Composed by: Iain MacLeod (Iain Thormoid Bhig)
Researched & performed by: Isabelle Bain
This song was composed by Iain MacLeod, Iain Thormoid Bhig from Shawbost. I found it in an old booklet and decided to learn it as my grandfather was from Shawbost.
It’s time for me to go straight home,
It’s time for me to go,
It’s time for me to make for the Sheila
Towards the land which I left.
She is black but elegant like the maidens of the Bible,
It is called the Heathery Isle;
I never hear of murder on the streets or of a man going with his neighbour’s wife,
That happy state has remained there since I left.
Even if it doesn’t have natural riches, there is happiness and peace there,
And every person there is happy with their lot;
They sleep there peacefully with no fear of their fellow man,
And there are no locks or chains on people’s wealth.
Leave it when you are young and travel Europe,
Let mines of gold be your fortune;
You try and tell me sincerely that it’s not your hope,
To end your days in the place from which you came.
Should you leave it when older along with relations and loved ones,
May you have every comfort cheaply and money;
Though you would be as rich as Job of the cattle and sheep,
You would prefer the land that you left.
If I live long enough and I get on board the Sheila
And with time I’ll reach the Hill of the One Stone,
Where I will build a small cottage for myself in the fat of the land
And tax collectors will not come to take my money.
In a little while I’ll make for the Sheila
When I buy a ticket,
And the rest of my life in happiness and peace
I’ll spend in the land which I left.