MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Dh'Eirich Mi Moch
(I Arose Early)
Angus "The Ridge" MacDonald CB 1 Tape 14 Tracks 1 and 2
Upper South River? Audio:
Milling Song

Gaelic

Dh'èirich mi moch,
Na haoi ho hi o
Dhìrich mi mach,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

Dhìrich mi mach,
Na haoi ho hi o
Beul nan stùcan,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho

Beul nan stùcan,
Na haoi ho hi ho
Chunacas bàta,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

Chunnacas bàta,
Na haoi ho hi ho
'S e 'dol tiomchioll,
Na hi si ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi o

'S e 'dol tiomchioll,
Na haoi ho hi o
Rudha 'n Dùin',
Na hi si ri ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi o.

Rudha 'n Dùin',
Na haoi ho hi o
'Se mo leannan,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi o.

'Se mo leannan,
Na haoi ho hi ho
Tha 'ga stiùreadh,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

Tha 'ga stiùireadh,
Na haoi ho hi o
Dh'aithnghinn t'fhàileas,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

Dh'aithnghinn t'fhaileas,
Na haoi ho hi o
'S a chuan dubh ghorm
Na hi si ri ri ri o

(Only verses are sung from here on)

'N tig thu nochd

No'm bidh mo dhùil riut

An dean mi choinneal

Bhan a'mhùthadh?

English

I arose early,
Na haoi ho hi o
I climbed up,
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho

I climbed up
Na haoi ho hi o
The steep hill
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

The steep hill
Na haoi ho hi o
A boat was seen
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho i ho

A boat was seen
Na haoi o hi o
As it rounded
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

As it rounded
Na haoi ho hi o
Rudha 'n Duin' (point of the fortress)
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

Rudha'n Duin'
Na haoi ho hi o
It is my lover
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

It is my lover
Na haoi ho hi ho
Who steers her
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi ho hi ho.

Who steers her
Na haoi o hi o
I would know your shadow
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi o hi ho.

I would know your shadow
Na haoi ho hi o
In the blue-black sea
Na hi si ri ri ri o
E ho ro eileadh
Na haoi o hi ho.

(Only verses sung from here on)

Will you come tonight?

Or will I expect you?

Shall I put out


Notes

This song was also collected by John Lorne Campbell from Angus in 1937 (see Song 53 in Songs Remembered in Exile). The song as recorded by Campbell has one more line than is noted here.

This milling song would have been brought to Nova Scotia from Cape Breton in the 1800s. As noted by John Lorne Campbell, its structure is comprised of eight syllable lines divided into halves with penultimate syllables rhyming (the long "u" sound). He also notes that "on that basis it is clear that the second hales of the first and third line have been forgotten. The Ridge manuscript shows that the missing bits can be filled in as follows:

Dh'eirich mi moch    maduinn driuchd

Chunnacas bata   falbh gu siulach

Choruses of milling songs performed in Cape Breton today are rarely divided between verses as they are in this instance.

The song presented here shares many similarities with a popular Scottish milling song, “Bheir Soraidh, Soraidh Bhuam.” It too is a split line song with vocables after the first half line and then complete vocables sung after the second half of the line. It must be noted, however, that the vocables are not the same. Additionally, both songs contain a few formulaic lines regarding a boat.

Leach notes that this was also sung in Cape Breton while rowing boats.

Corrections and additions by Lorrie MacKinnon.

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