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Origins: The Highland Fairy Lullaby

DigiTrad:
HIGHLAND FAIRY LULLABY


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: An Cineachan / The Fairy Lullaby (24)
Lyr Req: Blaeberries - I've lost my darling babyo (9)
Lyr Add: I Could Not Find My Baby-o (Sandburg) (8)
Lyr Req: Scots Song 'rovin', rovin' garioch go' (24)
Lyr Req: Highland Lullaby (Alistair McDonald) (14)
Tune Req: Highland Fairy Lullaby (14)


Jim McLean 26 Apr 03 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Teuchter 26 Apr 03 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Sterling 27 May 07 - 11:02 PM
Jim Lad 28 May 07 - 12:45 AM
Jim Lad 28 May 07 - 12:53 AM
Jim Lad 28 May 07 - 01:06 AM
Jim Lad 28 May 07 - 01:57 AM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 12:34 PM
MMario 01 Jun 07 - 12:57 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 07 - 01:15 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 01:16 PM
MMario 01 Jun 07 - 01:18 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 01:21 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 07 - 01:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Jun 07 - 01:46 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 07 - 02:24 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 02:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Jun 07 - 03:01 PM
MMario 01 Jun 07 - 03:02 PM
Willa 01 Jun 07 - 03:05 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 03:06 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 03:08 PM
Malcolm Douglas 01 Jun 07 - 03:28 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 07 - 03:31 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 03:57 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 07 - 04:32 PM
Jim Lad 01 Jun 07 - 04:43 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 07 - 05:04 PM
Willa 03 Jun 07 - 07:40 AM
Jim Lad 03 Jun 07 - 10:08 AM
Jim McLean 03 Jun 07 - 10:54 AM
Jim Lad 03 Jun 07 - 11:30 AM
Jim McLean 03 Jun 07 - 12:29 PM
Jim McLean 03 Jun 07 - 12:56 PM
Jim Lad 03 Jun 07 - 01:07 PM
Jim Lad 25 Jun 07 - 03:29 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 25 Jun 07 - 06:50 PM
Jim Lad 25 Jun 07 - 10:04 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 26 Jun 07 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Volodymyr Chernyshenko 15 Jul 09 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Volodymyr Chernyshenko 15 Jul 09 - 10:43 AM
Jim McLean 15 Jul 09 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,valkyrie 24 Dec 09 - 07:44 AM
Joe Offer 25 Oct 12 - 10:26 PM
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Subject: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 01:25 PM

I noticed there are various threads concerning this song with Gaelic and English translations but the chorus is always the same, either in Galic or phonetic spelling. I haven't been able to read all the messages so forgive me if this has already been covered. It concerns a gaelic poem for children called Ainmdidhean agus meanbh-chreutairean (Animals and little creatures). I will just type the relevant lines:

Abraidh an t-each "i homh, homh",
Ach goiridh mo choileachan fhin "gog-gog-gaog"

As these are the supposed sounds made by animals, could this be the 'nonsense' meaning of the chorus, sung to a child?
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: GUEST,Teuchter
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 04:41 PM

Fascinating! If my gaelic is good enough, it's the horse which says 'hov' (English sound) and the cockeral says 'gog-gog' or could you clarify. Where did the you get the gaelic poem?
Slainte,
Teuchter


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: GUEST,Sterling
Date: 27 May 07 - 11:02 PM

Would any of you nice people happen to know where I can find online

the Sheet Music for this one... Highland Fairy Lullaby?

Thanks

Sterling


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 May 07 - 12:45 AM

Highland Fairy Lullaby

A wee tip, Sterling: When I'm looking for the words I search Lyrics - Comma - Title and if I want the tune I'll put "Midi on the end. So for this one ... Lyrics, Highland Fairy Lullaby ... Click on "Search".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 May 07 - 12:53 AM

So: Now that I've found that it's the music you're looking for and not the words, I searched "Sheet Music, Highland Fairy Lullaby" which brought me here!

Now I feel like such an eejit, I'll have to find it for you.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 May 07 - 01:06 AM

What a great song!
You're on your own. I'm learning this. Can anyone tell me the correct pronunciation for the last verse?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 May 07 - 01:57 AM

Other threads/Same song.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:34 PM

Jim McLean makes reference to a verse added by Jimmy MacGregor which obviously I would wish to avoid.
Is this version safe?

I left my baby lying here,
Lying here, lying here
I left my baby lying here
To go and gather blaeberries.

I found the wee brown otter's track
Otter's track, otter's track
I found the wee brown otter's track
But ne'er a trace o' my baby, O!

I found the track of the swan on the lake
Swan on the lake, swan on the lake
I found the track of the swan on the lake
But not the track of baby, O!

I found the trail of the mountain mist
Mountain mist, mountain mist
I found the trail of the mountain mist
But ne'er a trace of baby, O!

