Bothan Àirigh am Bràigh Raineach – en
15 June 2016
Composed by: unknown
Researched & performed by: Morvyn Menzies
We don’t know who composed this song, but I found it in the MacLaggan Collection, ML 92, G 242-44. It is said that a young woman composed the song about an imaginary man.
I’d like to thank Elizabeth McDiarmid for all the help and encouragement she’s given me during my studies of the Gaelic music and language of Perthshire.
It was my soulmate and my dearest
Who went to Glengarry yesterday,
The man with hair like gold
And whose kisses are as honey.
O hi ò hù ò, o hi ò hù ò,
Hì ri ri ri ò hu èile
Hì ri rì ri o gheallaibh ò
You look better in attire
Than any man on earth,
Garments become you
Better than any man I ever saw.
You are the one who look best in stockings
And comfortable laced shoes,
A dark-blue coat from London
Which the crowns will buy.
When you would reach the fair
You will bring home my gear –
My girdle and my comb
My narrow, binding headband;
My beautiful gloves
With golden beads at the cuffs;
My brown drawstring purse
And a knife with a rare handle.
My belt will come from Edinburgh
My marriage head-dress from Dunkeld;
Why should we be without wealth
When the Lowlanders have stock?
We’ll get cattle from the Mearns
And sheep from Caithness:
And we’ll rear them
On the shieling in Rannoch Moor.
In the joyous bothy,
The roof would be of branches,
And the cuckoo and rock dove
Would provide music from the treetops.