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Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Farewell to Coigach [Murdo George MacLean, Montana USA, Circa 1910] (Mo Shoraidh Leis a' Coigich)
Mo Shoraidh Leis a' Coigich [Murdo George MacLean, Montana USA, Circa 1910] (Farewell to Coigach)


Alice 11 Mar 03 - 01:57 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Mar 03 - 05:01 PM
Felipa 11 Mar 03 - 05:19 PM
Alice 11 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM
Strupag 11 Mar 03 - 07:18 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 11 Mar 03 - 08:53 PM
Alice 11 Mar 03 - 10:06 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Mar 03 - 11:40 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Mar 03 - 01:54 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Mar 03 - 01:58 AM
Felipa 12 Mar 03 - 03:44 PM
Strupag 14 Mar 03 - 04:28 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 14 Mar 03 - 06:47 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 14 Mar 03 - 07:56 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 14 Mar 03 - 08:04 PM
Alice 14 Mar 03 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Q 14 Mar 03 - 10:23 PM
Strupag 15 Mar 03 - 06:28 AM
Alice 15 Mar 03 - 10:41 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Mar 03 - 05:01 PM
Alice 15 Mar 03 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,MacIver 27 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM
Jack Campin 27 Feb 08 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Valerie Bryan 05 Jul 11 - 07:01 PM
Jim McLean 06 Jul 11 - 05:13 AM
Felipa 12 Oct 16 - 07:24 PM
Felipa 12 Oct 16 - 07:28 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Alice
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 01:57 PM

I checked the forum and found no reference to this, so I hope I'm not duplicating a thread.

I found reference to this song, "Farewell to Coigach", on a site regarding Scottish immigrants to Alberta, Canada. It said it was a cowboy song written in N. America in Gaelic. Anyone have more info, tune and lyrics?

Alice


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM

I don't think so, Alice. I have it. It's in Scottish Gaelic. I'll scan in the couple of pages and e-mail them to you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 05:01 PM

PS - When I get home tonight. I am on my way to a meeting. Might be home around midnight. It's 6PM now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 05:19 PM

Carson nach cuir thu an-seo iad?
Others besides Alice would be interested


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Alice
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM

Here is the site that connected the song to Alberta, Canada.

http://www.whitepinepictures.com/seeds/i/13/sidebar.html
A Land As Green As The Sea - Celtic Music

quote
"...To this day, Radford keeps running into versions of Celtic music in
             the strangest places. In the ranching community of southern Alberta, for example, Radford was
             introduced to the Celtic roots of cowboy music. Several years ago, a friend of his gave him a
             copy o f a song called "Farewell to Coigach," which is believed to be the only surviving cowboy
             song written in North America in Gaelic. "


Alice


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Strupag
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 07:18 PM

Ciamer a tha U Alice,
This song was written by Murdo MacLean from Achiltibuie, in North West Scotland. He went out to Billings, Montanna and wrote the song in Gaelic around 1910.
Many men from that area known as Coigach (the five fields) went out to Montanna at the turn of the century to find work, working with sheep. This small wave of immigration continued right up untill
the 50's.
The song was found in Montanna by Dave Wilkie of the band, Cowboy Celtic. He advertised in the North west of Scotland for anyone knowing anything about it. Tom and Val Bryan had moved to this area and were active in collecting and promoting gaelic song. They actually had a tape recording of an old Coigach lady, Mrs Sandie Fraser, singing the very song.
I was not too long before Dave and the band made a visit to Scotland and decided to get a local Skye gaelic singer, Arthur Cormack, to record the song on the bands 2nd album.
See info at this clickey http://www.cowboyceltic.com/
Dave and the band members have now become regular visitors to these shores and are firm friends with many of us here.
Just to complete the whole circle, Dave and the band, in their latest album, recorded a song of mine which was written for Tom and Val Bryan when they decided to come home to Scotland from Indiana.
If you want more info and words of old Murdo's great song, "Mo Shoraidh Leis a' Choigich" please PM me.
Slainte
Andy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 08:53 PM

Carson nach, gu dearbh! Am bheil e buachaille no aoghair ?
Montana was also a magnet for Cape Bretoners. In fact one of our greatest Gaelic singers was known as Montana Dan.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Alice
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 10:06 PM

Thank you. I live in Montana, born and raised here, of Irish ancestry. That is my interest in this song.

