The Gaelic Tradition: Daolagan Cholarado

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About this Song

The singer is Donald John MacDermaid, a collector of Gaelic songs in Cape Breton (particularly around the southeast areas of the Island). He lived in the United States for the majority of his life. He is remembered as one of the finest Cape Breton Gaelic singers.

The lyric uses the chorus of a popular old Gaelic song.

Daolagan Cholarado. Donald John MacDermaid. T-3027. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.

Lyrics

1. 'S iomadh plàigh a tha san t-saoghal,
'S iomadh call a thig air daoine,
'S iomadh nì tha milleadh ar saoghail
'S a' toirt adhbhar dhuinn bhith cràiteach.

Sèist
Thug mi 'n oidhche raoir san àirigh,
Thug mi 'n oidhche raoir san àirigh,
'N oidhche nochd gu cridheil coibhneil
Maille ri maighdeann dhonn na h-àirigh,
Thug mi 'n oidhche raoir san àirigh.

2. Tha na daolagan am bliadhna
Feadh gach raon buntàt' ri riasladh;
'S gann gun d'fhàg iad cnap gu biadh dhuinn,
'S cruaidh a dh'fheuch iad sinn le 'n cnàmhan.

3. Colorado fada 'n iar bhuainn
'S ann a dh'àraicheadh na biastan;
Ghluais iad às a sin gu lionmhor,
Greis a' sniagail, greis a' snàgail.

4. Nuair thig grian na madainn bhlàth oirnn
Chan eil àit' nach gabh iad faighinn;
Chi mi falbh iad anns an adhar,
'S bidh an rathad loma-làn dhiubh.

5. Chan eil meas ac' air lus foille,
No air lus tha fàs 's na coilltean;
'S e buntàta biadh an aoibhneis,
Cha bhi loinn às gun bhith làmh ris.

6. Chomha luath 's a chì iad duilleag
A' fàs suas gu bòidheach lurach,
Bidh am bus innte gu guineach
'S ithidh iad o bhun gu bàrr i.

7. Chan ith feannagan dubh nam beann iad,
'S chaneil cearc ann a thig teann orr';
Ged 's math càil a' choilich Fhrangaich,
Seachnaidh e le greann is gràin iad.

8. Tha iad mèathte, dèante, snaighte,
'S air am druim tha slige bhreac orr',
Cumail dion orra mar chaisteal,
Slige bhreac à loc cruaidh làidir.

9. Ma gheibh mise beagan saoghail
Chithear còmhlaichean mu na raointean,
Nach leum each 's nach leag na gaothan,
'S gheibh na daolagan an sàbh bhuam.

10. 'S iomadh bodach eutrom somalt'
'S cailleach gharbh tha sgìth a' cromadh,
A' cur cruinn nam biastan sgonnach
Chum an donnadh anns an àmhainn.

11. 'S iomadh òigear làidir sunndach
Agus caileag laghach ghaolach,
A tha sgìth a' cur nan caolan
Às na daolagan le clàran.

12. Bheir mi dhaibh am puinnsean neartmhor
Tha na Frangaich dhuinn a' cleachdadh;
Uair no dhà a h-uile seachdain
Ni mi 'm peacach gann de nàmhaid.

Translation:

The Colorado Beetles

1. There are many plagues in the world,
People suffer many losses,
Many things harm our world
And make life painful for us.

Chorus
I spent last night in the sheiling,
I spent last night in the sheiling,
Tonight in happiness and kindness
With the brown-haired maid of the sheiling.
I spent last night in the sheiling.

2. The beetles this year
Are invading every potato field;
They hardly left a scrap of food for us,
They tortured us with their greed.

3. It was in Colorado far to the west of us
That the beasts were reared;
They moved from there in plenty,
Sometimes creeping, sometimes crawling.

4. When the warm morning sun comes
There isn't a place where you cannot find them;
I see them flying in the sky,
And the road is full of them.

5. They do not like the foxglove
Or any plants growing in the woods;
The potato is the food that makes them happy,
If it has a shine to it they'll be near it.

6. As soon as they see a leaf
Growing sweetly and beautifully,
Their snout will be avidly into it
And they will eat it from top to bottom.

7. The black crows of the hills will not eat them,
And no hen will go near them;
Although the turkey has a good appetite
He will avoid them with scowling and loathing.

8. They are oily, fat and well-formed,
And on their backs they have a speckled shell;
Defending them like a castle,
A speckled shell from a hard strong place.

9. If I live for a while
Fences will be seen around the fields,
That a horse cannot jump and wind cannot break,
And I will cut down the beetles.

10. There is many a lively but docile old fellow,
And tough old lady tired of bending down,
Collecting the plump beasts
To brown them in the oven.

11. There is many a strong and merry young man
And nice lovable young lady
Who are tired knocking the guts
Out of the beetles with staves.

12. I will give them the potent poison
That the French use;
Once or twice every week
I will leave the sinner short of an enemy.