Tàladh Choinnich Òig

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Fail iù , fail eò , hi ù ho rò
Fail iù , fail eò , hillinn o ho
Ho hi ho rò , ho hi ibh ò

A Mhac Coinnich, na biodh gruaim ort
Cha do ghlac do mhàthair buarach
No plaide bhàn air a h-uachdar
Ach sioda dearg is stròl uaine

'S e Mac Coinnich fhuair an urram
A miosg na morbhairean uile
Cheannaicheadh e fìon Baile Lunnain
Each is dìollaid fo chuid ghillean

A Mhac Coinnich mhòir a Brathann
Mhic an t-seòid nach fhuiligeadh masladh
Cheannaicheadh tu fìon dha t'eachaibh
'S crùidhean dha'n òr a chur fo'n casan

Chan eil an Coinneach 'g ach leanabh
Cha do rànaig e aois a sheanar
Marbhaiche 'n fhèidh air na beannaibh
Is coillich dhuibh air bàrr nam meangan

My brother introduced me to this song, when I was looking for a competition piece. It is connected with the MacKenzies of Brahan, which appealed to me because we live so close to Brahan. The Estate is probably most famous now because of the Brahan Seer, a semi-legendary prophet to whom a great many predictions are credited which have come true. This song pre-dates the Seer. This version comes from Margaret Fay Shaw's collection and she dates it to around 1570.


MacKenzie, do not be downcast
Your mother never handled a cow fetter
Or wore a white plaid
But red silk and green satin

MacKenzie has gained honour

Amongst all the lords
He would buy the wine of London
A horse and saddle for each of his servants

Great MacKenzie of Brahan

Son of the hero who would not endure contempt
You would buy wine for the horses
And put horseshoes of gold on their feet

Young Kenneth is nothing but a baby
He has not reached the age of his grandfather
Killer of the deer on the mountain peaks
And black cocks on the tops of the branches

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