LYRICS

1. Ròin agus Míolta Móra (Seals and Whales)

Ghabh mi cuairt uair, a-mach don Sgeir Mhòir far a bheil an taigh-solais as motha a thog an teaghlach ainmeil Stevenson. Nuair a ràinig sinn, chaidh mi a-null gu taobh thall na sgeire airson a’ chiad òran seo a sheinn dha na ròin – nan cànan fhèin, a rèir choltais. Thàinig iad a dh’èisteachd ceart gu leòr, ach an uairsin thòisich an càirdean air an duan fhèin aig fìor cheann a-muigh nan creagan. Cha chuala mi an leithid riamh, is thuig mi an uairsin carson a bheireadh ‘daoine’ orra.

Is in Inis Mhic Uileáin sna Blascaodaí a cumadh an fonn mall i lár an phíosa seo. Deirtear go raibh triúr oileánach ar a mbealach ar ais chuig an oileán nuair a chualadar glórtha aisteacha ag teacht ón bhfarraige thart ar an naomhóg a bhí acu. Chum duine acu an fonn ar an bhfidil agus é ag aithris ar na fuaimeanna. Shíl na hoileánaigh gur síogaí a bhí ag déanamh an cheoil ach ceaptar anois gur míolta móra a bhí ann ag gabháil ó dheas.

They say that the MacCodrum clan are descended from the seal-people. A shiver goes through me each time I sing these visceral verses on humans’ treatment of these beings from the perspective of the seal-folk’s own nobility. I once heard them singing on the farthest reaches of the Skerryvore rocks, off Tiree. I had never heard the like, and understood then why folk would consider them ‘people’. In other versions of the song, she is known as the daughter of the Rìgh-Fo-Thuinn, the King-Under-The-Waves referred to in Eascann Bhaile na hInse.

The slow air ‘Port na bPúcaí’ in the middle of this piece was composed on the Blasket Islands after three islanders heard eerie sounds around their boat as they rowed back to the island. One of them, a fiddler, based the melody on the sounds of what the islanders thought were fairies. More likely the sounds were in fact those of a humpback whale making its way south.

Òrain nan Ròn
Ionn-dà ionn-dò ionn-dà odar dà
Hì od an dao, hì od an dao, hì od an dao, odar dà

’S mairg san tìr seo, ’s mairg san tìr,
’G ithe dhaoine, riochd a’ bhìdh;
Nach fhaic sibh ceannard an t-sluaigh
Gabhail ri teine gu cruaidh grinn?

’S mise nighean Aoidh Mhic Eòghainn,
Gum b’ eòlach mi mu na sgeirean;
Gur mairg a dhèanadh mo bhualadh,
Bean-uasal mi à tìr eile.

What a shame in this land, what shame,
To be eating living beings as mere food;
Do you not see the leader of the people
Roasting beautifully well?

I am the daughter of Aodh, the son of Eoghann,
I am well-known on the skerries;
What a shameful thing to beat me,
And I a noblewoman from another land.

2. Creggyn Scarleode (Scarlet Rocks)

Ayns yn arrane shoh, hug shin ry-cheilley carr gyn focklyn enmyssit ‘Tra Va Mee Aeg as Lajer’ as raneyn liorish yn Aspick Samuel Rutter ta goll er ash gys mysh 1648. Rere shenn-lhieggan jeh’n arrane, screeu yn aspick eh ‘er Creggyn Scarleode faggys da Balley Chashtal’. Hie yn carr er çhymsaghey anmagh ayns y nuyoo eash yeig as t’eh currit gys lieh Hom Kermode voish Bradda, boayl beg ayns sheear-yiass Vannin raad va Ruth troggit.

For this song, we married a wordless melody, ‘Tra va mee aeg as lajer’ (When I was Young and Strong), with verses by Bishop Samuel Rutter in c.1648. According to an early published copy of the lyrics, they were composed ‘on Scarlet rocks near Castletown’. This melody was collected in the late 19th century and is attributed to Tom Kermode of Bradda, near where I grew up.

My chree lesh seaghyn tooillit,
M’aigney trimshey lane,
My chione jeh cadley spooillit
Gyn saveen çheet er m’ayrn;
My lhie er yn ynnyd cheddin,
Geearree aash ayns fardail,
Son naght myr ta ny tonnyn,
Ta m’aigney foast rouail.

Yn vooir lesh goanlys caggey
Ta craa ny creggyn foym,
As sneih lurg sneih er m’aigney
Cur er my chree ve trome;
Ny brooinyn syrjey lhaggit
Lesh tonnyn sheer chleiy foue;
Ta’n cheeall ain mennick mollit
As mooads nyn jerkal mow.

My ta yn sterrym troggal
’Sny bodjallyn gyn seiy
Ta’n aer gaase doo as gobbal
Yn soilshey hed neose veih
Myr bleayst goll fo ny lhongyn
Ga t’ad jeh darragh jeant
Ta’n seihll as mooads ny cronneeyn
Cur er my chree ve faiynt

Myr shoh er croshyn smooinaght’
Jeh’n chreg cloaie ta mee skee,
Foast er my lhong veg smooinaght’ –
T’eh aker ayns my chree;
Son cheayll mee red myr sonnish:
Dy bee ain laa caghlaa;
Bee yn sterrym dewil shoh harrish
As yiowmayd sollys hraa.

Mas ann gun tèid an stoirm am meud
’S na neòil san speur air sgèith,
Is ann as duirch’ an t-adhar:
Is ann fann, is fann mo chrìdh.

Má bhíonn an ghaoth ag méadú
’Sa suaitheadh na scamall thuas
Sna spéartha dorcha…

Tá ár loing uilig a’ gabháil faoi
Mar shliogáiní beaga
’S níl dóchas dúinn sa saol.

’S mé fós ar long mo chuimhne
Tá ancaire i mo chroí.

Is chuala mi an cagair sèimh
Gun tig dhuinn caochladh tràth.

Scarlet Rocks

My heart is heavy with trouble,
My mind is full of sorrow,
My head robbed of sleep
Without finding slumber;
Lying in the same place,
Desiring ease in vain,
For, like the waves,
My mind still wanders.

The sea swells with malice
And shakes the rocks below,
And trouble upon trouble
Makes my heart heavy;
The highest brooghs are loosened
By waves that gnaw beneath;
Our senses are often deceived
And our expectations destroyed.

If the storm gathers
And the clouds are not scattered,
The air grows black and denies
The light from breaking through;
Our frail boats are washed over,
Though they are made from oak,
The world and its troubles
Makes my heart to be faint

Recalling all my faults
And tired of these rocks,
Still thinking of my small ship –
It is an anchor in my heart;
For I heard something of a whisper:
There will be a day of change;
This cruel storm will be over
And we will find a brighter time.

