The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20712   Message #216982
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
24-Apr-00 - 10:59 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Silver Whistle (DT correction)
Subject: ADD: An Fhideag Airgid
It is indeed in Kennedy's book.  To save George a trip to the library:

CO SHEINNEAS AN FHÌDEAG AIRGID? (O Who Will Play The Silver Whistle?)

Co shinneas an fhìdeag airgid?
O who will play the silver whistle?

Ho ro hu a hu ill eo
Hi ri liu hill eo
Hi ri liu hill eo

Mac mo Rìgh-sa dol gu fairge
My king's son to sea is going

Deanamh deas gu tighinn a dh'Alba
To Scotland he prepares his coming

Air long mhór air bhàrr na fairge
Upon a large ship o'er the ocean

Air long mhór nan trì chrann airgid
The ship that has three masts of silver

Sreangannan dha'n t-sìoda Fhrangach
With ropes so light of French silk woven

Ulagan óir air gach ceann dhiubh
Upon each end are golden pulleys

Nuair thig mac mo Rìgh gu fearann
When my king's son ashore has landed

A'cur fàilt' air Mac'ic Ailein
He will welcome the son of Alan

'S air Mac Dhomhnaill Mhor na Ceapaich
Big MacDonald come from Keppoch

'S air Mac Dhomhnaill Dhuibh Loch Abar
Dark MacDonald from Lochabar

Nuair thig mac mo Rìgh-sa dhachaidh
When my king's son comes back home

Cha b'e biadh dha breachdan teine
No girdle scones will food be for him

Ach bacastair gu deanamh arain
But loaves of bread a cook be baking

Teàrlach óg nan gorm shùil meallach
Young Charles with eyes so blue enticing

Fàilte, fàilte, muirn is clià dhut
Welcome to you, your fame and honour

Fìdhleireachd is rogha ciuil dhut
Fiddles and choice tunes attend you

Co shinneas an fhìdeag airgid?
O who will play the silver whistle?

Co chanadh nach seinninn fhìn i?
Who'll say I'd not myself be playing?

The above is Flora MacNeil's full version (she said that there were others in Barra); she may be heard singing it on Songs in Scottish Gaelic (Folktracks cassette) and on Craobh nan Ubhal (Temple Records COMD1002 ).   Prior and Tabor modified the translation a little, presumably in the interests of singability.  They took it at a slightly slower pace, and with a looser rhythm, than did MacNeill.  They also seem to have altered the melody a bit, so I shall send a midi of the transcription in Kennedy's book to the Mudcat Midi Site.  The version on the DT has the appearance of having been transcribed from memory without the benefit of the printed lyric insert that came with my copy of the Silly Sisters record.