A’ Mhic Dhùghaill ‘ic Ruairidh
– Son of Dougal, son of Ruairidh

 

Trad; arr Mackinnon, Lyon, Watson

 

A murder ballad thought to originate from Barra; lyrics taught to me by the great tradition-bearer Flora MacNeil MBE.

 

A’ mhic Dhùghaill ‘ic Ruairidh
Chuir am buaireadh fo m’chèill-sa
Chuir an tainead mo ghruaidhean
‘s a dh’fhàg mo ghruag air dhroch ghrèidheadh

 

‘S diombach mise dha m’phiuthair
Nighean bhuidhe ‘n fhuilt steudaich
‘S cha bhuidheach mi dha m’ mhàthair
‘S òg a chàirich i bhreug orm

 

Mo mhìle bheannachd aig m’athair
‘Se nach gabhadh droch sgeul orm
Mo mhìle mollachd aig a’ bhuachaill’
Bha ri uallach na sprèidhe

 

Chaidh a dhùsgadh nam balach
Moch ro latha mus d’èirich
‘S ann a’ dìreadh a’ ghàrraidh
Leig thu ghràidh a’ chiad èigh as’d

 

‘S ann a’ tearnadh a’ bhruthaich
Fhuair thu ‘m bruthadh a lèir thu
Gu robh fuil do chuim chùbhraidh
A’ drùdhadh ro’ d’ lèinidh

 

‘S ged a dh’òl mi ghaoil pàirt dhi
Cha do shlànaich do chreuchdan
‘S truagh nach robh mi an Sasunn
‘m Beul-Fèirst n’ an Dùn Eideann

 

Nan tìr nam fear dubha
Na ‘n Coige Mhutha na h-Eireann
Mun do chuir mi ort grabadh
Moch ‘s a mhadainn ‘s tu ‘g’ èirigh

 

Mun do chuir mi riamh iùil ort
A lùb uir a’ chùil cheutaich
A’ mhic Dhùghaill ‘ic Ruairidh
Chuir am buaireadh fo ‘m chèill-sa

 

Son of Dougal, son of Ruairi
Who disturbed my peace of mind;
You made me cheeks hollow
You left my hair unkempt.

 

I am resentful of my sister
The girl with the golden curls;
With my mother I am displeased
Young was I when she slandered me.

 

My thousand blessings on my father
For he would hear no ill of me;
My thousand curses on the cow-herd
The one who was watching the cattle.

 

The one who did rouse the young men
Who had not risen before daybreak;
It was climbing the wall
That you gave the first shout, my darling.

 

It was when you went down the bank
That you received the fatal crushing blow;
The blood from your sweet body
Was seeping through your shirt.

 

And though I drank some of it, my love
Your wounds did not heal;
A pity I was not in England
in Belfast or Edinburgh.

 

In the land of the black men
Or Munster in Ireland;
Before I ever came to speak to you
Early in the morning as you rose.

 

Before I ever got to know you
Oh fresh youth of the comely hair;
Son of Dougal, son of Ruairi
Who disturbed my peace of mind.