Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Oran Sugraidh

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Oran Sugraidh

Oran Sugraidh <Flirting Song>

Se so oran rinn sar-bha\rd nan o\rain Ga\idhlig, Donnchaidh Ba\n
a rinn e mu 1750, saoileam, nuair bha e eadar 25 is
30 bliadhna de dh'aois. Tha e ro-fhada air son a bhith gu h-iomlan air a
phostachadh, seisd agus 20 rann, s'iad so na roinn seinnear ann an
ceilidhean.

Seisd:
'S i nighean mo ghaoil   an nighean donn o\g;
Nam biodh tu ri m' thaobh   cha bhithinn fo bhro\n;
'S i nighean mo ghaoil   an nighean donn o\g.

'S i Ma\iri Nic Neacain   as da\icheile pearsa;
Ghabh mis' uiread bheachd ort   ri neach a tha beo\.

Nuair sheallas mi t' aodann   's mi'n coinneamh ri t' fhaotuinn
Gur math leam nam faodainn   bhith daonnan ad' cho\ir.

'S i ri\bhinn a' bhaile   tha si\or thighinn air m' aire,
Nam b'i rachadh mar rium   cha d' fharraid mi sto\r.

Bheir mis' thu Dhu\n Eideann   a dh' ionnsachadh Beurla,
'S chan fha\g mi thu 'd e/igin   ri spre/idh an fhir mho/ir.

'S e mheudaich mo ghaol ort   gun d' fha\s thu cho aobhach
'S gun leumadh tu daonnan   cho aotrom 's na h-eo\in.

'S tu thogadh mo spiorad   nuair a the/id thu air mhireadh,
Le d' cheileiribh binne   's le grinneas do bheo\il.

Leis na ghabh mi de cheist ort   am maduinn 's am feasgar
Gun de\anainn riut cleasachd   is beadradh gu leo\r.

Dhe\anainn riut furan   am bliadhna 's an uiridh,
Bu do\cha nan t-uireasbhuidh   tuilleadh 's a' cho\ir.

note  (on verse form)
----
(I have a theory that if learners try to appreciate the rythm and rhyme
it will help them get a feel for the sound of the language; and if they
know what the stress pattern and rhyming scheme is it will help with
pronunciation; besides, the rythm and rhyme in this piece are well worth
appreciating.)

The chorus is six phrases, the verses four each. The fourth phrase of
each verse rhymes with the even phrases of the chorus. The first three
phrases of each verse rhyme, and this rhyme is repeated at the first
foot of the fourth phrase. The three odd phrases of the chorus rhyme.
The verse end rhyme is is on a monosyllable, the internal rhymes are
on the stress of a dactyl. The caesuras (including line breaks) occur
between the unstressed syllables of this dactyl, except the final
caesura of the last verse which is thrown forward one syllable.

The stress pattern of the verses is 3( . - . . - .) (. - . . -); I don't
think that this is derived from any of the old syllabic forms, it's some
sort of corronnach.

