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Oran Sniomh (Spinning Song) -Spinning & Weaving Music

Oran Sniomh (Spinning Song)
Mary Jane Lamond

Spinning songs (used to accompany the spinning of wool) are no longer commonly sung. As the industrial age encroached on Cape Breton, this tradition along with many others retreated. This song is based on the singing of the late Lachlann Dhòmhnaill Nìll (Lauchie Dan N. MacLellan) of Broad Cove, Inverness County.


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Orain Ghaidhlig (Gaelic Songs of Cape Breton) – Mary Jane Lamond

Oran Snìomh (Spinning Song)

‘S iomadh caileag bhòidheach laghach
A bhios ‘na suidh’ aig cuibhlidh,
A’ snìomh nan rolag ‘s seinn nan luinneag
Bidh gach currac binn ann,
A’ snàithlean bòidheach ruith ro’ meòirean
Cothrom, còmhnard, sìnte,
A falt ‘na dhual bhos cionn a cluais
‘Ga chumail suas le cìr ann.

A Nic Theàrlaich, air do shlàinte
Bidh sinn càirdeil daonnan,
Bidh thusa ‘fàs, bidh mise ‘cnàmh,
‘S mo cheann cho bàn ri faoileig
Bu mhór leam an toileach a thug siod dhomhs’,
A laighe blàth ri d’thaobhsa,
Nuair thig an geamhradh, bídh tu sàs
Aig nigheann bhàn Nic Mhaoilein.

Nuair thig an geamhradh, ‘s àm nam bainnsean
Gheobh sinn dram’ dhe ‘n Tòiseach
‘S bidh Nollaig chridheil aig cloinn nighean
‘S aig na gillean òga
Bidh mnathan òg a’ ruith ‘s a’ leum,
‘S cuid dhiubh ‘g éigheachd òran
Bidh srannd aig bodaich ann am fodar
‘S sogan orr’ a’ còmhradh.

Mary Jane Lamond

English translation:
1. Many a lovely, pleasant young woman will sit at the spinning wheel, plying the rolls and crooning melodies. All the peaked (?) mutches will be present. Lovely yarn coursing through her fingers, finished, smooth and stretched; her hair arranged in a plait held by a comb above her ear.

2. A drink to your health, oh daughter of Charles. We shall always be cordial. You will increase and I shall wither, my head white as a gull’s. It gave me great pleasure to lay warm by your side. When winter comes you will be working for MacMillan’s fair haired daughter.

3. When winter comes and the season for weddings, we’ll get a dram of spirits. The girls and young boys will enjoy a merry Christmas. Young women will bustle about, some of them calling out songs. Old men sitting in the straw will drone contentedly in conversation.

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This page last edited on October 12, 2013

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