MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
S Truagh Nach Robh Mi'n Riochd na h'Eala
(It's a Pity That I Had Not the Shape of a Swan)
Angus "The Ridge" MacDonald CB 1 Tape 14 Track 4
Upper South River? Audio:
Milling Song

Gaelic

'S truagh nach robh mi, hao ill o ro
Riochd na h-eala, o hi im bo
Nan riochd faoileig, hao ill o ro
Chrè na mara, e hoireann o.

Nan riochd faoileig, hao ill o ro
Chrè na mara, o hi im bo
Shnamhainn an caol, hao ill o ro
Rachainn thairis, e hoireann o.

Shnamhainn an caol, hao ill o ro
Rachainn thairis, o hi im bo
Ruiginn am bail', hao ill o ro
'M beil mo leannan, e hoireann o.

Ruiginn am bail', hao ill o ro
'M beil mo leannan, o hi him bo
M'àighear 's mo ghaol,hao ill o ro
Mo cheud leannan, e hoireann o.

M' aighear 's mo ghaol, hao ill o ro
'S mo cheud leannan,o hi him bo
'S tric a laigh mi, hao ill o ro
'Ghaoil fo d' fhalluing, e hoireann o.

'S tric a laigh mi, hao ill o ro
'Ghaoil fo d' fhalluing, o hi im bo
Sìoban nam beann, hao ill o ro
Bhith 'dol farainn, e hoireann o.

Sìoban nam beann, hao ill o ro
Bhith 'dol farainn, o hi im bo
Deathach nan stùc, hao ill o ro
Bhith 'gar dalladh, e hoireann o.

Deathach nan stùc, hao ill o ro
Bhith 'gar dalladh, o hi im bo
Banais an nochd, hao ill o ro
'S a chill' uachdraich, e hoireann o.

Banais an nochd, hao ill o ro
'S a chill' uachdraich, o hi im bo
Nam bithinn ann, hao ill o ro
Dheanainn fuadach, e hoireann o.

Nam bithinn ann, hao ill o ro
Dheanainn fuadach, o hi im bo
Nam biodh tè eil' ann, hao ill o ro
Bhith ga luadh riut, e hoireann o.

Nam biodh tè eil' ann, hao ill o ro
Bhith ga luadh riut, o hi im bo
Sgàthainn a bun, hao ill o ro
'S bàrr a cuailean, e hoireann o.

Sgàthainn a bun, hao ill o ro
'S bàrr a cuailean, o hi im bo
'S trom an naigheachd, hao ill o ro
'N diugh a chualas, e hoireann o.

'S trom an naigheachd, hao ill o ro
'N diugh a chualas, o hi im bo
Thug Clann Nìll, hao ill o ro
Druim a chuain orr',e hoireann o.

Thug Clann Nìll, hao ill o ro
Druim a chuain orr'o hi im bo
Chaidh iad fòdha, hao ill o ro
Anns an fhuaradh, e hoireann o.

Chaidh iad fòdha, hao ill o ro
Anns an fhuaradh, o hi im bo
Luchd nan leadan, hao ill o ro.
Troma dualach, e hoireann o

Luchd nan leadan, hao ill o ro
Troma dualach, o hi im bo
Luchd nan seòl àrd, hao ill o ro
'S nan long ùaibhreach, e hoireann o.

English

It's a pity that I had not, hao ill o ro
The shape of a swan, o hi im bo
Or the shape of a seagull, hao ill o ro .
On the crest of the sea, e hoireann o.

Or the shape of a seagull, hao ill o ro
On the crest of the sea, o hi im bo.
I would swim the narrows, hao ill o ro
I would go across, e hoireann o.

I would swim the narrows, hao ill o ro
I would go across, o hi im bo
I would reach the town, hao ill o ro
Where dwells my sweetheart, e hoireann o.

I would reach the town, hao ill o ro
Where dwells my sweetheart, o hi im bo
My joy and my love, hao ill o ro
My first sweetheart, e hoireann o.

My joy and my love, hao ill o ro
My first sweetheart, o hi im bo
Oft have I lain, hao ill o ro
Under your plaid, my love, e hoireann o.

Oft have I lain, hao ill o ro
Under your plaid, love, o hi im bo
The mist of the hills, hao ill o ro
Passing over us, e hoireann o

The mist of the hills, hao ill o ro
Passing over us, o hi im bo
The dew on the slopes, hao ill o ro
Blinding us, e hoireann o.

The dew on the slopes, hao ill o ro
Blinding us, o hi im bo
There's a wedding tonight, hao ill o ro
In the upper church, e hoireann o.

There's a wedding tonight, hao ill o ro
In the upper church, o hi im bo
If I were there, hao ill o ro
I would send many away, e hoireann o.

If I were there, hao ill o ro
I would send many away, o hi im bo
If there was another, hao ill o ro
Flirting with you, e hoireann o.

If there was another, hao ill o ro
Flirting with you, o hi im bo
I would destroy her confidence, hao ill o ro
And chop off her locks, e hoireann o.

I would destroy her confidence, hao ill o ro
And chop off her locks, o hi im bo
Sad is the news, hao ill o ro
We have heard today, e hoireann o.

Sad is the news, hao ill o ro
We have heard today, o hi im bo
Clan MacNeil, hao ill o ro
Have put to sea, e hoireann o.

Clan MacNeil, hao ill o ro
Have put to sea, o hi im bo
They went under, hao ill o ro
During the storm, e hoireann o

They went under, hao ill o ro
During a storm, o hi im bo
Those whose hair, hao ill o ro
Was thick and curly, e hoireann o.

Those whose hair, hao ill o ro
Was thick and curly, o hi im bo
Their sails were high, hao ill o ro
On neat sailing ships, e hoireann o.


Notes

John Lorne Campbell collected this song from Angus in 1937 (see song 52 in Songs Remembered in Exile). Another version was recorded from Mrs. Patterson.

This milling song, also known as "Coisich a Rùin (Walk, My Beloved)," or "Fliuch an Oidhche (Wet is the Night)," was widely known in Scotland and Cape Breton. The lengthy performances usually encompass several themes (the jealous lover, the maiden pining for her love and clan propaganda), which would lead one to believe that the text is a combination of verses from much older milling songs.

Various printed versions of this song appear in Hebridean Folksongs Vol. II (p. 144-50).

Corrections and additions by Lorrie MacKinnon.

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