If the storm grows
And the heavens’ clouds in flight,
Darker becomes the sky
And my heart is weak


If the wind grows stronger
And stirs up the clouds above
In the dark skies…
Despite the tightness of their broken boards,
Our ships are all sinking
Like little shells,
And there is no hope for us in this world.

3. Eascann Bhaile na hInse (The Eel of Ballynahinch)

Tá neart trácht ar ollphéisteanna agus ar arrachtaí i mbéaloideas na hÉireann, agus cuid mhór acu bainteach le lochanna agus aibhneacha na tíre. Is cosúil gurb é Seán Rua a bhí ag tabhairt aire don abhainn seo i mBaile na hInse i gConamara, abhainn a bhí ar thalamh Richard Berridge, fear as Londain a cheannaigh an eastát sa bhliain 1872. Cuireadh an croí trasna ar an gcéad fhear a chonaic an eascann, agus gur déanadh mórán iarrachtaí ina dhiaidh sin í a ruaigeadh nó í a chriogadh. Faoin am ar shocraíodar dul síos agus dul i ngleic léi le gunna mór áfach, bhí sí imithe as an áit.

There’s a monster in the river! This song tells of a giant eel which was rumoured to reside in a lake in Baile na hInse, Connemara, on land owne by a 19th century Londoner, Richard Berridge. It resisted any attempts to kill or banish it, much to the consternation of Seán Rua who was charged with taking care of the river. It is an indisputable fact that this eel was several times larger than Nessie, whatever the Scots might tell you.

Bidh adhaircean mòra air crodh ann an ceò, Eòghainn!

Tá eascann i mBaile na hInse agus is binne í faoi thrí ná an chuach;
Nuair a thosaíonn sí ag feadaíl san oíche, cloistear í naoi míle ó thuaidh,
’Gus fear as Doire Fhada a chuaigh síos is ní fhaca sé ach binn dhá cluais,
Sé m’fhaitíos go ndéanfaidh sí mísc, ach go sábhála Críost Seán Rua.

Óra, éirigh is cuir ort do chuid éadaigh nó go dté muid faoi chomhair na péist’
’S go dtuga muid scéala ceart linn an ndearna na húdair bréag;
Más ainspiorad í a ghluais as tigh deamhain ’s atá ag coinneáil an chuain dhi fhéin,
Tá súil agam go gcuirfear í ar siúl le muinín as cumhachta Dé.

Cha chreidinne facal à beul, oir innsidh iad breug gun cùl,
Gus an deidhinn an t-astar mi fhèin, is a faicinn le lèir mo shùl;
O, ghabh sinn an rathad gu cinnteach, far am measamaid ise bhith ann;
O, chriothnaich an talamh mar timcheall agus chluinnte guth binn gu h-àrd.

(Ní chreidfinnse focal a mbéil mar cumann siad bréag go humhal,
Nó go dtéinn san aistir mé féin is í a fheiceáil le léargas mo shul;
Óra, chuaigh muid sa mbealach go díreach ar mheasamar í a bheith ann;
Óra, chriothnaigh an talamh ’nár dtimpeall agus cluineadh glór binn san aill.)

O honnick mee e h-asney ‘s e dreeym, e h-arbyl as lorg daa chione –
Na s’moo ee ny cronk Ros a Mhíl s’ny yn Cillín reesht cheu hoal;
Tra honnick ee mish cheu heose j’ee, O lheim ee nuy keayrtyn y gil,
As ren mee yn crosh Chreest er my ghruaie as vannee Séan rua eh hene.

(Ó, chonaic mé a heite is a droim, a drioball is rian dhá ceann –
Ba mhó í ná cnoc Ros an Mhíl ’s ná an Cillín aríst taobh thall;
Nuair a chonaic sí mise taobh thuas dhi, ’s chaith sí naoi n-uaire an chéim,
Óra, ghearr mé an chroch chéasta ar mo ghrua agus choirsic Seán Rua é fhéin.)

Chuir Heirciléas ladar sa saol mar a chuireann siad síos sa leabhar:
“Ní móide nó tá tú faoi dhraíocht is tú a bheith ag caitheamh do shaoil ar abhainn;
An iníon úd a bhí ag Rí Fo-Thoinn, ar arm an tsaoil fuair bua;
’S mór m’fhaitíos nó déanfaidh tú mísc, ach go sábhála Críost Seán Rua.”

Óra caithfidh mé freagairt don tréad ’s shíl mé nach ndéanfainn speech,
Ach tá mé faoi gheasaí, mo léan, is faoi iomada mhór an tsaoil;
Shiúil mise timpeall na hÉireann ’s anseo táim ag ligean mo scíth’
Nó go bhfeice mé cnámhannaí géill mo linbh a d’éag sa nGoirtín.

The Eel of Ballynahinch

There’s an eel in Ballynahinch, three times sweeter than the cuckoo,
When she starts to whistle at night, she can be heard nine miles to the north;
A man from Doire Fhada went down, but he only saw the corner of her ear,
It’s my fear she will cause mischief, so may Christ save Seán Rua.

Oh, rise and dress yourself and let’s go towards the beast
So that we can report if the authors told lies;
If she’s an evil spirit from the house of demons, who now keeps the inlet to herself,
I hope that she’ll be banished, by our faith in God’s power.

I wouldn’t have believed a word from their mouths, they make up lies with ease,
Until I made the journey myself and saw her with the sight of my eyes;
We went directly to where we thought she would be;
Oh, the earth shook all around us and a sweet voice was heard in the cliff.

I saw her fin and her back, her tail and a trace of her head –
She was bigger than the hill of Ros an Mhíl or of Cillín on the far side;
When she saw me above her, she leapt nine times the ravine,
I made the sign of the cross on my brow and Seán Rua blessed himself.

Hercules intervened in this world, as they report in the book:
“It’s likely you’re enchanted, and living your life on a river;
That daughter of the Underwater King has power over the weapons of the world;
I greatly fear you’ll cause mischief, so may Christ save Seán Rua”.

“I must acknowlege the community although I hadn’t intended to make a speech,
But I’m spellbound, woe is me, I labour under the weight of the world;
I walked all around Ireland and I’m here taking my rest
Until I see the jaw bones of my child, the child who died in Gurteen”.

