Tuireadh Iain Ruiadh (Lament for John Roy)

This lament was written by E. Pursell (1891-1964). I learnt it from Christine Primrose in the Gaelic Song class at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye in 2008.

Tuireadh Iain Ruiadh

Thug thu dhiom-s a' ghrian 's an speur
Fàill ill ò hug òro-o é
Spion thu asam mùirn mo chléibh
Fàill ill ò hug òro éile

Gheall mo gràdh dhomh siòd' 's sròl
Còmhdach riòmhach 's seùdan òir
Gheall e mire 's blasdachd beòil
'S caithream chlàr a dhùisgeas òrain

Cò o'm faigh mi biadh air bòrd
Thrèig mo shòlas 's m'àilleachd neòil
Thrèig mo stiùir, mo ràmh, mo sheòl
Dh'imich saoidh nan dualan òr-bhuidh'

Dìobradh damh a mhang 'sa fhrìth
Dìobradh eala 'h-ealag fhìn
Dìobradh màthair rùn a cridh'
'S mi gun dàimh, gun ghaol, gun dìonadh

Lament for John Roy

You blotted the sun from the sky
Faill ill o hug o ro é
You wrenched the joy from within my body
Faill ill o hug o ro éile

My lover promised me silk and finery
Flowing robes and golden jewelry
He promised merryness and fine fare
And the symphony of harps to inspire poetry

Who will provide me with meat for my table?
My happiness and my fair complexion have gone
My rudder, my oar and my sail have gone
My flaxan-haired warrior has departed

As a deer abandoning its fawn in the forest
As a swan deserting its young
As a mother forsaking her beloved child
So I am left friendless, unloved and unprotected

This song can be heard on:

Another version of this song

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