MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Mo Nighean Donn's Laghach Thu
(You Are Lovely, My Brown-haired maiden)
Roderick MacLellan CB 1 Tape 3 Track 2
Unknown Audio:
Love Song

Gaelic

Mo nighean donn 's laghach thu
Ho ro b'e mo roghainn thu
'S mo nighean donn 's laghach thu
'S gun taghainn thu air bhòidhchead.

'S e 'n turus thug na ghleann mi
A choimhead na sgoil dhannsa
Gur ann a bha mi'n geall air
Te cheannsa bha bòidheach.

Mo nighean donn nam blàth shùil
'S òg a thug mi gràdh dhuit
Cha b'ann air na sràidean seo
Dh'àraicheadh òg thu.

Chan fhacas riamh gruaim art
Ach aoidheil mar a dh'fhàs thu
Gun d'thug thu sin fo d' mhàthair
A dh'àraich as d'òig thu.

Bha thu crìdheil sùnndach
Sgiobalt' air an ùrlar
Nuair thionndaidh thu do chùl
Bha mo shùil ort an còmhnaidh.

Thig iad as gach àite
Bho mhullach nam beann àrda
A choimhead ort a Mhàiri
Gur e àsan bhios gòrach.

Thig iad anns na h-uinneagan
Cho lionmhor ris na cuileagan
A shealltainn air mo chruinneig-sa
Nuair chluinneas iad a bòidhchead.

Ged thigeadh am fìdhlear
Fear mealladh na nigheanagan
Feuch nach tòir thu clì dha
'S mi fhèin a ghaoil an tòir ort.

Dheanain iasgach mara dhuit
Stìarainn long fo chrannagan
Is cha bhiodh gainn air aran ort
Nan gealladh tu mo phòsadh.

English

Brown-haired maid you are lovely
Horo you are my choice
Brown-haired maid you are lovely
I would choose you for your beauty.

The journey that took me to the glen
To watch the dancing school
Was because I was pledged to a gentle maid
Who was bonny.

My brown haired maid of the tender eyes
Young was I when I gave you my love
It was not on these streets
That you were reared when young.

You were never sullen
But pleasant as you grew
You took that from your mother
Who reared you when young.

You were happy and good humoured
Smart on the dance floor
When you turned your back
My eye was on you always.

They come from everywhere
From the top of the high mountains
To see you Mary
They really are foolish.

They corne to the windows
As plentiful as flies
To see my girl
When they hear of her beauty.

If the fiddler should come
The one who deceives the lassies
Be sure not to listen to him
For I, my love, want you.

For you I would fish the sea
I would steer a ship with cross-trees
And you would not go short of bread
If you promised to marry me

You are lovely my brown-haired maid.


Notes

This anonymous composition speaks of the many beauties and fine qualities of a woman by the name of Màiri. The composer cautions Màiri to beware the village “Casanovas” and implores her to remain faithful to him.

The song has been collected in Scotland as well as Cape Breton and appears in printed collections and commercially produced recordings of Gaelic song.

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