Òran Ghleann Bhargaill

Composed by Charles Matheson (‘Teàrlach a’ Phost’)

Researched and sung by Ruairidh Cormack

The fellow who goes out to the moor
Take my greetings to Glen Bhargaill,
Because I am familiar with the place –
I would like them to be prosperous;
Since I heard a tale that gave me confidence,
And am none the worse for hearing the story,
And that is that Lachlan Fraser was there –
He had a fondness for the maid.

So if you have an interest in her
Fate has given her a treasure –
Many a beautiful maiden
Would jump at the chance;
I knew an elegant one of them
And she liked going out with you,
And many a time you had a meeting
Late at night in Coillesiadar.

Send an invitation to every village
To each girl and boy,
Every old man and old woman,
Every flunkey and servant;
Every fisherman and seaman
Every grocer and hunter,
And I can promise you
That there will be a wedding which is memorable.

There will be a happy feast,
There will be beef from the bull,
There will be all kinds of venison,
There will be rooks, there will be cormorants;
There will be bannocks in the hand
Of barley bread with yeast in them,
And it is no surprise to me that the cooks
Are not always corrupted.

The Harris folk will all come
If you consent to offer them a feast;
Many will be at the marriage –
I hope that it will not be stormy;
And if the weather is threatening
And that the crossing will not be easy for them,
An aeroplane will definitely come
With the piper from Tarbert.

There is a young man from Ollach
Who always composes verses;
He will not get an invitation
Nor information on time;
But now he cannot be refused
Because he loves the dancing,
He‘ll have a creel on his back
To carry the bride.

The song

This is a great cèilidh song. I got the song from the works of the village bard, Teàrlach a’ Phost, from Braes in the Isle of Skye. Throughout the song we get a very funny picture of a wedding in Skye. Teàrlach a’ Phost is making fun of the Harris people, who are coming to the wedding and going to have a big party.

He raises concerns in the song that there will be too many people at the wedding and that matters will slide into chaos. Also, Teàrlach a’ Phost describes a man from Ollach. People in the community do not have much interest in him. But since he is a good dancer and with a wedding approaching, they decide to give him an invitation and he sure does enjoy himself.

Ruairidh Cormack, 2019

Acknowledgements

Recorded at The Green Door Studio, Glasgow
Filmed at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
Filmed by Mike Webster, Spiral Out Pictures
Make-up Sam Whitby