Alice Flynn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 11:40 PM

Of course, Felipa. I just can't do music so I was going to e-mail her the scan. I am going to post the words here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:54 AM

This song was transcribed from the singing of Sandie Fraser of Achiltibuie. Murdo George (Mordaidh Sheorais) was just one of'many Coigach men who went to Montana and Idaho, USA, in the years before World War One to work as shepherds, cattlemen and cowboys. This Coigach man realised his dream of returning to Scotland to marry and settle but others stayed to help settle the North American West. Some of these men returned to Europe only to die in the trenches in the Great War of 1914-1918. This song is totally unique and priceless and must be one of the few preserved songs written in Gaelic in the American West.

That's the explanatory notes.

I'll get back to it tomorrow. I'd forgotten there are 11 verses to this to type up, and sort convert to HTML for accents. Will post it tomorrow(later today) evening for sure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:58 AM

-Oh, yes. It comes from a book called Ullapool - Music of Lochbroom and Coigach. Compiled by Valerie and Tom Bryan. Drumrunie Press. ISBN 1-879486-05-6


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 03:44 PM

Strupag- wow! - an Andy Mitchell sibh? Chuala mí an t-òran sin, 'Indiana', bliadhnaichean air ais

and yes, of course we want more information ...

George, if you e-mail the scan to MMario or Joe Offer, they can post abc and/or midi at the Cat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Strupag
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 04:28 PM

I was working up in my old stamping ground of Ullapool today and I met two Achiltibuie (Coigach) men and my pal Sandy was telling me that his father was one of the last to go out to Billings, Montanna.
He came back before the mid 30's.
I,ve told Sandy about Mudcat so I hope he might join in.

Tha mi duilich Felipa ach bha mi gle trang ag obair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 06:47 PM

I never thought of that. Thanks, Felipa!

I'll do that. I have Joe's e-mail so I'll send it to him.

I'm still working on the words to post in here. Been busy this week. Will try to finish it up tonight.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MO SHORAIDH LEIS A' COIGICH / GOODBYE...
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 07:56 PM

I sent the music on to Joe.

MO SHORAIDH LEIS A' COIGICH
Farewell to Coigach
Murdo George MacLean, Montana USA, Circa 1910

This song was transcribed from the singing of Sandie Fraser of Achiltibuie. Murdo George (Mordaidh Sheorais) was just one of many Coigach men who went to Montana and Idaho, USA, in the years before World War One to work as shepherds, cattlemen and cowboys. This Coigach man realised his dream of returning to Scotland to marry and settle but others stayed to help settle the North American West. Some of these men returned to Europe only to die in the trenches in the Great War of 1914-1918. This song is totally unique and priceless and must be one of the few preserved songs written in Gaelic in the American West.

'S ann a fhuair mi m'arach an taobh tuath de Alba Mhór,
Far 'm bheil beanntaichean tha fasgathach is gleanntanan gu-leoir,
Far 'm bheil chlann-nighean as bòidhche 's as finealta tha beò
Is truagh nach robh mi thall leò ged bhithinn gann de'n òr
 
Gura h-òg a bha mi a'd ìreadh mach nan stùc
Le mo bhata callainn 's le'm bhreacan tartan ùr
Is le mo chuilean ròmach a b'fheàrr chaidh riamh air sgrìlob
Is Màiri Ruadh gam' chàineadh le canain gun bhrigh.
 
Mo bheannachd mhór le Màiri bho'n 's i piuthar m' athar i,
B'aoibhneach a bhitheadh i's i feitheamh nochd rium fhé'
Ach 's duilich nochd's is cianail i, 's mi sgrìob a null air sàil,
'S mi còrr 's tri mìle mile bho Alba ghorm an fheòir.
 
