The Gaelic Tradition: Moch 'Sa Mhadainn Rinn Mi Gluasad
Lauchie MacLellan. Photograph by Ronald Caplan. Cape Breton's Magazine, Issue 23: 18. © 1972/2010 Ronald Caplan.
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About this Song

This song is sung by Lauchie MacLellan from Broad Cove, one of the most outstanding Gaelic singers and storytellers of recent times. Many of his songs and stories were recorded, transcribed and translated by John Shaw and a collection of them was published in his excellent book Brìgh an Òrain - A Story in Every Song.

Moch 'Sa Mhadainn Rinn Mi Gluasad, 1963. Lauchie MacLellan. T-014. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.

Lyrics

Sèist
Hoil-iù hill-eò hò-ro èileadh
Hoil-iù hill-eò hi hòireann hò
Hoil-iù hill-eò hò-ro èileadh.

Moch 'sa mhadainn rinn mi gluasad,
Dhìrich mi mach ri Beinn Chruachan.
(Hoil-iù hill-eò hò-ro èileadh.)

Dhìrich mi mach ri Beinn Chruachan
Theirinn mi lag an fhraoich uaine
Shuidh mi aig tobar an fhuaraidh
Chìr mi mo cheann, dh'fhàg mi ghruag ann
Dh'fhàg mi falt mo chinn 'na dhual ann
Sùil dhan tug mi tar mo ghualainn
Chunnaic mi tighinn na h-uaislean
Iain is Eachann is Ruairidh
Ach ma bhà cha robh mo luaidh ann
Fear a' chinn duibh 's a' chòt' uaine
Cha robh, a ghaoil, gum b'fhada bhuam thu
Bha tè eil' aig bàil gad bhuaireadh
'S aithne dhomh fhìn dè chùm bhuam thu
Tainead mo chrodh-laoigh air buailidh
Lughad a bha dhubh 's a ruadh dhiubh
Lughad a bha chais-fhionn ghuail-fhionn
Ach mas ise 's truime buaile
'S mise 's càirdich' dha na h-uaislean
Dhìreadh a mach ri Beinn Chruachan
Le 'n gunnaichean air an guaillean
Le flasgaichean air an cruachain
Dol a shealg na h-èilde ruaidhe
Mar sin is lach a' chinn uaine
Ailein, Ailein, 's fhada bhuam thu
Nan tigeadh tu 's mi 's a' bhuailidh
Cha b'e do dheoch bùrn an fhuarain
Leagainn bainne geal an cuaich dhuit
Chàirinn leaba nach biodh suarach
Laighinn fhìn air taobh an fhuaraidh
Chàirinn mo bhreacan mun cuairt dhut
Air eagal 's gu ruig am fuachd thu
'S mithich dhomh teàrnadh tar Beinn Chruachan.

Translation

I Arose Early in the Morning

Chorus
(The chorus consists of Gaelic vocables. One line is repeated after two lines of verse. The two-line verses consist of the previous line and a new line)

I arose early this morning,
I climbed towards Ben Cruachan.

I climbed towards Ben Cruachan
I descended by the hollow of green heather
I sat at the well on the windward side
I combed my hair, leaving some there
I left my hair there in locks
As I glanced over my shoulder
I saw the noblemen approaching
Iain and Hector and Roderick
But my love was not among them
The one with black hair and green coat
No, my love, you were far away from me
Another had enticed you at a dance
I know well what kept you from me
The scarcity of breeding-cattle in my fold
How few black and red ones were there
How few white-legged and white-shouldered ones
But even if she has the fullest fold
I am more related to the nobility
Who would ascend Ben Cruachan
With their guns on their shoulders
With flasks on their hips
Going to hunt the red hind
And also the green-headed wild duck
Allan, Allan, you are far away from me
If only you would come while I'm in the fold
Your drink would not be spring water
I would draw a bowl of white milk for you
I would prepare a bed that would not be shabby
I would lie down on the windward side
I would spread my plaid around you
For fear the cold would get to you
It is time for me to descend over Ben Cruachan.