‘Òran do Glaschu’
'Òran do Glaschu'

Tha Sràid Earra-Ghàidheal fìor chudromach ann an sgeulachd a’ Ghàidheil ann an Glaschu.. Bhon Hielan Man’s Umbrella – an drochaid rèile aig Stèisean a’ Mheadhain fo am biodh Gàidheil a’ cruinneachadh agus a’ conaltradh, gu an Trongate agus air adhart gu Gallowgate is Margaid an t-Salainn, tha an t-sràid gu mòr an lùib sgeulachd Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu.

Ghluais Donnchadh Mac a’ Phearsain bho Thaobh Siar na Gàidhealtachd a Ghlaschu ann an 1871, agus bu toil leis e cho mòr ’s gun do rinn e às-imrich gu Sealan Nuadh far an robh e ag obair aig stèiseanan chruidh is chaorach còmhla ris na h-uncailean aige, agus fhuair e bàs an sin aig 108 bliadhna a dh’aois. Tha an t-òran na ìomhaigh beò soilleir air fìor shuidheachadh Ghlaschu aig deireadh an 19mh Linn, agus langanachd an aghaidh nan cunnartan an lùib deoch làidir. Tha pàirt aig Sràid Earra-Ghàidheal mar cheàrnaidh nan seudairean den latha sin far am biodh na boireannaich a’ gabhail cuairt – tha an taobh seo de eachdraidh na sràide glèidhte an-diugh ann an Arcàid Earra-Ghàidheal, far a bheil mòran fhathast ann an Glaschu a’ taghadh am fàinneachan gealladh-pòsaidh bho an roghainn de sheudairean aig a bheil bùithtean san ionad. Tha eadar-theangachadh Màiri Anna air òran Dhonnchaidh, a’ toirt leis an aon ìomhaigheachd gus an latha an-diugh, le glè bheag de dh’atharrachadh.

Argyle Street plays a pivotal role in the story of the Gael in Glasgow. From the famous Hielan Man’s Umbrella – the railway bridge at Central Station under whose shelter Highlanders would gather and socialise, to the Trongate and onwards to the Gallowgate and Saltmarket, the street is writ large in the story of Gaelic Glasgow.

Duncan MacPherson moved from the West Highlands to Glasgow in 1871, but liked it so little that he ended up emigrating to New Zealand where he worked cattle and sheep stations with his uncles, and died there at the age of 108. The song is a vivid, searing image of the underbelly of Glasgow at the end of the 19th Century, and a diatribe against the perils of strong drink. Argyle Street plays its part as the jeweller’s quarter of the day where the ladies of the city would promenade – this facet of the street’s history is preserved today in the famous Argyle Arcade, where many a Glaswegian engagement ring is still picked out from the shop windows of the many jewellers under its roof. Mary Ann’s translation of Duncan’s song takes the self-same imagery into the present day, with barely a word of change.

Òran do Ghlaschu – Donnchadh Mac a’ Phearsain

’S mi seo an Glaschu nam Bùithean far eil fasain is ioghnaidh gu leòr;

Leis na chunnaic mo shùilean, tha mo chridhe air dusgadh gu ceòl;

Sluagh mar sheangain gun àireamh, ruith gach rathad sna sràidean nan deann,

A-measg toit is droch fhàileadh, ’s pailteas fearainn dol fàs feadh nan gleann.

 

Ged tha Glaschu cliùiteadh anns na fasain as ùire fon ghrèin,

’S ioma trioblaid is neò-gloin tha luchd-misg toirt dhan deòin orra fhèin;

Chaneil bainne ri fhaotainn, an deoch as fheàrr air an t-saoghal gu lèir,

Ach beirm laidir a’ chaochain a’ cur mhnathan is dhaoin’ às an cèill.

 

Dol tro Mhargadh an t-Salainn, far an lìonmhor luchd-malairt an èisg,

’S iomadh bodachan peallach bhios a’ seinn air gach ealaidh fon ghrèin;

Cailleach mhòr, bhuidhe, ghrìsfhionn, fighe stocaidh is pìob ann a beul,

Ag èigheach ‘Sgadan Loch Fìne’, ’s i air tùchadh le innse nam breug.

 

Ged as àillidh an sealladh, mnathan uaisle a’ bhaile gu lèir,

Ag imeachd feasgar na sàbaid air Sràid Earra-Ghàidheal nan seud;

Sìoda còmhdach gun sàiltean, ’s iad a’ sguabadh na sràid as an dèidh

Le gnùis-bhrat ’s cochall làmh orr’, ’s gun na fiaclan slàn ann an deud.

 

Chi mi cail’ a’ chinn ghuanaich le falt-ceannaich a fhuair i an-dè,

’S a’ bhonaid thall cùl a cluasan, mar tha adharcan-luachrach an t-slèibh;

Ged as stiùireanach, caol-chasach, astarach, aotrom a ceum,

Cha bhiodh a pògan ach searbh leam, ’s fiaclan tilgt’ dhaoine marbh ann a beul.

 

’S bochd an sealladh tha againn air oidhche Di-satharna fhèin,

Fir is mnathan a’ caonnag ’s an clann leth-rùisgte caoineadh nan dèidh;

Fuil gan dalladh sna sùilean, ’s iad le ana-cainnt toirt dùbhlan da chèil’,

’S nan dèanadh Gàidheil an tùrn ud, bhiodh iad ainmeil nan dùthaich na dhèidh.

Òran do Ghlaschu – Donnchadh Mac a’ Phearsain

I find myself in the top shopping destination of Glasgow, that very trendiest of cities.

But no, “I belong to Glasgow”, here: my time here and what I’ve seen and heard have moved me to write a very different song for the city.

What I have seen only horrifies – a seething torrent of people scattering through the streets like ants amidst the smog and stench.

Why, when such beautiful expanses, so much land is going a-begging, going to waste in the country?

 

Glasgow might be famous for being first for high fashion,

But beneath this façade lie the many trials and tribulations that substance-abuse brings, despite themselves, on the heads of hard drinkers.

That very best of tipples, milk, is not to be had for love or money – just the super-brews and hard liquor that drive women and men alike beyond help.

 

I take a wander through the famous Saltmarket, the Billingsgate of the North,

Listening to a raucous chorus of fishmongers’ voices, each with their own particular song on their lips.

I pass one enormous old woman, jaundiced and grizzled, sat there with a pipe in her mouth, knitting a sock;

And all the while yelling “Finest Loch Fyne Haddies!” – choking on her own breach of the Trades Descriptions Act.

 

They put up a fine show, the city’s ‘ladies who lunch’ –

Stravaiging, no, promenading of a Sunday afternoon along the jewellers’ quarter of Argyle Street.

Dressed from top to toe in silks, veritably sweeping the streets behind them and festooned with veils and mufflers –

And not a single tooth whole between them.

 

I see a lovely lass with her newly-acquired hair extensions, hat perched behind her ears like a plover from up the braes.

But though this leggy blonde exudes confidence, with a light, dancing step to her, I’d not thank you for a kiss from this beauty.

Nothing but the bitterest taste on her lips, holding in as they do the discarded teeth of dead men.

 

What a sad sight sums things up of a Saturday night –

Men and women fighting with their tear-stained weans bawling behind them;

Blood dripping into their eyes, blinding them as they throw insults at each other.

You can bet that if a Gael were to be up to this infamous behaviour, they’d know about it back home soon enough.