Gaol ise gaol i

E o hao-o hao o
Hao riri o hu o
Ro-ho i o hi o

Gaol ise gaol i
Gaol air Anna ni’ n Nill
Mi dualach mi donn
Mi mar chuthaig an coill’
Mi mar smeòraich an craoibh
Mi gu biorshuilleach binn
Mi torrach mi trom
Chan ann le balach mo throm
Ach leis an lasgaire dhonn
Mac fir Bhaile nan Long
Leis an eireadh na suinn
Leis an diant’ an t-òl trom
Gaol ise gaol i
Gaol air Anna ni’ n Nill

My love is she

Love for Ann daughter of Neil
My hair curly and brown
Like a cuckoo in a wood
Like a thrush on a tree
Keen my eyes – sweet my voice
I am heavy with child
By no ordinary lad is my child
But by the dark-haired hero
Son of the Laid of the Ships
With whom warriors would rise
Who can drink plenty
My love is she
Love for Ann daughter of Neil

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