Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Dean Cadalan Samhach

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Dean Cadalan Samhach

Dean Cadalan Samhach

Dean cadala/n sa\mhach, a chuilean mo ru\in,
dean fuireach mar tha thu, 's tu 'n dra\sd an a\it u\r;
bidh o\igearan againn la\n beartais is cliu\,
's ma bhios tu 'nad airidh, 's leat feareigin dhiu\.

Gur h-ann an Amerigeadh tha sinn an dra\sd
fo dhubhar na coille nach teirig gu bra\th,
nuair dh'fhalbhas an du\ldach 's a thionndas am bla\ths
bidh cnothan is u\bhlan is siu\car a' fa\s.

'S ro bheag orm fhe/in cuid de 'n t-sluagh a tha ann,
le 'n co\taichean drogaid 's ad mho/r air an ceann,
le 'm briogaisean goirid 's iad sgoilte gu 'm buinn
cha n-fhaicear an t-osan, 's e bhochdainn sin leam.

Tha sinne 'nar n-Innseanach cinnteach gu leo\ir
fo dhubhar nan craobh cha bhiodh aon againn beo\ -
coin-alluidh is be/istean ag e/igheach 's gach fro\ig
gum bheil sinn 'nar n-e/iginn bho 'n thre/ig sinn Righ Deo\rs.

Mo shoraidh le fa\ilte Chinn-ta\ile nam bo\
far an d' fhuair mi greis a\rach 's mi 'm pha\isde beag o\g;
bhiodh fleasgaichean donna air am bonnaibh ri ceo\l,
is nionagan dualach, 's an gruaidh mar an ro\s.

An toiseach an fhoghair bu chridheil ar sunnd,
gheibht' fiadh as an fhireach is bradan a/ grunnd,
bhiodh luingeas an sgadain a' tighinn fo shiu\il
le 'n iasgairean tapaidh nach faicte fo mhu\ig.

Ri linn a cheud Tearlach thoisich iomadach Gaidheal ag iarraidh
caithe-beatha u\r ann an Ameireagadh. 'S e luchd-imrich mo/r Ghaidhealach
a bh'ann am muinntir Carolina-bho-thuath. Thainig Sasunnaich do'n roinn
sin cuideachd, ach s'iad na Gaidheil a bh'ann am mo/r-chuid. 'S ann ri linn
an tr. Seo\ras thoisich na Sasunnaich a bhith lionmhor. Cha do ruig
Gaidheal leas a bhith 'g iarraidh aobhar ur air son cur a mach
le Sasunnach, ach faighteadh aobhar ur 'san a\m sin: bha na Sassunaich air
son an ar-a-mach, b'ann air son an Righ bha na Gaidheil bh'ann a
Lean daoine a tighinn bho Bhreatuinn, bho'n Albainn agus bho Shasuinn;
thainig fear dhiubh, Iain Mac Murchaidh a/ Cinn-an-t-sa\ile, ann an 1774
agus an deidh beagan bliadhna rinn e an ta\ladh so leanas.

Sleep peacefully, my dear little one,
live as you are, now in a new place;
there'll be young men amongst us who win great riches and reknown
and if you're a good girl [1] one of them will be for you.

It's in America  that we are now,
in the everlasting darkness of the woods [2]
when winter is gone and warmth returns
the hazels and apples and maples will be growing.

I have an excessive dislike for some of the people round here [3]
with their grotty coats [4] and tall hats on their heads,
there narrow trousers split down to the bottom,
you can't see the socks, I reckon that's awful.

[5] Now we're like Indians sure enough [6]
in the dark of the trees not one of us would be alive -
wolves and wild beasts howling round every corner [7]
that we're in trouble since we forsook King George.

[8] My farewell and greetings to cattle-rich Kintail
where I passed the time of my upbringing when I was a little young child;
there were brown-haired youn men on their feet to sing
and beautiful long-haired girls with rosey cheeks.

At the beginning of autumn our joy was hearty,
deer were had from the hills and salmon from the depths,
the herring boats would be coming under sail
with the bold fishermen who were never seen to be unhappy.[9]

Highlanders began to look in large numbers for a new life in America
in the time of Charles the first. the populaton of North Carolina was a
large Gaelic colony. Englishmen came to that territory too, but the
majority were Gaels. It was about the time of George the third that the
the English began to be numerous there. The gaels didn't need any new
excuse to fall out with the English, but they found one anyway then: the
English were for the revolution, and the N.Carolina Gaels were for the
King. People had continued to come from britain, both Scots and English;
one of them, John MacRae of Kintail, came in 1774 and a few years later he
wrote the lullaby below.

