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Lyr Add: Teannaibh dlùth is Togaibh Fonn

Felipa 01 Mar 21 - 05:12 PM
RunrigFan 02 Mar 21 - 02:07 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Teannaibh dlùth is Togaibh Fonn
From: Felipa
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 05:12 PM

Tim Jacques posted the following lyrics in 1998 in a discussion thread about Barbry Allen, but the Gaelic lyrics have no connection with that ballad. Tim Jacques wrote, "I didn't say that it was a Gaelic version of Barbara Allen, BTW, I said it was a song in Gaelic sung to the tune of Barbara Allen....[it] is from the singing of a man named Alexander Kerr, North River Ridge, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. The note says:

'The bard of this song re-visits the island of Mull where he was brought up, and finds only empty and desolate homes, evidence that the people have been cleared from the land to make way for English sheep. His final verse asks the younger generation of Gaels not to let their language decline further, even though the old Gaels have gone.'

No indication if the words met the tune in Scotland or in Cape Breton."

Tim didn't say what album the above notes come from.

The lyrics originated in Canada apparently. Also collected in Nova Scotia 1944, by Helen Creighton from John Neil Gillis

A version collected in the Isle of Mull (Muile), Scotland, is set to a different air.


O, teannaibh dlùth is togaibh fonn,
Mo chridhe trom air m'aineol;
'S mi fad ò eilean nan damh donn,
'S bho thir nan gleann 's nan gallan

O, bheir an t-soiridh seo nis bhuam
Thar chuan is cruach is beannaibh
A dh'ionnsaigh Muile nam beann fuar
O, eilean uaine a' bharraich.

Och a Righ, nach mi bha thall
An tìr nan gleann's nam bealach
Tìr nan craobh, 's i tìr mo ghaoil
Nan lagan fraoich is rannaich [raithneach]

Siud na glinn 's am faighte 'n aoidh
Gach roinn chum taobh na mara
Tha luchd mo ghaoil an diugh na sgaoil
'S nan aite caoraich Shasainn.

Tha 'n-diugh gun taigh, gun sgrath, gun chrùib
Gun cloich o's cionn na starsnaich
Tha leac-an-teinntein air fàs fuar
Le còinntich ruaidh tighinn thairis.

Is truagh a'Ghàidhlig bhith na cas
O'n dh'fhalbh na Gaidheil a bh' againn
A ghineil oig tha tighinn nan àit
O togaigh ard a bratach

with lyrics on screen on youtube: Brian O hEara

"Seo òran cianail à Canada far a bheil am bàrd ag innse dhuinn mun a chianalas airson Alba agus cuideachd gu bheil e brònach le suidheachadh nan Gàidheal is na Gàidhlig. Tha an aon fhonn air an òran seo sa th’ air an òran cliùiteach ‘Barbara Allan’.

"This is a plaintive song from Gaelic Canada where the bard describes his desire to be back in Scotland and sings of his sadness of the plight of the Gaels and Gaelic language. This song shares the melody of the well-known folk song Barbara Allan."

lyrics with translation can also be found at and at :

O sit closer and let us sing a song
My heart is dejected in a strange land
I am far away from the island of the brown stags
And from the land of glens and saplings

O take this greeting from me now
Over the ocean, rounded hills and bens
To Mull of the cold mountains
O green island of the birch trees

Och o Lord I wish I was over there
In the land of dales and mountain-gorges
The land of trees is my own dear land
With heather hollows amongst the bracken

O these are the valleys of kindness
Especially in the districts beside the sea
My loved ones have now departed
And their homes are under English sheep-runs

It is a pity Gaelic is in such a precarious state
Since the departure of the Gaels we knew
O youthful race that has replaced them
Unfurl the (Gaelic) banner to its maximum height

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Teannaibh dlùth is Togaibh Fonn
From: RunrigFan
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 02:07 PM

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