's Muladach Mi 's Mi Air M'aineoil (Sad Am I and in a Strange Place) (English translation)

Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic)

's Muladach Mi 's Mi Air M'aineoil (Sad Am I and in a Strange Place)

Muladach mi ‘s mi air m’ aineoil
‘S mi am aonar an eilein mara
Gun chuideachd ach dithis leanabh
Catriona bheag agus Anna
‘S na geòidh fhiadhaich a’ dol fairis
Faodaidh iad sin ‘s a bhith fallain
‘S latha dhomh bhith falbh a’ ghleannain
Thachair onm fear bhreacain bhallaich
Thuirt mi ris nach e bh’air m’ aire
B’ annsa lium mac fir a’ bhaile
Gu bheil tùir is taighean geala
‘S gobhair ann an uillt a’ bharraich
‘S caoirich ann an ainiuil fhalaich
‘S e mo ghaol na gamhna geala
Théid dha’n chrò ‘s nach òl am bainne
Théid dha’n tràigh ‘s nach geàrr an fheamainn
Théid a dh’Éirinn ris a ghealaich
Théid a dh’ Albainn ris a’ ghaillin
Thig iad as le aon seol mara
Submitted by absolutelsewhere on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 03:05
Align paragraphs
English translation

Sad Am I and in a Strange Place

Sad am I and I in a strange place
Alone on a sea island
With no-one but two children
Little Catriona and Anna
And the wild geese going over there
May they be well
One day as I went through the little glen
I cam upon the man of the speckled tartan
He asked me what was on my mind
I prefer the son of the man of the town
Where there are towers and white houses
And goats in the stream of the birches
And sheep in a strange hiding place
I love the white calf
Who will go to the cattle but not drink the milk
Who will go to the shore but not cut the seaweed
Who will go to Ireland with the moon
Who will go to Scotland with the young handsome men
They will come on one tide
Submitted by absolutelsewhere on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 03:09
Author's comments:

English translation included in Songs of Separation album liner notes.

See also
michealt    Thu, 06/12/2018 - 20:25

There are a few typos in the lyrics:-

stanza 2 line 2: onm should be orm
stanza 2 line 4: lium should be leam
stanza 2 line 8: ainiuil should be aineoil

stanza 3 line 2: assuming the translation is correct, crò should be crodh; if the gaelic is correct, "cattle" in the translation should be "cow-fold"
stanza 3 line 7: ghailin should be ghallain

There's a general problem with the translation of the 3rd stanza - in fact three problems. (1) "White calf" is correct, but perhaps it doesn't mean a white calf, perhaps it's the name of a boat - I'll try to dig out the story of that boat and see if it fits. (2) translating "aineoil" as "strange" is a bit strange it basically means "unknown thing" (it's a noun, not an adjective); but it's probably best to leave it as "strange" in both the stanzas it appears in, as English idioms aren't Gaelic and vice versa, (3) the verb forms in lines 2 to 8 of the last stanze are "trath teachdail" which is tense used for habitual (repetitive) present and for simple future; they all feel to me like habitual present, but half of them have been translated as future and that has ended up as if it means the calf is willing to go to the fold but not willing to drink the milk and so on.