(Incidentally, Gaelic survived in N Carolina well into the 20th century;
but it's been extinct there for about 70 years now.)


'nad            [nat]   in your
'nar            [nar]   in our
againn  [akiN'] at us, of us
air             [er']   on
airidh  [ar'i]  merit, worth, desert
a\it            [a:t']  place
ann             [auN]   in
aon             [':n]  one
a\rach  [a:rax] upbringing
bheag   [vek]   small (lenited form of beag)
beag            [bek]   small
beartais        [b'a:rs'tis']   of riches (genitive of beartas)
bheil   [veil]  is (present dependent of bi)
be/istean       [beis't'un]    beasts of prey (plural of be/ist)
beo\            [b'o:]  alive
bidh            [bi:]   will be (future independent of bi)
bhiodh  [vi%]   would be (incomplete independent of bi)
bhios   [vis]   will be (future relative of bi)
bla\ths [bla:s] warmth
bhochdainn      [voxkiN']       misfortune, bad luck, mischief, a pity
bonnaibh        [bouNuv]       dative plural of bonn, base, sole, heel,
                                (see also buinn below)
bradan  [bratun]       salmon
bra\th  [bra:x] judgement, destruction.  go bra\th = for ever
briogaisean     [bri:kus'un]  trousers (plural of briogais)
buinn   [buN'] gen singular and nominative plural of bonn, now
                                also used as dative. see bonnaibh above.
                                Interesting that the song uses both forms of the
                                dative plural, shows how slowly language changes
                                both forms are still used today so a couple of
                                centuries has not been long enough for the new
                                to eliminate the old dative in -aibh.
cadala/n        [katulan]      a small sleep (diminutive of cadal)
ceann   [k'auN] head
ceo\l   [k'o:l] music
cinnteach       [ki:N'd'ax]     certain
cliu\   [kl'u:] fame
cnothan [kro un]       nuts; nut-trees (most often hazel)
coille  [kuL'e] wood, grove
coin-alluidh    [con' jauLi]    wolves
co\taichean     [co:tich'un]   coats
craobh  [kru:v] tree
chridheil       [xrijel']       hearty
cuid            [kut']  a share, some
chuilean        [xul'an]        puppy (vocative case); used as term of affection
                                for small child.
dean            [d'en]  do
dh'fhalbhas     [%alavas]       will leave (future relative of falbh)
dhiu\   [ju:]   of them
donna   [douNa] brown, brown-haired (plural of donn)
dra\sd  [drast] an dra\st = now
drogaid [drokat']       coarse reddish-brown felt. french droguet (cloth
                                not fit for anything).
dualach [dualax]        having beautiful hair.
dhubhar [%u:ur] darkness, shadow
du\ldach        [du:ltax]       winter (for An Du\dlachd) in this poem.
                                usually an adjective meaning
                                (-dl- and -ld- forms are equally common. I think
                                 -dl- is the original form and -ld- a modern
e/igheach       [e:ijux]       crying, calling, howling
e/iginn [e:igiN']       danger
fhaicear        [exk'er]        will be seen (future dependent passive of faic)
faicte  [fexkt'e]       was seen (past dependent passive of faic)
fa\ilte [fa:lt'u]      greeting
far             [far]   where (relative)
fa\s            [fa:s]  growing
feareigin       [ferukin']     one, someone, anyone
fhe/in  [he:in']        self
fiadh   [fi:u%] deer
fhireach        [(j)irax]       hill, moor
fleasgaichean   [fleskix'un]   young men
fhoghair        [o%er'] autumn, harvest time
fro\ig  [fro:g']        hole, nook, niche. house out in the wilds. den, lair.
fhuair  [hur'] found (past independent of faigh)
fuireach        [furox] living, dwelling, staying
gach            [gax]   each, every
gheibht'        [jo:t'] was got (incomplete passive of faigh)
goirid  [gerit']        short
greis   [greis']        (short) time
gruaidh [gruai] cheek
grunnd  [gru:Nd]        bottom; the deep;
gur             [gur]  is (present dependent of is)
iad             [at]            they
iasgairean      [iusker'un]   fishermen
innseanach      [i:s'enax]      indians
la\n            [la:n]  full
leam            [l'u:m] with me (also pronounced [laum], [l'oum], [l@m], ...
leat            [l'axt] with you (or [let], [lext], [lat], [le@t], ...
        (words like leam and leat will be pronounced differently depending
        on whether they take the stress, whether the preceding word has a
        broad or a narrow ending, whether they are followed by a pause, and
        so on; learners should probably use the full clear pronunciations
        given first above, but not expect to hear them like that very often)
