MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Am Braighe
(The Braes)
Hector and Alex MacKinnon CB 1 Tape 3 Track 7
Lake Ainslie Audio:
Homeland Song

Gaelic

Chan 'eil àite 'n diugh fo'n ghrèin
'S am b'fheàrr leam fhein bhi tàmhachd
Na Bràigh na h'Aibhneadh measg nan sonn
O'm faighte fuinn na Gàidhlig.

Chorus.Na cnuic 's na glinn bu bhòidhche leinn
'S iad cnuic is glinn a' Bhràighigh
Mu'n tric bha sinn ri mànran binn
'S e chomunn ghrinn a b'fheàrr leam.

'S do bruachan gorm 'sam faicear sprèidh
Do ghlacan rèidh gun àireamh
Mar uachdar thonn, 's na soirbheas trom
A ruith gu bonn nan àrd-bheann.

Cho fad 's tha flur a'fàs gu dluth
Air maduinn chùbhraidh bhàigheil
'S bidh ceòl nan eun gu fonnmhor dean
Nuair thig a ghrian le b'àigh orr'.

'S gur lionmhor fear ag iasgach bhradan
Air na cladaich bhàna
'S tric daoine tighinn a Breatainn thall
Cuir seachad samhraidh làmh riut.

Is iomadh fleasgach làidir grinn
Chaidh anns na glinn seo àrach
Is maighdinn glè ghlan dhireach òg
Le aodainn bhòidhich nàrach.

Ach sòraidh bhuam do'n chomhlan rìoghail
Far nis tìm 'gam fhàgail
Gur tearc ri fhaotainn feadh an t-saoghail
'N diugh daon' bheir barr orr'.

English

There is no better place under the sun today
Where I would want to live
Than the hills of Margaree, amongst the heroes
Where the sounds of Gaelic can be found.

Chorus: The hills and glens that to us are most beautiful
Are the hills and glens of the uplands
Where we often sang sweet melodies
In the company we liked best.

Your green slopes frequented by cattle
Your innumerable level valleys
Like the crest of waves driven by high winds
Racing to the foot of the high mountains.

As long as flowers grow so plentifully
On a calm fragrant morning
The birds will sing their melodies
When the gentle sun shines upon them.

Plentiful are the men fishing for salmon
On your fair shores
Many people come from Britain
Spending a whole summer with you.

Many a strong handsome youth
Was reared in these glens
And many a fine upright maid
With shy bonny faces.

But farewell to the kingly companions
I have little time left
It would be difficult to find anyone in the world today.
Who could surpass them.


Notes

Leach writes in his field journal that this song was written by Malcolm Campbell, a minister in the parish of Strathlorne, and is supposedly in praise of the hills that surround Lake Ainslie, the home of Hector and Alex MacKinnon. It is in fact a version of a very well-known song composed at the beginning of the twentieth century by Malcolm Gillis. The song is in praise of Gillis’ home in nearby Margaree, an area that is similar enough in landscape to adequately describe the countryside surrounding Lake Ainslie.

The song originally appeared in a collection of Gillis’ poetry entitled “Smeorach nan Cnoc ‘s nan Gleann,” and has been recorded in various regions of Cape Breton Island and Antigonish County.

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