Mo shoraidh leis a' Coigich 's le Beinne Mhór a' cheò,
Meall Dubh 'is Spicean Cointich far'n robh mi aotrom òg,
Tha chaora mhaol as bòidhche a' cromadh bàrr an fheòir,
Is buachlaichean le suain orra a' buachailleachd nan uan òg.
 
'S ann tha mi'n diugh nam chiòbair aig sàil nam beanntan mór,
Far 'm bheil madadh-allaidh 's leomhann is tiògairean go leòir,
Tha iad h-uile latha mu'n cuairt dhomh 's mi buachailleachd mo spréidh.
'S cha bhithinn fhéin glé shàbhailte gun mhusgaid bhi 'nam dhòrn.
 
An am dol fodha na gréine bithidh spréidh dol sios do'n chrò
'S bi mi fhéin a 'teàrnadh leò 's mi acarach gu leòir
Cha bhi bean-taigh cur furan orm no deasachadh mu'n bhòrd
Cha bhi a h-aon cur fàilt' orm, ach fàrdach bhàn gun cheò.
 
Bha mi 'n dé 's an aonach a'sealg air damh nan cròic
Co chithinn ach mo nàbuidh Aonghus Mór MacLeoid.
Is thug sinn greis air còmhradh mu'n tìr 's an robh sinn òg,
Is mu'n chlann-nighean as bòidhche nach diultadh dhuinn am pòg.
 
Nuair a thig an sàmhradh bith gach craobh is flùr fo bhlàth.
Is bithidh mi-fhéin a'smaointeachadh a dhol a rithis thar sàil,
Far 'm bi cairdean le aoibhneas toirt crathadh dhuinn de'n làmh,
'S ged chosgadh a bonn òrr dhuinn gun òladh sinn deoch slàint.
 
Ach n'uair a thig an geàmradh, bithidh srann aige is séisd.
Bithidh na buachaillean sàmhraidh dol gann air fortan fhéin.
'S na bailtean bios iad; lionmhor ag of deoch slainte chéil,
Ach 's arm bhios clann nan Gàidheal air mullach bheann is shléibh.
 
Tha còrr is seachd bliadhna le thriall mi as air falbh
'S a ghabh mi slàint le Alba, 's gach caraid innt' tha tàmh.
Is ged bu chruaidh an sàr a gun fhios an tillinn beò;
'S a chailin donn a dh'fhàg mi a sgàin mo chridhe le bròn.
 
O Eilean Alba dhomhsa seach cos tha fo'n a' ghréin',
Cha'n iarrainn òr no airgiod ann no fortan bhi da réir.
Ach dh'fhanainn fad mo latha ann le saoibhreas a bhiodh crion,
Le m' ribhinn mhaiseach bhòidheach a Eilean Dubh mo mhiann.

"GOODBYE TO COIGEACH "TRANSLATION BY SANDIE FRASER OF ACHILTIBUIE

I was reared in the North of Scotland
Where there are mountains sheltering many glens,
Where there are young women who are more beautiful and polite than women elsewhere,
Such a pity I was not now with them although I would be short of money.
 
I was very young when I used to climb the pinnacles
with my hazel walking stick and my new tartan plaid.
And with my rough-haired young dog, the best that ever rounded up the sheep tracks.
And red-haired Mary scolding me in language without substance.
 
My great blessings with Mary because she is my father's sister,
How joyful she would be waiting for me coming home at night,
But tonight she is sad and pensive while I am a long way across the sea.
More than twice three thousand miles from the green grass of Scotland.
 
My farewell to Coigeach and Ben Mor of the mists
With its outcrops of Spicean Cointich and Black Rock, cone-shaped.
I was young and light-looted where the bald sheep are bonny cropping the tips of the grass.
And shepherds, having forty winks, herding the young lambs.
 
Today I am a keeper at the foot of high mountains,
where there are wolves, tigers, and mountain lions (cougars) in great numbers.
They are around me every day while I herd my animals
And I would not be very safe without a musket in my hand.
 
At sunset, the cattle will make their way to the fold,
and I myself will accompany them and I am very hungry.
There will be no house wife to welcome me, preparing or setting the table
No one to welcome me except a grey fireplace without smoke.
 
