A Chatrion’ Òg

As Julie Fowlis puts it in the introduction to this video, sometimes it’s a beautiful melody that grabs you and sometimes is a great story. In the case of this song, it was both for me.  I first heard it in a version called A Mhairead Og sung by the Scottish singer James Graham.  Its a beautiful lament.  If you’re impatient, the song beings about two minutes into this clip.

A Chatrion’ Òg

A Chatrion’ òg ‘s tu rinn mo leòn,
‘s tu dh’fhàg fo bhròn ‘s fo mhulad mi,
mi ‘n diugh ‘s an dè air cnoc leam fhèin
a’ sileadh dheur ‘s mi turraman.
Ach ‘s i mo mhàthair rinn an call
nuair chuir i shealg na tunnaig mi.
Nuair ràinig mi an linne chaol
‘s ann bha mo ghaol a’ sruladh innt’.
‘S e an gunna caol a rinn do leòn
‘s cha dèan mi òirleach tuilleadh leatha.
Ged thèid mi suas dhan bhail’ ud shuas
cha bhi mo chuairt ach diomain ann.
Ged thèid mi dhan taigh ud shìos
cha chuir Catrìona furan orm.
O Rìgh nan Dùl cùm rium mo chiall
Cha robh mi riamh cho cunnartach,
‘s a Chatrìon’ òg ‘s tu rinn mo leòn
‘S tu dh’fhàg fo bhròn ‘s fo mhulad mi.

Young Catriona

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.

Here’s a clip of Alyth McCormack singing A Mhairead, Òg.

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