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English Trans Req: by Malcolm MacFarlane

keberoxu 21 May 17 - 02:37 PM
keberoxu 21 May 17 - 02:48 PM
keberoxu 21 May 17 - 02:56 PM
keberoxu 22 May 17 - 12:29 PM
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Subject: English Trans Req: by Malcolm MacFarlane
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 May 17 - 02:37 PM

The Scottish Gaelic lyric in question can be viewed on the thread for Songs about Nurse Edith Cavell. I'm starting a separate thread so that some effort can be put into translating from the Gaelic into English.

It is a fact that Malcolm MacFarlane's text, written in tribute right after Nurse Cavell had been put to death by firing squad, became part of a publication from Eneas Mackay in Stirling. The "Lament," published as sheet music, states that MacFarlane wrote the melody and the Scottish Gaelic; Murdoch Maclean wrote a singable English text to fit to MacFarlane's melody; and Arthur W. Marchant, Mus. Doc. (Oxford if I recall right), harmonized the whole thing with a keyboard accompaniment.

I want to leave Maclean's English out of this, no disrespect intended, but the English translating requested here ought to be literal, for people like me who are complete outsiders to Scottish Gaelic.
Also, it is my suspicion -- there is no way to prove this, that I can think of -- that MacFarlane's Scottish Gaelic came first, with its references to Herod and Nero and shameful villains and so on. Maclean's English, my guess again, might have been written later, and is all about having something in English to sing in, thus Maclean was not required to literally translate everything in the Gaelic.

Hopefully any posts to this thread will result in something that can then be posted to the Nurse Edith Cavell thread when it is suitably polished up.

The Gaelic is coming in my next post. Thanks all for your patience.


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Subject: RE: English Trans Req: by Malcolm MacFarlane
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 May 17 - 02:48 PM

NURSE CAVELL LAMENT   by Calum MacPharlain a/k/a Malcolm MacFarlane

Fann gaoth na mochthrath ri osnaidhean bròin;

Fairge fo uamhunn, is gruaim air na neòil;

Saorsa, le h-eagal, air teicheadh gu còs,

'S Eideag Chaithbhèil 'si 'na beuban gun deò.



Gnìomh na minaìre thug bàrr a thaobh tnùth

Air Herod 's air Néro le 'n reubairean gnùth,

Mort na mna mìn thaobh a dìlse 'nar cùis.

Dhaibhsan thig dìoghladh, ach dhìthse thig cliù.



Dìoghlar e mìghnìomh nam mìstearan thall:

Chì sinn ma 's beò, gur i chòir a bhios ann;

'S theid cliù na banghaisgich, o dheachdadh nam peann,

Sìos feadh nan linn gus an crìochnaichear àm.



Sèimh biodh do chadal, a bhanoglach chaomh;

Leigheas nan creuchd b' e do chreuchd air an t-saogh'l;

'S luachmhoire t' èifeachd do chreutairean daor,   

Ma theagaisg do mhor daibh gur sochair an tsaors'.




Published, Stirling: Eneas Mackay, circa 1917.


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Subject: RE: English Trans Req: by Malcolm MacFarlane
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 May 17 - 02:56 PM

Props to Mudcatter Felipa, by the way,
who in the Nurse Cavell song thread
volunteered a line or two in English.

For example, Felipa's post of 22 November 2016
offered this English rendering of
the very last line of the final Gaelic verse:

"let your death be a lesson for freedom"


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Subject: RE: English Trans Req: by Malcolm MacFarlane
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 May 17 - 12:29 PM

Mudcatters and guests alike, please feel free to volunteer.

Any contributions from me are going to depend heavily on online translators.

As for instance:

Verse Two, Lines three and four:

...A fine woman was put to death because of her loyalty
   Death brought her fame to compensate for taking her life

or:
Verse Three, Lines three and four:

...My pen testifies to the fame of the heroic woman
   Down across the centuries until the end of time


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