Rathad Ùr Loch Portain

Composed by: Eileag MacLennan
 
Researched & performed by: Ellen MacDonald
 
A song composed by my grandmother, Eileag MacLennan, around 1964 when they were building the main road which connects Lochportan to the rest of North Uist, a time when there were lots of road-workers in the area.
 


 

The new Lochportan road, hasn’t it cost us;
A woman dare not go out in wellies,
Only nylons and shoes, lace above the knee
And a dusting of powder about her nose.

The girls of the area, they will be mortified,
If they have to go out with a coat on;
Men from South and North Uist are working in the quarry
Along with Donald Rory since the day before yesterday.

On Friday they were off to the shop,
I don’t know who was the smartest among them;
“At quarter to two you’ll be in this corner,
I’ll not move anyway without you.”

When Katie Mary arrived I was truly dazzled
And I wished to be young again;
She wasn’t wearing the red coat she usually wore
But her church coat which she got from Òrr.

Rachel is so silly since she put on an inch,
She won’t eat as she should until it goes;
She is going on a diet like Moria did,
“Macvita will do fine in the morning.”

Mairead Dhòmhnaill Ruairidh, how I feel for her,
The day she went up on her own,
One or two of the Mactavish lorries came along
And before she could climb up on it, she was breathless.

The skirts you get just now, in fashion everywhere,
They are no use for climbing on board a lorry;
In order to hide your knees, you have to pull them down,
Knee-length trousers would be much better.

I’ll stop my nonsense and I’ll take Catriona with me
And dear Mary Anne, who are so silly;
When they go to Lochportan, they won’t take a sack with them
In case Lachlann doesn’t take a fancy to them.

Little Anna and Rachel, I’d better not leave them out,
Or I won’t be safe in this place;
Before the year is out, we’ll all be travelling it
And indeed, O my darling … we won’t walk it.

The new Lochportan road, hasn’t it cost us;
A woman dare not go out in wellies,
Only nylons and shoes, lace above the knee
And a dusting of powder about her nose.

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