Fear a’ Bhàta (The Boatman)

I don’t quite understand how I went the past two years without posting this wonderful, pining song which finds itself in both the Scottish and Irish traditions, with plenty of English language versions as well. It was one of the first songs in Gaeilge/Gàidhlig that I ever heard, and I’ve loved it since.  The video features Karen Matheson with Capercaille.

Sìne NicFhionnlaigh from Tong wrote the song in the late 19th century during her courtship with a young fisherman from Uig, Dòmhnall MacRath. The happy news, according to various sources, is that the two were married not long after she wrote the song

Fear a’ Bhàta

Chorus:
Fhir a’ bhàta, na hóro eile
Fhir a’ bhàta, na hóro eile
Fhir a’ bhàta, na hóro eile
Mo shoraidh slàn leat ‘s gach àit’ an téid thu

‘S tric mi sealltainn on chnoc as àirde
Dh’fheuch am faic mi fear a’ bhàta
An tig thu ‘n-diugh na ‘n tig thu màireach
‘S mar tig thu idir gur truagh a ta mi

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Lassie Wi’ the Lint White Locks

More Burns today. This one from 1794 is Robbie Burns doing his best to woo a(nother) fair maid. If you need some help translating Burns-isms, you can visit RobertBurns.org The tune is based on the Strathspey “The Rothiemurchus Rant.”

From the BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions, this performance is by Karen Mattheson.

Lass Wi’ the Lint White Locks

Chorus:
Lassie wi’the lint-white locks,
Bonie lassie, artless lassie,
Wilt thou wi’ me tent the flocks,
Wilt thou be my Dearie, O?

Now Nature cleeds the flowery lea,
And a’ is young and sweet like thee,
O wilt thou share its joys wi’ me,
And say thou’lt be my Dearie, O.
Chorus

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Ae Fond Kiss (and Then We Sever)

Once again, from the pen of the great Robert Burns (1791), we get a song for the ages.  And in this video, the Voice Squad render a performance or the ages.

Ae Fond Kiss

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee!

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu’ twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.

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