Peigi, a Ghràidh (Peggy, My love)

A marvelous performance by Alasdair Codon from the Scottish group Dàimh. The Scottish resource Tobar an Dulchais summarizes the song like this:

In this song the bard praises Peggy, his beloved. He is sailing towards Australia but he will return to her. He praises her and says that he has not met a woman like her anywhere. He will take her to Uist and will provide for her by planting crops, even though he is a seaman. He says that they will marry and laments that he is not with her.

Peigi, a Ghràidh

A Pheigi, a ghràidh, ‘s tu dh’fhàg mi buileach gun sunnd,
‘s mi seòladh an-dràst’ thar sàil an dh’Astràilia null.
Tha ‘n oidhche fliuch fuar, ‘s mi shuas ga cumail air chùrs,
‘s tu daonnan nam smuain a luaidh on dhealaich thu rium.

On dhealaich thu rium neo-shunndach m’aigne gach lath’,
‘s mi seòladh a’ chuain ‘s gach uair gam sgaradh od ghràdh;
Ma thug thu dhomh fuath ‘s nach dual dhomh d’fhaighinn gu bràth,
gu faic thu led shùil a rùin nach fhad bhios mi slàn.

Cho fad ‘s thèid mi null bi dùil ‘am tilleadh a-nall
far an do dh’fhàg mi mo rùn fo thùrs am baile nan Gall;
Gun tèid mi le sunnd a null a dh’Uibhist nam beann
far am faigh mi ort còir le pòsadh ceangailte teann.

Ma gheibh mi ort còir rim bheò chan fhaicear ort dìth,
Gun toir mi dhut lòn gu leòr thar muir agus tìr;
‘S ged chanadh an sluagh a luaidh nach dèanainn dhut nì,
gun cuirinn am bàrr a ghràidh ged ‘s maraiche mi.

Ged ‘s maraiche mi tha sgìth a’ treabhadh a’ chuain,
bha ‘n iomadach àit’ is ceàrnaidh deas agus tuath,
Chan fhaca mi ann tè Ghallda sheasadh riut suas,
a bhean an fhuilt bhàin a chaidh àrach an Uibhist nam buadh.

An Uibhist nam buadh nach truagh nach mi bha leat ann,
is fàinne dhen òr mud mheòir gar ceangal gu teann;
‘S ma thilleas mi, luaidh, thar chuan an turus seo nall,
dh’Àird Choinnich thèid sinn le cinnt gu faigh mi ort bann.

English Translation

Peggy, my love, you’ve left me dispirited
as I sail over the ocean to Australia.
The night is wet and cold, and I’m above keeping her on course,
and you are always in my thoughts, my dear, since we parted.

Since we parted, my spirit is sad every day,
sailing the ocean and every hour separating me from your love;
if you were averse to me, and if I’m not destined ever to win you,
you will see for yourself, my love, that I will waste away.

As far as I may journey I will expect to return to where I left my love,
in sadness, in the Lowland city;
and I will happily go to Uist of the bens,
where I will get you as mine with a strong-wedded marriage.

If I get you as mine, you will never be in need,
I will give you enough food from sea and land;
and even if the people would say, my dear, that I would do nothing for you,
I would plant crops, my love, although I’m a seaman.

Although I am an seaman, who’s tired of sailing the ocean,
who was in many a place from South to North,
I never saw one who could be compared to you,
o fair-haired woman who was raised in dear Uist.

It’s so sad that I am not with you in dear Uist,
with a golden ring on your finger tightly binding us;
and if I return, my love, over the ocean from this journey,
to Ardkenneth we will go with certainty that I will make a bond with you.

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