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Hushaba ma Bairnie

 

Verse 1:

Hushaba ma bairnie

Hushaba ma ain wee lad

Daddy's on the angry sea

Toilin' hard for you and me

 

Refrain:

Hushaba, hushabee

Hushaba ma bairnie

Hi-o aye, hi-o ee

Hushaba ma bairnie

 

Verse 2:

Hushaba ma bairnie

Hushaba ma ain wee lad

As the dawn comes creepin' in

A' the bonnie stars grow dim

 

Verse 3:

Hushaba ma bairnie

Hushaba ma ain wee lad

You can close your sleepy een

Coorie doon my lad an dream

 

Glossary:

bairnie - small child

gang - go

een - eyes

coorie doon - snuggle down

 

Cilla Fisher sang this on her 1983 album "Songs of the Sea" and lin live performance would mention that is was translated from Gaelic.  With the passage of time, she cannot now recall the source of the song, but did remember seeing it in a book identified by Rhona MacLeod as 'Fifty Traditional Scottish Nursery Rhymes', collected, edited and arranged for voice and piano by Alfred Moffat, published by Augener Ltd.   Rhona had also discovered the song and recorded it for her own 2012 CD, "Dreams to Sell".

 

Rhona told me:

"The book I was given was an ex-Troon Primary school [volume] that a friend bought from a charity shop! There's no individual background notes to this song. The tune is noted as: 'The Nurse's Lullaby'. There is a reference in the preface - that A. Moffat had sight of a manuscript collection of traditional Scottish airs but that it was undated and unsigned. (But thought to have been written between about 1845 - 1850) This manuscript contained a number of tunes which the compiler (of said manuscript) had evidently known to be the original airs to many of those collected by Dr Robert Chalmers, in his 'Popular Rhymes of Scotland', a work which at about this time had become immensely popular in Scotland."