4. Òran a’ Cheannaiche (The Song of The ‘Ceannaiche’)

Is e creag a th’ anns a’ Cheannaiche, far chladaichean Gob na h-Èiste an Gleann Dail. Tha iomadh ainm inntinneach ann far chladaichean na sgìre. Anns a’ Ghnìoba fhèin, dachaigh teaghlach mo mhàthar, tha deagh chomharra iasgaich ann air a bheil Àird a’ Chlàrsair, ach bho nach sgeul-rùin e ‘s fios aig triùir air, cha chan mi an còrr!

I learned this from the singing of my great-uncle Murdo from Roag in Skye, a man who always had a song on his lips in his youth and who revelled in the telling of a song’s story. The song is by ‘Black’ Iain MacDonald, a sailor and poet who travelled the world and who settled eventually in Canada. It’s not certain if the ‘black’ refers to his nature, or his reputation for a knowledge of the dark arts – or both!

The ‘Ceannaiche’ – the Merchant – is a rock off the Glendale coastline near Neist Point. The imaginary conversation between Iain and the ‘merchant’ is as powerful a commentary on environmental protection as any contemporary song.

Am Bàrd
Chuir mi ’n-uiridh fàilt air an Àigeach ’s cha d’ aithnich e mi,
’S nì mi ’m-bliadhna ’n dàn seo le bàidh dhusa, Cheannaiche;
’S òg a bha mi làmh riut mun d’ fhàg mi am fearann seo,
’S gur tric bha mi nad fhianais ag iasgach nan smalagan.

’S on a dh’fhàg mi thu, chan eil sruth sa mhuir nach aithnich mi,
Gun d’fhalbh mo chruth ’s mo neart ’s mo ghuth, ’s ma-thà, tha thu ’n-diugh gam aithneachadh;
Ach tha thu fhèin a’ seasamh treun – ro ghaoth nan speur cha chreathnaich thu,
’S cha chrith thu orra bhuinn bho na tuinn a tha stealladh ort.

A’ Chreag/ An Ceannaiche:
Saoil an tu MacLeòid a dh’fhalbh òg na do mharaiche?
Gun cuala sinn gun d’ chaill iad thu thall an Astràilia;
’S tha mise ’n seo mar bha mi ’s cha chnàmh a’ chlach-mheallain mi –
Gun teich an Rubha Bàn às mo nàbachd, cha charaich mi.

’S aig àm nam fras fo bhonn mo chas, bheir Calum Ros na giomaich leis;
Is chan eil crùbag na mo chùiltean nach do spùill iad buileach às;
B’ fheàrr dhomh mo bhùthachd a dhùnadh gu buileach orr’ –
Gu ruige ’s mo chuid bhàirneach chan fhàg iad gun chruinneachadh.

Nuair thig an ròn gu bonn mo bhròg’, nì e rium còmhradh sùil-lìonach,
’S an fhaoileag bhàn rium tric a’ seanchas, ged tha ’n sgarbh na bhumailear;
A’ chorra-ghritheach, tha i fhèin ’s a cliù ’s a beusan urramach,
Ged ’s tric a rinn mi a còmhnadh bho spògan na h-iolaire.

Ged tha mi làidir, mòr is àrd, bheir fear neo dhà mo char asam –
Is e mo bhathar tha toirt fàs air a’ bhuntàta ’s t-earrach ac’;
Cha tig na mèirlich ga mo phàigheadh ged nach fàg iad stamh orm,
’S nam faighinn cothrom falbh, bhiodh crith-thalmhainn mun teallaichean.

Nuair thig an samhradh blàth orm, fàgaidh am mulad mi:
Cha bhi mi mar tha càch – bidh mi làn den a h-uile rud:
Na h-eòin a thig gum shàilean gan sàsachadh uil’ agam,
’S ged bhiodh iad ann am fiachan, chan iarr mi dhaibh sumanadh.

Bhithinn-sa glè stàiteil nam fàgte mo chuid agam,
Chan eil iasg san t-sàl nach eil pàirt dheth tighinn thugamsa;
Gach langa thig air snàmh, gu mo thràigh tro na cruinneagan,
Thig Ruairidh Chaluim Bhàin agus tàrraidh e uile iad.

The Song of The ‘Ceannaiche’

The Bard:
Last year I greeted the Àigeach but he did not recognise me,
And this year I will sing this song, with affection, to you, Ceannaiche;
I was near you when very young, before I left this land
And was often within sight of you, fishing for young saithe.

And since I left you, I have got to know every current in the sea; My shape, my strength, my voice have gone, and for all that you still recognise me today: But you stand bravely before the the heavens’ winds, unflinching, Unmoved on your foundations by the waves that pound you.

The Rock / An Ceannaiche:
I wonder if you are MacLeod who left as a young man to be a mariner?
We heard that they had lost you over in Australia;
I am here as ever, undiminished by the hailstones –
Until the Rubha Bàn deserts my neighbourhood, I will not move.

At the time of showers about my feet, Calum Ross will take the lobsters;
They have not left a single crab in my nooks; they have plundered them all;
It would be better if I closed my shops completely –
Even my limpets, they have gathered them all.

When the seal comes in about my feet, he will speak, wet-eyed, to me;
The white gull often speaks to me, but the cormorant is a simpleton;
The heron’s reputation and manners are respectable;
Although I have often helped her escape the eagle’s talons.

Although I am strong, large and tall, one or two will outwit me;
It is my cargo that fertilises their potatoes in spring,
But the thieves do not come to pay me although they take every bit of tangle from me,
And were I to go away, it would cause an earthquake around their firesides.

When warm summer comes, the sadness leaves me:
I will not be as the others – I will be full of everything,
Satisfying all the birds that come to my seas,
And although they should be in debt, I will not ask for a summons for them.

I would be very stately if I were left with my possessions,
There is not a fish in the sea but some of them come to me:
Every ling that comes swimming to my shore through the eddies,
Ruairidh Chaluim Bhàin comes and captures them all.

5. Manannan (from The Traditionary Ballad)

She jee marrey Manannan as enney er er feiy’n theihll Ghaelgagh: ta’n kiangltys stroshey echey rish Mannin my ta, son t’ad gra dy row eh cummal er yn Ellan. Ta paart dy schoillaryn credjal dy dooar eh e ennym ass yn Ellan; ta’n veer yerree ‘nán’ goll er ymmyd dy mennick myr meer ennoilid ny myn-amman, myr shen, she ‘Manninagh beg’ veagh bun yn ennym. Dy jarroo, ayns yn arrane shoh, t’ad gra ‘Manannan Beg … Mac y Lir’ rish: Manannan beg, mac ny marrey. Jiu hene, ta Manninee gra ‘cloagey Vanannan’ rish coodagh kay, as ta’n ennym echey ry-gheddyn er fud ny h-Ellan ayns co-hecks culturoil as traghtee: er feaillaghyn, beaghey as ynnydyn eiraght.

