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

 

Refrain:

Caidil m' ulaidh, caidil m' uan,

(Sleep my darling, sleep my lamb)

Sùilean m' eudail dùin an suain;

(Eyes, my treasure, close in slumber)

Luasgadh mulaid a' mhuir-làin

(Mournful rolling of the high tide)

An sìor-dhûrdanaich air tràigh.

(The constant murmur on shore)

 

Verse 1:

Thig a chulaidh, thig a luaidh,

(Come, little boat, come, my dear)

Thig i sitheadh uchd a' chuain;

(The wall of the ocean wave comes rushing)

Bheir i thugam e gu slàn

(She will bring him to me healthy)

Sgiobair mara nan seòl ard.

(The sea skipper of the high sails)

 

Verse 2:

Bheir e dhachaidh leis gu fior

(He will certainly bring home)

Usgraichean à iomadh tìr,

(Jewels of many lands)

Caidil m' ulaidh, dùin do shùil,

(Sleep, my darling, close your eyes)

Tha e tighinn, thig a rùin.

(He is coming, come my dear)

 

Verse 3:

Caidil thusa, cadal sèimh

(You sleep, sleep peacefully)

Sùil a' faire shuas air nèimh;

(A watchful eye up in Heaven)

Dùin do shùilean beaga caomh

(Close your tender little eyes)

Caidil suaimhneach ri mo thaobh.

(Sleep contented by my side)

 

James Thomson was born in Tong on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.  He was a noted Gaelic scholar and was head of the Gaelic department at the island's main secondary school, the Nicolson Institute before becoming headteacher at Bayble school.  He moved to Edinburgh after he retired in 1953, when he also published a collection of his own Gaelic poetry, "Fasgnadh".  The collection was reviewed by Sorley MacLean in Lines Review.

 

For an audio recording of this song, sung by Dingwall Gaelic Choir, click on this link:

http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/92338/1