Mòrag, ‘s i Mòrag

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This is a lively tune! It’s a song about a boisterous wedding, at which a lady called Mòrag was the lucky bride. Several women are named in this song, but no men are named. This is a popular type of Gaelic song called Puirt à Beul, meaning ‘a tune from the mouth’ or ‘mouth music’. This type of song is often light-hearted, occasionally bawdy, in nature. This version is sung by Sìneag MacIntyre. Watch the video to get a feel for the song.

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As with many Gaelic songs, this has a simple chorus. We’ll begin with vocabulary:

ainmeilfamous
banaiswedding

The first two lines are really simple to learn:

'S i Mòrag, 's i Mòrag,
'S i Mòrag a rinn a' bhanais
It was Mòrag, it was Mòrag,
It was Mòrag who had the wedding

The final lines are also nice and simple to learn:

Mòrag, 's i Mòrag,
A rinn a' bhanais ainmeil
It was Mòrag, it was Mòrag,
Who had the famous wedding

Are you feeling confident? Let’s put all four lines together and start to work on the complete chorus:

'S i Mòrag, 's i Mòrag,
'S i Mòrag a rinn a' bhanais,
'S i Mòrag, 's i Mòrag,
A rinn a' bhanais ainmeil
It was Mòrag, it was Mòrag,
It was Mòrag who had had the wedding,
It was Mòrag, it was Mòrag,
Who had the famous wedding

How are you getting on? For the first verse, here’s the vocabulary you need:

dubhblack
an-uiridhlast year
bliadhnayear
lathaday
riamhever

The first two lines are commenting on the darkness of the bride’s hair:

Bha i dubh an-uiridh,
Agus tha i dubh am bliadhna
She was black-haired last year,
And she's black-haired this year

The second two lines continue:

'S bha i dubh a h-uile latha,
Chunnaic mise riamh i
She’s been black-haired every day,
That I have ever seen her

Let’s put the four lines together:

Bha i dubh an-uiridh,
Agus tha i dubh am bliadhna,
'S bha i dubh a h-uile latha,
Chunnaic mise riamh i
She was black-haired last year,
And she's black-haired this year,
She’s been black-haired ever since,
I have ever seen her

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