Thursday, 24 June 2010

Every Song a Story – The Jealous Wife II

The previous blog gave different variations of the song narrative for A’ Bhean Eudach, or the Jealous Wife, as collected by Alexander Carmichael. Indeed, some elements of the song suggest it was something of a ballad. A' Bhean Eudach has been published many times before, but it may well be that the version offered here is among the oldest. As might be expected, the song text itself varies, just like the narrative behind it; again, this adds local colour to the song, for all these slight differences mark out the various areas where it was found throughout the Highlands and Islands and, it so happens, even in Ireland:



A bhean ud thall hùg ò
An cois na traghad hug o
Nach truagh leat fein hao ri ho rò
Bean ga bathadh hug ò


Nach truagh leat fein hùg ò
Clann gun mhathair hùg ò
Cha truagh cha truagh hao ri ho ro
S beag mo chas deth hùg ò


Sin do chas uat hug o
Sin do lamh dhomh hug o
No fiuch bheil agad hao ri ho ro
Buile shnamha hug o


No sin stamh domh
Mas e is f[h]ear[r] leat
Cha sin cah sin hor ir ho ro
O beag mo chail duit


Coisich air falbh
Us innis trath e
Dha mo bhrathrean
Dha mo chairdean


Cha b e [supra: an] an t-ainnis
Thug an traigh mi
An duileasg donn
No meud m ailleas


S i bhean iadaich
Rinn mo thaladh
'S a dh' fhag mis
An seo gam bhathadh


Ach thoir mo bheannachd
Gu mo chairdean
S beannachd air leth
Gu mo fhaisdean.


Fear diu bliadhna
'S fear a dha dhiu
'S fear eile
An aois a thalaidh


'S thus uain bhig
Gaol mo mhanrain
Iarraidh tu n nochd
Cioch do mhathair


Ach mu dh iarras
'S diamhan da sin
Bithidh iad luma
Lan de 'n t sala


References:
CW 152, fos. 41v-42v
Gillies, Anne Lorne, Songs of Gaelic Scotland (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2006), pp. 33–36
Image: Gathering Dulse

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Stone whorls WHM 1992 13 2.4

Stone whorls WHM 1992 13 2.4
Stone whorls collected by Alexander Carmichael, held by West Highland Museum (ref. WHM 1992 13 2.4). [© carstenflieger.com]