MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

BlÀr Inbhir LÒchaidh
(The Battle of Inverlochy)

Performed by Angus "The Ridge" MacDonald Accession # 78-054 CB 1 Tape 15 Track 3
Community: Upper South River Audio: Yes
Genre: War Song

Transcription

Gaelic

Inverlochy Castle'S gur e mise th'air m'aineol, na i ri ri si ri o ro
O gur mise th'air mo leònadh, na i ro ri o ho.

O gur mise th'air mo leònadh, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Bho latha Blàr Inbhir Lòchaidh, na i ro ri o ho

Bho latha Blàr Inbhir Lòchaidh, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Fo ruaig nan Eireannach doithte, na i ro ri o ho.

Fo ruaig nan Eireannach doithte, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Thainig a dh'Albainn gun stòras, na i ro ri o ho.

Thainig a dh'Albainn gun stòras, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Le bha dh'earras air an cleocaibh, na i ro ri o ho.

Le bha dh'earras air an cleocaibh, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Thug iad spionnadh do Chlann Dòmhnuill, na i ro ri o ho

Thug iad spionnadh so Chlann Dhòmhnuill, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Mharbh iad m'athair is m'fhear pòsda, na i ro ri o ho.

Mharbh iad m'athair is m'fhear pòsda, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Mo thriùir mhacanan òga, na i ro ri o ho

Mo thriùir mhacanan oga, na i ri ri si ri o ro
'S mo cheathrar bhraithrean ga' stròiceadh, na i ro ri o ho.

'S mo cheathrar bhraithrean ga stròiceadh, na i ri ri si ri o ro.
Loisg iad mo chuid coirc' is eorna, na i ro ri o ho.

Loisg iad mo chuid coirc' is eòrna, na i ri ri si ri o ro.
Mharbh iad mo chrodh mor gu feolach, na i ro ri o ho.

Mharbh iad mo chrodh mo gu feolach, na hi ri ri si ri o ro.
'S mo chaoraich gheala gan ròsladh, na hi ro ri o ho.

'S mo chaoraich gheala gan ròsladh, na i ri ri si ri o ro.
Gur e mi a th'air mo leònadh, na i ro ri o ho.

O gur mise air mo chlaoidheadh, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Mu MhacDhonnchaidh Gleann a Faochan, na i ro ri o ho.

Mu MhacDhonnchaidh Gleann a Faochan, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Tha gach fear a's tìr 'gad chaoineadh, na i ro ri o ho.

Tha gach fear a's tìr 'gad choineadh, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Mnathan 'sa bhàsraich 's a falt sgaoilte, na i ro ri o ho.

Mnathan 'sa bhàsraich 's a falt sgaoilte, na i ri ri si ri o ro
'S gur e mis' a th 'air mo mhilleadh, na i ro ri o ho.

'S gur e mis' a th'air mo mhilleadh, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Mu mharcach nan srian 's nam pillein, na i ro ri o ho.

Mu mharcach na srian 's nam pillein, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Thug MacDhonnchaidh mòr an linn' air, na i ro ri o ho.

Thug MacDhonnchaidh mòr an linn'air, na hi ri ri si ri o ro
'S leag e sgriob ud air a chinneadh, na i ro ri o ho.

English

It is I who am lost, na i ri ri si ri o ro
I have been deeply wounded, na i ro ri o ho.

I have been deeply wounded, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Since the day of the Battle of Inverlochy, na i ro ri o ho.

Since the day of the Battle of Inverlochy, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Being routed by the churlish Irishmen, na i ro ri o ho.

Being routed by the churlish Irishmen, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Who came to Scotland with nothing, na i ro ri o ho.

Who came to Scotland with nothing, na i ri ri si ri o ro
But what they had on their cloaks, na i ro ri o ho.

But what they had on their cloaks, na i ri ri si ri o ro
They gave strength to the MacDonalds, na i ro ri o ho.

They gave strength to the MacDonalds, na i ri ri si ri o ro
They slew my father and my husband, na i ro ri o ho.

They slew my father and my husband, na i ri ri si ri o ro
And my three young sons, na i ro ri o ho.

And my three sons, na i ri ri si ri o ro
And my four brothers were struck down, na i ro ri o ho.

And my four brothers were struck down, na i ri ri si ri o ro
They burned my oats and my barley, na i ro ri o ho.

They burned my oats and my barley, na i ri ri si ri o ro
They killed my big beefy cattle, na i ro ri o ho.

They killed my big beefy cattle, na i ri ri si ri o ro
And my white sheep, they roasted, na i ro ri o ho.

Andy my white sheep, they roasted, na i ri ri si ri o ro.
I have been deeply wounded, na i ro ri o ho.

I have been anguished, na i ri ri si ri o ro
About the son of Duncan of Glen Faochan, na i ro ri o ho.

About the son of Duncan of Glen Faochan, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Every man in the land mourns for you, na i ro ri o ho.

Every man in the land mourns for you, na i ri ri si ri o ro
Wives wailing, with their hair disheveled, na i ro ri o ho.

Wives wailing with their hair disheveled, na i ri ri si ri o ro
I am completely devastated, na i ro ri o ho.

I am completely devastated, na i ri ri si ri o ro
About the riders of the bridle and pack saddle, na i ro ri o ho.

About the riders of the bridle and pack saddle, na i ri ri si ri o ro
The son of Duncan made for the pool, na i ro ri o ho.

The son of Duncan made for the pool, na i ri ri si ri o ro
And struck that blow for his kinsman, na i ro ri o ho.


Notes

As noted by John Lorne Campbell in Songs Remembered in Exile (notes to song 57, a more complete version of this song, which he collected from Angus in 1937), the Battle of Inverlochy (near Fort William in the central Highlands) was fought on February 2nd 1645 between the Royalists under Montrose and Alasdair MacColla MacDonald, and Covenanters led by Campbell of Auchinbreck. The Irish mentioned were a group sent to support the efforts of the MacDonalds. A MacMhurich writer, describing the battle in the Black Book of Clanranald, states that the MacDonalds surprised the Covenanters at dawn after marching the entire night through the mountains of Lochaber. Campbell of Auchinbreck was killed and all other Campbells found there were either slain or taken prisoner.

As also noted by John Lorne Campbell, the song was supposedly composed by a Campbell woman following the battle. As it is regarded as being part of the Lochaber tradition, it may well have been composed by a MacDonald writing from the perspective of a Campbell and reveling in their defeat. Angus “The Ridge”’s grandparents were born in the Braes of Lochaber, not far from where the battle occurred.

From his field journal, we know that MacEdward Leach was aware of John Lorne Campbell’s prior collecting of the song, and may have requested it. He also notes that “only Angus” knew this song.

The above photo is of Inverlochy Castle.

Corrections and additions by Lorrie MacKinnon.

 

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.