Vocabulary
----------

air             on, after
aire            attention, mind
aobhach         cheerful, joyful
aodann
face
aotrom
light, giddy
baile           town, village
beachd
opinion
beadradh        fondling, petting
bheir           will take (future independent of thoir)
beo\            alive
beo\il
of mouth (genetive of beul)
beurla
English (language)
binne           sweet (adjective) (plural of binn)
biodh           would be
bhith           will be
bhithinn        I would be
bliadhna        year
bro\n           grief, sorrow
ceileiribh      twitterings (dative plural of ceilear)
ceist           question; problem; darling; (usually spelt ceisd)
cleasachd       play, frolic
coinneamh       meeting; an coinneamh: expecting; several useful idioms:
                chan'eil cail am' choinneamh: there's nothing for me to do
                chuir e mum' choinneamh a de\anamh .... he asked me to do ...
                tha mi'n coinneamh .... I expect/anticapate ...
                tha mi ann an coinneamh  I am in a meeting
                bha an dorus mu'm choinneamh The door was opposite me
co\ir           right, justice; tuilleadh 'sa cho\ir: too much
                (more than is right);
                (the past of too much is tuilleadh 'sbu cho\ir,
                                                more than was right)
da\icheile      more or most graceful; comparative of daicheil
daonnan         always
de\anainn       I would make or do. 1st pers incomplete tense of de\an
dhe\anainn      dhe\annainn is independent mode, de\annainn dependent
do\cha
likely
donn            brown; when applied to a person refers to hair colour
e/igin
(usually spelt eiginn) compulsion, force, neccessity
eo\in           birds; plural of eun
fa\g            will go (future dependent of fa\g, go)
faodainn        I would get (incomplete 1st pers of faigh)
faotuinn        getting, obtaining (verbal noun from faigh)
farraid         ask for
fa\s            grow
feasgar         evening, afternoon
fir             of man (genetive of fear)
furan           fondling, caressing
ghabh           took (past of gabh)
gaoil           of love (genetive of gaol)
gaol            love
grinneas        elegance, neatness
ionnsachadh     learning, teaching
leam            with me (le+mi)
leis            with him, with it (le+e)
leo\r           enough (dative (?) of leo\ir); gu leo\r  plenty
leumadh         incomplete tense of leum: would jump, leap, spring, frisk
maduinn         morning
math            good
mheudaich       increased (past tense of meudaich)
mireadh         pastime; dalliance, flirting, sporting; vbl noun from mir
mo/ir           big (gen. of mo/r)
neach           person
nighean         girl; daughter
nuair           when
o\ran           song
ort             on you (air+tu)
pearsa
form, appearance
rachadh         would go (incomplete tense of rach)
ri\bhinn        girl, queen
rium            for me (ri+mi)
riut            for you (ri+tu)
seallas         will look (future relative of seall)
seisd           chorus
si\or           always, perpetually; (prefix to verb)
spiorad         spirit
spre/idh        cattle
sto\r           treasure; goods
sugraidh        of flirtation (genetive of sugradh)
taobh           side
the/id
will go (future of rach)
tighinn         coming (verbal noun from tig)
thogadh         would lift (incomplete independent of tog)
tuilleadh       more
uiread
as much, as big
uireasbhuidh    deficiency, insufficiency, want
uiridh
an uiridh: last year
                am bliadhna: this year

Translation
-----------

Chorus:
        The girl I love is the young brunette;
        If you were at my side I wouldn't be sad; [1]
        The girl I love is the young brunette.

        It's Mairi MacNaughton who [2] has the most graceful form
        I formed as high an opinion of you as of anyone in the world.

        When I look at your face, expecting to get you,
        It's happy [3] I'd be if I could get to be always near you.

        It's the queen of the village who's always coming into my mind,
        If it were she who would go with me I wouldn't ask for treasure.[4]

        I'll take you to Edinburgh to learn English,
        and I won't leave you stuck with the great man's cattle. [5]

        It increased my love for you that you grew up so cheerful
        And that you would always be frisky, as giddy as the birds.

        It's you who would raise my spirits when you would flirt,
        with your sweet lively twittering and the elegance of your mouth.

        The way I made a darling of you, morning and evening,
        I would play about with you and do plenty petting.

        I would caress you year in and year out
        More likely than than not enough it would be more than is proper.

notes  (language)
-----

[1]     fo bhro\n: under sadness. Under + abstract noun is a common
gaelic idiom, and for some words (eg hunger, thirst) the corresponding
adjective doesn't exist so it's the only available idiom to express
the adjective. Of course you can invert it: tha mi fo bhro\n is
interchangeable with tha bro\n orm (sadness is on me). this under/on
idiom is used to express becoming: bha an t-acras orm = I was hungry,
bhuail an t-acras orm = I became hungry.

[2]     as = who is. the relative pronoun "a" is regularly elided
unless absolutely required for euphony, and is never written except
where it is pronounced. you will sometimes see an apostrophe for it,
a's instead of as, 'tha instead of tha, and it's equally correct to
write the apostrophe or to leave it out: modern practise leaves it out
(Some claim that as is the relative form of the copula, present tense,
and that a's is nonsense; others point out that the only other verb that
has a present tense is bi, which has no present relative, and the
relative exists only in the future, so a's must be a contraction of a is
and the apostrophe is mandatory; it's best to ignore both schools of
prescriptive grammar and write it whichever way you feel like.)

[3]     gur math leam has a shape something like "that with me is good",
gur is a contraction of gu'n + the present dependent form of the copula
(don't ask me what that present dependent form is, it doesn't occur
freestanding in the language, it's always buried in a contraction;
maybe a historian of celtic languages could tell you.)

[4]     this means he'd marry her without a dowry.

[5]     she wouldn't have to slave away at herding and milking cattle
and mucking out byres. [verses I've left out make it clear she was a cow
girl].
CC
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