MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
'S e Ceap Breatainn TÌr Mo GhrÀidh
(Cape Breton is the Land of My Love)
John Campbell CB 1 Tape 7 Track 2
Sydney Audio:
Homeland Song

Gaelic

'S e Ceap Breatuinn tìr mo ghràidh,
Tìr nan craobh 's nam beanntan àrd
'S e Ceap Breatuinn tìr mo ghràidh
Tìr as àillidh leinn air thalamh.

'S ann a bha mi as an am
Còmhnaidh ann an tìr nam beann
'S ged a tha mo Ghàidhlig gann
Ni mi rann do thìr nan gleannan

Chan urrain dhomhsa chuir air doigh
Na chuir sios le briathran beòil
Tha do mhaisean is do ghlòir
Comhnaidh ann an tìr nam beannaibh.

Àit' as maisich tha fo'n ghrèin
Smeòrach seinn air bharr nan geug
Gollan-gaoithe cluich ri chèil'
'S an nead gleusda fo na caman.

Feasgar foghair ann an ceò
Nuair a dhunadh oirnn na neòil
Ceò na mara tighinn nan tòrr
Sios fo sgleò bho bharr nam beannaibh

Nuair thèid a ghrian do'n àird an iar
'S a thig an dealtach oirr' gu fìor
'S binne leam guth nan eun
Seinn cho dian air bharr nam meangan.

Cluinte bealachan fo ghlong
Air a chrodh ri taobh nan glinn
'S na laoigh òga stigh 's na tuim
'S iad fo chuing fo challan sgalach.

Anns a gheamhradh am an fhuachd
Am nam bainnsean am nan luadh
Cluinnte gillean air clèith luaidh
'S gruagaichean gu cruaidh ga leantainn.

Nuair bhiodh am fuachd a doit an rèidh
Chuirt an fhidheal sin air ghleus
Dhannsamaid air ùrlar rèidh
Gur e Caber Feidh bu mhath leinn.

Chite cailleach gasda chòir
Tighinn mun cuairt a thomhas a chlò
An crannan aice air a dorn
Cha robh doigh ac' air a mealladh.

'S e chuir mise nochd fo bhròn
Cuimhneachadh air làithean m'òig
Feadhainn a bhiodh leinn ri spòrs
Gu bheil cuid dhiubh nach 'eil maireann.

'S ged a dh'fhalbh a chuid dhiubh bhuainn
Tha iad anns an dachaidh bhuan
Ann am pàrras Rìgh nan sluagh
Far am bheil solas buan nach maireann.

Am Framboise fhuair mi maireachd òg
Ann an nàbachd Clann 'ic Leòid
'S tric a bha sinn math ri spòrs
Ann an làithean solas maireachd.

Chan urrainn dhomhsa leth chuir ìnnt'
Ann am maisealachd 'san tìr
Stadaidh mi bhon tha mi sgìth
Beannachd leibh is oidhche mhath leibh.

English

Cape Breton is the land that I love
Land of trees and high mountains
Cape Breton is the land that I love
For us it is the most beautiful land on earth.

I was residing at the time
In the land of the mountains
And though my Gaelic is not too good
I will compose a verse to the land of the glens.

I cannot easily attempt
To put down by word of mouth
All the beauty and bliss
To be round in the land of the hills.

The most beautiful land under the sun
Where thrushes sing on top of the branches
Swallows fitting around together
And their tidy nest under the rafters.

On an autumn evening in the mist
When the skies would close in on us
The sea fog drifting in
Shrouding the tops of the mountains.

When the sun sinks in the west
And the dew comes down
Sweet to me is the bird song
Continuously heard in the bushes.

We hear the sound of the bells
On the cattle in the glens
The young calves close beside them
Restricted by the noisy lowing.

In the winter, the cold time
Time for weddings, time for waulkings
The young men are heard at the milling board
And the girls singing along with clear voices.

As we got used to the cold
The fiddle would be played
We would dance on a cleared floor
Caber Feidh was our favourite [tune].

We would see the good kindly old woman
Coming round to measure the tweed
She would measure it with the full length of her fist.
There was no way to deceive her.

What has left me sad tonight
Is remembering my young days
Those who passed the time with us in
Some of them are not alive.

Though some of them have left us
They have everlasting life
In the paradise of the King of Hosts
Where there is joy forever more.

I spent my youth in Framboise
In the neighbourliness of the MacLeods
Many a time we had lots of fun
In the long happy days.

I cannot recount half my thoughts
On the beauties of the land
I shall finish as I am tired
Farewell and goodnight to you.


Notes

This song in praise of Cape Breton, composed by Dan Alex (Domhnull Alasdair mac Iain ‘ic Aonghuis) MacDonald of Framboise, is regarded by many as a sort of Cape Breton Gaelic anthem. It is a part of the repertoire of most Gaelic choirs on the island and is a favorite at milling frolics. Up to thirteen four-line verses have appeared in print, four of which describe the seasonal changes to community and nature. The composer not only praises the beauty of his island, but also the liveliness and strength of his community.

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