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Additional Lullabies

Scottish tradition contains many more lullabies than the 14 included in kist o dreams.  Centuries of heritage and the work of contemporary songsmiths contribute to this tradition.  Thanks to a Traditional Arts Small Grant from Tasgadh, here are some additional examples.

Be sure to pop back to this page from time to time to see if more songs have been added!

To view the lullabies, use the drop-down menu on the left.

 

Bà Bà mo Leanabh Beag (Ba Ba my wee Baby) - traditional

Poignant Gaelic lullaby from the 1850s, during the Scottish potato famine.  The famine in Scotland is often overlooked because of the devestation in Ireland the previous year.

 

Baloo my Boy, Lie Still and Sleep - traditional

Lullaby from the North East of Scotland, collected by Gavin Greig in the first decade of the 20th century, from Miss Bell Robertson.  The melody was not recorded.

 

Bonnie, Bonnie Bee-o - traditional

Sweet Scots lullaby with simple, repetitive form, expressing affection, an ideal opportunity for oral composition, fitting the words to the child being sung to.

 

Cagaran Gaolach (Beloved Little Darling) - traditional

Affectionate Scottish Gaelic lullaby suggesting that the wee boy being sung to will grow up to be a brave member of the family and will steal goats, sheep and a horse for the singer.

 

Caidil m'Ulaidh ( Sleep, my Darling) - James Thomson

Charming sleepsong in Scottish Gaelic by co-editor of the original Eilean Fraoch song collection, James Thomson, who was crowned Bard at the Mod in Inverness in 1923.

 

Da Bressay Lullaby - traditional

A lullaby and blessing from the Shetland island of Bressay, ten minutes distant from Lerwick by boat and home to 360 or so people and abundant seabirds.

 

Da Rabbit's Lullaby - Vagaland, Larry Peterson

20th century Shetland lullaby to a pet rabbit, with lyrics by well-known poet and Shetland dialect activist, Thomas Robertson and melody by Larry Peterson, who was recorded singing this song with his daugher Shirley in the 1960s for a BBC radio programme with Robbie Shepherd.  Larry and Shirley went on to release the Isles Asleep CD together in 2007.

 

Gille Beag o (Wee Boy o) - traditional

It does share it's name and theme with Gille Beag o on the kist o dreams album, but this is a different lullaby, also in Scottish Gaelic.

 

Griogal Cridhe (Beloved Gregor) - traditional

Moving, Gaelic lament in the form of a lullaby and possibly one of the best-known in Scottish tradition.  It commemorates the execution of the singer's husband, Gregor Roy MacGregor, which had been carried out by her own brother and father, in front of her and her baby, in 1570.

 

Hishie Ba - traditional

Scots lullaby illustrating the plight of the mother abandoned by the baby's father.

 

Hushaba ma Bairnie - traditional

Scots lullaby from the singing of Cilla Fisher, reportedly translated from a Gaelic original.  Cilla recorded this lullaby on the Songs of the Sea album in 1983.

 

Hushie Baa, Ee-a-baa - traditional

Lullaby from the North East of Scotland, collected by Gavin Greig in the first decade of the 20th century, from Rev John Calder.  Unusually, this short song is written from a man's point of view.

 

Lullaby ida Mirkenin - Vagaland, Lise Sinclair

20th century Shetland dialect poem by poet and language activist Thomas Robertson, set to music by Lise Sinclair in 2004.

 

Lullin the Littlin - Zetta Sinclair

Recorded by one of the standard-bearers of Scottish folksong, Isla St Clair, and written by her mother, Zetta in the 1960s.

 

Naoidhean mo Ghaoil (My Heart's Bairn) - Alpin James Bruce Stewart

A moving lullaby lament for a child stillborn, written in the 1990s by Gaelic bard Alpin Stewart of Wester Ross.

 

Nam bu Leam Fhin Thu, Thaladhainn Thu (If You Were Mine, I Would Lull You) - traditional

Scottish Gaelic lullaby with a melody similar to the one used for Dream Angus and with associations with the MacLeods of Dunvegan and the Fairy Flag.

 

Smile in Your Sleep - Jim McLean

Written in 1963 as a Highland Clearances lullaby.  Jim says “I am/was a piper so I fitted/changed the pipe tune Mist Covered Mountains around the mood of my words”.  Sometimes this lullaby is known by it's first two words, "Hush, hush".