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Ailein Duinn

Allan Morrison was a sea captain from the isle of Lewis. In the spring of 1788 he left Stornoway to go to Scalpay, Harris, where he was to marry Annie Campbell. Unfortunately they sailed into a storm and all the crew sank with the vessel. This is the lament she composed.

The broken-hearted Annie wasted away through grief and died a few months afterward. Her body was washed ashore near where her fiance's was found.

Ailein Duinn

Gura mise tha fo éislean,
Moch 's a' mhadainn is mi 'g éirigh

Ò hì shiùbhlainn leat,
Hì ri bhò hò ru bhì,
Hì ri bhò hò rionn o ho,
Ailein duinn,
ò hì shiùbhlainn leat.

Ma 's e cluasag dhut a' ghainneamh,
Ma 's e leabaidh dhut an fheamainn


Ma 's e 'n t-iasg do choinnlean geala,
Ma 's e na ròin do luchd-faire


Dh'òlainn deoch ge boil le càch e,
De dh'fhuil do choim 's tu 'n déidh do bhathadh


Brown-haired Alan

How sorrowful I am
When I rise early in the morning

Ò hì I would walk with you.
Hì ri bhò hò ru bhì,
Hì ri bhò hò rionn o ho,
Brown-haired Alan, Ò hì,
I would walk with you

If the sand be your pillow,
If the seaweed be your bed


If the fish are your candles bright,
If the seals are your watchmen


I would take a drink, though everyone would be scandalised,
Of your heart's blood after you were drowned.


This song can be heard on the following albums:


Recordings of Karen Matheson and Méav singing this song

Other versions of this song

Other songs in Scottish Gaelic | Songs in other languages