W 38 Tha mo dhùil, Tha mo dhùil
Traditional - Scottish Gaelic
See also W 04 - Gaelic version of "I Will Go"
Tha mo dhùil, Tha mo dhùil (alt: Tha mi'n dùil)
Tha mo dhùil-sa ri tilleadh
Dh'ionnsaigh dùthaich MhicLeòid
Far an òg robh mi mire.
Fhuair mi claidheadh sgaiteach cruaidh
Crios 'ga chumail suas mu m'mhiadhain
Deise dhearg a chlò nan Gall
Cha robh meang anns a' ghille
Nuair a chuir iad sinn air bòrd
Anns an òrdan bu ghrinne
Bha gach fear ri thè ag ràdh
Cha dèan pàirt againn tilleadh.
Nuair a chuir iad sinn air tìr
A measg sìoban is muran
Thug sinn batal air an tràigh
'S gun d'rinn pàirt againn fuireach.
Thàinig esan, mac an Rìgh
'S e mar aon dhìnn 'sa chuideachd
"An iad so Gàidheil an Taobh Tuath?
Bha iad bhuam 's fhuair mi uil' iad."
Thug na Frangaich an ruaig
Nuair a chual' iad an druma
Thog iad a-mach ris a' ghleann
'S cha do sheall iad ruinn tuilleadh.
I hope, I hope, I hope to return to MacLeod's country (the Isle of Skye) where in my childhood I played.
I got a sharp steel sword, a belt around my middle to hold it in, a red uniform of Lowland cloth; there was no blemish on the lad. When they put us aboard in the best of order, every man told his girl: Some of us will not return.
When they put us ashore among the spindrift and the bent grass, we fought a battle on the shore, and some of us remained there (i.e., were killed)
He himself came, the son of the King; he was like one of us in the company. "Are these Gaels of the North? I had lost them and now I have found them all."
The French fled when they heard the drum, they took to the glen and have not faced us since.
Generally thought to be written early 1700's
In Jimmie MacGregor's Folk Songs of Scotland. (c 1981) a vague statement about its origin is made:
"Some years ago, the song was translated for me, from the
Gaelic, by the Scots actor Roddy McMillan. I arranged it and
used it on radio and television, and it has since become a
standard item in the Scottish folk repertoire. Sadly, Roddy is
no longer with us, and I am very grateful to his wife Jean for
her permission to use his songs."
However the origins of the Gaelic version of this song are debatable. Some think it has to do with the highland clearances from an earlier time or perhaps is:
"an allegorical reference to 'the old pretender' - the father of
'Bonnie' Charles Edward (who was the grandson of James
VI/II). There being levies raised among Scottish (and Irish)
Jacobites for service in France against the English 'usurper.'"
In any case, this song has likely evolved from the original to suit a number of battles and no definitive history can be determined.
(Notes condensed from a discussion on www.mudcat.org by Kataryna)