An Dàn CD Lyrics

T9: Gràdh Geal Mo Chridhe (My True Love)

Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul: Mary Ann Kennedy

“It was you gave me reason, you who gave me a berth,
It was you who gave me direction, and an anchor and port for my boat”

MA: Angus Peter composed this poem, unusually for him, in song-form, as it was written as a love-token for his wife, the artist and sculptor Liondsaidh Chaimbeul, as well as a testament to their faith. I fell in love with the words for the mutual and completely open devotion that shines through, and asked Aonghas Phàdraig if I could let the words sing – a bit of a cheek, considering the musicality of their own family - Shona, Steaph, Màiri, Brìghde, Ciorstaidh and Eòsaph.

Gràdh Geal Mo Chridhe was originally published by Acair in 2007 in a trilingual collection, Meas Air Chrannaibh (Fruit on Branches). I played a little with the order of the verses to make a chorus, but the rest is the song as it was originally written.

Angus Peter: There’s a certainty in this love that deserves a constant rhythm, like the regular beating of a heart. And I always wanted to write something like William Ross did: who wouldn’t wish to sing of love in the poets’ eternal halls?

T9: Gràdh Geal Mo Chridhe (My True Love) 

Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul: Màiri Anna NicUalraig

“’S tusa thug dhòmhsa ciall, ’s tusa thug dhòmhsa àit’,
’S tusa thug dhòmhsa rian, is acair is caladh dham bhàt’”

Aonghas Pàdraig: Chan eil duin’ againn a chaidh a thogail leis a’ Ghàidhlig nach aithnich òran gaoil anns an diog a chluinneas sinn a’ chiad phuing neo a’ chiad fhacal. Nach robh sinn air ar cuartachadh le seudan mar ‘Gruagach òg an Fhuilt Bhàin’ neo ‘A’ Pheigi a’ Ghràidh’ neo ‘’S truagh nach d’ rugadh dall mi’ ’s na h-òrain tiamhaidh eile a bha cho cumanta nar dualchas.

Ach mar a mhothaich an sàr-bhàrd Dòmhnall MacAmhlaigh grunn bhliadhnachan air ais, bha ruitheam nan òrain sin air fàs cho “nàdarra” (neo cho leisg?) ’s gun robh iad an cunnart ar ceangal ann an deise-iarainn le slabhraidhean: sin pàirt dhen adhbhar a bha e riatanach gun tàinig an nuadh-bhàrdachd, a’ giùlain saorsa.

Bidh mise ri nuadh-bhàrdachd (a tha làn de ruitheam falaichte na dhòigh fhèin) ach airson an òrain seo thìll mi chun an t-seann dòigh: tha freasdal is fortan nam chrò/ nach àraidh mo shealbh an-dràst’ ...oir tha cinnt anns a’ ghràdh seo a tha airidh air buille rèidh, mar chridhe a’ bualadh gu fallain. Agus bha mi daonnan ag iarraidh rudeigin a’ sgrìobhadh mar Uilleam Ros: cò nach iarradh a bhith seinn mu ghaol ann an talla nam bàrd tha gu sìorraidh beò?

MA: ’S bho fhonn eireachdail òran-molaidh – ‘Dòmhnall nan Dùn’ – a dh’èirich toiseach-tòiseachaidh a’ chiùil seo – cleasachd-ciùil air a bheil mam gu seachd àraid sgileil.

Tha freasdal is fortan nam chrò.
nach àraidh mo shealbh an-dràst’,
is tusa nad laighe rim thaobh,
mar bheatha ri taobh a’ bhàis;
grian a’ soillseachadh na h-oidhch’,
cluaran a’ deàrrsadh mar ròs,
an nimh air a tharraing bhon ubhal,
an clàbar air tionndadh gu òr.

Nach truagh an stait sam biodh mi
nan siùbhladh tu bhuam, a ghràidh:
bhristeadh mo shlàint’ is mo chrìdh’
le deireadh mo sholas ’s mo là;
bhiodh madainn mar dhubhadh na h-oidhch’,
bhiodh gàire mar magadh a’ bhàis,
bhiodh m’ eathair air sgeirean na gaoir,
crìoch cheacharr’ air saoghal nan dàn.

’S tusa thug dhòmhsa ciall,
’s tusa thug dhòmhsa àit’,
’s tusa thug dhòmhsa rian,
is acair is caladh dham bhàt’
(o,) tha thu mar chanach an t-slèibh,
mar ghini nam bàrd nam phòc,
tha thu mar eun air ghleus,
gun mheang, gun choire, gun ghò.

Cha b’ urrainn dhomh innse an-dràst(a)
ciamar a bhithinn gun thu,
mar long air chall ann an stoirm,
mar eathar dol fodha gu grunnd;
mar leanabh gun mhàthair, gun iùl,
mar thràill gun dòchas, gun dùil –
a m’ eudail, is tusa mo stìuir,
mo sheòl, mo chaladh, mo shaogh’l.

’S tusa thug dhòmhsa ciall, etc.

Ach fhad’s a mhaireas mi beò,
(o,) seinnidh mi àrd do chliù:
snaighidh mi sìos ann an ran
bunait do ghràidh ’s do ghaoil:
lean thus’ an Sgiobair air bòrd,
chrom thu aig Carraig na Glòir,
ghabh thu ri Crìosda mar Dhia,
’s mar thiodhlac, thàinig an còrr.


Fortune and Providence are in my fold,
marvellous is my being tonight,
with you lying beside me here
like life lying beside death;
sun lighting up the dark,
thistle glistening like a rose,
the poison withdrawn from the apple,
the miry clay turned into pure gold.

How pitiful the state I’d be in
if I were to lose you, my love:
my health and my heart would break
with the end of my light and day;
dawn would be like the middle of the night,
laughter like the mocking of death,
my barge would be on the reefs of grief,
a sordid end to the world of songs.

It was you who gave me reason,
it was you who gave me a berth,
it was you who gave me direction
and an anchor and port for my boat;
you are like the bog-cotton of the moor,
like the guinea of the bard in my pocket,
you are like a bird on the wing,
without fault, without blemish, without wrong.

I could not bear to consider now
how I would be without you,
like a ship all lost in a storm,
like a vessel sinking to the very bottom;
like a child without mother or guide,
like a slave without hope or expectation -  
my darling, you are my rudder,
my sail, my harbour, my world.

It was you who gave me reason, etc.

But while I have living breath,
I will sing high your praise:
I will carve down in rhyme
the root of your love and care:
you followed the Skipper aboard,
you bowed at the Rock of Glory,
you accepted Christ as God,
and like a gift came the rest of the story.