Òrain, Bàrdachd agus Duanagan an A9 ann an Alba
Posted by Calum on 9th June, 2022I have been researching Gaelic songs in this country, “between St Kilda and Perth” (as they say), from North to South, top to bottom, “from the top of the head to the base of their soles”, and we are thousands of Gaelic songs. Many a time I have been on the main roads and motorways, with beautiful scenery going past, places that used to be settled and cultivated and busy with people. I wondered about the sort of lives, livelihoods, hobbies and merriment they had. So in order to make the long trip of the Highlands more interesting I decided to find Gaelic songs that are close to one of the most important motorways in Scotland; this road is the “A9” road.
The A9 starts from Dunblane and it stretches up as far North as Wick, with many a town between the two ends. We will start from the South and we will stretch up to the North:
“Tapadh Leis na Gàidheil Ghasta” - Stirling
Although Stirling is before the start of the A9 I am putting it in anyway. This waulking song is in the book “Songs Remembered in Exile”, recorded in Bencadie. In the song the Gaels are going to Stirling and then off to Leith, in order to be employed in the Army –
“Hì hò hò, tha mi fo lionn-dubh,
Hoireann ò, ’s trom gun dìreadh,
Hì hò hò, tha mi fo lionn-dubh.
Tapadh Leis na Gàidheil Ghasta
Thug am breacan daithte a Sruighlea.
Nuair sheallas mi air mo chasan,
Miad mo bhròin chan fhaod mi innse...”
“Òran air Là Sliabh an t-Siorraim – Dunblane
This song was created about the Battle of Sherrifmuir, a Jacobite battle in 1715, by Sìlis Nighean Mhic Ràghnaill –
“Tha mulad, tha gruaim orm, tha bròn,
On dh’imich mo chàirdean air folbh,
On chaidh iad air astar
Gun chainnt mun teachd dhachaigh,
Tha m’ inntinn fo airtneal gu leòr.
Mo ghuidhe gun cluinnear sgeul binn
Mun bhliadhna a dh’imich on tìr;
Gun crùn sibh an Sasann
An rìgh dligheach le ’r gaisge,
Is gum pillear leibh dhachaigh gun dìth...”
“Marbhrann do Mhac ’ic Ailein – Innerpeffray (close to the A9)
“Och a Mhuire, mo dhunaidh” is the other name for this elegy, it was written by Niall MacMhuirich. Although Clan Ranald is established in the Rough-Bounds the Clan Chief of the Clan was killed in Innerpeffray, close to Auchterarder on the A9 –
“Och a Mhuire, mo dhunaidh!
Thu bhith ad shìneadh air t’uilinn
An taigh mòr Mhorair Dhrumainn
Gun ar dùil ri d’ theachd tuilleadh
La fàilte is le furan
Dh’ fhios na dùthcha d’am buineadh;
A charaid Iarla Chòig Uladh,
Is goirt leam le ceannard fhear Mhuile do dhìol...”
“Òran na Cloiche – Scone (close to the A9)
Although the song was not from the area this famous is well-known to almost every Gael in Scotland. It is about the Stone of Scone, the coronation-stone of the old Kings of Scotland, when it was stolen back to Scotland from England (without letting them know). The song was created by Dòmhnall Mac an t-Saoir, “The Paisly Bàrd” –
“S i iù ro bha hò ro hill i em bo hà,
Hill i em bo ruaig thu i, hill i em bo hà;
'S i iù ro bha hò ro hill i em bo hà.
A' Chlach a bha mo sheanmhair
's mo sheanair oirre seanchas,
air tilleadh mar a dh'fhalbh i -
Mo ghalghad a' Chlach!
'S i iù ro bha hò ro hill i em bo hà.
'S gur coma leam i 'n Cearrara,
no Colbhasa no 'n Calbhaidh,
Cho fad 's a tha i 'n Albainn
nan garbhlaichean casa;
'S i iù ro bha hò ro hill i em bo hà...”
“Fàilte Bhràid-Albainn – Dunkeld
This loving song of homeland praises a part of Scotland that is exceptionally beautiful, both Highlands of the bens and Lowland of the fertile lowlands. The song praises and longingly recounts the beauty of the district in terms of its nature and the animals that can be found –
“Moch sa mhadainn 's mi dùsgadh
'S trom m' aigne 's mi tùrsach gu leòr,
A' sìor chuimhneach na dùthcha
Far 'n do chleachd mi bhith 'm bhuachaille bhò;
Gheibhte sitheann is iasg ann,
Is ealachan lìonmhor air snàmh,
Coileach-dubh agus liath-chearc,
'S ciod tuilleadh a dh'iarradh tu ann...”
“Cath Raon Ruairidh – Killiecrankie
“Cath Raon Ruairidh” is made by the famous bard, Iain Lom. “Raon Ruairidh” is the exact place where the battle took place –
“An ainm an àidh nì mi tùs
Air a’ mheann-sa tha am rùn:
Chan i so an aimsir mun dùin an Cèitean oirnn.
Nach fhaic sibh loingeas an Rìgh
Cur an spionnadh gu tìr:
Chan e an t-Uilleam tha mì cho dèidheil air.
Ach Rìgh Seumas ’s a shìol
A dh’òrdaich Triath gu ar dìon:
Cha rìgh iasachd d’am fhiach dhuinn gèilleachdainn...”
“Rannan Bho Luinneag Ghaoil” – Inver-Roy
This song was created by Aonghas Caimbeul (“Bàrd Eadar a’ Mhucaidh”). Inver-Roy is a hamlet on the banks of the River Garry, with the motorway crossing over the river. The song was found in “The Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, Vol. XVII,” in the article “The Gaelic Songs of Perthshire and their Composers”, by Paul Cameron –
“O hò nighean, hiri nighean,
O hò nighean, ’chinn duinn àlainn,
Mo ghaol cailin dhonn na buaile,
’S ann a tha mo luaidh ’san Àirigh.
Thoir mo shòraidh ’us mo bheannachd
Dh’fhios na h-ainnir ’bheil mo ghràdh-sa,
’S innis gu bheil mi fo smuaintean,
O na chaidh mi suas do’n Bhràighe...”
I will end here where we are and we shall carry on in the next blog. Do you know any of the songs above? Do you have any other songs of poems? Let us know on facebook, twitter and our website!
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