Cha Tig Mòr Mo Bhean Dhachaidh
Chorus: My wife Sarah will never return home.
Sarah, my beloved wife will never return.
My children’s mother won’t return to lie by my side
The cattle are in the milking fold lowing in answer
to the calves. Sarah will not return from Dunvegan to
respond to their calls.
The yew tree will come in bloom. The trees will grow
leaves and seed will appear on the rushes, but my
darling wife will remain lifeless.
Although I should remarry, as I should with you gone,
my heart will not stir to the sound of the fiddle.
Although I should get a wife of means with gentry of
both sides (of the family) I would far rather Sarah to
be with me and lying by my side.
In the song, the composer’s wife has died
prematurely, leaving behind her husband and their child.
My setting of this widower’s lament is based on the
singing of Mairead Bean Ruairidh Iagain Ruairidh
(Margaret MacLean) of Boisdale, Cape Breton County. I
recorded the verses at her home in the summer of 1995.
Margaret learned the song from her grandmother, Màiri
Dhòmhnaill Nìll (Mary MacKinnon), who sang it as a
Guitars: Rob Piltch
Recorded at: Somnambulab and Reaction Studios by Phil