Fear A Bhàta (The Boat Man)

This song was written in the late 19th century by Sìne NicFhionnlaigh of Tong, Lewis who was courting a young fisherman from Uig, Dòmhnall MacRath. It was first published in Henry Whyte's collection, The Celtic Lyre (Edinburgh, 1898). This is the original Scottish Gaelic version of the song. There is also an Irish version.

Fear A Bhàta

Fhir a' bhàta, 's na ho ro eile
Fhir a' bhàta, 's na ho ro eile
Fhir a' bhàta, 's na ho ro eile
Mo shoraidh slàn leat 's gach àit' an téid thu

Is tric mi 'sealltainn o'n chnoc a's àirde
Dh'fheuch am faic mi fear a' bhàta
An tig thu an diùigh no'n tig thu a-màireach?
'S mur tig thu idir gur truagh a tà mi


Tha mo chridhe-sa briste, brùite
'S tric na deòir a' ruith o m' shùilean
An tig thu a-nochd no'm bi mo dhùil riut
No'n dùin mi'n dorus le osna thùrsaich?


'S tric mi foighneachd de luchd nam bàta
Am fac' iad thu no am bheil thu sàbhailt'
Ach 's ann a tha gach aon dhiùbh 'g ràitinn
Gur gòrach mise ma thug mi gràdh dhut


The Boat Man

Oh boatman, 's na ho ro eile
Oh boatman, 's na ho ro eile
Oh boatman, 's na ho ro eile
My best wishes go with you wherever you may be

I'm often searching on the highest hilltop
Trying to find the boatman
Will you come tonight or tomorrow?
If you don't come at all, I'll be distraught


My heart is broken, bruised
Often tears are running down my cheeks
Will you come tonight or will I wait up for you
But close the door, sighing heavily?


Often I'm asking the boatmen
If they've seen you or if you're safe
But everyone of them there says
That I am a fool to give my love to you


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