Ó mo Dhùthaich
(Oh My Country)
Ossian's Lament

On Springthyme SPRCD 1004
OSSIAN - Ossian

Billy Ross - lead vocal & dulcimer; Billy Jackson - whistle, small pipes & vocal; George Jackson - guitar, mandolin & vocal; John Martin - fiddle, cello & vocal.

The song Ó mo Dhùthaich was collected in South Uist by Margaret Fay Shaw and is in her 1955 collection Folksongs and Folklore of South Uist. Composed by a native of South Uist, Allan MacPhee, as a lament it tells of the hardships he endured - expelled from Skye during the Highland clearances only to experience the even harsher conditions of the Canadian winter in Manitoba. Ossian's Lament is an ancient tune to which it is said the Ossianic bardic poems were chanted.

1: Ó mo dhùthaich, 's tu th'air m'aire,
Uibhist chùmhraidh ùr nan gallan,
Far a faighte na daoin' uaisle,
Far 'm bu dual do Mhac 'ic Ailein.
2: Tìr a' mhurain, tìr an eòrna,
Tìr 's am pailt a h-uile seòrsa,
Far am bi na gillean òga
Gabhail òran 's 'g òl an leanna.
3: Thig iad ugainn, carach, seòlta,
Gus ar mealladh far ar n-eòlais;
Molaidh iad dhuinn Manitòba,
Dùthaich fhuar gun ghual, gun mhòine.
4: Cha ruig mi leas a bhith 'ga innse,
Nuair a ruigear, 's ann a chìtear,
Samhradh goirid, foghar sìtheil,
Geamhradh fada na droch-shìde.
5: Nam biodh agam fhìn do stòras,
Dà dheis aodaich, paidhir bhrògan,
Agus m'fharadh bhith 'nam phòca,
'S ann air Uibhist dheanainn seòladh.
Oh My Country (translation)

1: Oh my country, of thee I am thinking,
Fragrant fresh Uist of the handsome youths,
Where may be seen young noblemen,
Where once was the heritage of Clanranald.
2: Land of bent grass, land of barley,
Land of all things in plenty,
Where there are young men and youths,
A place of songs and drinking ale.
3: They come to us, cunning and deceitful,
From our homes they would entice us;
To us they praise Manitoba,
A cold country without coal or peat.
4: To tell you of it I need not trouble,
For when one arrives it may be seen,
A short summer, a peaceful autumn,
And a long winter of bad weather.
5: If I was in possession of the wealth,
Of two suits of clothes and a pair of shoes,
And if the fare was in my pocket,
Then for Uist I would be sailing.

Copyright: Trad. Arr. Ossian/Springthyme Music © 1984