the song
title : Bothan àirigh am Bràigh Raithneach (A sheiling on the Braes of Rannoch)
written by : traditional, arranged by Julie Fowlis and Phil Cunningham
song copyright : none; arrangement: copyright control 2009

the performance
musicians
Julie Fowlis vocals, oboe
with the band :
Duncan Chisholm fiddle
Phil Cunningham piano, accordion
Éamon Doorley backing vocals
Duncan Chisholm fiddle, additional vocals
Jerry Douglas lap steel guitar
Ewan Vernal double bass
and guest :
Eddi Reader backing vocals
music
key : D major
time-signature : 3/4
tempo : MM 100, but very flexible
form : c V C V C V C V C c c V C V C V C C c c
lyrics


Bothan àirigh am Bràigh Raithneach

– piano

gur e m’ anam is m’ eudail
chaidh an-dè do Gleann Garadh:
fear na gruaig’ mar an t-ór
is na pòig air bhlas meala

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

is tu as fheàrr don tig deise
de na sheasadh air thalamh
is tu as fheàrr don tig culaidh
de na chunna mi dh’fhearaibh

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

is tu as fheàrr don tig osan
is bròg shocrach nam barrall
còta Lunnainneach dubh-ghorm
is bidh na crùintean ga cheannach

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò

hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

an uair a ruigeadh tu ’n fhèill
is e mo ghèar-sa a thig dhachaigh
mo chriosan is mo chire
is mo stiomag chaol cheangail

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

– oboe solo

thig mo chrios à Dùn Eideann
is mo bhrèid à Dùn Chailleann
gheibh sinn crodh as a’ Mhaorainn
agus caoraich à Gallaibh

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

is ann a bhios sinn gan àrach
air àirigh am Bràigh Raithneach
ann am bòthan an t-sùgraidh
is gur e bu dùnadh dha barrach

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

bhiodh a’ chuthag ’s an smùdan
a’ gabhail ciùll duinn air chrannaibh
bhiodh an damh donn ’s a bhùireadh
gar dùsgadh sa mhadainn

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

o hi ò o hu ò
o hi ò o hu ò
hi rì ri ò hu eile
o hì ri ri ò gheallaibh ò

– oboe solo

translation :

A sheiling on the Braes of Rannoch


it was my love and my treasure
who went yesterday to Glen Garry
the man with hair like gold
and kisses that taste of honey

o hi o o hu o
o hi o o hu o
hi ri ri o hu [other]
o hi ri ri o [gheailaibh] o

and you look better in nice clothes
than any man on earth
and you look better in your garments
than any man I’ve ever seen





and you look better in stockings
and comfortable laced shoes
a dark blue London coat
that cost many crowns to buy





when you arrive at the fair
you’ll bring home me gear
my small belt and my comb
and my little narrow fastening head-band






my belt will come from Edinburgh
and my marriage head-dress from Dunkeld
we’ll get cattle from the Mearns
and sheep from Caithness





and we’ll rear them in a sheiling
on the Braes of Rannoch
in the brushwood enclosed
hut of dalliance





the cuckoo will sing its song
to us from the trees
the brown stag and its roaring
will wake us in the morning

Eddi is the main backing vocalist (coloured text), with the men joining where shown (magenta); in the final, repeat, chorus there is just a touch of Eddi wail
explanations
a sheiling is a hut used for tending pastured animals, or, occasionally, the area of pasture around it; from the Scottish word ‘shiel’ (hut)

Glen Garry, the valley of the River Garry, carries the A9 trunk road and the Perth–Inverness railway north-west from Pitlochry

Dunkeld is a village north of Perth, in the Tay valley

Mearns refers to the former county of Kincardineshire, south of Aberdeenshire, centred on its county town Stonehaven

Caithness is the flat, far north part of the Scottish mainland

the Braes of Rannoch are the hillsides above Loch Rannoch, which is in the next valley south of Glen Garry

the recording
personnel
produced by : Éamon Doorley and Julie Fowlis
recorded by : Paul Mcgeechan at Park Lane Studios, Glasgow; additional engineering by Keith Bird
mixed by : Paul Mcgeechan at Park Lane Studios, Glasgow
mastered by : Paul Mcgeechan at Master CDs
technical
track timing : 5:00
song timing : 4:53
released on
album : Uam : from me track 2