Selected verses from ‘An account of the Isle of Man in a song’, also known as ‘The Traditionary Ballad’, c. 1490 – 1530

Manannan is a sea-god known throughout Gaeldom – there are references to him in many old Irish legends and in the early Scottish text ‘The Book of the Dean of Lismore’. But the Isle of Man is where he is said to have made his home. Some scholars suggest Manannan took his name from the Island: the suffix ‘nán’ is often applied as an endearment or a diminutive, making Mananan the ‘little Manxman’. Manx people often refer to the island’s sweeping mist as ‘Manannan’s cloak’.

In this composition, Eoghan proves that he is a true multi-instrumentalist, giving his debut performance on the ‘suiteoir’.

Dy neaishtagh shiu agh rish my skeeal
As dy ving lhiu ayns my chant:
Myr share dy voddyms lesh my veeal
Yinnin diu geill da’n Ellan Sheeant.

Manannan beg va Mac y Leirr,
Shen yn chied ’er ec row rieau ee;
Agh myr share oddyms cur my ner,
Cha row eh hene agh Anchreestee.

Cha nee lesh e chliwe ren eh ee y reayll,
Cha nee lesh e hideyn, ny lesh e vow,
Agh tra vaikagh eh lhuingys troailt
Ollagh eh ee mygeayrt lesh kay.

Yinnagh eh dooinney ny hassoo er broogh
Er-lhieu shen hene dy beagh ayn keead;
As shen myr dreill Manannan keoie
Yn Ellan shoh ain lesh cosney bwoid.

Yn mayl deeck dagh unnane ass y çheer
Va bart dy leaghyr ghlass dagh blein,
As eisht shen orroo dy eeck myr keesh,
Trooid magh ny çheerey dagh Oie’l Eoin.

Paart ragh lesh y leaghyr seose
Gys yn slieau mooar ta heose Baarool,
Paart elley aagagh yn leaghyr wass
Ec Manannan erskyn Keamool.

from The Traditionary Ballad

If you would but listen to my story
And to harmonise with them in my song;
As best as I can from my own lips,
I would tell you about the Blessed Isle.

Little Manannan was the Son of Leirr
And the first person to hold this Island,
But as best as I can tell
He himself was a Heathen.

It was not with a sword that he kept it,
It was not with his arrows, or with his bow;
But when he would see a fleet travelling,
He would conjure a mist around it.

He would put a man standing on the broogh
So that you would think there were a hundred there,
And that’s how wild Manannan kept
This very Island with all its treasure.

The rent each person paid from his country
Was a bundle of green rushes each year,
And that they paid as tax
Throughout the country each Midsummer’s Eve.

Some would go with the rushes up
To the great mountain that’s up at Barrule
Some others would leave the rushes below
For Manannan above Keamool.

6. Meiriocá (America)

Bíonn an t-amhrán seo le cloisteáil go minic sa teach sin againne. Ó m’athair a chuala mé i dtosach é, agus is óna mháthair féin (mo sheanmháthairse) a fuair seisean é. Chuala mé í féin á chasadh uair amháin agus í ceithre bliana déag agus ceithre scór. Bhí a glór lag an t-am sin ach bhí sé binn i gcónaí.

My father and two sisters all sing this love song where the speaker expresses a desire to build a home in America with his beloved. I heard my grandmother sing it once when she was 94 years old. Her voice was weak by that time but it was still sweet.

Meiriocá

Tá cnoic is gleanntaí Éireann
Ag goil ó léargas orm is beidh go deo
Má dealaítear ó chéile
Mé féin ’gus mo mhíle stór.

Nach é an truaigh gan mé is mo stóirín
’S lóistín tóigthe againn i Meiriocá,
Nó an long is fearr ag Seoirse
Faoi racht seoil againn ag tarraingt ann.

Tá an fharraige seo tóigthe;
Níl sí inseolta ag long ná ag bád,
Mara bhfaighimid malairt córach,
Glac mo chomhairle is fan go lá.

Is é mo léan gan mé i m’éinín
Nó i m’fhéileacán ó thom go tom;
D’aithriseoinn scéal do do bhéilín
Dá ndéantá ormsa rún.

Do ghrua ba deirge ná an chaor,
’S tú is deise méin is leagan súl;
Nach cladhartha bocht an scéal é
’S mo ghaolta uilig i bhfeirg liom.

Saibhreas rí na Fódla
Go deo agus é fháil le mnaoi,
’S go mb’fhearr liom geall a pósta
Ar mo stór agam ná an méid sin cruinn.

America

The hills and glens of Ireland
Will go from my sight forever
If my dearest love
And I are parted.

It’s a pity my love and I
Are not in lodgings in America,
Or on our way there under full sail
In George’s finest ship.

This sea is agitated;
Neither ship nor boat can sail it,
And if we don’t get a favourable wind,
Take my advice and wait until dawn.

It’s a pity I’m not a little bird
Or a butterfly going from bush to bush;
I’d tell a story to your dear mouth
If you were to keep it secret.

Your cheek was redder than the berry,
You of loveliest disposition and of fairest glance;
Is it not a cowardly poor state of affairs
That all my relatives are angry with me?

If I were given the king of Ireland’s riches
For all of time, along with a wife,
I’d rather be given your hand my love
Than all that wealth combined.

7. She Lhong Honnick Mee (A Ship I Did See)

Tra cheayll ee ‘She Lhong Honnick Mee’ son y chied cheayrt, cha voddey derrey ghow Mary Ann baght da cosoylaght eddyr yn arrane as arrane Albinagh, ‘Fear a’ Bhàta’. As va oyr mie eck; ta cosoylaght eddyr ny skeealyn ayns y daa arrane, as t’ad nyn jees feer ennoil! Hie yn carr er çhymsaghey anmagh ayns y nuyoo eash yeig/ leah ayns yn ’eedoo eash veih Tom Kermode voish Bradda, as she Caesar Cashen voish Purt ny hInshey ren screeu ny focklyn.

A much-loved Manx song that gives us all common ground: Mary Ann was quick to draw a comparison between it and the Scottish song ‘Fear a’ Bhàta’, which itself is any Scottish Gaelic singer’s way into a session in Ireland, where it is well known. The melody was collected around the turn of the 19th/ 20th centuries from Tom Kermode of Bradda and the words were written by Caesar Cashen of Peel.

She lhong honnick mee as v’ee shiaulley
As my lomarcan mish er y traie;
V’ee goll roym er y tidey dy tappee;
O-ho! She ish baatey my ghraih!

