PS 051 – The Old Woman’s Lullaby

      B’ fhearr a bhith dìolain na a bhith pòsd’

      Crònan na Caillich sa Bheinn Bhric

Primary Sources

C1 Bhair bhi dhilan na bhi posd C1.50: 101
K2 Crònan na Cailleich sa Bheinn Bhreic / The Old Womans Lillaby in the Mountain. Index: on the Rocky Mountain. K2.16: 33
KK Crònan na Cailleach sa Bheinn Bhric / The Old Womans Lullaby KK.7: 13
JK Cronan na Cailliach sa Bhein Bhreic / Gordon Doun McKenzie’s Lament JK.7: [18]

Notes on Gaelic Titles

B’ fhearr a bhith dìolain na a bhith pòsda Bhair bhi dhilan n’a bhi pos’d C1; Bhair bhi dhilan na bhi posda C1 Index. ’T were better to be a mistress than a wife. John MacInnes provided this orthographic rendering and translation on 22 April 2015. He was familiar with the expression in the present tense: Is fhearr… (‘It is better’). Colin Campbell’s spelling indicates the conditional tense, B’fhearr… (‘It were better’), which now has an old-fashioned or poetic quality.

Crònan na Caillich sa Bheinn Bhric Crònan na Cailleich sa Bheinn Bhreic / The Old Womans Lillaby in the Mountain K2; ~ on the Rocky Mountain K2 index; Crònan na Cailleach sa Bheinn Bhric KK; Cronan na Cailliach ~ JK. The old woman of Ben Breac’s croon; conventionally ‘The Old Womans Lullaby’. Ben Breac, ‘the mottled hill’, is a mountain on the island of Jura, 1,529 feet (466 metres) high. For song texts and traditions see R. Black 2008, The Gaelic Otherworld. Birlinn, Edinburgh (2008), p. 306, note 59.

Roderick Cannon (2009), rev. Barnaby Brown 2015

Archive Recordings

1949 Neil MacLennan
1953 Pipe Major William MacLean
1954 Neil MacLennan
1959 Calum MacPherson
1961 Pipe Major John D Burgess MBE
1966 Pipe Major/Captain John A MacLellan MBE
1981 George Moss

Other Material

2015 John MacInnes on Campbell’s title ‘Bhair bhi dhilan na bhi posda’

      2015 Allan MacDonald & Barnaby Brown discuss PS 51 (Part 1)

      2015 Allan MacDonald & Barnaby Brown discuss PS 51 (Part 2)

      2015 J David Hester plays Campbell's setting

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