Hovan, Hovan Gorry og O,
Gorry og, O, Gorry og O
Hovan, Hovan Gorry og O
I've lost my darling baby, O!

from http://www.scottishradiance.com/midi/midi904.htm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: MMario
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:57 PM

looks to be - but why not add in the fawn verse - which though not common (based on the discussions here) does appear in the gaelic version.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:15 PM

The book is called Aithris is Oideas, published by the Scottish Council for Research. Traditional Gaelic Rhymes and Games, 1964.
I have floated this suggestion over the years but never received any agreement from any of the the Gaelic societies I spoke to. MacGregor's version looks like a small change to existing lyrics. I never believed the chorus was totally nonsense, as stated my MacGregor, and on reading the children's poem is seemed obvious that animal sounds were being represented.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:16 PM

If it belongs, I'd love to hear it.
A wee side note: Where I live, you can't keep a garden because of the deer.
One of my regulars brought her fawn by, yesterday. Can't be more than two days old and just adorable. I had noticed Mum looked to be nursing for this past 2 or 3 days but she kept her well hidden.
As a young John Denver fan, I dreamed about times like this.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: MMario
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:18 PM

Jim Lad - take a look through the linked threads up above - Jim Dixon posted a translation


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:21 PM

Thanks Mario.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:27 PM

PS: I have just looked up my copy of The Celtic Lyre, 1883, and the verses printed by Jim Lad are exactly those translated by L MACBEAN. The additional verse mentioned by MMario is:

I found the track of the yellow faw,
The yellow fawn, the yellow faw:
I found the track of the Yellow fawn,
But could not trace by baby, O!

The first verse says 'darling' rather than 'baby'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 01:46 PM

MacGregor said that he had added material. He didn't write any of it, but introduced it from other versions of the song. If I recall correctly he was not a Gaelic speaker, and therefore will have collated verses from available print translations; there are several (there is not a Gaelic version; there are Gaelic versions).

Most English language texts to be found on the web are Lachlan MacBean's, though few sites have the courtesy to credit him. He died in 1931, so his translation will have been in copyright until very recently. 'Scottish Radiance' (link above) not only fails to credit MacBean; it also includes Barry Taylor's midi arrangement without acknowledgment. I wouldn't trust that site as a reliable source for anything much.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:24 PM

I have just been listening to MacGregor and Hall's version, recorded in the early seventies. Jimmie called it 'Ho-van Gorry O-Go' and listed it as traditional arranged MacGregor.
They only really sing the first verse as credited to MacBean in the Celtic Lyre and sing one verse about hearing a curlew and another about misty glens and bens.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:58 PM

The midi at this site is a work of art, on its own. Speed it up though and it's very similar to four Aran Knits version of "The Wren Song".
Not exactly, mind you.
Buggers.
My wean just loves the song/hates the story. She's three and not pretty at all!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:01 PM

As I said, that midi is Barry Taylor's arrangement, apparently pirated. The site fails to acknowledge him; ignorance is no excuse, as the midi has his copyright information embedded in it. Any midi editor will read it easily.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: MMario
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:02 PM

Barry does incredible work.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Willa
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:05 PM

Jim Lad
Hope this isn't yet more repetition, but here's a lovely version.
http://www.kistodreams.org/fairy_lullaby_g.asp


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:06 PM

He's stood in for my wife at various gigs too. Fine chap. Took me a while to realize that both were the same person. I believe he's learning some of the small pipes now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:08 PM

So Jim; Does that mean that the Yellow Fawn was not in L MACBEAN'S
findings?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:28 PM

'of the yellow fawn' is MacBean's rendering, but the Gaelic 'an laoigh bhric dheirg' would be more accurately translated as 'of the red spotted fawn' (or 'calf'; the word was used of the young of both deer and cattle).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:31 PM

Jim Lad, no, it is. If you add it your version it is the complete MacBean translation. The order is slightly different, The mountain mist verse is his last and the yellow fawn verse is the penultimate.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:57 PM

You're really going to make me look that up, aren't you!
Thanks Jim. I'll also go with your explanation of the chorus.
Cheers!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:32 PM

I'm sure MacBean knew could have translated the line 'Fhuair mi lorg an laoigh bhric dheirg' but a bit of poetic license was used to make the line more mellifluous in English (in my opinion).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 04:43 PM

That's a nice version by Christina Stewart, Willa. Is the pronunciation right in the Chorus?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 05:04 PM

Jim Lad, I have never heard the chorus sung thus and it's certainly not the one used in the Celtic Lyre nor anywhere else I've looked.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Willa
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 07:40 AM

Jim Lad
Have to say that I agree with Jim McLean about the chorus; it's the tune I sing, but the pronunciation is different. I put the link up for the sound of the Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:08 AM

So, I'd pronounce it just as it reads? With a hard "G"?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:54 AM

Yes, Jim Lad. She also has a few peculiar pronuciations in the Gaelic verses but that could possibly be down to regional differences.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 11:30 AM

Something we tend to forget. Even with our own brand of English.
I may just slip this one onto the album.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 12:29 PM

A good idea, Jim Lad. I would ensure you credit Lachlan MacBean with the English translation although the song is now in the public domain.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 12:56 PM

Jim Lad, I've just been listening to the midi (in your third posting) and notice that the last line is repeated. This is not 'normal' for singers as they invariably go straight into the chorus. Only an observation.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 01:07 PM

Yep. Caught that.