B’laik lhiams dy beign goll ersooyl marish,
‘Sy vaatey goll magh marish my ghraih

Va ny teadyn eck soilshean myr argid
As ish shiaulley magh shen dy braew;
Myr airh ren ee skell er yn ushtey,
Lhong ny s’aaley cha vaikyms ayn rieau.

’S i mo ghràidh chunnaic mi air an stiùir –
Nach robh esan dèanamh gu math!
’M fear as sgairteile sa long, ’s e mo ghille,
An duine as bòidhche san taigh.

My vees eshyn maryms syn Ellan,
Gyn baatey ny shiaull dy gholl veih;
O-ho! Eisht cha lhiass dou freayll arrey,
My lomarcan faagit as treih.

O b’laik lhiams dy beign goll ersooyl marish,
Ny dy reayll oo ayns shoh maryms, O my ghraih!

She my ghraih honnick mee er y stiurey –
Nagh row eshyn jannoo dy mie!
Yn fer s’niartal ‘sy lhong ta my ghuilley,
Yn dooiney s’bwaaee ayns y thie.

A Ship I Did See

A ship I did see at sail
As I stood alone on the shore;
She was going along quickly on the tide;
O ho! That’s my lover’s boat!

I wish I were sailing away with him,
In the boat, sailing forth with my love.

Her lines were shining like silver
As she sailed forth so splendidly;
Like gold her reflection on the water,
A fairer ship I never will see.

It’s my lover I saw at the helm –
Wasn’t he doing well!
My lad is the strongest man aboard,
The most handsome in the house.

If he were with me on the Island
With neither boat nor sail with which to leave;
O ho! Then I need not watch,
Left alone and wretched.

I wish I were sailing away with him
Or else I would keep you here with me, oh my love!

8. Eilidh Chuain (Eilidh of Cuan)

Dh’ionnsaich mi seo bhon an t-seinn aig an Urr. Uilleam MacMhathain mar a chaidh an t-òran a chur sìos ann an iris Sgoil Eòlais na h-Alba, Tocher (àireamh 35, a tha ainmeil airson aiteal a thoirt dhuinn air stòras prìseil obair ‘Willie O-hi’). Bha Uilleam an dùil nach e muir air an robh Cuan Eilidh a-mach idir, ach baile Chuain air Eilean Luing. Tha a’ bhòids’ a tha seo a’ siubhal seachad air tìrean an dithis eile agus a’ ruigheachd cala air a’ cheann thall cha mhòr aig mo dhoras fhìn!

I learned this from a transcription of the singing of the great William Matheson, and have sung it often with various members of my family, especially my cousin, Maggie. Willie believed that Cuan referred, not to the sea (‘cuan’), but to Cuan on the tiny island of Luing, south of Oban. (Small maybe, but once a major location for slate quarrying and the sea would have provided the easiest route for export.) The song charts the traditional course, past Ireland and Man, for more distant destinations.

Sèist: Eilidh Chuain, ’s i bha luath,
Tè bhòidheach nan guala geala,
Eilidh Chuain, ’s i bha luath.

Còrr agus trì fichead seòl
Fàgail an Obain sa mhadainn;
Nuair leig Eilidh mach a sgòd,
Cha robh bòrd dhith ri fhaicinn.

Va ny hudlanyn as buird,
Va ny cruin as va ny slattyn;
Darragh nagh jean skeiltey chioee;
Hie er lhieggey hoal sy Loghlin.

Aonghas Camshron ar a stiúir
Fear a dhéanadh cúrsa ar chaladh;
‘S Mac Gilleathain rachadh suas …
S’ Mac Gill Eoin ghrappagh seose
Tra by chreoie feayr ny frassyn.

Tra hug Eilidh seose e breid,
S’annymoil va keim e shiaulley;
Oileán Mhanainn ina diaidh
Is Muir Éireann á bascadh.

(Bha na h-udalain gu lèir,
Bha na cruinn, ’s bha na slatan;
Darach nach teirig a-chaoidh;
Chaidh a bhuain ann an Lochlann.)

(Aonghas Camshron air a stiùir,
Fear a dhèanadh cùrs’ (iùil) air cala;
’S MacGilleathain rachadh suas

Nuair bu chruaidhe na frasan.)

(Nuair chuir Eilidh suas a brèid,
B’ aigeannach a ceum gu astar:
Eilean Mhanainn às a dèidh
Is Cuan Eirinn ga failceadh.)

Thèid i Shasainn, thèid i ’n Fhraing,
Is thèid i na deann dhan Bhaltic,
Thig i dhachaigh ro na caoil,
Thar a’ Mhaoil ’s Coire Bhreacain.

Tháinig an scipéar aníos,
Buidéal fíona ina dhorna
“A Fheara, ólaigí bhur sáith
Is bocht an scéal sibh a’ gabháil ag corna.”

(Thàinig an sgiobair a-nìos
’S botal fìon aige na achlais:
“Illean, gabhaibh dheth ur leòr,
’S bochd an spòrs dhuibh dol gam pasgadh.”)

Beir mo cheist air Eilidh òg,
Nuair gheibh i sròn ri Loch Leamhain;
Nuair a gheibh i luchd air bòrd,
Thèid sinn còmhla rithe thairis.
Siúd linn amach thar sáille léi.
Hemmayd cooidjagh maree harrish.

Eilidh of Cuan

Chorus: Eilidh Chuain she was swift,
Beautiful white-shouldered one,
Eilidh Chuain she was swift.

Over sixty sails
Heading out from Oban in the morning –
When Eilidh unfurled her sails,
Not a board of her was to be seen.

Her swivels were all in good order,
As were her masts, and the spars;
Oak that will never perish;
It was felled in the norselands.

Angus Cameron at the helm,
Who could safely steer to harbour;
And MacLean, who would climb the masts
In the harshest of weather.

When Eilidh hoisted her sail,
She made great speed;
The Isle of Man behind her
And the Irish Sea slapping her sides.

She’ll make for England, for France,
At full speed for the Baltic;
She’ll come home through the Kyles,
Across the Mull and Corryvreckan.

The skipper came below,
A bottle of wine under his arm:
“Lads, drink your fill,
It’s poor sport for you furling the sails.”

Bear my good wishes to young Eilidh
When her prow reaches Loch Leven;
When she takes aboard her cargo,
We’ll head abroad with her

9. Liam Ó Raghallaigh (William Reilly)

Ó m’athair a chuala mé focla an amhráin seo, ach gur fonn Dharach Uí Chatháin a bhí aige siúd. Is é an fonn a bhí ag Johnny Joe Pheaitsín atá agam anois; is dócha go ndeachaigh an fonn sin i bhfeidhm orm mar go raibh an oiread taithí agam ar an bhfonn a bhí ag m’athair leis.

