Mo Mhàthair waltz

Also known as Mo Vaka, My Mother.

There are 9 recordings of a tune by this name.

Mo Mhàthair has been added to 11 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: Mo Mhàthair
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj

Five comments

Mo Vaka (My Mother)

My first upload, I learnt this lovely waltz from my Dad, who sadly past away last year. Presume it must be a Shetland Waltz but can give no other information on it I’m afraid.
An accordionist, he played by ear so never had any sheet music for it.
Hope you enjoy it.

Mo Mhàthair

Composition of Neil MacLean (Niall MacIllEathain) the "Govan Bard" (Bàrd Bhaile Ghobhainn) who came originally from Tobermory, and lived from 1895-1962. This song was recorded by Calum Kennedy, and is often associated with him.
Possibly here already. There are simpler settings floating around.

I never thought I’d be linking to this!

Very much in the "Gaelic Waltz" idiom, not Shetland.

Mo Mhàthair

Thanks Weejie for the info. Quite new to this site.

It doesn’t seem to be here already, so you’ve found a well played tune that isn’t in the database.


Here are the lyrics and my translation:

Thoir mo shoraidh nunn thar chuantan
Gu mo mhàthair, ‘s fhada bhuam i;
Cha chùm astar mòr a’ chuain a gaol o m’ chridh’.
‘S i rinn m’ altram ‘s mi nam phàiste
‘S ann na gràdh a fhuair mi m’ àrach;
O, chan fhàillinnich gu bràth mo spèis-sa dhi.


Tha mo smuaintean oirr’ nam dhùsgadh;
Na mo chadal tha i dlùth dhomh;
Tha i daonnan air mo chùram anns gach nì.
‘S tha a pearsa aoigheil shunndach
Na mo shùilean fad na h-ùine;
‘S e bhith faighinn null d’ a h-ionnsaigh rùn mo chridh’.

Nuair a chuimhnicheas mi m’ òige
Is an gaol a thug i dhòmhsa,
Thig na deòir a ruith gu deònach bho mo chridh’.
Bidh a fair’ orm is a cùram
Nuair a bha mise nam naoidhean
Dùsgadh iarrtais bhith a cluinntinn fuaim a bil’.

Chì mi bothan ‘n glaic nan gleanntan,
Seasgair, sàmhach, blàth sa gheamhradh;
‘S tric a’ ruith mi cas-ruisgt’, ceann-ruisgt’ feadh na tìr.
‘S ma gheibh mise dhachaigh sàbhailt’
Dh’ionnsaigh ‘n tìr san d’fhuair mi m’ àrach,
Gheibh mi fàilte chridheil, chàirdeil ann is sìth.

Ged a tha i nis fàs aosda,
O, cha lughdaich siud mo ghaol-sa
Do ‘n tè ‘s gràdhaiche san t-saoghal mhòr rium fhìn.
‘S nuair a ruigeas mise broilleach
San robh mo cheann beag tric a’ falach,
Gheibh mi aoibhneas agus sonas ‘m blàths a cridh’.

Ged a tha mi seo air faondradh
Ann an tìr taobh thall an t-saoghail,
‘S ged tha cuantan sgaoilte eadar mise ‘s i.
‘S e mo dhùrachd a dhol dhachaigh
Gu mo mhàthair anns a’ chlachan
‘S a bhith ‘g ailleis bhith nam bhalach beag a-rìs.


Take my greetings there across the seas
To my mother far away
The long sea journey will not keep the love from my heart
It is she who nursed me as a child
And her love that I felt growing up;
Oh, my fondness for her will never fail.


My thoughts are on her when I wake;
When I sleep, she is near me;
She is always on my mind in everything I do.
And her joyful, loving face
Is in my eyes all of the time;
Getting nearer to her is the wish of my heart

When I remember my youth
And the love she gave to me,
The tears run freely from my heart
Her watching over me and caring for me
When I was an infant
Awakens the wish to hear the sound of her voice.

I will see the houses of the clearing in the glens
Cosy, quiet, warm in the winter;
Often I will run around barefooted and bareheaded.
And if I reach home safely
The land where I was raised
I will find a warm, friendly welcome, and peace.

Although she is now growing old,
Oh, my love will not lessen
For the one who is most lovely in the wide world to me.
And when I reach the bosom
That my little head would often be buried in,
I will find joy and peace in the warmth of her heart.

Although I am here on the road
In a land on the other side of the world,
And although there are seas scattered between me and her.
It is my longing to go home.
To my mother in the village
And enjoy being her little boy again.