Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda

This is a song about Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda  (1610-1647) a Scottish  folk hero and -by the standards of today- war criminal of Clan Donald in the 17th century. 
 

translation and words from Celtic Lyrics Corner
 
image: the Rock of Cashel, which was sacked before the battle of Knockanuss, in which Alasdair was killed
 
There are two recordings, one by Capercaillie and one a capelle by James Graham which I like better. There is also a  version.
 
Alasdair mhic, ho ho
Cholla ghasda, ho ho
As do laimh-sa, ho ho 
Dh’earbainn tapachd, trom eile 
   
Sèist: 
Chall eileadh hao – chall o ho ro
Chall eileadh hao – chall o ho ro
Challa na haor ri ri – chall o ho ro 
Haghaidh o ho, trom eile 
   
As do laimh-sa
Dh’earbainn tapachd
Mharbhadh Tighearn’
Ach nam Brac leat
   
Mharbhadh Tighearn’
Ach nam Brac leat
Thiolaigeadh e
‘N oir an lochain
   
Thiolaigeadh e
‘N oir an lochain
Ged bu bheag mi
Thilg mi ploc air
   
Ged bu bheag mi
Thilg mi ploc air
‘S chuir siod gruaim air
Niall a’ Chaisteil
   
‘S chuir siod gruaim air
Niall a’ Chaisteil
‘S dh’fhag e lionndubh
Air a mhac-san
   
‘S dh’fhag e lionndubh
Air a mhac-san
‘S bha Ni Lachlainn
Fhèin ga bhasadh
   
Chuala mi’n dè
Sgeul nach b’ait leam
Glaschu bheag
Bhith na lasair
   
Glaschu bheag
Bhith na lasair
‘S Obair-eadhain
Air a chreachadh


Splendid Alasdair, ho ho
Son of Cholla, ho ho
From your arm, ho ho
I would expect valor, trom eile
 
Chorus (after each verse):
Chall eileadh hao – chall o ho ro
Chall eileadh hao – chall o ho ro
Challa na haor ri ri – chall o ho ro 
Haghaidh o ho, trom eile 
 
From your arm
I would expect valor
Auchinbreck’s laird
Was killed by you
   
Auchinbreck’s laird
Was killed by you
And was buried
At the Lochside
   
And was buried
At the Lochside
Though small I was
I cast a sod on him
   
Though small I was
I cast a sod on him
Which made gloomy
Neil of the Castle
   
Which made gloomy
Neil of the Castle
And left his son
Melancholy
   
And left his son
Melancholy
Lachlan’s daughter
Herself was lamenting
   
I heard today a tale
I did not like
That little Glasgow
Was ablaze
   
That little Glasgow
Was ablaze
And Aberdeen
Had been plundered

 

 

 

 

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