MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Gaol an t-SeÒladair
(The Sailor's Love)
Dan Morrison CB 1 Tape 9 Track 2
North River Audio:
Love Song

Gaelic

Air feasgar Sàbaid sàmhraidh dhomh 's mi gabhail sràid leam fhèin
Smeòrach bha i 'ceilleirich 's i àrd air bhàrr nan geug
Mi cuimhneach' air na h-amanan 's an t-àit' ud tha fo'n ghrèin'
Nach truagh nach robh mi comhla riut sinn còmhradh greis leinn fhèin.

Tha m'athair is mo mhàthair 's mo chàirdean rium an gruaim
Tha gach aon diubh 'g ràdhtinn gu bràth an tig ort buaidh
An cuimhnich thu do ghòraiche bha. òg a thogadh suas?
'S ann thug mi gaol do'n t-seòladair tha seòladh air a chuan.

Nach iongantach leam bhi crùamach mar ubhlan tha gun bhuain
An gaol a tha cho daingean mar fhaoileag a chuain
Do ghruaidhean mar an caoran is mais' do ghaol gun ghruaim
Gun tug mi gaol nach diobair dhuit gun sìnear mi 'san uaigh.

Ach ìnnsidh mis' an fhìrinn dhuibh o'n tha mo bharail faoin
Tha gaol nam fear cho caochlaideach 's e seòladh mar a ghaoth
Mar dhruchd air mhaduinn Chéitein 's mar dhealt air bhàrr an fheòir
Le teas na greine èiridh e 's cha leir dhuinn e 's na neòil.

Ma tha nach 'eil e còrdachadh nach coinnich sinn gu bràth
Mo dhùrachd thu bhidh fallain is mo roghainn ort a ghnàth
Ma bhristeas tu na cùmhnantan 's nach cuimhnich leat mar bha
Guidheam rogha dìleas dhuit is laigh is èirigh san

(repeat of 1) Air feasgar Sàbaid samhraidh dhomh 's mi gabhail sràid leam fèin
Smeòrach bha i ceilleirich 's i àrd air bharr nan geug
Mi cuimhneach air na h-amanan 's an t-àit' ud tha fo'n ghrèin
Nach truagh nach robh mi còmhla riut sinn còmhradh greis leinn fhèin.

English

On a Sunday morning in the summer while walking on my own
The mavis was sweetly warbling high in the tree tops
I was thinking of our times together and the places we had been
Oh would that I were with you now talking together a while.

My father and my mother and my friends are all displeased
Each one of them is saying, when will you ever learn
Do you not remember the foolishness of the one you grew up with?
I have given my love to the sailor who is sailing on the seas.

It is strange that I am anxious like apples still unpicked
About the love that is so strong as the seagull of the sea
Your cheeks are like the rowan, you are handsome and serene
I will love you most sincerely till I am laid in the grave.

But I will be frank with you if my opinion counts
Man's love is very changeable as he sails like the wind
Like dew on a May morning and the dampness of the grass
It disappears with the heat of the sun and is lost in the clouds.

If it is our fate that we should never meet again
My desire is for your well-being, you will always be my choice
If you break the vows we made and not remember how things were
Then I hope you find a true love and the test of good health.

On a Sunday morning in the summer while walking on my own
The mavis was sweetly warbling high in the tree tops
I was thinking of our times together and the places we had been
Oh would that I were with you now talking together a while.


Notes

This popular love song is well known in both Scotland and Cape Breton. The composer, John MacLean of Skye, assumes the perspective of a young woman whose sweetheart has gone off to sea. The young woman’s parents disapprove of the sailor and she is all too aware that he will have many opportunities to be unfaithful while away, still she believes the young man to be her one true love. In the final verse, as is many songs of separation, the young woman wishes her sweetheart well, even if he should marry another.

It had been noted that the tune which is sung in this version differs greatly from that which is heard in Scotland although at least two versions of the tune exist in Cape Breton alone.

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