MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Air Faillirinn IÙ
Michael S. MacNeil CB 1 Tape 13 Track 2
Benacadie Glen Audio:
Love Song


Air failirinn iu
Horo hu illirinn io
Air failirinn i

Gur e mis' tha fo mhulad
'S mi air uilinn na stùc

'S mi faicinn Caol Muile
'S nach grùnnaich mi nùll

Far a bheil mo mhàthair
Air a càradh fo'n ùir

'S far a bheil mo bhràthair
Air a chàradh ri taobh

'S far a bheil mo leannan
Gur a màiseach a gnùis

Chi mi'm bàta dol seachad
'S leam is làpach a crew

'S mar a deachaidh mi mearachd
Bha mo leannan air stiùir


Air faillirinn iù
Ho ro hu illirinn o
Air faillirinn iù

I am feeling very sad
On the elbow (angle) of the hill.

Looking across the Sound of Mull
Alas I cannot walk there.

Where my mother lies
Buried under the turf.

And where my brother is
Laid out beside her.

Where my sweetheart resides
Beautiful is her face.

I see the boat sailing by
I fear the crew is pretty feeble.

And if I am not mistaken
My loved one was at the wheel.


Air Faillirinn Iù is sung from the perspective of a young woman whose sweetheart has been lost at sea. In this version of the song, the woman begins by lamenting the fact that her mother, brother and love are buried far from her across the Sound of Mull. As she gazes across the water, she recounts the tragic incident as if she had witnessed it all transpire. In most versions (the song is often quite lengthy) she lists the islands he sailed past and all of her regrets. In this version however, we are told only of the way in which the sailor died. The song was particularly popular around the Bras d’Or where Leach collected this version in 1949.

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