O Phàil o ho ghràidh
Oh Paul, my love

 

Trad; arr Mackinnon/Lyon/Watson

 

Internal evidence in the song suggests that a girl is in love with “Paul” but aspersions have been cast on her character; suggestions that she is pregnant by somebody else and that he has left her.
“O Phàil o ho ghràidh” was recorded from Mrs Archie Munro “Màiri aʼ Ghobha” at Lochboisdale, South Uist, 14/11/61 by Captain DJ Mackinnon.

It appears extensively in Hebridean Folksongs III and text only in KC Craigʼs Orain Luaidh (Màiri Nighean Alasdair).

 

O Phàil o ho ghràidh
Bheir mi o hù ill o
O Phàil o ho ghràidh

 

ʻS gura misʼ tha fo mhulad
Tha liondubh air mo lionadh,

 

Mu fhear àrd aʼ chùil bhuidhe
Nì am bruthach a dhìreadh

 

ʻS ga bʼe thog oirnn na breugan
O gur fheudar dhaibh innse.

 

ʻS mi gun aithnicheadh tu tighinn
Fhìr chrìdhe nam mìogshùil

 

ʻS mi gun aithnicheadh do choiseachd
Air thòiseach nam mìltean.

 

ʻS mi gun aithnicheadh tu ʻd sheasamh
Ann an eaglais na sgìre.

 

Air dheirgead, air ghilead
Air ghrinnead, ʻs air bhinnead.

 

ʻS math thig sìod air mo leannan
Bròg bharr-iallach ghrinn-dubh.

 

ʻS math thig ad aʼ chuic àird ort
Agus fàbhar bho ʻn righ inntʼ.

 

Oh Paul, oh my love
Bheir mi o, hù ill o
Oh Paul, oh my love.

 

It is I that am sorrowful
Sadness has filled me.

 

About the tall yellow-haired man
Who climbs the hill;

 

And whoever lied about us
Oh they had better tell us.

 

I would recognise you coming
Dear man of the smiling eyes,

 

I would recognise your walk
Before thousands.

 

I would recognise your standing
In the parish church.

 

By redness, by fairness (of skin)
By handsomeness, by sweetness.

 

Well does silk become my lover
Elegant laced black shoe.

 

Well does a high cocked hat become you
And a favour from the king in it.