Farewell, Farewell

A lovely song which was written in 1969 by Richard Thompson.  The tune is from the traditional song Willy O’Winsbury. The recording was first released on the Fairport Convention album Liege & Lief. Mary Black recorded it on By the Time It Gets Dark and is seen here performing it on the BBC’s Highland Sessions.

Farewell, farewell to you who’d hear
You lonely travellers all.
The cold North wind will blow again
The winding road does call.

And will you never return to see your
Bruised and beaten sons?
Oh, I would, I would if welcome I were
For they loathe me ev’ryone.

And will you never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be?
And can you never swear a year
To anyone but we?

No I will never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be,
But I’ll swear a year to one who lies
Asleep alongside of me.

Farewell, farewell to you who’d hear
You lonely travellers all.
The cold North wind will blow again
The winding road does call.

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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

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Caoineadh na dTrí Muire

This is the oldest song to be found written in the Irish language. Although the original melody has been long-lost, I find this replacement more than acceptable. Iarla O Lionaird sings the Lament of the Three Marys from the Highland Sessions.

Caoineadh na dTrí Muire

A Pheadair, a Aspail,
An bhfaca tú mo ghrá geal?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Chonaic mé ar ball é,
Gá chéasadh ag an ngarda.
Óchón agus óchón-ó!

Cé hé an fear breá sin
Ar Chrann na Páise?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
An é n-aithníonn tú do Mhac,
A Mháthrín?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
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