An tàillear mhór

The tall tailoress

Music: Sheena Phillips. Words: Trad. Anon
performance time approx 0m 50s (sung twice through)
traditional Gaelic words and tune
Price code: A
Complexity: *

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This piece is the last in the set Mouth music set 2
The first piece is Tha mi sgìth
If you don't want to buy the whole set, then you can buy An tàillear mhór individually using the link on this page.
This is a delightful piece of Gaelic puirt-a-beul ('poorsht-a-beel') or mouth music - the name for songs written to accompany dancing. The song describes a man's longing to go off with the dark tailoress. Unfortunately he is already married to Rory MacDuncan's surly daughter!
Traditionally, puirt-a-beul is sung unaccompanied and in unison but the tunes harmonise very well. Frequently they are sung in sequences of three or four, each song leading without a break into the next. This song works well as the third in the following set of four: Tha mi sgìth; Meal do bhrògan; An tàillear mhór; Gaol mo chridh-sa Màiri Bhàn (all published by Canasg).

Pronunciation guide included


An tàillear mhór (The tall tailoress)

Dh'fhalbhainn fhìn leis an tàillear mhór,
Shiubhlainn fhìn leis an tàillear mhór,
Dh'fhalbhainn fhìn leis an tàillear mhór,
Rachainn fhìn a phòsadh na h-òig nighinn duinn.
Nighean Ruar' 'ac Dhonnchaidh bu chùl-chàineach tinn'
'S mór abha chràdh ann an cnàmhan do chinn,
Na faighinn dha'n ùir thu, 's do bhuig orra chinn,
Rachainn fhìn a phòsadh na h-òig nighinn duinn.
traditional Gaelic song

I would go with the tall tailoress
I would travel with the tall tailoress
I would go with the tall tailoress
I would go off and marry the young brown-haired girl.
Daughter of Duncan's son Roderick, surly and sickly,
There was much pain in the bones of your head.
If I could get you in the grave
I would go off and marry the young brown-haired girl.
Canasg editors

Purchase – 1509: An tàillear mhór

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