Smeòrach Clann Dòmhnaill (The Songbird of Clan Donald) – Tales From The Hearth

As we enter this year’s changing of the seasons, we present a series of stories from our storytellers, Tales From The Hearth. Between now and 2022 Beltane night, they will be telling tales and poems and singing songs connected to different aspects of our fire festival, sharing them with you online.

Smeòrach Chlann Dòmhnaill or its English translation, The Songbird of Clan Donald, was written by Iain Mac Fhearchair (born 1693) who was official bard to the Chief of Clan MacDonald of Sleat.

In this song the Clan has been defeated and the bard is on the run, seeking shelter and safety. The fate of people fleeing from conflict is still, sadly, very relevant today.

Video Credits

Lead singer : Ian Donaldson
Chorus : Neil James Rhind, Maryellen Edwards, Ania Janeczko, Nicky Saunders
Video and sound : Ludwing Perez
Editing : Ludwing Perez and Nicky Saunders
Subtitles : Nicky Saunders
Sound effects
https://freesound.org/people/qubodup/sounds/162449/
https://freesound.org/people/qubodup/sounds/205588/

Smeòrach Clann Dòmhnaill

[distant sounds of conflict, noise of plane]

Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró I
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi

Smeòrach mis’ air ùrlar Phaibil
Crùbadh ann an dùsal cadail
Gun deòrachd a théid nas fhaide
Truimid mo bhròin thòirleum m’ aigne

Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró I
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi

Smeòrach mis’ air mullach beinne
‘G amharc gréin is speuran soillear
Théid mi stòlda chòir na coille
Bidh mi beò air treòtas eile

Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró I
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi

Ma mholas gach eun a thìr féin
Cuim’ thar éis nach moladh mise?
Tìr nan curaidh, tìr nan clear
An tìr bhiadhchar fhialaidh mhiosail

Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró I
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi

Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró I
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi

English Translation – A Songbird of Clan Donald

[distant sounds of conflict, noise of plane]

Chorus :
La la la…
La la la…
La la la…
A songbird of Clan Donald

Verses:
A songbird I on Paible’s flatlands
Crouched in a drowsy sleep
Without sorrow, to go further
Heavy my sorrow, my spirits fallen

A songbird I on a mountaintop
Watching the sun and the clear sky
I will approach the forest quietly
I shall live by other means

If every other bird praises its own land
Why then should not I?
Land of heroes, land of poets
The fruitful, generous, estimable land

One thought on “Smeòrach Clann Dòmhnaill (The Songbird of Clan Donald) – Tales From The Hearth

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