MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Tha Mo Bhreachdan Dubh fo'n DÌle
(My Black Plaid is Soaked)
Malcolm Angus MacLeod CB 1 Tape 8 Track 6
Skir Dhu Audio:
Milling Song

Gaelic

Tha mo bheachdan dubh fo'n dìle
Chan fhaodar innse mar tha e
Tha mo bhreachdan dubh fo'n dìle.

Tha mo bhreachdan air a mhilleadh
Aig na gillean anns a bhàrsa.

Tha mo bhreachdan gu fliuch sàlach
Chan fhaod mi fantainn ri fhàsgadh.

Tha mi 'màireach 'dol a sheòladh
Chan ann gun eòlas a tha mi.

'Dol a eilean nan eun fiadhaich
Cha robh duine riamh a'tàmh ann.

'Do do dh'eilean na eun ruadhach
Cha bhi sinn sùbhach no sàbhach.

'S buidhe dhan na gillean òga
Th'air an comhdach aig mo mhàthair.

'S buidhe dhan na gillean òga
Th'air an comhdach iag mo mhàthair.

Chan ionnan 's mar a dh'èirich dhomhsa
Dh'fhalbh an fheòil dhiom far na cnàmhan.

English

My black plaid is soaked
It's condition can't be told
My black plaid is soaked

My plaid has been damaged
By the boys on the barge.

My plaid is so wet and damp
I cannot wear it tomorrow.

My plaid is so wet and dirty
I cannot wait to wring it.

Tomorrow I am going sailing
I am not without experience.

Going to the island of the wild birds
Where no-one ever lived.

Going to the island of the red birds
We are not happy or quiet.

Lucky are the young lads
Who are clothed by their mothers.

Lucky are the young lads
Who are clothed by their mothers.

My life has been altered
The flesh has left my bones.


Notes

This popular milling song has been collected on both sides of the Atlantic. Not a lot is known about the events described in the song, except that the composer is singing about his or her journey on a boat to another island and that this person’s plaid has gotten soaked.

Two cryptic verses in the song state that the composer is going to “the island of the wild birds… where no one has ever lived.” This could be an indication that the song was written about a voyage to North America or the Indies.

This song was also collected by Leach from Dan Morrison.

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