James Ruff
Mairi MacLeod

Story

Performed at BEMF Fringe 2013

Lyrics

Fuigheall

A Fragment

Thèid mi le m' dheoin
Do dhùthaich Mhic Leoid,
M'iùl air a' mhòr luachach sin.

With right good will I'll sail
to the land of MacLeod,
steering a course
for that man of great worth.

Bu chòir dhomh gum bi
M'eòlas 'san tìr
Leòdach mur piil cruadal mi;

It is right that I shall know
my way in MacLeod's domain,
if hard weather
repulse me not.

Siùbhlaidh mi an iar
Troimh dhùbhlachd nan sian
Do'n tùr g'am bi triall thuathcheathairn,

Westward I'll voyage
through the lowering
of the storms,
to the tower
to which tenantry resort,

O'n chualas an sgeul
Buadhach gun bhreug
Rinn acain mo chlèibhe fhuadachadh.

Since I have heard
the precious news and true,
that hath banished
the pang in my breast

Chì mi MacLeoid,
Is prìseil an t-òg
Rìomhach gu mòr buadhalach,

MacLeod I shall behold,
that youth high in esteem,
comely of aspect
and rich in virtues;

Bho Olghar nan lann
Chuireadh sròiltean ri crann,
Is Leòdaich an dream uabharra.

Sprung from Olgar
of the sword-blades,
that would raise satin pennons to mast —MacLeods are of that haughty race!

Eiridh na fuinn
Ghleusta air na suinn,
Is feumail ri àm cruadail iad,

Tuneful airs shall rise
in honour of the warriors,
right handy in time of hardihood are they;

Na fiùranan garg,
An am rùsgadh nan arm
Is cliuiteach an t-ainm
fhuaras leibh.

The stern young warriors
that when weapons are bared
have won them
a name renowned.

Sìol Tormoid nan sgiath
Foirmeileach fial,
Dh'eireadh do shluagh luathlàmhach;

The targe-bearing
race of Tormod,
stately and generous,
thy swift-handed host
would arise.

Dealradh nam pios,
Torman nam piob,
Is dearbh' gum bu leibh an dualachas.

Gleam of silver cups,
roar of the pipes —
clearly ye are your sires' worthy sons!

Thàinig teachdair do'n tir
Gu macanta min,
Is ait leam gach ni chualas leam,

To land came a courier,
gently and kindly
(joyful to me
every word that I heard),

O Dhùn Bheagain nan steud
Anns am freagair luchd-theud
Bheir greis air gach sgeul buaidh-ghlòireach.

From Dunvegan of steeds,
wherein to each other
respond harpers giving a spell
of each choice-worded tale.

An uair chuireadh na laoich
Loingeas air chaol
Turus ri gaoith ghluaiste leibh,

When the heroes
set the craft afloat
upon the kyle,
a voyage into the wind
ye would ply then.

O bharraibh nan crann
Gu tarruing nam ball
Teannachadh teann suas rithe;

From the mast-heads aloft
to the halyards below,
do ye keep her
close in to the wind.

lomairt gu leoir
Mar ri Mac Leoid
Chàraich fo shròl uain-dhaite i,
Frolic in plenty is found
with MacLeod,
who hath decked her
with green-hued satin.  

Bho Aros an fhion
Gu talla nam pios:
Gum beannaich mo righ
an t-uasal ud.

From Aros of wine
to the hall of silver goblets —
the blessing of my king
on that noble one!

 

James Ruff
collected - Eigg

Lyrics

Fhir a shiubhlas na frìthe

You who travel the mountains

 

Fhir a shiubhlas na frìthe,

You who travel the mountains

Tha thu sior thighinn fainear dhomh.

Are forever coming into my thoughts.

Tha mi ‘g innse le fìrinn

I am telling in truth

An nì rinn mo sgaradh;

Of that which has torn me.

Chan e gearradh a luaidh

It was not the cutting lead

A rinn am bualadh fo’m neimheil

That made the blow so bitter,

Ach na dh’fhuirich dhe’m chàirdean

But the many of my friends

Anns a’ bhlàr a bha ‘s t-earrach.

Who fell in the battle in the Spring.

 

 

Tha mo chiabhag air glasadh,

My hair has gone gray

Tha mo leth-cheann air muthadh.

And my face has changed.

Tha mo shùilean a’ sileadh,

My eyes are weeping

Tha mo chrìdhe bochd, brùite;

And my heart is sick and wounded.

Le ‘n a dh’fhuirich dhe’m chàirdean

For the number of my friends

‘s an làr ‘n deach a rùsgadh

Who remained to be stripped on the battlefield;

‘S e mheudaich mo chràdh

What has increased my pain

Gun fhios co chàraich an ùr orr’.

Is not knowing who spread the earth over them.

