Composed by: Donald MacDonald (Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna)
Researched & performed by: Robbie Greig
Neillie Ferguson of Carinish, North Uist is the source for this song composed by Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, (Donald MacDonald) of Cladach a’ Bhaile Shear, North Uist. He was a soldier in the Great War and is well-known as one of Gaeldom’s greatest war poets, but this song also showcases his considerable skills as a nature poet.
As long as the sea washes on you
And as long as the waves rise,
As long as heavy storms rage in the sea,
My mind will always be on Eubhal.
You, my beloved mountain, will be under your cloak
On a misty May morning,
And Biurabhal and Lee from the north
Looking upon each other.
You wouldn’t want the sun on high
To shine on your slopes,
But a black grieving cloud around you
As you think of all who have deserted you.
Each green leave which grows
Would be bent low with no means to rise,
And the brown thrush in your glen
Has stopped singing her verses.
On your gravelly, pale rocks
Throughout your smooth inlets,
Often I would catch a trout
With the death-hook in his mouth.
But you, boy, who are still young,
Listen when you hear my song,
So that when you go to the glen
That you sing it there by yourself.
Once you have become an adult
With the strength that comes with that,
You will see the work of my hands
In every bay and part of it.
You will see the fish cairns
As I built them together,
The hundreds of shellfish shells
That my fingers had captured.
Although you may be young and strong
With no gloom or sadness to torture you,
With a carefree mind like the birds,
The mist will blind your vision.
Each night and day will go by,
And you’ll lose count of those that have passed;
And another person will take your place,
And the mountain will be as I myself left it.