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Subject: ADD: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:29 AM

I'll be going with this format. Thanks for your help.

THE HIGHLAND FAIRY LULLABY

I left my darling lying here,
Lying here, lying here
I left my darling lying here
To go and gather blaeberries.

I found the wee brown otter's track
Otter's track, otter's track
I found the wee brown otter's track
But ne'er the track of my baby, O!

CHORUS
Hovan, Hovan Gorry og O,
Gorry og, O, Gorry og O
Hovan, Hovan Gorry og O
I've lost my darling baby, O!

I found the track of the swan on the lake
Swan on the lake, swan on the lake
I found the track of the swan on the lake
But ne'er the track of baby, O!

I found the track of the red spotted calf,
The red spotted calf, the red spotted calf,
I found the track the red spotted calf,
But ne'er the track of my by baby, O!

CHORUS

I found the trail of the mountain mist
Mountain mist, mountain mist
I found the trail of the mountain mist
But ne'er a trace of baby, O!

CHORUS
Hovan, Hovan Gorry og O,
Gorry og, O, Gorry og O
Hovan, Hovan Gorry og O
I've lost my darling baby, O!


Traditional Gaelic.
Translation by Lachlan MacBean

"Penultimate" = second last. I looked it up!


Click to play (joeweb)

(MIDI from leeneia)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 06:50 PM

Those are most of the same verses I sing in the Gaelic version, Jim. I think they would work well. The last one is important as it relates that the mother never finds the babe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim Lad
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 10:04 PM

That's why I saved "Ne'er a trace" for that one only. Sounds more hopeless than "Ne'er a track" & adds some finality to it.
I'm also more comfortable with "Bairny" than "Baby" and wouldn't really consider that a change of words.
Will be doing the chorus after every verse too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 07:52 AM

As Irish or Scottish folk use Bairn for babe that is not outlandish.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: GUEST,Volodymyr Chernyshenko
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 03:31 AM

Good day, friends!
I am Ukarainian translator. My name is Volodymyr. Now I'm translating into Ukrainian Paul Gallico's charming novel "Tomasina". There is such lullaby in the text, sang by Scottish witch Lori. Here it is.

Hbhan, hbhan, gory g
Gorry g, gorry ;
Hbhan, hbhan, gory g
I left my darling lying here.

I left my darling lying here,
Lying here,lying

You know, it is a big proplem with translating it. I have three ways - use for it an ukrainian lullaby of try to create my own lullaby on the base of this, or use this sounds through transliteration.
Is this lullaby common for Scotland.
Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: GUEST,Volodymyr Chernyshenko
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 10:43 AM

I am sorry here si normal text
-
Hobhan, hobhan, gory og o
Gorry og, gorry o;
Hobhan, hobhan, gory og o
I left my darling lying here.

I left my darling lying here,
Lying here,lying


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 12:27 PM

Voldymyr, all the information you require is posted above and it is a fairly common song sung by Scottish folksingers. Looking at the thread again I think the word 'bairnie' for 'baby' is not quite right. The translation is in English and, for example, the phrase is 'to go and gather...' not 'tae gang ....'. I know when I wrote my song 'Hush, Hush' in English I used '..smile in your sleep bonnie baby' but some singers think they can make it more Scottish by using 'bairnie' instead of 'baby'. This doesn't work for my ears.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: GUEST,valkyrie
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 07:44 AM

Since you guys seem to be the experts on this, can anyone tell me where I could find the first verse sung in Gaelic so I can learn the pronunciation? Or maybe somewhere there's a pronunciation guide?

I've looked everywhere and I can't seem to come up with anything.

Oh, and the verse I mean is this:

Dh'fhg mi'n seo 'na shneadh e,
'Na shneadh e, 'na shneadh e;
Gu'n dh'fhg mi'n seo 'na shneadh e
'Nuair dh'fhalbh mi 'bhuain nam braoilegan


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Highland Fairy Lullaby
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Oct 12 - 10:26 PM

Leeneia submitted a MIDI for this song.

Click to play (joeweb)



And a Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCf2G-HeVH0

And an old one by Michael Dunnigan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIM-q5gp5KA


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