An Eala Bhàn (The White Swan)

This song was composed by Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna during the Battle of the Somme (July 1-November 18, 1916) – a battle in which over one million were wounded or killed. It is addressed to Magaidh NicLeòid (Maggie MacLeod), his sweetheart during the time of the war.

Here it’s sung by Karen Matheson.

An Eala Bhàn

Gur duilich leam mar tha mi
‘S mo chridhe ‘n sas aig bron
Bhon an uair a dh’fhag mi
Beanntan ard a’ cheo
Gleanntannan a’mhanrain
Nan loch, nam bagh ‘s nan srom
‘S an eala bhan tha tamh ann
Gach la air ‘m bheil mi ‘n toir.

A Mhagaidh na bi tursach
A ruin, ged gheibhinn bas-
Co am fear am measg an t-sluaigh
A mhaireas buan gu brath?
Chan eil sinn uile ach air chuairt
Mar dhithein buaile fas
Bheir siantannan na blianna sios
‘S nach tog a’ ghrian an aird.

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Cànan nan Gaidheal

Karen Matheson is joined by an all-star group of musicians to sing this lament over the decline of the Scottish language.

Cànan nan Gaidheal

Cha b’ e sneachda ‘s an reòthadh bho thuath,
Cha b’ e ‘n crannadh fuar bho ‘n ear,
Cha b ‘e ‘n uisge ‘s an gailleon bho ‘n iar,
Ach an galair a bhlean bho ‘n deas
Blàth, duilleach, stoc, agus freumh
Canan mo threubh ‘s mo shluaidh.

Séist:
Thig thugainn, thig co-rium gu siar
Gus an cluinn sinn ann canan nam Féinn,
Thig thugainn, thig co-rium gu siar
Gus an cluinn sinn ann canan nan Gaidheal.

Uair chite fear-feilidh ‘sa ghleann
Bu chinnteach gur gàidhlig a chainnt
Ach spion iad a fhreumh as an fhonn
‘N aite gàidhlig tha canan a Ghoill
‘S a Ghaidhealtachd creadhal-nan-sonn
‘S tir mhajors is cholonels ‘n diugh th’ innt’.

Far a nuas dhuinn na coinnleirean òir
‘S annt’ caraibh coinlean geal ceir
Lasaibh suas iad an seòmair bhroin
Tìgh-‘aire seann chanan a’ Ghae’l
‘S sud o chionn fhad’ thuirt a namh
Ach fhathast tha beò canan a’ Ghae’l.

Ged theich i le beath’ as na glinn
Ged ‘s gann an diugh chluinntear i nis mo
O Dhuthaich MhicAoidh fada tuath
Gu ruig thu Druim-Uachdar nam bo
Gigheal, dhi na Eileanan Siar
Bi na claimheamh ‘s na sgiath’n ud dhoirn.

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Ailein Duinn

Karen Matheson singing Ailein Duinn, probably recognizable to some of you as the song from the film Rob Roy.

Ailein Duinn

Gura mise tha fo éislean
Moch sa mhaduinn is mi ‘g éirigh

Sèist:
Ò hì shiùbhlainn leat
Hì ri bhò hò ru bhì
Hì ri bhò hò rinn o ho
Ailein Duinn, ò hì shiubhlainn leat

Ma ‘s e ‘n cluasag dhut a’ ghaineamh
Ma ‘s e leabaidh dhut an fheamainn

Ma ‘s e ‘n t-iasg do choinnlean geala
Ma ‘s e na ròin do luchd-faire

Dh’òlainn deoch ge b’ oil le càch e
De dh’fhuil do choim ‘s tu ‘n déidh do bhathadh

English

How sorrowful I am
Early in the morning rising

Chorus (after each verse):
Ò hì, I would go with thee
Hì ri bhò hò ru bhì
Hì ri bhò hò rinn o ho
Brown-haired Alan, ò hì, I would go with thee

If it is thy pillow the sand
If it is thy bed the seaweed

If it is the fish thy candles bright
If it is the seals thy watchmen

I would drink, though all would abhor it
Of thy heart’s blood after thy drowning