MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Mo MhÀili Bheag Òg
(My Young Little Molly)
Angus MacIsaac CB 1 Tape 1 Track 1
Giant's Lake Audio:
Love Song

Gaelic

Nach truagh leat mi am prìosan mo Mhàili bheag òg.
Do chàirdean 'gad ionndrain, mo chuid de'n t-saoghal mhòr
Bean na dosan mine, 's nan gruaidhean dearga lionta i
'S tu nach fhàgadh sios mi fo mhì-ruin do bheòil.

Di-dòmhnuich anns a' ghleann le mo Mhàili bheag òg
Nuair thòisich mi ri cainnt ruit, mo chuid de'n t-saoghal mhòr
Nuair dh'fhosgail mi mo shùilean 's a sheall mi air mo chùlaibh
Bha marcaiche 'n eich chruidheach tighinn dlùth air mo thòr.

Gur mise bh' air mo bhuaireadh, mo Mhàili bheag òg
Nuair chruinnich sluagh mun cuairt dhuinn mo ribhinn ghlan ùr
Nach truagh nach b'ann 's an uair sin a thuit ma làmh bho'm ghualainn
Mu'n d'amais mi do bhualadh mo Mhàili bheag òg.

'S nach bòidheach leam a dh' fhàs i mo Mhaili bheag òg
Mar lilidh anns an fhàsach mo cheud ghràdh 's mo rùn
Mar aiteal caoin na grèine 's a mhaduinn's i 'g èiridh
B'e sud do dhreach's èugais mo Mhàili bheag òg.

'S truagh a rinn do chàirdean mo Mhàili bheag òg
Nuair chronaich iad do ghràdh dhomh, mo cheud saoghal thu
Nan tugadh iad do làmh dhomh cha bhithinn air an am seo
Fo bhinn airson mo ghràdh dhut mo Mhàili bheag òg.

Shiubhlainn leat an saoghal, mo Mhàili bheag òg
Cho fad ri cùl na grèine mo cheud ghràdh 's mo rùn
Ruithinn agus leumainn mar fhiadh air bhàrr nan sléibhtean
Air gaol gum bithinn rèidh ruit mo Mhàili bheag òg.

Cha tèid mi do'n bhuaile 's mo Mhàili bheag òg
Far am bithear leis na cuachan a' seinn sin le ceòl
Ged bhitheadh iad 'g a m' bhualadh cha chàraich is cha ghluais mi
'S tha mise nochd 'nam thruaghan Mhàili bheag òg.

'S ged bheireadh iad o'n bhàs mi, mo Mhàili bheag òg
Chan iarrainn tuilleadh tàladh mo cheud ghràdh 's mo rùn
Ach cead an saoghal seo fhàgail gu faicinn d'agahidh bhàighail
'S gun cuimhn' bhi air an là sin a dh'fhàg mi fo cheo.

English

Do you not pity me in prison, my little young Molly?
Your friends miss you, you're all the world to me
Woman of the silken hair, and the full red cheeks
You would not leave me down-hearted by speaking malice

On Sunday in the glen with my little young Molly
When I spoke to you, and you are all the world to me
When I opened my eyes and looked behind me
The rider of the shod horse was close in search of me

It was I who was troubled my little young Molly
When a crowd gathered round us, my pure young maid
It's a pity it was not then that my hand dropped from my shoulder
Before I happened to strike you my little young Molly.

Beautiful to me did she grow, my little young Molly
Like a lily in the wasteland, my first love and my choice
Like the pleasant ray of sunshine, as it rises on a peaceful morning
That was your image and reputation, my little young Molly.

Your friends did a regrettable thing my little young Molly
When they forbade your love for me, my whole world you were
Had they given me your hand, I would not be at this time
Under judgement for my love for you my little young Molly.

I would travel the world with you my little young Molly
As far as the sunset, my first love and my choice
I would run and leap like a deer on the mountain top
For the sake of being free with you my little young Molly.

I will not go to the fold, my little young Molly
Where they are with the milking pails singing musically
Though they would strike me I would not move or go
And I am tonight in a pitiful state, my little young Molly.

Though they would save me from death my little young Molly
I would need no other solace my first love and my choice
But to let me leave this world to see your endearing face
With no memory of that day that left me under a cloud.


Notes

A popular love song in both Scotland and Cape Breton, Mo Mhàili Bheag Òg was supposedly composed in the late 18th century by a soldier imprisoned for the unintentional murder of his sweetheart. According to tradition, the young soldier fell in love and eloped with the daughter of a nobleman who then sent his men in pursuit of the couple. They were eventually located in a remote glen where the soldier fought with his pursuers leading him to accidentally strike his sweetheart with his sword.

This song is found in print in many Gaelic song collections. Scottish folklorist Margaret Bennett has noted that the tune of the version recorded by Leach was not commonly heard in Scotland.

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