MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
'Bhith gan Cuimhneachadh 's gan Ionndrain
(Remembering and Missing Them)
unidentified male CB 1 Tape 5 Track 6
Unknown Audio:
Milling Song/ lament

Gaelic

'S bhi gan cuimhneachadh 's gan ionndrain
Na fir ùr a dh'fhalbh air sàile

Bhi gan cuimhneachadh 's gan ionndrain

S ann Diluain a rinn sinn gluasad

'S binn a fhuair iad baoch air m' àirde

'S ann Dimàirt ghabh mi mo chead leibh
Suas na glinn tigh Mhic 'ic Màrtuinn

Bhi gan cuimhneachadh uile
O chan urrainn sinn gan àireamh

...os cinn Mhic Dhùghaill
Leis na dh'fhalbh na fiurain aluinn

Bhi gan cuimhneachadh gun eagnadh
Bhon nach urrainn sinn gan àireamh

 

[Chorus repeated and last verse sung again: the singer is trying to remember the rest of the song]

English

Remembering them and missing them
The young men who went overseas
Remembering them and missing them

It was on Monday we moved away
In my foolish thoughts l think of them

It was on Tuesday I bad them farewell
In the glen at the house of the son of MacMartin.

Remembering all of them
Oh we cannot number them

...Above MacDougall
When the handsome youths went off

Remembering them unwisely
Since we cannot number them

That were called up amongst the Gaels.
Remembering them and missing them

The young men who went overseas
Remembering them and missing them


Notes

This song, which is nowadays mainly sung at a faster tempo at milling frolics, is a sort of sung toast to young men that are most likely heading off to battle on the European continent. It is fair to assume that the men resided in Argyll and were probably MacDougalls, as most of the song praises the heroic warlike deeds of their kin throughout the ages, from Duncan MacDougall (d.1248) to the 18th century chief’s grandson.

The song appears in print in Gaelic Folksongs in Nova Scotia and An t-Oranaiche.

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