Calum Sgaire waltz

Also known as Amhran Chaluim Sgaire, Oran Chalum Sgàire.

There are 5 recordings of a tune by this name.

Calum Sgaire has been added to 7 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Calum Sgaire
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
A,2|D3 E F2|FE-E2 FA|dc B2 d2|B/A/F-F3 B/A/|
F2 D2-DE|F/B/A- A2 z F/E/|F2 B,3 A,|B,4 A,>B,|
D3 E F2|FE E3 F/A/|dc B2 d2|B/A/F-F3 B/A/|
F2 D2-DE|F>B A3 F/E/|F2 B,3 C|B,4|]
ABC

Four comments

Calum Sgaire C: Malcolm Macaulay

This is the air to a song composed by Malcolm Macaulay (Calum Sgaire), who was from Bosta, Bernera, by the Isle of Lewis (born around 1822).
It is a sad song, and the story goes that Calum Sgaire was employed as a sailor on board a schooner ( the "Express"), and sailed between Loch Roag and the Baltic. This meant he was away for long periods, but he was in love with Margaret Macleod (also known as Mairead Chaluim Neill) of Breaclete. They planned to marry, but Margaret’s parents thought Calum Sgaire was unsuitable, and married her off to Angus MacDonald.
When Calum returned from a voyage and found out that Margaret was married, he was so heartbroken that he emigrated to Quebec. It is said that Margaret was so heartbroken after Calum left that she died a year later.
Calum went on to marry a Lewis girl in Quebec (Mary MacIver ) and they had six weans.

There are two versions of the song that I know. One shorter version and the full "Amhran Chaluim Sgaire".

The shorter version goes:

(Chorus)
Air fà lè lò ra u
Air fà lè lò ra u
Air fà lè lò ra u
Hog I ò na hòro ì

Och a Rìgh gur trom m’osna
‘S fhada ò mo luaidh anochd mi
Mise tuath air Ceann Lochlainn
‘S ise aig Loch an Fhir Mhaoil.

Dh’ fhalbh i, ghlais i leinn dhaichaidh
Chuir i chuairt ud air Arcaibh
Cruinn ùra ‘s siùil gheala
Tìde mhara ‘s i leinn.

Ged is math a bhith seòladh
‘S olc a tha i ‘gam chòrdadh
‘S mòr gum b’ fheàrr a bhith ‘m Bòsta
Cur an eòrna ‘san raon.

Ach nam bithinn-sa aig baile
A shamhradh ‘s a dh’earrach
‘S mi nach leigeadh mo leannan
Ri balach gun strìth.

A translation offered is:

Oh Lord! I’ve a heavy, sighing heart
My love is far away from me tonight
I’m away in the north at the Cape of Norway
While she’s at Loch an Fhir Mhaoil.

It set sail for home with us
It sailed ‘round Orkney
New masts and white sails on her
She was running with the tide.

Though it is enjoyable to be sailing
I cannot say I’m enjoying it just now
I would rather be in Bosta
Planting the corn in the field.

If only I could be at home
Both summer and spring
I would never allow another man
To have my love without a fight.

The setting here is not in smooth waltz timing (because it isn’t a waltz).
The Bothy Band’s version is phrased differently too.
There is also a fiddle and guitar version by Alasdair Fraser and Tony McManus in which they add an extra bit. I might submit their version later on.

So a full version gleaned from the web:

Sèist: Air fà lè lò ra u
Air fà lè lò ra u
Air fà lè lò ra u
Hog I ò na hòro ì

Och nan och! Gur trom m’osnaich,
‘S fhada bho mo luaidh a-nochd mi,
Mise tuath an Cuan Lochlainn
Is is’ aig Loch an Fhir Mhaoil.

Ach fhuair mi nise làn ordugh
Air an t-soitheach a sheòladh,
is ‘s ann a stiùireas mi an t-sròn aic
Air MacDhomhnaill a’ chaoil.

Dh’fhalbh i ghluais i leinn dhachaigh,
Rinn i cùrs’ leinn air Arcaibh,
Siùil ùra ri crannaibh
Dol gu snasail ri gaoith.