This is a song of a wedding and a drowning. The woman in the song, Neill Óg Nic Siúrtáin married Liam Ó Raghallaigh. After the wedding, the 80-year-old priest had to be brought to the other side of the bay in a currach. It was the groom and two other men who made the journey. On the way back, a storm struck and Liam was drowned. The fate of the other two is not told in the song, which is Neill’s lament for her husband who drowned on the same day that she married him.

An cuimhneach libhse an lá úd, bhí an tsráid seo lán de mharcaigh,
De shagairt is de bhráithre ’s iad ag trácht ar ár mbainis?
Bhí an fhidil ar ceann cláir ann is an chláirseach dhá freagairt,
’S dháréag de na mná bána ann le mo ghrá-sa a chur ar an leaba.

I mo bhaintreach is ’mo mhaighdean a fágadh mé go hóg,
Nó ar chuala sibh, a chairde, gur báthadh mo mhíle stór?
Dá mbeinnse amuigh an lá sin is mo dhá láimh a bheith ar an scód,
Dhéanfainn dídean dhuit, a William Reilly, agus leigheasóinn do bhrón.

Níor mhór liom dhuitse, a Reilly, thú bheith do chliamhain ag an rí
Agus cuirtíní gléigeala a bheith ar gach taobh dhíot ’ do luí,
Maighdean chiúin chéillí a bheith ag réiteach do chinn;
’S ó luadh sinn le chéile is trua mar d’éag tú le mo linn.

Níorbh ait liom scéal cráite bheith amáireach ag t’athair,
Ná ag banaltra na gcíocha bána a thál ort ’ do leanbh,
Ní áirím do bhean phósta nár chóirigh riamh do leaba;
Is nuair a shíl mé bheith ’do phógadh is ar do thórramh bhí an bhainis.

Bhí tú ar an triúr úd a chuaigh go Cill Chomáin
Ag tíolacadh an Athar Píotar bhí in aois a cheithre fichid;
Dá dtigtheá faoi cheann míosa ach, mo léan choíche, ní thiocfaidh;
’S nach trua sin bean san oíche is a caoifeach i mbarr toinne!

Tá do shúile ag na péiste is tá do bhéilín ag na portáin;
Tá do dhá láimh gheal ghléigeal ar aon-tsruth leis na na bradáin;
B’é do chom bhí seang séimhí is gan bhréig ba thú bhí folláin!
Ach ’s é mo léan thú bheith i t-aonraic, a Neil óg Nic Siúrtáin.

William Reilly

Do you remember the day this street was full of horsemen,
Of priests and of friars – they were talking about our wedding?
The fiddle at the head of the table and the harp responding to it,
And twelve fair women preparing my love for bed.

I was left a widow and a maiden from a young age;
Friends, have you heard that my true love was drowned?
If I had been out in the boat that day, my two hands on the sheet,
I would make shelter for you, William Reilly, and I’d heal your sorrow.

I’d not begrudge you Reilly, to be the king’s son-in-law
And to have bright curtains each side of your bed,
A quiet sensible maiden combing your hair;
But since we were betrothed, it’s a pity that you died during my lifetime.

Tomorrow your father’s torment won’t surprise me,
Nor that of the white-breasted woman who nursed you as a child,
Not to mention your wedded wife who never made your bed;
When I thought I’d be kissing you, your wake was our wedding feast.

You were one of the three men who went to Kilcommon
To accompany Fr. Peter who was eighty years old;
If you could return in a month’s time, but alas, that will never happen;
Pitiful the woman at night whose companion is in the wash of a wave!

The worms have your eyes, the crabs your dear mouth;
Your two brilliantly white hands share the current with the salmon;
Your waist was slender and smooth, and without doubt you were healthy!
It is my sorrow that you’re alone, Neil Óg Nic Siúrtáin.

10. Seathan, Mac Rìgh Èireann (Seathan, the son of the King of Ireland)

Dh’ionnsaich mi an riochd seo bho sheinn Chaluim Johnston à Barraigh, a’ seinn an cuideachd a pheathar Annag – oir gu bheil e còrdadh rium san tionndadh seo, gu bheil Seathan còir ’s i fhèin a’ cur seachad beagan ùine sa cheàrnaidh againne dhen Eilean Sgitheanach.

The story of the son of the King of Ireland, on the run in Scotland with his beloved, is the greatest of our ballads still performed in song form. Rarely, if ever, sung complete, various singers have different versions and ‘chapters’. The whole is ultimately a lament, but there are passionate, earthy passages as Seathan is remembered for all his very finest manly qualities. This man was definitely ‘worth it’.

I learned this version from the singing of Calum Johnston from the island of Barra, recorded with his sister Annie. The two were legendary tradition bearers – Calum was also a great friend of another kind of storyteller, Compton MacKenzie, author of ‘Whisky Galore’.

B’ annsa Seathan a’ falbh slèibhte
’S mise lag is esan treubhach;
’S mairg a chuala nach do dh’inns e,
Hu ru o nà i ho ro
Gun tàinig mo leannan do Mhinginis,
Nà i ho r oho u ho ro

Ged bu bheag an sgeul bu mhilis i;
Chosgainn latha-fèille mireadh ris,
B’ annsa Seathan air chùl tobhta
Na bhith le mac Rìgh air lobhtaidh;
B’ annsa Seathan air chùl gàrraidh
Na mac rìgh le shìod’ air clàraidh;
’S iomadh beinn is gleann a shiubhail sinn,
Bha mi ‘n Ìle ’s bha mi ’n Uibhist leat,
’S bha mi ’n Èirinn nan còig mumha leat,
’S dh’èist mi aifreann sa choill bhuidhe leat;
’S cha toirinn do lagh no rìgh thu,
’S cha ghibhtinn do Mhoire Mhìn thu,
’S cha tiodhlaicinn don Chrò Naoimh thu.

Seathan, the son of the King of Ireland

I loved Seathan roaming the hills,
I so weak and he so strong;
Shame on him that heard it and did not tell it,
That my beloved came to Minginish,
Though short the story, it is sweet;
I’d pass a festival day sporting with him,
I’d rather be with Seathan behind a ruin
Than with a prince up above;
I’d rather be with Seathan behind a wall
Than with a prince with his silks on boards;
Many a hill and glen we roamed,
I was in Islay and in Uist with you,
In Ireland of the five provinces,
I heard mass in the yellow wood with you;
I would not give you to law nor king,
I would not give you away to the Virgin Mary,
I would not gift you to the Holy Rood.

