The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9264   Message #59647
Posted By: Joe Offer
22-Feb-99 - 05:30 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Mairi's Wedding
Subject: RE: Mairi's wedding
Let's see if I can copy that over to here and make it a bit more legible. I hate trying to read white words on a black background....

Màiri Bhàn
Fonn:Mairi's Wedding

Séist 'S i mo ghaol-sa Màiri Bhàn
      Màiri bhòidheach sgeul mo dhain
      Gaol mo chridh'-sa Màiri Bhàn
      'S tha mi 'dol 'ga pòsadh
1   Thuit mi ann an gaol an raoir
    Bha mo chridhe shuas air beinn
    Màiri Bhàn ri m' thaobh a' seinn
    Tha mi 'dol 'ga pòsadh
2   'S ann aig céilidh aig a' Mhòd
    Thachair mise ris an òigh'
    'S ise choisinn am Bonn Oir
    'S tha mi dol 'ga pòsadh
3   Bi mo ghaol do Mhàiri Bhàn
    Dìleas, dùrachail gu bràth
    Seinnidh sinn d'a chéil' ar gràdh
    'S tha mi dol 'ga pòsadh
Craig Cockburn ("coburn"), Dùn Éideann, Alba. (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Sgrìobh thugam 'sa Ghàidhlig ma 'se do thoil e.

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 11:09:24 EDT From: ASPClinns Subject: Mairi's Wedding

At Friday evening's session, a friend gave me a photocopy of a newspaper article that she said she had been meaning to give to me for several years. (Like my filing system, it probably worked its way to the top again.)

Anywho, the clipping is identified only as "Daily Record", no city/country and is undated. I would very much like to know the publication date.

The article is entitled,"Exclusive: Step we gaily on we go, this IS Mairi's wedding Now it's all for Mairi's birthday!"

The article was written by Stephen Houston who told about the song being written for Mary McNiven by her friend Johnny Bannerman in Gaelic and first played to her at the Old Highlanders Institute in Glasgow for the Mod of 1935.

The song was written for her, but not for her wedding -- she married Skye-born sea captain John Campbell 6 years later.

The article was published the day before her 90th birthday.

Anybody know the date, city of publication or anything else?

From the Glasgow Daily Record, date unknown:

Exclusive: Step we gaily on we go, this IS Mairi's wedding Now it's All for Mairi's birthday! She'll still be singing at 90

by Stephen Houston

Millions of Scots have sung Mairi's Wedding. And now, thanks to the Record, they can meet the bride herself.

For one of our best-loved tunes was written for Mary McNiven.

And the OAP is still stepping gaily, even though she'll be NINETY tomorrow.

Scots schoolkids have been learning the song for generations, and it's a firm favourite all over the world.

At her cottage on Islay yesterday, Mary said: "I can't believe it became so popular. But when it was first played to me I found it very catchy -- and I still do."

The song was originally written Gaelic -- that's why she was "Mairi" instead of "Mary" -- for the Mod of 1935.

Her pal Johnny Bannerman composed it and it was first played to her at the Old Highlanders Institute in Glasgow's Elmbank Street


"I still have a clear recollection of that day," said Mary. "Johnny just said the song was for me."

It was translated into English a year later, by Sir Hugh Roberton.

Although Mary herself was real, the wedding wasn't. For she didn't get hitched to Skye-born sea captain John Campbell until six years later. John died 17 years ago.

Mum of two, Mary, who won a Mod gold medal for singing in 1934, will enjoy a family birthday party in Glasgow this weekend. And it won't be complete without the famous song.

Her daughter Christine, a teacher from Hyndland, Glasgow, said: "Mum still sometimes sings it in Gaelic and people are always asking her to. I suspect she'll sing it to celebrate her birthday."

(The article is accompanied by a photograph of Mary by William Thornton and a copy of her wedding picture.)