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TITLE
Soraidh le Eilean a' Cheò (Farewell to the Misty Isle)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_MAIRI_MHOR_02
PLACENAME
Skeabost
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Snizort
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Màiri Mhòr
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
40979
KEYWORDS
poem
poems
audio
literary landscapes
Soraidh le Eilean a' Cheò

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'Soraidh le eilean a cheò' (Farewell to the Misty Isle) was written by the Gaelic bardess from Skye, Màiri Mhòr nan Òran (Big Mary of the Songs). It is sung here by Fiona J MacKenzie, the Highland Council's former Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellow (2002-9).

Soraidh le Eilean a' Cheò

Soraidh leis an ait' an d'fhuair mi m'àrach òg
Eilean nam beann àrda far an tàmh an ceò
Air a moch a dh'èireas grian nan speur fo ròs
A' fuadach a neul na h-oidhche
Soillseachadh an Stòrr

Cur m'aghaidh ri Glaschu b'airtneulach mo cheum
Cur mo chùl ri càirdean nochd am bàidh cho treun
Ghluais ar buadhan nàdair ann an gràdh dha chèil'
Shruth mo dheoir a mhàin is dh'fhàillnich guth mo bhèil

Seallaidhean bu bhrèagha riamh chan fhaca sùil
Sprèidh a mach gam feurach madainn ghrianach chiùin
'N uiseag air a sgiath seinn gun fhiamh a ciùil
'S an ceò mu cheann Beinn Tianabhaig
Is an sliabh fo dhriùchd.

Seinnibh gach fear -ciùil
Le mùirn a dhachaigh fhèin
'S cumaibh suas a cliù
Ma bhios ur cùrsa rèidh
Ach cha ghabh sinn mùiseag
Os ur cionn gu lèir
Nach eil spot as cùbhr'
Air an laigh driùchd o nèamh.

The English translation reads:

'Farewell to the place where I spent my youth
Island of the high mountains where the mist rests
On which rises early the rose coloured sun in the sky
Chasing away the clouds of night
Illuminating the Storr

Turning face towards Glasgow sorrowful are my footsteps
Turning my back on my friends, tonight their love is so powerful
Our natural talents surge in love together
My tears fall down and my voice fails me

Sights more beautiful the eye could never see
Cattle out grazing on a peaceful sunny morning
The lark on the wing singing confidently her music
And the mist surrounding Beinn Tianabhaig
And the mountain under dew

Let all music makers sing with joy of their homeland,
Boast of its fame it's honour and dignity,
We don't mind, we know that over all of you,
No place the dew falls on us, can be more beautiful.'

From the age of fifty, Màiri Mhòr nan Òran (Big Mary of the Songs), a native of Skeabost, Skye, wrote numerous songs of exile, praise and hope, as well as protest songs about the treatment of the Gaels. Born Mary MacDonald in 1821, she left Skye for Inverness in 1847 to marry Isaac Macpherson. On his death in 1871, Màiri was left as a single parent of five and it was during a short imprisonment in 1872, on a charge of petty theft, that she turned to poetry, protesting her innocence and expressing her anger through Gaelic verse.

On her release, Mary moved to Glasgow and trained as a nurse. She attended Highland Society ceilidhs, meeting leading advocates of Highland Land Reform. On her return to Skye in the 1880s she became Bard of the Land League. In 1891 'Gaelic Songs and Poems' was published, transcribed from Màiri's recitations.

After a short illness, Mary died on 8 November 1898 while visiting Portree. She was buried in Chapel Yard burial ground, Inverness, where Charles Fraser Mackintosh MP erected a monument to her. In 2002 the Highland Council established the Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellowship in her memory, to develop and promote Gaelic singing.

