Rachel Newton – “Hi Horo’s na Horo Eile”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to another piece from this great Scottish harpist and singer, in Scottish Gaelic. This is a really interesting traditional love song from a female perspective. I’ve found a translation of it, which I’ll share below as usual, but if you like this sort of thing or are intrigued by something in the lyrics, I highly recommend you go visit

the original source

and read the notes below the translation as there are plenty of little geeky linguistic bits explained about the lyrics.


You are my love and I’ll never deny it

When I was a green young girl

I fell in love with the young man

who had the handsome appearance;

and I will never love another

I went into the forest of trees and branches

and took an interest in a lovely sapling

it is in Glasgow of the shops

that I fell in love with the manly handsome lad.

The most capable fingers that could write with a pen

or tune the strings of a violin;

it is your music that would lift my spirits

when I was ] weary and melancholy

Your beautiful splendid curly locks,

the hair of your head is like the black-bird’s feather;

your two cheeks are the colour of roses

when the dew of the moring’s mist is on them

Your legs are strong and shapely

like a salmon in a crystal clear stream

and it’s absolutely true that I’ve given my love to you

amongst all the people that are in the world.

But I hope and expect

that the day will come when we will be together;

and if you are faithful to me

I shall love no other while I live.

Maeve Mackinnon – “Ho Ro Hùg o Hùg O”.

Hey people! 🙂

Time for some Scottish Gaelic! This song comes from young Glasgow singer Maeve Mackinnon (apparently there are actually two Scottish singers called Maeve Mackinnon). Interestingly, she is not actually a Gaelic native speaker, she only learned it as an adult, but has had an interest in the language and music of her home country from an early age and was in contact with it a lot. I’ve also read that she has some Swedish heritage. I’m pretty sure that this song is traditional, although I have no idea what the title of it means and haven’t found any reliable translation of the lyrics.

Rachel Newton – “Gura Mise Tha Fo Mhulad” (I Am Full Of Sorrow).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I want to share with you a Scottish Gaelic song from a great harpist and singer Rachel Newton, who has already been featured on my blog a couple times. This is what’s called a waulking song. Waulking songs in Scottish folk music are songs which used to be sung by women while fulling the cloth, which in Scots is called waulking. Originally, they were accompanied by rhythmic beating of the cloth against the table or something which they did to soften it up, so that’s why these songs always have a strong beat. I don’t speak Scottish Gaelic, not yet at least, but this song was featured in The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk and there it is translated as I Am Full Of Sorrow.

Capercaillie – “Fear a’ Bhàta” (The Boatman).

Hi all! 🙂

Today will be something in Scottish, Scottish Gaelic. I think it’s not very difficult to guess if you’re around here for a while that Scottish Gaelic is also one of my favourite languages, the more that I’ve mentioned it a few times already. 😀 It’s such a beautiful language. My first contacts with this language took place when I was about 12, just exploring Celtic folk music, mainly Irish and Scottish then, and, as I never heard this language before, I was greatly astonished that people can talk/sing this way anywhere in Europe, it sounded very weird to me and me and my school friends were laughing at the lyrics, which of course we didn’t understand at all, but we heard lots of funny Polish words or phrases in them and we were wondering what they really sing about. 😀 Now I’m a little bit more conscious, otherwise I don’t think my love for Celtic folklore and languages would survive this long.

So Capercaillie is a Scottish band founded by Karen Matheson and her partner Donald Shaw in 1984 and it still exists. They make folk Celtic music, but in the way I like about folk – mixing traditional instruments with more modern like electric guitar, bass or synths, and generally mixing old and new. Their music is both in Scottish and Englis, also Karen Matheson did a few solo albums. The name Capercaillie comes from the name of a native Scottish bird which is western capercaillie.

The song I’m sharing is a typically traditional, very famous Gaelic song in Scotland, caled Fear a’ Bhàta, which means The boatman. It is a love song, written by Sìne NicFhionnlaigh, or in English Jean/Jane Finlayson (literally daughter of Finlay) in 18th century. She was in love with a guy who was a boatman and looks like the times when she wrote this a bit maudlin song I’d say, were hard for their relationship. Nevertheless, apparently, things got settled down not very long afterwards and the couple married happily.

Although I know a couple more or less common phrases in Gaelic, I definitely didn’t know what’s this song about, so here’s the translation from Wikipedia


O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
My farewell to you wherever you go
I often look from the highest hill
That I might see my boatman
Will you come tonight, or will you come tomorrow
Oh sorry will I be if you do not come at all
My heart is broken, bruised
Often tears are running down from my eyes
Will you come tonight, or will I wait up for you
Or close the door with a sad sigh?

I often ask of the boatmen
If they have seen you, if you are safe
But they all tell me
That I was foolish if I gave you love.

My darling promised me a gown of silk
That and a fine plait
A golden ring in which I’d see a likeness
But I fear that he shall forget.

Although they said you were flighty
That did not lessen my love for you
You are in my dreams at night
And in the morning I ask for you.

I gave you love and cannot deny
It’s not love that lasts a year or a season
But a love that began when I was a child
And that will not wither until death do take me.

My friends say often
That I must forget your image
But their counsel is as unfathomable to me
As is the returning tide.

I am all too sad and tearful
Like a white swan that has been torn
Sounding her death-call on a small grassy loch
Having been forsaken by all.

Here’s the song: