Oran Mor (Great Song)

In de oude Keltische wereld bestond een lange clantraditie om een lofzang, de Oran Mor (Great Song), mondeling over te brengen van generatie op generatie. Maar door de teruggang van de Keltische taal zijn vele 'songs' verloren gegaan. Gelukkig heeft de Oran Mor van Clan MacGillivray het overleefd, weliswaar bij toeval. Hoe kwam dat zo?

In het jaar 1850 wilde de priester Lachlan McGillivray de opvolger worden van Dunmaglass. Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, een jonge advocaat, werd gevraagd om bewijsmateriaal over de Clan MacGillivray te verzamelen voor de rechtszaak. Tussen die papieren werd een Keltisch lied gevonden, in de volksmond wel bekend in Strathnairn. Als het niet op dit moment in de openbaarheid was gebracht had dit loflied het niet gered. Jammer genoeg voor Lachlan is het hem niet gelukt om eigenaar te worden van Dunmaglass.

Dit loflied bevat veel traditionele kennis en historie over de Clan uit die tijd. De inhoud is waarschijnlijk samengesteld door de bard van de clan in 1782 ter ere van de geboorte van John Lachlan, zoon en opvolger van William XI van Dunmaglass. Eerdere Chiefs of the Clan werden genoemd maar niet Alexander of Dunmaglass, die stierf bij de Slag van de Culloden in 1746. Mogelijk zag men het als een slecht voorteken voor die jonge John Lachlan om die tragedie te vernoemen in dit loflied.

 

ORAN DO MHACGHILLEBHRAIGH AN DUIN

(SONG TO MACGILLIVRAY OF DUNMAGLASS)

Le Iain Donn MacSheumais 'Ic Dhaibhidh
(By John Donn M'James V'David)

Gradh do'n droing luinneach,
Mhuirneach, aigeannach ur,
Acfhuinneach, cliuiteach
Mhuirnicht' th'aguinn an curit
An fhine nach crion, 'sa shiolaidh
Fad' as gach taobh.
Sar Bhraighich an Duin
D'an tug mi mo run a chaoidh.
My love to the warlike race
The gentle, vigourous, flourishing
Active, of great fame, beloved
Whom we have over us,
The race that will not wither, and has descended
Long from every side,
Excellent M'Gillivrays of the Doun
Whom I shall ever hold in esteem.
Cha b'ann a ghineadh do nos
Do cuarran, no dh'fholach fuinn,
No'n iomall nan raon,
Ach do'n chruithneachd is caoine saoidh;
Sud na gallain tha treun,
'S tha fallain reidh, glann, caoin
'Chuireadh bratach ro crann
Do Lachlann mo ghraidh 's mo ghaoil.
Your race was not begotten
Of weeds, nor of worthless grass,
Nor did it grow in the edges of the field,
But sprang from the finest of the wheat;
These are the excellent plants,
Healthy, erect, pure, soft,
Who would raise a banner on its staff
Around Lachlan the Beloved
'Nuair a dh-eireadh sibh moch,
Sibh nach iarradh fois no tamh:
'Nuair a thogta leibh srol
Sibh nach obadh ri ceol nan crann,
Lannaibh fuara 'nan dorn,
Sgiath chruadhach aig seoid 'nan laimh
lomairt bhuadhar ni 's leoir
Aig daoin' uaisle nach soradh call.
When you would get early on foot
You would not seek idleness or rest,
When the banner was raised
Ye would not refuse to move to the music of the pipe.
Cold blades in your grasp,
Steel shields in the hands of the heroes,
Gentlemen who would not grudge loss
Driving enough of cattle before them.
Aig daoin' uaisle glan, gasd'
Nach soradh a'm feachd na'n camp,
Shiubhal mhointeach a's chnoc,
Coille 's gharbhlach, a's ghlac nam beann:
Nach soradh an ni
No 'n fhuil mhoralach phriseil ard,
Chur an cunnart 's an cas;
M'am bi Uilleam gu brath a'm fang.
Handsome, excellent gentlemen
Who would not spare themselves in army or camp,
Marching over moss and hill, army or
Wood, and in rough places, hollows and mountains,
Who would not spare their effects
Nor their high precious blood
To avoid danger
That William might never be in difficulty.
Ach daoine gasd' glan ur
Cho macanta ciuin ri mnaoi
Cho macanta min,
Ri mnaoi fo stiom a cinn;
Cho curasdach garg,
Ri curaidh nan arm t'hoirt luinn:
Cho fialaigh ri Diuc,
Tha Fearchar an Duin air chinnt.
But excellent, well-made, vigorous men,
As meek and gentle as a woman,
As meek and soft
As a woman who wears head dress,
As nimble and fierce
As an armed hero to give an angry blow,
Liberal as a Duke
Is Farquhar of the Doun in truth.
Tha Fearchar an aigh
Gun fheall, gun fhailing, gun lub;
Reidh, fosgarra tha
Aon-fhilte, gun chealg 'na ghnuis
Fialaidh, gaisgeanta, dan'
Ceann-feadhna do'n dream is maith cliu ;
Dh' aindeoin innleachd nan Gall,
'Stu gun cheann feachd cas a chruin.
The excellent Farquhar
Is without deceit,
Without failing, or cunning,
Straight-forward, open, warm,
Single-minded, without hypocrisy,
Liberal, heroic, bold,
Chief of those of excellent fame,
Spite of the Lowlander's craft
Thou art the head of the cause of the crown.
Air chaismeachd luath,
Thig do chairdean gu tuath o dheas:
Fir ghrinne 's glain snuadh,
Thig a Muile nan stuadh bheann glas,
Peighinn-a'-Ghaeil ie 'shluagh,
Thig thar bhuinne nan cuaintean bras;
Bi'dh iad agad 'san uair
Mu'm bi mulad no gruaimean ort.
At short warning
Thy friends will come from North and South,
Men of excellent form
From Mull of the green hills like waves,
Pennyghael with his men
Will come over the high-swelling waves,
They will come in a moment
Lest thou shouldest have any annoyance.
O Abarchaladair fos
Thig air bharantas seoid a mach
Siol na fala nach beo
Bha gu cothromach, comhnard, ceart;
Pairt do labhairt am beoil,
Bhi 'g a aithris air bhord Ie tlachd;
'S lionmhor caraid san fheoil
A' gabhail an comhnuidh leat.
From Aberchalder also
The heroes will certainly come forth,
Seed of them who are now no more,
Who were just, upright, righteous;
It was their delight to speak
Of those things around the table;
Many is the friend
Who dwells around thee.
O Dhulcrombaidh nam beann,
Nan creagan 's nan gleanntan glas;
Thig an t-armunn 'n a dheann,
An carraid nan lann nach tais,
Bi'dh sgiath laghach nam ball,
'S lann daingean a'd' laimh r i gaisg'
Chuireadh sgreamh air a' Ghall,
'Nuair ghabhdh thu 'n t-ardan bras.
From Dalcrombie of the hills,
The rocks, and the grey glens,
The hero will come in haste,
Who is not soft in the conflict of swords,
The neat spotted shield
And the f i rm sword i n his hand,
That would frighten the Lowlander
When his spirit would be up.
Clann l a in gun chearb,
Sliochd Uilleam 'ic Fhearchair ghlais;
Bheireadh fuil air an t-sealg,
Gur tearc e nach earbadh asd',
S'tric a cheannaich thu an drobh
Gun bharant ach t-ordag dheas;
S'a phaigh a rithist gu dearbh,
Le or agus airgiod glas.
The children of John without fault,
Race of Wiliam, son of grey Farquhar;
Who would draw blood in the hunt,
Few are they who would not trust them,
Often hast thou bought the drove
Without obligation save the touch of thy right thumb;
And paid again in truth
With gold and grey silver.
Bithid luchd ghabhail an spors,
Air bhraighe nam mor bheann ard;
Gum bu diubhalach do slieors'
Air damh biorach nan crocc 's nan carn;
Bhiod an ruadh-bhoc 'na theinn,
'S mac-saighe 'na dheigh r'a shail;
'S iionmhor grealach an fheidh,
Aig luchd-tharruing nam bein r i lar.
The sportsmen will be found
On the summit of the high mountains;
Thy race were destructive
To the sharp-horned hart of the hills;
The roebuck would be in haste
And the son of the dog in pursuit at his heels;
Many of the entrails of the deer
Which the flayers of the skin would leave on the ground.
A Righ! gu'm b'aighearach sinn,
'Nuair ghaabhamaid sios gu tamh;
Ged bhiodh a' cheathairne sgith,
Bhiodh deasghnothach gach 'ti 'na laimh,
Gheibhte furan an oil ,
Agus iorr am a' cheoil a b'fhearr;
Aig luchdnan leadan bu bhoidch,
Bheireadh freagradh do'n ghloir a' b'fhearr
O King! joyful would we be
When returning home to rest;
Though the hero might be wearied,
Every man's business would be in his hand,
He would have the joy of drinking.
And the sounds of the sweetest music,
With them of the fairest locks,
Who could reply in the choicest conversation.
Mar ri ceile 's maith dreach,
Bean reidh an fhuilt chleachdaich bhain;
Gheibhte feileachd gun airc,
Fuaim theud ann am fasan chaich;
'Fhuair gleus air gach bord.
Gun eigin, gun leon gun chas:
Spors gun teagamh aig seoid,
'N am leagail nan corn mu'n chlar.
Also with the fairest spouse,
The gentle woman with the fair curled hair,
Hospitality without stint,
The sound of strings
As usual tuned,
We were cheered around each table
Without want, without wound, without misfortune,
The heroes had amusement indeed
when the drinking horns were placed upon the table.
'Se bu chleachdadh do'n t-seod,
'Bhi 'g ol air f i on mar dheoch;
Ann am fasgadh na mnaoi,
Bu mhaisiche, mine 'dreach.
Sud an comunn gun fheall.
Air am follaiseach gradh gach neach:
Gun fhuath gsun alladh 'nan com.
Ach onoir nam fonn Ie tlachd.
It was the custom of the hero
To take wine as his drink
Alongside of the wife,
The fairest and gentlest of disposition,
That was the companionship without deceit,
In which the love of each was manifest.
Without hatred or ill-will in their heart,
But honour with pleasure is their disposition.

 

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