 

 

Chan eil diùc ann an Albainn

There is not a duke in Scotland

No gu dearbh ann a Sasuinn

Or indeed in England

Nach iarradh an òigear deas òg

Who would not wish the young and handsome youth

Bhi na mhac dha;

To be his son

Ann an toiseach do thìme

In the beginning of your career

Ghlac thu inntinn bha beachdail

You captivated discerning minds

Bha thu foghainteach, rìoghail,

You were stalwart and kingly

Bha thu dìleas bha ‘n aidmheil.

And you were steadfast in the Faith.

 

 

Ach sguiridh mise gar ‘n iomradh

But I will cease talking of you

Neo idir gar ‘n àireamh

Or indeed counting you

Bho ‘n a chaill mi na gibhtean

Since I lost the gifts

Nach tig gu latha bhràth

Which will not return until Judgment Day.

‘S ged a thigeadh Rìgh Seamas

And although King James would come

‘s a dh’eidir gach sraid e

And be proclaimed on every street

Ann an deireadh gach cùmailt

At the end of each situation

Bidh mo chùis-sa mar tha e.

My state would be as it is.

James Ruff
Sileas na Ceapaich

Story

Performed at BEMF Fringe 2013

Lyrics

Alasdair a Gleanna Garadh

Alastair of Glengarry

 

 

Alasdair a Gleanna Garadh
Thug thu’n diugh gal air mo shùilean;
‘S beag iongnadh mi bhith trom-chreuchdach,
Gur tric gar reubadh as ùr sinn.
‘S deachdair dhomh-sa
bhith gun osnaich
Meud an dosgaich
air mo chàirdibh;
Gur tric an t-eug oirnn
ag gearradh,
Taghadh nan darag is àirde.

Alexander of Glengarry, today you have brought weeping to my eyes;
Small wonder that I should be sore wounded,
Often are we plundered a-new.  It would be hard for me to be without sorrow
Equal to the calamity that has come upon my kin; 
Death is frequently cutting off from us, the best and tallest of the oaks.

 

 

Chaill sinn ionann agus còmhla
Sir Domhnull a mhac ‘s a bhràthair.
Ciod am fàth dhuinn bhith ‘gar gearan?
dh’fhan Mac Mhic Ailean ‘s a’ bhlàr uainn.
Chaill sinn darag làidir liathghlas
Bha cumail dion air a chàirdibh,
Capull-coille bhàrr na giùsaich,
seabhag sùlghorm, lùthmhor, làidir.

We lost in the same way and together Sir Donald, his son and his brother. 
What reason for us to complain? 
Clan Ranald remained on the battlefield;
We have lost a strong, grey oak which protected its people,
A woodcock from the pine wood, a hawk, blue-eyed, muscular, powerful.

 

 

Bu tu ceann
air céill ‘s air comhairl’
Anns gach gnothuch
am bi cùram,
Aghaidh shoilleir,
sholta, thlachdmhor,
Cridhe fial farsaing man chùinneadh.
Bu tu rogha nan sàr-ghaisgeach,
Ar guala thaice,
‘s tu a b’fhiùghail;
Leomhann smiorail,
fearail, feumail,
Ceann feachda
chaill Seumas Stiùbhart.

You were leader
in wisdom and counsel
In all matters
of responsibility;
A bright, pleasant,
handsome face,
Heart generous
and liberal with money. 
You were the choicest
of the warriors, Our shoulder for support, and most worthy; A lion courageous,
manly and effective,
Leader whom
James Stewart has lost.

 

 

Guidheam d’anam
a bhith sàbhailt
Bhon a chàradh
anns an ùir thu;

I pray your soul
be safe
Now that you have been buried in the soil.

Guidheam sonas
air na dh’fhàg thu

I pray happiness
for those you have left

Ann ad àros
‘s ann ad dhùthaich:
Guidheam do mhac
bhith nad àite
Ann an saibhreas
‘s ann an cùram:

In your home
and in your land. 
I pray your son
be in your place,
In wealth
and responsibility. 

Alasdair a Gleanna Garadh,
Thug thu’n diugh gal
air mo shùilean.

Alexander of Glengarry
today you have brought weeping to my eyes.

James Ruff
Traditional - Lament for the Children

Lyrics

Fhir a’ chin duibh

Lad with the dark hair

 

 

Fhir a’ chinn duibh thub mi gaol dhut
Fhir a’ chinn duibh thug mi gràdh dhut
Thug mi gaol is thug mi gràdh dhut
Thug mi gaol nach tug mi chàch dhut
Fhir a’ chinn duibh thug mi gràdh dhut.

Lad with the dark hair, I gave you my love
Lad with the dark hair, I gave you my affection
I gave you my love, I gave you my affection
I gave you a love that I did not give to the rest
Lad with the dark hair, I gave you my affection.

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