The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8189   Message #2180836
Posted By: GUEST
28-Oct-07 - 04:11 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Kishmules Galley? / Kishmul's Galley
Subject: RE: factory girls and Kishmules Galley lost lyric
This is Flora McNeill's version as sung on Folksongs of Britain series (Sailormen and Servant Maids), along with the note.
Jim Carroll
Nothing could be more of a contrast to the previous bit of patriotic doggerel than this ancient rowing song from Barra in the Hebrides. It comes from the days when the Gaelic pirates of the Islands so controlled the stormy waters of the Minch, that Elizabeth I was forced to make a peace treaty with them. The castle of one of these Gaelic sea-rovers still stands on an island in the middle of the harbour of Barra, unassailable except by water. [Out of its dark archway and] past its grim walls sailed galleys manned by [brawny] Scottish sea fighters, pulling at the oars to the tune of songs like this [one – songs that celebrated the doughty fighters aboard and their leaders.]
This song is cast in leader-chorus form, as are the waulking songs from the west of Scotland, still performed in the Hebrides [with a swing and co-ordination of ensemble foreign to anything else in the British Isles]. The question of the origins of this type still remained in doubt until we heard singing in the same responsorial style from the Faeroe Islands. It now seems likely that the song style represented by this song was brought to the west coast of Scotland by conquering raiders from Scandinavia. The performer here is Flora McNeil of the McNeils of Barra Castle, [now dulcet-voiced telephone operator of the village.]

1. Latha dhomh's mi 'm Beinn a' Cheathaich
Air farail ill eo, ro a bji ho
Hoirreann is o ho ro hi o ho
Hi ri ho ro a bha ho hug o ro

2. Gun deach bata Chlann Nill seachad
3. Gun cheann cumaidh aig a h-astar
4. Le dá mhac lain' ic a' Phearsain
5. Murchadh Mor a ceann a 'clachain
6. S'Ruaraidh og an t-oighne maiseach
7. S'teach a duthaich mhic Ill'eathain
8. S'teach gu Ciosmul an aigheir
9. Far am faighte chuirm ri gabhail
10. Fíon a 'dhoidche gu látha
English translation

1. One day as I was on the misty mountain,
2. MacNeill's Galley was passing
3. At great speed.
4. On board were two sons of John MacPherson,
5. Big Murdo from the head of the clachan
6. And fair young Roderick, the heir,
7. Coming from the Land of the MacLean
8. Going to Kishmul of the mirth.
9. Where there will be feasts
10. Wine from night till day.