Nuair a leig sinn air falbh i,
Thànaig cuideam na fàirrg’ oirr’
‘S thuirt gach ball a bha garbh innt’
‘S ann tha m’ earb-s’ san fhear chaol.

Thuirt na siùil a dh’aon èighe,
"Bithibh ‘n guaillibh a chèile
Gus nach fhaicear ri reubadh
Aon bhrèid tha bhos a cionn

Thuirt an crann riutha nuair sin.
"Tha sibh gearan gu h-uimhreach!"
Mhionnaich rigeans an fhuaraidh
Nach gluaist’ iad a-chaoidh

Bha i sìnt’ air a h-asainn,
Sac ri gualainn an asgaidh
Dol tron a’ Chuan Arcach,
Tìde-mhara ‘s i leinn.

Ged as math a bhith seòladh,
‘S olc a tha e gam chòrdadh:
‘S mòr gum b’fheàrr a bhith ‘m Bòstadh
A’ cur an eòrn’ anns an raon.

Dol seachad am Butt dhuinn,
Chaidh am fòrsail a leagail
‘S chaidh an t-àrd-sheòl a sheatadh
Gus a greas’d gu mo ghaol

Tighinn a-nuas mu Aird Bharbhais,
Thàinig soirbheas oirr’ bhon eardheas
Is ‘s ann a shamhlaich falbh I
Ris an earb air an raon.

Tighinn a-nuas mun a’ Chumhal,
Bha ‘m bàta ‘na siubhal,
Is fear a’ chùl-chinn bhuidhe
‘Na shuidhe air an stiùir.

Nuair a nochdas i air fàire,
Bithidh mo leannan ag ràitinn,
"Seallaibh soitheach aig Cràgam -
Calum Sgàire tha e innt’."

‘S mi nach bitheadh fo chùram
An am bhith togail mo chùrsa
Nuair a nochdadh an Stùigh rium
Leis an tùr a bha innt’.

Nuair a ràinig sinn Gasunn,
Chaidh na siùil aice phasgadh,
Chaidh an teinne ma claigeann,
‘S chaidh na balaich gu tìr.

Thug iad ‘Express’ mar ainm oirr’
‘S m’ fhacal-sa nach robh i cearbach,
‘S nan robh agam-sa dh’inbheas
Bheirinn ainm oirr’ dhomh fhìn.

Nuair a ràinig mi ‘n cruadhlach,
Thug mi sùil air mo ghualainn,
‘S ann a chunnaic mi ghruagach
A’ dol mun cuairt air an nì.

Nuair a dhìrich mi bhruthach
thilg i bhuarach ‘s an cuman,
‘S thuirt i "’S suaimhneach an diugh mi:
Seo e cuspair mo ghaoil!".

Rinn iad fòineart air mo leannan,
Thug iad pòsadh oirr’ dha h-aindeoin,
Ach nam bithinn-s’ aig baile,
Chluinnist forfhuaim air dùirn.

Ach nam bithinn-s’ aig baile,
Fad samhraidh is earraich,
‘S mi nach leigeadh mo leannan
Le balach gun strì.

Nam bithinn-s’ an làmh riut
Nuair thug thu do làmh dhith,
‘S ann a dh’fhaodadh do chàirdean
Dhol a charadh do chinn.

Nuair a ràinig mi dhachaidh,
Bha mo mhàthair ‘na cadal,
‘S bha m’ athair a’ spealadh
Muigh air machair a’ mhaoir.

I’ve heard that the tune might have been composed by the singer Kitty MacLeod, in the 20th century, to fit Calum’s words.

Calum Sgaire

There are two further recordings that I am aware of this tune, Mairi McInnes in the Gaelic Women album and Donnie Munro (former Runrig lead singer) in best of Donnie Munro.

Indeed. Donnie’s version first appeared on "Fields of the Young", as far as I remember.

Also recorded by Rachel Walker on "Bràighe Loch Iall", and Christine Primrose, Maeve MacKinnon and probably others.