Cànan nan Gàidheal

This song was written by Murdo MacFarlane (Murchadh MacPharlain, Bard Mealbhoist) during the 1970s. I learnt it from the Tannas album, Oighreachd/Heritage. Their version is the one below. Other versions have quite a few more verses.

Cànan nan Gàidheal

Cha b' e sneachda 'san reòthadh bho thuath
Cha b'e crannadh geur fuar bho'n ear
Cha b'e uisge 'san gailleon bho'n iar
Ach an galair a blen bho'n deas
Blàth, duilleach stoc agus freumh
Cànan mo threubh 's mo shluaidh.

Thig thugainn, thig co-rium gu siar
Gus an cluinn sinn ann cànan nam Féinn
Thig thugainn, thig co-rium gu siar
Gus an cluinn sinn ann cànan nan Gàidheal

‘S iomadh gille thug greis air a' chuibhl'
‘S an dubh-oidhche thog fonn Gàidhlig a' chridh
‘S iomadh gaisgeach a' bhrosnaich 'sa bhlàir
Gu euchd nuair bu teòtha bha'n strì
O Ghàidheil! O caite ‘n deach d'uaill
‘Nad Chìne 's ‘nad chànan 's do thir?


Ged theich i le beath' as na glinn
Ged ‘s gann an diugh chluinntear i nas mo
O Dhuthaich MhicAoidh fada tuath
Gu ruig thu Druim-Uachdar nam bo
Gigheadh dhi na h-Eileanan Siar
Bi na claidheamh ‘s na sgiath ‘nad dhòrn.


The language of the Gaels

'Twas not the snow and frost from the North
'Twas not the bitterly cold wind from the East
'Twas not the rain and the storms from the West
But the blight from the South
That withered the blossom, the foliage, the trunk and the root
Of the language of my clan and my people.

Come, come with me to the West
Till we hear the language of the Fingalians
Come, come with me to the West
Till we hear the language of the Gaels.

Many's a lad who took a spell on the wheel
Whose spirits were raised by a Gaelic song
Many's a hero was incited to herism in war
When the battle was raging at its hottest
O Gaels, where has your pride
In your ancestry and language gone?


Although it fled for its life from the glens
Although it is rarely heard nowadays
From the land of MacKay in the far North
Right down to Drumochter of the cattle
Nevertheless in the Western Isles
You be armed with sword and shield.


Recordings of this song:

This song can be heard on the following albums:


Different versions of this song:

Other songs in Scottish Gaelic | Songs in other languages

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