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Leanabh an àigh (English translation)

  • Artist: Arthur Cormack Also performed by: Fiona Mackenzie
  • Song: Leanabh an àigh Album: Celtic Christmas
Proofreading requested
Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)
Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)

Leanabh an àigh

Leanabh an àigh leanabh bh'aig Màiri
rugadh 'san stàbull Rìgh nam Dùl,
thàinig do'n fhàsach dh'fhulang nar n-àite,
son' iad an àireamh bhitheas dha dlùth.
Ged a bhios leanaban aig rìghrean na talmhainn
an greadhnachas àrd is anabarr mùirn
's gearr gus am falabh iad 's fàsaidh iad anfhann
an àilleachd 's an dealbh a' searg 'san ùir.
Cha b'ionnan an t-uan thàinig gar fuasgladh
iriseal stuama ghluais e'n tùs.
E naomh gun truailleachd cruithear an t-sluaighe
dh'èirich e suas le buaidh o'n ùir.
Leanabh an àigh mar dh'aithris na fàidhean
's na h-aingealan àrd b'e miann an sùl,
's e 's airidh air gràdh 's ar n'urram thoirt dha.
Sona an àireamh bhitheas dha dlùth.
Submitted by michealtmichealt on Fri, 28/10/2016 - 01:40
Last edited by michealtmichealt on Mon, 02/04/2018 - 20:16
Submitter's comments:

If I can't find a video for this I'll make one and stick it on youtube.

The original poem was much longer than 4 stanzas, but most of it isn't sung these days. It was written by Màiri NicDhùghaill (Mary Douglas, 1789 - 1872, often called Mary MacDonald (MacDonald was her husband's surname) but is often mis-attributed to Màiri Dhòmhnullach (Mary MacDonald, 1817 - 1890, born too late to have been the authoress). The tune is a lot older than these words (it was already a well known traditional tune in Mull when these words were written).

English translationEnglish
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The child of joy

The child of joy, the child who was Mary's,
born in the stable, Lord of the Universe,
came to the wilderness to suffer in place of us.
happy are those who are close to him.
Although kings in the world have children
in high pomp and with much joy
they are soon gone and they grow weak
their beauty and their figure withering in the grave1.
Nothing is equal to the lamb who came to free us,
humble and modest when he first moved,
saintly, with no impurity, the creator of humanity
he rose up with victory from the grave2.
The child of joy as told by the prophets
and the archangels, he was the apple of their eye3,
it is he who deserves to be loved and honoured4
happy are those who are close to him.
  • 1. literally; in the soil
  • 2. literally; from the soil
  • 3. or their heart's desire; literally: their eyes' wish
  • 4. literally: to be given love and our honour. I think the original poem had "air urram" where AC sings "ar n'urram", so that "our" was not in it.
thanked 4 times

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Submitted by michealtmichealt on Fri, 28/10/2016 - 03:23
Last edited by michealtmichealt on Wed, 23/11/2016 - 20:41
Author's comments:

The title (and first 3 words of the lyrics) are perhaps ambiguous: literally "child of the joy" they can have various other meanings: the child of joy; the blessed child; the heavenly child; heaven's child; the perfect child; the child of providence; the fortunate child. I prefer "the child of joy", but other people may have different preferences. From a language point of view, it doesn't mean "God's child" although no-one would dispute that from a (christian) religious point of view and in the context provided by the rest if the first stanza it does mean that.
23/11/1026: someone pointed out some msprints, so i've fixed them.

The author of translation requested proofreading.
It means that he/she will be happy to receive corrections, suggestions etc about the translation.
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