MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Hi O Ho Tha Mi Fo Lionn-Dubh
(Hi O Ho I Am Melancholy)

Performed by Mrs. Katie Patterson Accession # 78-054 CB 1 Tape 10 Track 15
Community: Benacadie Glen Audio: Yes
Genre: War Song, Milling Song

Transcription

Gaelic

O hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh
'S oirreann o mi trom gu dìreadh
O hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh.

Tapadh leis na Gàidheil ghasda
Thug am breacan datht' a Struibhle
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

'S nuair sheallas mi air mo chasan
M' urram aig na gartain shìoda.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

'S nuair sheallas mi air mo bhrògan
Miad mo bhròin chan fhaod mi ìnnse.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

An oidhche bha mi 'n tigh a mhuillinn
Chruinnich iad uileadh mum thiomchioll.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

Chuir iad an t-airgiod na'm phòca
Fath mo leòin a bhith 'ga ìnnse.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

Chuir iad an ìt' ud na'm bhonaid
Bha sid dorannach le m' mhuinntir.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

'S ma bha gus nach robh mi deònach
Chàirich iad an cleòc' an rìgh mi
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

'S tha "recruits" a'falbh a'màireach
'S bithidh sinn a màrseadh gu Lite
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

Dìreadh ris na beanntan àrda
Donnchadh Ban 's a chùl ri Ile.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

Dìreadh ris na beanntan Diùrach
'S mòr mo shùil as deigh na h-ìghneag.
Hi o ho tha mi fo lionn-dubh

English

Hi o ho I am depressed
'S oireann o it labours me to climb
Hi o ho I am depressed.

My thanks to the fine Gaels
Who brought the coloured flag from Stirling
Hi o ho I am depressed

When I look down at my feet
I give honour to the silk garters.
Hi o ho I am depressed

And when I look at my boots
The depth of my sadness I cannot express.
Hi o ho I am depressed

The night I went to the mill house
They all gathered around me.
Hi o ho I am depressed

They put the money in my pocket
I am much ashamed to tell it.
Hi o ho I am depressed

They put that feather in my bonnet
That was painful to my people.
Hi o ho I am depressed

And whether or not I was willing
They clothed me in the king's cloak.
Hi o ho I am depressed

The recruits are leaving tomorrow
And we all march to Leith
Hi o ho I am depressed

Climbing the high mountains
Fair Duncan has his back to Islay
Hi o ho I am depressed

Climbing the high hills of Jura
I think of the girl I left behind.
Hi o ho I am depressed


Notes

This song concerning the trials of war has been recorded in Nova Scotia, Scotland and The Codroy Valley in Newfoundland (see Margaret Bennett, 'The Last Stronghold'). It is often classified as a milling song. A more complete version of this song was also recorded from Mrs. Patterson by John Lorne Campbell and is printed as song 19 in Songs Remembered in Exile. Although Leach did not identify the singer in his field notes, it very clearly is Mrs. Patterson.

Corrections and additions by Lorrie MacKinnon.

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