#01037
Fhir A' Bhàta (Ryan's Fancy) video
(Oh, My Boatman)
#522: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

I climb the mountain and scan the ocean,
For thee, my boatman, with fond devotion;
When shall I see thee? Today? Tomorrow?
Oh! Do not leave me in lonely sorrow.

Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile,
Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile;
Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile,
So fare thee well, love, where e'er you be.

Thou art a rover my friends have told me,
But not the less to my heart I hold thee;
And every night in my dream I see thee,
And still at dawn will the vision flee me.

Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile,
Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile;
Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile,
So fare thee well, love, where e'er you be.

My lover promised to bring his lady,
A silken gown and a tartan plaidie;
A ring of gold which would show his semblance,
But, ah! I fear me for his remembrance.

Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile,
Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile;
Fhir a' bhàta, na ho ro eile,
So fare thee well, love, where e'er you be.

####.... Jane Finlayson (see note below) ....####
This variant arranged by Ryan's Fancy (Songs From The Shows, trk#16, 2001, produced for CBC Television by Jack Kellum, and recorded at CBC Television Studios, St John's, NL).

Liner notes: Vocal - Dermot O'Reilly
"While researching for songs to suit the various themes of the Ryan's Fancy Television shows, we were struck by the wealth of material that was and is still available in archives and other collections throughout Atlantic Canada. We leave you with this old love song that is still a favourite at musical gatherings in Cape Breton."


See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

From Craig Cockburn in his article, Traditional Gaelic Song And Singing Sean-Nós, we learn that although usually cited as traditional, this song was originally "composed in the late 18th-century by Jane Finlayson of Tong, Lewis, for a young Uig fisherman, Donald MacRae. The part of this story which is rarely told is that they married each other sometime after she wrote the song. The song appears in The Scottish Gael by James Logan, first published 1876."

From Wikipedia: Uig, Lewis - bay backed machair (pasture) and hills on the western coast of the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Collected in Gaelic by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.786-787, by the National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.



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