‘The Morning After’
'Horo, Tha Mi Fo Smalan Dheth'

Bha Iain MacPhàidean (1850-1935) à Muile ach ghluais e a Ghlaschu mar dhuine òg, far an robh e ag obair air an rèile air taobh deas na h-aibhne. B’ e bàrd a bh’ ann a dh’innis mu dheidhinn eòlas a’ Ghàidheil ann am baile Bhioctòirianach, glè thric le àbhachas thioram agus amharc geur a bha a’ gabhail ri cruadalas is cianalas – fadachd airson na dachaigh. Cha robh e cho carthannach mu dheidhinn a cho-Ghàidheil Èireannach ge-tà. B’ e MacPhàidean aon de na coileanaidhean a b’ fheàrr aig na Penny Readings san t-Seann Athenaeum, air a stèidheachadh le èildearan Eaglais Ghàidhlig Naomh Chaluim Chille gus fir na coimhearsnachd a chumail a-mach às na taighean-seinnse, agus beag ’s mar a bha e,                 b’ urrainn dha sàmhchair fhaotainn leis na h-òrain aige.

John MacFadyen (1850-1935) hailed from Mull but moved to Glasgow as a young man, where he worked as a railwayman on the south side of the river. He was a poet who summed up the Scottish Gael’s experience in the Victorian city, often with a dry humour and sharp observation that nevertheless acknowledged hardship and cianalas – longing for home. He was less charitable about his fellow Irish Gaels, however. MacFadyen was one of the star turns of the Penny Readings in the Old Athenaeum, set up by the elders of St. Columba’s Gaelic Church to keep the menfolk of the community out of the pubs, and small in stature though he was, he could silence the hubbub as regaled them with his latest composition.

Horo, Tha Mi Fo Smalan Dheth – Iain MacPhàidein

Horo, tha mi fo smalan dheth – an t-uisge-beatha, chrean mi air;

’S e Mac-na-Braiche fear nan car, ’s gur iomadh fear a mheallar leis.

 

Innsidh mi san ealaidh dhuibh, a’ ghaoth a dh’fhàg a’ Challainn againn;

Bhuail i dìreach cùl mo chinn ’s mi tigh’nn a-nìos an Gallowgate.

 

Thachair seann luchd-eòlais a bha anns an t-sràid aig Deòrsa rium;

Is chaidh mi còmhla riu’ air aoigheachd, chionn ’s e daoine còir a bh’ annt’.

 

Bha fear dhiubh ’s pige-bàn aige is shlaod e fhèin an t-àrcan às;

Dh’òl mi còrr is làn a’ ghlainne; ’n Tobar Mhoire thàirngeadh e.

 

Dh’òl mi dhà no trì dhiubh siud; bha Muileach agus Ìleach agam,

’S le cuideigin eile còmh’ riu’, cha robh ’n còrr a dhìth orm.

 

Thug mise ’n t-sràid an siud orm, a-measg na h-ùpraid iongantaich;

Ach ’s eagal orm gu robh mi faicinn rudan nach robh idir ann.

 

Thug mi George’s Square orm, ’s gu faicinn fhìn a’ Bhànrinn ann;

Sir Cailean, Moore, ’s iad fhèin na diùlnaich – dhùraichdinn am fàilteachadh.

 

Bha ’m Prionnsa ’s e ri sanntaireachd; bha Burns e fhèin ’s e cainntaireachd;

Ach cò bha siud gu h-àrd air stob ach Walter Scott ’s e dannsadh ris!

 

An laithrne-mhàireach b’ aithreach leam gach nì mar bha ’s mar thachair dhomh;

Sgàinteach mo chnàmh bha sud burbail, ’s mi air furm an aithreachais.

The Morning After – John MacFadyen

Horo, I feel terrible, I had a drop of whisky,

The son-of-the-malt is a tricky fellow, he’s led many a man astray.

 

I’ll tell you in this ditty about the wind that blew in with the New Year;

It hit me square in the back of the head as I was coming down the Gallowgate.

 

I met some old pals in George Street,

And I went to spend some time in their company, because they’re decent sorts.

 

One of them had a pig of whisky and pulled the cork from it himself;

I had more than a glassful; it came from Tobermory itself.

 

I had two or three of them; there was a Mull one, and an Islay,

And with another with them for company, I wanted for nothing.

 

I took off then, amidst the uproar,

But I’m very much afraid I was seeing things that weren’t there at all.

 

I made for George Square to see the Queen [Victoria] for myself;

Sir Colin [Campbell, Lord Clyde], [Sir John] Moore, what fine folk – I wanted to pay my respects.

 

The prince [Albert] was strutting away, as Burns himself was singing the tunes;

And who was there up on high but Walter Scott, dancing away to them!

 

The next day, I fully regretted everything that had happened to me;

My head was fit to burst, and I was sat there on the stool of repentance.