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Soraidh le Eilean a' Cheò (Farewell to the Misty Isle)

INVERNESS: Snizort

2000s

poem; poems; audio; literary landscapes; Soraidh le Eilean a' Cheò

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Màiri Mhòr nan Òran

'Soraidh le eilean a cheò' (Farewell to the Misty Isle) was written by the Gaelic bardess from Skye, Màiri Mhòr nan Òran (Big Mary of the Songs). It is sung here by Fiona J MacKenzie, the Highland Council's former Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellow (2002-9).<br /> <br /> Soraidh le Eilean a' Cheò<br /> <br /> Soraidh leis an ait' an d'fhuair mi m'àrach òg <br /> Eilean nam beann àrda far an tàmh an ceò <br /> Air a moch a dh'èireas grian nan speur fo ròs <br /> A' fuadach a neul na h-oidhche <br /> Soillseachadh an Stòrr <br /> <br /> Cur m'aghaidh ri Glaschu b'airtneulach mo cheum <br /> Cur mo chùl ri càirdean nochd am bàidh cho treun <br /> Ghluais ar buadhan nàdair ann an gràdh dha chèil' <br /> Shruth mo dheoir a mhàin is dh'fhàillnich guth mo bhèil <br /> <br /> Seallaidhean bu bhrèagha riamh chan fhaca sùil <br /> Sprèidh a mach gam feurach madainn ghrianach chiùin <br /> 'N uiseag air a sgiath seinn gun fhiamh a ciùil <br /> 'S an ceò mu cheann Beinn Tianabhaig <br /> Is an sliabh fo dhriùchd. <br /> <br /> Seinnibh gach fear -ciùil <br /> Le mùirn a dhachaigh fhèin <br /> 'S cumaibh suas a cliù <br /> Ma bhios ur cùrsa rèidh <br /> Ach cha ghabh sinn mùiseag <br /> Os ur cionn gu lèir <br /> Nach eil spot as cùbhr' <br /> Air an laigh driùchd o nèamh.<br /> <br /> The English translation reads:<br /> <br /> 'Farewell to the place where I spent my youth<br /> Island of the high mountains where the mist rests<br /> On which rises early the rose coloured sun in the sky<br /> Chasing away the clouds of night<br /> Illuminating the Storr<br /> <br /> Turning face towards Glasgow sorrowful are my footsteps<br /> Turning my back on my friends, tonight their love is so powerful<br /> Our natural talents surge in love together<br /> My tears fall down and my voice fails me<br /> <br /> Sights more beautiful the eye could never see<br /> Cattle out grazing on a peaceful sunny morning<br /> The lark on the wing singing confidently her music<br /> And the mist surrounding Beinn Tianabhaig<br /> And the mountain under dew<br /> <br /> Let all music makers sing with joy of their homeland,<br /> Boast of its fame it's honour and dignity,<br /> We don't mind, we know that over all of you,<br /> No place the dew falls on us, can be more beautiful.'<br /> <br /> From the age of fifty, Màiri Mhòr nan Òran (Big Mary of the Songs), a native of Skeabost, Skye, wrote numerous songs of exile, praise and hope, as well as protest songs about the treatment of the Gaels. Born Mary MacDonald in 1821, she left Skye for Inverness in 1847 to marry Isaac Macpherson. On his death in 1871, Màiri was left as a single parent of five and it was during a short imprisonment in 1872, on a charge of petty theft, that she turned to poetry, protesting her innocence and expressing her anger through Gaelic verse.<br /> <br /> On her release, Mary moved to Glasgow and trained as a nurse. She attended Highland Society ceilidhs, meeting leading advocates of Highland Land Reform. On her return to Skye in the 1880s she became Bard of the Land League. In 1891 'Gaelic Songs and Poems' was published, transcribed from Màiri's recitations. <br /> <br /> After a short illness, Mary died on 8 November 1898 while visiting Portree. She was buried in Chapel Yard burial ground, Inverness, where Charles Fraser Mackintosh MP erected a monument to her. In 2002 the Highland Council established the Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellowship in her memory, to develop and promote Gaelic singing.