Màiri Bhàn's wedding

Music: Trad. arr. Sheena Phillips, Words: Peter Hill & Sheena Phillips

Voicing: SATB, solo T/Bar

Performance time approx: 2m 00s

Range S: a – e'' / A: a – c'' / T: c – e' / B: G – a

Price code: B


This song is very well known in the version by Sir Hugh S Roberton (“Step we gaily, on we go … ”). Our own English language version is more faithful to the lovely original Gaelic lyrics by John Bannerman which he wrote for the singer Mary MacNiven. (Màiri Bhàn means fair Mary.)

A slow solo over backing chords introduces the song — and closes it out at the end — while the middle section has an upbeat dance tempo with strongly harmonized verses alternating between male and female voices.

A Gaelic language setting, with John Bannerman’s original Gaelic words, is also available from Canasg.

Màiri Bhàn makes my heart sing,
Màiri Bhàn will wear my ring,
She’s my queen and I’m her king,
And we’re going to marry.

Yesterday I fell in love,
Now my spirits soar above,
Màiri Bhàn’smy singing dove,
And we’re going to marry.

Gentle eye and golden hair,
Merry cheek and brow so fair,
Voice so beautiful and rare,
And we’re going to marry.

At the Mod, it shall be told,
On her beauty I was sold.
Màiri Bhàn took home the gold,
And we’re going to marry.

Màiri Bhàn I will adore
Faithfully, for ever more,
And we’ll sing our love all o’er,
When we go to marry.

© Peter Hill and Sheena Phillips 2009
(based on the original Gaelic by John Bannerman)


Màiri Bhàn (lit.‘fair Mary’) is pronounced ‘maaree vaan’ where ‘aa’ is a long ‘ah’ vowel. The expression is a familiar form of addressing a young woman.

Card ImageScottish

Màiri Bhàn's wedding

Sheena Phillips

SATB, solo T/Bar

Buy now:
Keep me posted:
Email Marketing  by VerticalResponse