Oran Molaidh Ghlinne Cuaich

by Drew McNaughton

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The Gaelic lyrics to this song were composed by Iain MacNeachdainn or John MacNaughton, bard of Glen Quaich in Perthshire. The text was given to me by my friend Jake King who also found out that the tune was the Irish folk song Carrickfergus. It seems to fit perfectly so I've recorded the first few verses as a taster of a more complete version still to come I hope.


Gleann uaine nan caorach,
Gleann àraich nan cruaidh laoch
Cha’n’eil leithid ri fhaotainn
An taobh so de’n Fhraing
Tha fhalluing cho prìseil,
Bàrr fraoich is bun cìoba,
Is neòinein a’s milse
Mu chrìchibh gach àm.

Tha fallaineachd mhòr anns
A’ ghleanan bheag bhòidheach,
Tha mì agus stòras
‘N glean àluinn mo ruin;
Tha sithionn an aonaich,
Is iasgach a’ chaolais
Gu pailt ann ri fhaotainn
Cho saor ris a’ bhùrn.

Tha’n liath-chearc ‘s an smùdan
‘S an coileach-dubh dùrdail;
Boc-maoislich gu luth'or
A' siubhal nam beann.
Tha chuthag 's an smeòrach
‘S na badanaibh bòidheach,
Fo fhasgadh na sròna,
'Seinn ciùil air gach crann.

Tha ruadh-bhuic is maoislich,
Is éildean le’n laoigh ann;
Daimh chabrach a’ sraonadh
Ri aodainn nan tom;
An earbag bheag laghach
A' mire 's an doire,
‘S am bheil ‘n coileach-coille
A’ goirsinn le fonn.

Tha tarmachain 's ruadh-eoin,
Is lachaidh chinn uain' ann,
Maigheach ghlas a' cheum uallaich
Gach uair anns a’ ghleann,
'Na cadal gu guamach
‘S na laganaibh uaigneach,
Am fasgadh na luachrach
'Na cuairteig glé chruinn.

Translation (rough draft):

(Song in praise of Glen Quaich
By the late John McNaughton)

Green glen of the sheep
Glen where hardy heroes are raised
An equal is not to be found
this side of France
A precious mantle
Heather on top, grasses below
And sweetest daisies
always about the border.

Great salubriousness is in
The wee bonny glens
Abundance and I are
In the beautiful glen, my love.
Game of the moor
And fish-catch of the narrows
Is plentifully to be found there
as free as the water.

The heath-hen and woodpigeon
And the lek-calling blackcock,
Roe-buck are swiftly
traversing the mountains.
Cuckoo and the song thrush
Are in the bonny bushes
Growing under the spurs
singing music on every top.

Roe-buck and doe
And hind with the calf are there
Antlered stags charging
on the face of the hills
The wee pretty fawn
Sporting in the oak grove
Where the woodcock
is melodiously calling.

Ptarmigan and grouse and
Green-headed mallard are there
Grey hare of the lively step
always in the glen
Sleeping snugly
In the secret burrow
Where the rushes grow in
the well rounded hollow.


released July 5, 2016



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Drew McNaughton Scotland, UK

Drew McNaughton is a musician and poet who was born in Concord, Massachusetts and has greatly admired the writing of Emerson and Thoreau for many years. At an early age he also found that he was particularly drawn to the poetry of W. B. Yeats which has continued to be a major influence. Now living in Scotland he has recently been listening to Gaelic musicians and singers such as Julie Fowlis. ... more

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