leo\ir  [l'jo:r']       sufficient, plenty
luingeas        [lo:un jus]    boats, ships. (plural of long)
mar             [mar]   as
mho/r   [vo:ur] big
mhu\ig  [vu:g'] surliness, gloominess, frown
nach            [nax]   that not
nionagan        [ni:nakn]       girls (plural of nionag, which is a diminutive
                of inghean, daughter; the drawl vowel after the n of ighnean
                has become so strong, at the expense of the leading vowel,
                that everyone says nighean and that's the normal modern
                spelling; nigheanag is often contracted to nionag as here,
                but more often the middle syllable is pronounced so this word
                would be nigheanagan [ni:j@nakn]
nuair   [nuer'] when (relative). Often pronounced [n@r']
o\igearan       [o:k'erun]     young men (normal spelling o\igfhearan)
orm     [orom]  on me
osan    [osan]  hose, stocking.
pha\isde        [fa:st'i]       child
righ    [ri:]   king. (in some stock phrases the old sound [r'i:] persists)
ro\s    [ro:s]  bloom
ru\in   [ru:n'] dear, object of love or desire. [vocative of ru\n]
sa\mhach        [sa:vax]        peaceful
sgadain [skatan']       herring (gs & npl of sgadan [skatan]).
                (NOT [sgatun], which is npl of sgad - misfortune)
sin     [s'in]  that (demonstrative)
sinn    [s'iN'] we, us
sinne   [s'iN'e]        we, us (emphatic form)
siu\car [s'uxkar]       sugar, but means maple in this song.
shiu\il [h'ul'] sail(s). gs and n pl of seo\l.
sluagh  [slua%] people, tribe
shoraidh        [hori]  farewell, goodbye
sgoilte [skult'e]      split (past part. of sgoilt)
                (only the vowel length distinguishes this from sgaoilte
                        [sgu:lt'e] which is pp of sgaoil - spread, scatter
sunnd   [su:Nt] joy
tapaidh [taxpi] brave, successful, clever
teirig  [t'erik]        fail (future dependent)
tighinn [t'i:iN']       coming
thionndas       [h'u:Ndus]     will turn (future relative)
toiseach        [tos'ux]       beginning
thre/ig [hre:ig']       deserted, abandoned (past independent of tre/ig)
u\bhlan [u:lun] apples. plural of ubhal [ual] (the long u in the
                        plural is because that syllable has picked up the length
                        used for the second syllable in the singular).
[1]     literal: if your are a deserving person.
        this line is knocking around in the oral tradition in Scotland in
        various versions: ma bhios tu 'nad aire, ma bhios tu air t'aire: if
        you watch out, if you're careful about it. I think the N American
        version with airidh is more likely to be right.
[2]     Or maybe it's the darkness of the everlasting woods;
        I think that this phrase qualifies "bidh fa\s" rather than "tha",
        ie the trees will grow in the shade NOT we're suck in a gloomy
[3]     is beag orm x means I hate x. The opposite isn't is mor orm x as
        one might expect, but is mo/r leam x: I greatly like x. (Don't
        expect consistent use of prepositions in idiomatic gaelic; it
        dosen't happen in any other language so why should it in gaelic?)
        ro- is an intensifying prefix implying excess; usually it's best
        translted by english "too".
        a tha ann: who are in it; the antecedent of the pronoun "it" is
        America, referred to in the previous verse, if it has an
        antecedent at all. so in context something like
[4]     see vocabulary note for dro\gaid.
        the sentiment of this verse is something like "look at the funny
        Englishmen, don't they dress appallingly, isn't it a pity they
        haven't the sense to dress properly".
[5]     This is a rather odd verse. I think the writer is complaining that
        now they've lost the support of the crown so they are no better off
        than the indians. But I can't imagine that crown forces were much
        protection against wild animals, and the imagine of the wild animals
        warning them they're in trouble is a bit far-fetched!
[6]     Literally: We are Indians sure enough; but the distinction between
        "tha sinne 'nar n-innseannach" and "'s iad innseannach th'annainn"
        leads me to say "like indians" and stick in "now" because the
        literal translation would be what the other phrase means.
[7]     literally "in every nook"
[8]     The last two verses don't seem to fit in with the rest of the song.
        Maye two songs have got muddled together at some stage? The fifth
        verse is usually sung along with the first four or th

Notes by Craig Cockburn (pronounced Coburn)
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