Òran an Fheòir
This song is from my home village Shulishader, Point and was written John ‘Knox’ Mackenzie who was a nephew of William MacKenzie. This humorous song was written for his nephew who had been the victim of Haystack sabotage at the hands of some of village lads!
‘S ann ort a bha coltas le t-fhallus mu d’ ghnuis,
Ri gearradh a ghlais fheur, le speal nach robh ùr,
Cha ghleidheadh I an gliasadh, ach beagan de dh’ uin,
Bha am faobhar air caitheamh cho fada gu chùl.
Am feur rinn thu spealladh air leig Ann’ ‘ic Caoidh
A thiormaich thu criona, air glasach an uillt
Air a thorradh na thudain bha cumhad cho grinn,
Chuir na balaich le ‘n cuidthrom, a chruth bun os cionn
Chaidh an t-uisge steach troimhe, bho mhullch gu mhàs,
Air fàs teth na mheadhon. agus malcaidh air fàs,
Faileadh dongaidh dheth tighinn a mach as a bharr,
Is b’ fheudar a sgapadh, le forc agus graip.
Is ann shios air an talamh, aig fasgadh an uillt,
Bha an goca den ghlais fheur a sgioblaich thu cruinn
Chaidh a mhilleadh le balaich, bha goid air an oidhch’
Chan itheadh an t-Each e, an gabhuinn na ‘n laogh
Thog thu ‘n goca na eallach, le taod air do dhruim,
Is shlaod thu e dhachaidh, bho ghlasadh an uillt,
Ged rinn thu e chrathadh, sa sgaoileadh ri gaoith,
Sa thionndeadh le forca cha thiormaich e chaoidh
Bha thusa den bheachd, nach fhaigheadh balaich co-dhìu
A-steach air a challaid, chuir thu timcheall an uillt,
Ach fiach nach e Seoni, tha shios aig a’ bhùth,
Is Alasdair an phortair, a chreach thu sa spùin.
Tha iadsan cho abhcaideach seòlta agus ciunn,
Le ‘n dibhearsain gun mhill iad, an goc ort co-dhiù,
Ged a dhèanadh tu a sgolladh, sa ghlanadh san allt
Bithidh faileadh is boladh, ga leantainn a chaoidh
‘S e bu choir dhuit a dhèanamh dheth siaman feòir
Sa thoinneamh mum amhaich san tachdadh ‘s iad beò
Toirt orrasan ithe, gach sop agus dlo,
Den fheur chaidh a mhilleadh, ‘s nach itheadh a bhò.
Do mhallachd gan leantainn, am fad bhios iad beò
Son a chall a chaidh ortsa aig milleadh an fheòir,
Ach dean thus an ath bhliadhna, callaid bhios mòr,
Le cord iarrainn gathach ‘s cha tig iad na choir.
You looked quite the picture with the sweat on your brow,
As you cut the grass, with the old scythe
I would only stay sharp, but for a short time
The edge of the blade had worn away to it's back
The grass that you cut, with Anne Mackay's permission
That your dried so well in the field by the stream
Gathered into a stack it looked so fine,
But the boys used their weight to turn is upside down
The rain went through it from top to bottom,
Growing warm in the middle and beginning to rot,
The moist smell rising from it
And you had to scatter it with the fork.
It was on the ground by the shelter of the stream,
That the haystack of grass was that you kept so tidy,
It was ruined by the boys in the dark of the night
The horse, the heifer or the calf would eat it.
You lifted the burdensome load, tied to your back,
And you dragged it back from the stream
Though you shook it and scattered it in the wind
And turned it with the fork, it will never dry.
You thought yourself, that the boys wouldn't get near it,
Through the fence you put round the stream,
But make sure it wasn't Shonnie, who's down at the shop,
And Alasdair the porter, who raided and stole from you.
They are so humorous, cunning and sly,
That with their ploy they would ruin your haystack in any case
Though you would wash it and rinse it in the stream
The smell and the stench would forever remain.
What you should do with it is make a long grass rope
And wrap it round their necks and choke them alive
Make them eat it, each blade and handful,
Of the grass that was ruined, that the cow wouldn't eat.
You will have to watch them closely from now
After all you lost when the grass was ruined,
But next year, you make a big strong fence,
With plenty barbed wire, and they'll not come near it.