11. Padjer Colum Keeilley (St. Columba’s Prayer)

She noo scanshoil Colum Keeilley, ny Colmcille, ta kiangley Nerin, Nalbin as Mannin. T’ad gra dy re eshyn hug lesh yn Credjue Creestee gys Nalbin voish Çheer Chonnal, as hug eh er bun y vannishter chummaghtagh er Ellan Ee. Rish bleeantyn liauyr, va Mannin er ny kiangley dy h-agglishagh rish Ellan Ee ayns ard-aspickys Nidaros (Trondheim, Norlann). Dynsee Ruth yn arrane aalin shoh veih ben vooinjerey, Breesha. Cha nel fys cre cha shenn as t’eh.

Colum Killey, Colmcille, St. Columba is arguably one of the strongest links between Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man – his influence can be traced throughout the three nations. Forced to settle in exile from Ireland, he founded his principal abbey on the Isle of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, and for several centuries, the Isle of Man was also ecclesiastically linked with Iona under the Archdiocese of Nidaros (Trondheim, Norway).

Ruth learnt this traditional Manx prayer from her cousin Breesha. Its exact age remains unclear.

Shee Yee as shee whooinney,
Shee Yee as Cholum Killey,
Er dagh uinnag, er dagh dorrys,
Er dagh towl cur stiagh rehollys,
Er kiare corneilyn y thie,
Er y voayl ta mish my lhie,
As shee Yee orrym pene.

St. Columba’s Prayer

Peace of God and peace of man,
Peace of God and of Saint Columba,
On each window and each door,
On every hole letting in moonlight,
On the four corners of the house,
And on the place where I lay my head,
And the peace of God on me myself.

12. Curach an t-siridh (The Searching Coracle)

Rinneadh a’ bhàrdachd seo an toiseach mar phàirt de shreath a rinn Aonghas ‘Dubh’ MacNeacail do dh’Aiseag, co-chruthachadh eadar sinn fhìn, an sgrìobhaiche Canadianach Scott Mac a’ Mhaoilein agus an duin’ agam, Nick Turner, mar phàirt de phrògram cultarail Geamachan a’ Cho-fhlaitheis ann an Glaschu an 2015. Bha briathran Aonghais riamh nan tarraing dhomh, agus tha sinn air grunn òrain a dhèanamh còmhla.

This was originally part of a sequence of poems by Aonghas MacNeacail, of which only three were set at the time (I had asked for one poem and he gave me a dozen!). I’m very happy to find a suitable harbour for one of those seagoing musical orphans. The subject of ferryboats at the heart of the original project set Aonghas’s imagination running – from memories of steam packets in his youth, to Charon’s ferry across the Styx and Acheron, to this, the Celts first journeyings across the Atlantic.

gun sheòl sinn a-mach ann ar sligeanan gall-chnò
a thog sinn thar thràghad gu sàl
is romhainn an fhàire cho leathann ri beatha shlàn
mar chraos mhòr an t-saoghail na càil

ach shaoil sinn gu faiceamaid bàrr ìseal talmhainn
cho fada thar sgàthan a’ chuain
is thog sinn ar siùil gus am fàsadh a fhreagairt dhuinn
na shoilleireachd seadhail is buan

gach curach le aisnean caol seilich na crannaghail
’s na seicean gamhna cho teann
len sgiobanan calma gan ruidhleadh null thar a’ chuain
is brèidean sgaoilt‘ air gach crann

bu feòrachas fhreagairtean shoilleir an riarachadh
’s an aon nì thug barantas tàimh
ach dh’iarradh brìgh nàdair bhith siubhal ’s a’ sireadh ùr
le earbs ann an aigne ’s neart làimh

the searching coracle

we sailed out in our shells of walnut
that we’d carried over sand to the sea
before us horizons as broad as a whole life
like the world’s great mouth with its appetite

but we thought we could see low peaks of land
far over the mirror of sea
and we raised our sails that its answer would grow
to become a meaning enduring and clear

each coracle with slender willow ribs in its structure,
and its cowhide skin tight-fitting
with a sturdy crew dancing it over the ocean
and a great scarf spread on its mast

the search for clear answers was the satisfaction sought
and the one thing guaranteeing rest
but the essence of nature demanded fresh searches
putting trust in the brain and strength of hand

13. An Ceallachín, Y Thalhear agus An Sgiobair (The Little Kelly, The Tailor and the Skipper)

Is cosúil gur i nGlaschú a rugadh an Ceallachaín fionn, a raibh Seán mar ainm baiste air. Nuair a cailleadh a athair in Albain, cuireadh abhaile chuig an Más é, áit ar tógadh é. Deirtear gur beirt ghasúr atá i gceist san amhrán a bhíodh ag déanamh báidíní as sliogáin agus á gcur amach ar na locháin.

The faired-haired Seán Kelly was born in Glasgow and sent back to An Más when his father died. It is said that the song is about two children who used to make little boats out of shells and send them out to sail on the high seas … I mean puddles.

Screeu yn dooinney mooar, Colin y Jerree (hooar baase ayns 2008), lhieggan Gaelg jeh bannag Yernagh, ‘Willie Taylor’, dy gholl rish y charr tradishoonagh Manninagh, ‘Illiam y Thalhear’. Foddee nagh beagh shin er ghoaill tastey jeh’n chiangltys shoh eddyr oc dy bragh er be dy dug Mary Ann kiaull yindyssagh The Voice Squad er enney da Ruth!

The late, great Colin Jerry wrote a Manx language version of the Irish ballad ‘Willie Taylor’ to go with the traditional Manx melody entitled ‘Illiam y Thalhear’ (source: A Garlend for John Clague). There are many versions of the song, but we might never have made the connection between these two, were it not for Mary Ann introducing Ruth to the fantastic singing of The Voice Squad!

Feumar leigeil le Eoghan còir leantainn na dhùil gur e an da-rìreabh an sgiobair air a’ chriubha seo…

The last reel is just a very popular port-à-beul in Scotland, but the Eoghan connection had to be had! The Voice Squad may just about be my all-time ultimate vocal trio, so it’s a big thrill to make that connection too. And when I was wee, my sister and I used to sail little wooden boats out on the bog. There was no tote though.

Mo Cheallachín Fionn

Bád beag is bád mór, bád beag is bád mór,
Bád beag is bád mór, ag mo Cheallachín fionn,
Bád beag is bád mór, bád beag is bád mór,
Agus loingis faoi sheol ag mo Cheallachín fionn.