Yesterday I was up the high mountains hunting the horned deer
Who should I meet but my neighbour tall Angus MacLeod.
We spent a while reminiscing on the land of our youth.,
and on the beautiful young girls who would not refuse our kisses.
 
When summer comes each tree and plant is in flower,
And I will be thinking I will cross the ocean again,
Where friends with gladness will he shaking our hands
And although it would cost us a gold piece We would drink their health.
 
But when winter comes in with snorting, like a place under siege,
The summer shepherds will be spending their fortunes,
Congregating in the town saloons, drinking to their health,
But the Children of the (;act will be on the high bens and hills.
 
There are more than seven years since I left my home,
And left good health to Scotland and all who live there.
And although the difficulties were stressful, and that I might not return alive,
What distressed me most was leaving my broken-hearted sweetheart.
 
Oh, for the Island of Scotland, for me above any place under the sun,
I would not need to have great silver or gold,
I would remain there, with little wealth,
with the beautiful young maiden from the Black Isle, of my desire.
 


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:04 PM

Oh yeah, on the last line of the third from the end verse, the odd bit should really been Gaels


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Alice
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 09:46 PM

But the Children of the Gaels will be on the high bens and hills.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for all the work, George. Much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Strupag
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 06:28 AM

Quite timely! The post just arrived and there is an invite for the launch for a new book, "Plaids @ Bandanas, From Highland Drover to Wild West Cowboy"
It's written by Rob Gibson and has credits by Tom Bryan and Dave Wilkie.
Rob's band, Ceilidh Menage (I am an occasional member) has done a north American tour featuring the theme Plaids & Bandanas and has an album out of the same name. Yes, it has a great version of Mo Shoraidh leis a' Coigach sung beautifully by Fiona Scott from Lewis.
The pamphlet has the following bumf on it: -
ISBN number 0-946487-88, published by Luath Press (Tel 44 131 225 4236


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Alice
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 10:41 AM

Strupag, is the Plaids and Bandanas CD available in the US?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 05:01 PM

Co-operation! That's the Mudcat game!

From Felipa's suggestion, I sent the scan to Joe Offer. He took it, taking time from HIS busy schedule (Thanks guy!) and made a MIDI from it and put it up above for all to hear. Enjoy it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Alice
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 05:05 PM

Thanks, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: GUEST,MacIver
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM

Wow! I'm intregued at the interest in this song for Mordaidh Sheorais was my great, great grandad. A really beautiful song - I love it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 03:45 PM

The tune sounds familiar to me, and I'm sure I've never heard the song. And it sounds like something Vaughan Williams might have found in Norfolk, if anything. Does the original published version of the song give it a name?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: GUEST,Valerie Bryan
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 07:01 PM

Jack - I wrote this tune down from the singing of Andie Fraser in Achiltibuie in 1987. As far as I know it hadn't been published before. But it's always been common practice for people in the Gaeltachd to put new words to existing tunes - so who knows where is came from?!

GUEST.MacIver - How amazing that Mordaidh Sheorais was your great, great Grandad. Yes, it's a wonderful song. Mordaidh sounds like a great character.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Jim McLean
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 05:13 AM

The tune Jack was thinking about was probably Jamie Raeburn.


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Subject: RE: Soraidh leis a' Chòigich
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 07:24 PM

according to "Am Baile", Murdo Maclean returned from Montana in 1907 and wrote Soraidh leis a' Chóigich in 1910. Source of info. is the book already mentioned, Gibson, Rob. Plaids & Bandanas (2003) The book Highland Cowboys: From the Hills of Scotland to the American Wild West by Rob Gibson (2014) gives 1907 as the date of return but says Maclean composed the song before he returned to Scotland

Along with lyrics and translation (which are already posted here, though I havent checked for any differences in transcription) this link includes a video of Fiona Mackenzie singing Soraidh leis a' Chòigich: http://www.ambaile.org.uk/detail/en/41303/1/EN41303-mo-shoraidh-leis-a-cha//Am


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Farewell to Coigach, Cowboy song/Scots
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 07:28 PM

relevant article in Living Tradition magazine
Cowboy Celtic
by Rob Gibson - Issue 27 June/July '98


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