Eriskay love lilt

Music: Trad. arr. Frances Cockburn. Words: Trad. Gaelic
performance time approx 3m 00s
Range S1: c' – g'' / S2: c' – d'' / A1: c' – d'' / A2: a – b♭'
Price code: B
Complexity: **

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Hear a performance
The Eriskay love lilt is one of many Gaelic songs recorded and transcribed by the singer and composer Marjory Kennedy-Fraser during and after a visit to the island of Eriskay, off the west coast of Scotland, in 1905. The songs were published, with piano accompaniments by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, in several volumes entitled Songs of the Hebrides.

In Frances Cockburn's spacious arrangement, the tune passes between different voice parts, accompanied or surrounded at various times by one, two, three and four harmonic lines.

The recording is by the Wild Myrtles, dir. Frances Cockburn, from the album Songcatcher.

Canasg also publishes a quite different SATB arrangement of this song as item 1501 titled Gràdh geal mo chridhe.

Pronunciation guide and translation included.


Bheir mi o ro van o,
Bheir mi o ro bhan i?,
Bheir mi o ru o ho,?
'S mi tha brònach 's tu m' dhìth.

'S iomadh oidhche fliuch is fuar,
Ghabh mi cuairt is mi leam-fhèin,
Gus an d'rainig mi 'n t àit',
Far an robh gràdh geal mo chridhe.

'Na mo chlarsach cha robh ceòl,
'Na mo mheòirean cha robh àgh,
Rinn do phògsa mo leòn,
Fhuair mi eòlas air dàn.


Tra la / hey nonny no
I am so sad and needing you.

It's many a wet cold night
I journeyed all alone
Until I reached the place
Where the bright love of my heart was.

In my harp there was no music
In my fingers no ability
Your very kiss made my wound
I became acquainted with poetry.

Canasg editors

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