Chuaigh sé ’rith geallta, chuaigh sé ’rith geallta,
Chuaigh sé ’rith geallta, mo Cheallachín fionn,
Chuaigh sé ’rith geallta, le sliogáinín bairneach,
Is bhuaigh sé trí gheall, mo Cheallachín fionn.

Nach fada uaim siar é, nach fada uaim siar é,
Nach fada uaim siar é, mo Cheallachín fionn
Nach fada uaim siar é is ní fheicfidh mé i mbliana é,
Is go seola Dia aniar é, mo Cheallachín fionn.

Ag tóin Sceirde Móir’, ag tóin Sceirde Móir’,
Ag tóin Sceirde Móir’, tá soithigh mo lao,
Ag tóin Sceirde Móir’, ag tóin Sceirde Móir’,
Raiceáileadh ceann acu is tháinig sí i dtír.

Bhí punt do dhaideo is bhí punt do mhamó,
Bhí punt do dhaideo ag mo Cheallachín fionn,
Bhí punt do dhaideo is bhí punt do mhamó
Is an chuid eile le n-ól ag mo Cheallachín fionn.

Illiam y Thalhear

Va Illiam ny ghraihder feer as ynrick, ayr as e voir kiarailagh,
Troggit ayns lught-thie feer gherjoilagh, hug eh graih da ben aeg bwaagh.

Hie ad rhymboo dys y vannish, coamrit dy stoamey ayns eeaddeeyn meein,
Haink yn skimmee preaysagh ersyn, poost er egin v’eh rish y cheayn.

Hug ee mooee e velvad scarleod, hie ee markiagh lurg e graih,
Muskad hrog ee er e geaylin, pistol cheau ee liauyr as creoie.

Ren ee goll er lhong myr shiaulteyr, ghow ee yn ennym Richard Carr,
As e laue cho bane as lilee broigh as sollit lesh yn tharr.

Myr v’ee drappal er ny loutyn g’obbragh mastey dy-chooilley ‘nane
Heid yn gheay e perree voee, roostey oghrish sniaghtey bane.

Dooyrt y captan, “Ven-seyr ‘woyagh, cre’n oyr haink shiu er nyn lhong?”
“Va my ghraih veen goit er egin; ta mee shirrey er-e-hon.”

Dooyrt y captan, “Ven-seyr ‘woyagh, cre ta’n ennym er, ven-seyr hreih?”
Dooyrt ee, “Illiam y Thalhear eshyn, Ellan Vannin haink eh veih.”

“Myr ta’n ennym er Illiam y Thalhear, as ass Ellan Vannin v’eh,
Hee shiu eshyn gyn rouail, jeeagh, t’eh cheet hood er y traie.”

D’irree ee moghey ayns y voghrey, beggan roish v’eh brishey yn laa,
As v’ee fakin Illiam daaney, shooyl magh marish e ven-seyr.

D’yllee ee son cliwe as pistol, hug ad lhee myr sarey voee,
Lhig as lhieg ee Illiam daaney, as e heshey rish e roih

Gow yn captain kesmad huick eisht, boggey y ghoaill er ny ren ee,
Ren eh j’ee myr arreyder harrish lhong as deiney hug eh jee.

Curraigh Eòghainn

Seallaibh curraigh Eòghainn, còig ràimh fichead oirre,
Seallaibh curraigh Eòghainn, seachad air a’ Rubha Bhàn.

Bidh Eòghainn, bidh Eòghainn, bidh Eòghainn na sgiobair oirr’,
Bidh Eòghainn, bidh Eòghainn seachad air a’ Rubha Bhàn.

Seasaidh i ri farraige, cargo is balaist oirre,
Seasaidh i ri farraige, seachad air a’ Rubha Bhàn.

Bidh Eòghainn, bidh Eòghainn, bidh Eòghainn na sgiobair oirr’,
Bidh Eòghainn, bidh Eòghainn seachad air a’ Rubha Bhàn.

The Little Kelly, The Tailor and the Skipper

My Little Fair-Haired Kelly
A small and a large boat, a small and large boat,
A small and large boat has my little fair-haired Kelly,
A small and a large boat, a small and large boat,
And ships under sail has my little fair-haired Kelly.

He went sailboat racing, he went sailboat racing,
He went sailboat racing, my little fair-haired Kelly,
He went sailboat racing with a tiny limpet shell,
And won three races, my little fair-haired Kelly.

Chorus:
Isn’t he a good distance west of me, a good distance west of me?
Isn’t he a good distance west of me, my little fair-haired Kelly?
Isn’t he a good distance west of me, I won’t see him this year,
Until God sails him eastwards to me, my little fair-haired Kelly.

At the lower end of Sceirde Mór, the lower end of Sceirde Mór,
At the lower end of Sceirde Mór, are my little one’s ships,
At the lower end of Sceirde Mór, the lower end of Sceirde Mór,
And one of them was wrecked and she came ashore.

He had one pound for grandad, one pound for granny,
And a pound for grandad, my little fair-haired Kelly,
He had one pound for grandad, one pound for granny,
And the rest for the drink, had my little fair-haired Kelly.

William Tailor
William was a true and honest lover, his father and mother were prudent
Raised in a very happy family, he fell in love with a beautiful young woman

They went to wed, dressed elegantly in fine cloth
The press gang came upon him: he was forcibly married to the sea.

She dressed in scarlet velvet and went riding after her lover
She took up a musket on her shoulder, she wore a long solid pistol

She enlisted on a ship as a sailor under the name Richard Carr
Her lily-white hand soiled and dirtied with tar

As she was climbing the decks working amongst everyone
The wind lifted her short-jacket, revealing a snowy-white bosom

Said the Captain, “Fair lady, why did you come aboard our ship?”
“My dear lover was taken by force: I am looking for him.”

Said the Captain, “Fair lady, what is his name, my poor lady?”
Said she, “He is William Tailor, from the Isle of Man.”

“If his name is William Tailor and he is from the Isle of Man
You needn’t stray far to see him, look, he’s coming toward you on the shore.”

She rose early in the morning, a little before daybreak
And she saw bold William, walking out with his mistress

She shouted for sword and pistol, which were brought at her command
She shot and killed bold William, and his companion at his arm

The Captain then took a step toward her, delighting in her deed
He made her commander of a ship and gave her charge over men.

Eoghainn’s Boat

See Eoghainn’s boat, five and twenty oars on her,
See Eoghainn’s boat, passing by the white point.

Eoghainn will be her captain, passing by the white point.

She’ll withstand the ocean, with cargo and ballast aboard,
She’ll withstand the ocean, passing by the white point.

Eoghainn will be her captain, passing by the white point.