MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
A'MhÀiri BhÒidheach
(Beautiful Mary)
John Matheson CB 1 Tape 9 Track 12
St.Ann's Audio:
Love Song


A'Mhàiri bhòidheach 's a Mhàiri ghaolach
A'Mhàiri bhòidheach gur mòr mo ghaol ort
A'Mhàiri bhòidheach gur tu a chlaoidh mi
'S a dh'fhàg mi brònach gun doigh air d'fhaotainn

O 's truagh nach robh mi 's mo Mhàiri bhòidheach
Ann an gleannan oidhch' is ceò orr'
'S ged bu rìgh mi 'san Roinn Eòrpa
Chan iarrainn pòg ach o Mhàiri bhòidheach

A'Mhàiri bhòidheach gur mòr mo ghaol ort
Gur tric mi cuimhneachadh ort 's mi 'm ònar
'S ged a shiùbhlainn gach ceum de'n t-saoghal
Bidh d'iomhaigh bhòidheach tighinn beò gach taobh dhomh

Nuair a bhios mi tùrsach cianail
S mi le cùram air mo lìonadh
Bidhidh do ghnùis-sa mar a ghrian dhomh
'S mo chridhe sùnndach 'm biodh tu am fhianuis

Mar eòin as moch a thig air sgìathan
'S a dhìreas suas air àrd an iarmailt
Nach biodh là ann fad na bliadhna
Nach seinninn ceòl do mo Mhàiri chiatach

Gu ma slàn do mo Mhàiri bhòidheach
G'e be àite sam bidh i còmhnaidh
'Se mo dhùrachd cho fad 's as beò mi
Gum bi gach sòlas aig Màiri bhòidheach


Beautiful Mary, lovely Mary
Beautiful Mary, I love you deeply
Beautiful Mary you have caused me anguish
And left me sad knowing I cannot win you.

Oh that I were with my beautiful Mary
In the little glen on a misty night
And though I were a king in Europe
I'd want only the kiss of my beautiful Mary.

My beautiful Mary I love you deeply
When alone you are always in my thoughts
And though I would travel every step of the globe
Your beautiful face I see before me.

When I feel low and sad
And consumed with worry
Your face is like the sun to me
And my heart joyful when you are near me.

As the early bird takes to wing
And rises high into the heavens
There would never be a day in the year
That I would not sing to my graceful Mary.

The best of health to my beautiful Mary
Wherever she may chance to dwell I
It is my wish and always will be
That my beautiful Mary should be happy.


. This is song of unrequited love was composed by Alexander Stewart, the schoolmaster of Lochmaddy, North Uist, around the year 1800. The song was written for Stewart’s sweetheart, Mary MacQueen, daughter of the parish minister of North Uist. According to tradition, Rev. MacQueen was responsible for the separation of the couple and his daughter refused to wed any other but the headmaster. Alexander Stewart died young (supposedly of a broken heart), while Mary remained single and lived to a considerable age on her father’s homestead in Uist.

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