Frances Mathews (1944-2007)

Scottish, Gaelic and other songs

Recorded by her father Robert Dundas Mathews (1905-1984) c. 1963

To download MP3 files (in Windows), right-click and "save target as".

Email with any comments or questions.

I Know Where I'm Going [lyric; MP3 file]

Dream Valley (William Blake) [lyric; MP3 file]

I will make you Brooches (R.L. Stevenson) [lyric; MP3 file]

My Nanie's Awa (Robert Burns) [lyric; MP3 file]

John Anderson My Jo (Robert Burns) [lyric; MP3 file]

 Peat-Fire Flame (Far away and o'er the Moor) [lyric; MP3 file]

 My Ain Folk [lyric; MP3 file]

Loch Lomond (By Yon Bonnie Banks) [lyric; MP3 file]

The Holy City (Last night I lay a-sleeping) [lyric; MP3 file]

Recording cuts off before the end






(Google Translate used for some of the translations - as will be evident!)


Dh' Éirich Mi Moch Madainn Chéitein (I Arose Early on a May Morning) [lyric/translation; mp3 file]

Mo Ghleannan Taobh Loch Lìobhainn (My little valley by Loch Leven) [lyric/translation; mp3 file]

Taladh Eirisgeach (An Eriskay Lullaby) [lyric/translation; mp3 file]

Bothan an Fhuarain (Fountain Cottage) [lyric/translation; mp3 file]

Toirt M' aghaidh ri Diùra (Facing Jura - radio broadcast) [lyric/translation; mp3 file]

{Gaelic song 3} [mp3 file]

{Gaelic song 4} [mp3 file]






I Know Where I'm Going

(Folk song)


I know where I'm going
And I know who's going with me
I know who I love
But the dear knows who I'll marry.

I have stockings of silk
Shoes of fine green leather
Combs to buckle my hair
And a ring for every finger.

Some say he's black
But I say he's bonnie
The fairest of them all
My handsome winsome Johnny.

Feather beds are soft
And painted rooms are bonnie
But I would leave them all
To go with my love Johnny.

I know where I'm going
And I know who's going with me
I know who I love
But the dear knows who I'll marry.

euphemism for "de'il" (= devil)




Dream Valley
(William Blake)

Memory, hither come
And tune your merry notes;
And while upon the wind
Your music floats,
I'll pore upon the stream,
Where sighing lovers dream,
And fish for fancies as they pass
Within the watery glass.

I'll drink of the clear stream,
And hear the linnet's song,
And there I'll lie and dream
The day along;
And when night comes I'll go
To places fit for woe,
Walking along the darkened valley,
With silent melancholy.


I Will Make You Brooches
R.L. Stevenson

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.


My Nanie's Awa'

(Robert Burns)


Now in her green mantle blythe Nature arrays,
And listens the lambkins that bleat o'er her braes;
While birds warble welcomes in ilka green shaw,
But to me it's delightless - my Nanie's awa.

The snawdrap and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violets bathe in the weet o' the morn;
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw,
They mind me o' Nanie - and Nanie's awa.

Come Autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and grey,
And soothe me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay:
The dark, dreary Winter, and wild-driving snaw
Alane can delight me - now Nanie's awa.



John Anderson, My Jo
(Robert Burns)

John Anderson, my jo, John,
When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonnie brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my jo!

John Anderson, my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither;
And monie a canty day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson, my jo.

Gloss: jo = sweetheart; brent = smooth, unwrinkled;

beld = bald; pow = pate; canty = cheerful.


Peat-Fire Flame
K. MacLeod)

Far away and o'er the moor,
Far away and o'er the moor,
Morar waits for a boat that saileth,
Far away down Lowland way,
I dream the dream I learned, lad.

By the light o' the peat-fire flame,
Light for love, for lit, for laughter,
By the light o' the peat-fire flame,
The light the hill-folk yearn for.

Far away, down Lowland way,
Far away, down Lowland way,
Grim's the toil, without tune or dream, lad,
All you need's a creel and love,
For the dream the heart can weave, lad.


Far away and o'er the moor,
Far away the tramp and tread,
Tune and laughter of all the heroes,
Pulls me onward o'er the trail
Of the dream my heart may weave, lad,




My Ain Folk
(Wilfred Mills)

Far frae my hame I wander, but still my thoughts return
To my ain folk ower yonder, in the shieling by the burn.
I see the cosy ingle, and the mist abune the brae:
And joy and sadness mingle, as I list some auld-warld lay.

And it's oh! but I'm longing for my ain folk,
Tho' they be but lowly, puir and plain folk:
I am far beyond the sea, but my heart will ever be
At hame in dear auld Scotland, wi' my ain folk.

O' their absent ane they're telling, the auld folk by the fire:
And I mark the swift tears welling, as the ruddy flame leaps high'r.
How the mither wad caress me, were I but by her side:
Now she prays that Heav'n will bless me, tho' the stormy seas divide.


Gloss: ain = own; shieling = hut used by people looking after animals high in the hills;

ingle = fireside; abune = above; brae = hillside; auld-warld = old world



Loch Lomond
(Old Scots Song)

By yon bonnie banks,
And by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,
Where me and my true love
Were ever want to gae,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Oh! ye'll take the high road and
I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love
Will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

'Twas then that we parted
In yon shady glen,
On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond,
Where in purple hue
The Highland hills we view,
And the moon coming out in the gloaming.


The wee birdies sing
And the wild flowers spring,
And in sunshine the waters are sleeping,
But the broken heart it kens
Nae second Spring again,
Tho' the waeful may cease frae their greeting.




The Holy City
(Frederick E. Weatherly)

Last night I lay a-sleeping
There came a dream so fair,
I stood in old Jerusalem
Beside the temple there.
I heard the children singing,
And ever as they sang
Methought the voice of angels
From heaven in answer rang.

Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Lift up your gates and sing,
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna to your King!

And then methought my dream was changed,
The streets no longer rang.
Hushed were the glad Hosannas
The little children sang.
The sun grew dark with mystery,
The morn was cold and chill,
As the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill.


And once again the scene was changed,
New earth there seemed to be.
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea.
The light of God was on its streets,
The gates were open wide,
And all who would might enter,
And no one was denied.
No need of moon or stars by night,
Or sun to shine by day;
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away.

[Recording cuts off here]




Dh' Éirich Mi Moch Madainn Chéitein  


Dh' éirich mi moch madainn Chéitein



Fail ill é hill ù hill ó
Hiuraibh ó na hó ro éile
Fail ill é hill ù hill ó

Mas moch an diugh bu mhuich' an dé e



'S binn a' chòisir rinn mi éisdeachd



Smeòraichean air bhàrr nan geugan



Uiseagan os cionn an t-sléibhe



'S bòidhche fhiamh 's a' ghrian ag éirigh



Madainn chiùin fo dhriùchd nan speuran


  I Arose Early On A May Morning


I arose early on a May morning


[Chorus - the words have no meaning]

Fail ill é hill ù hill ó
Hiuraibh ó na hó ro éile
Fail ill é hill ù hill ó

If it is early today it was earlier yesterday



Sweet is the choir that I listened to



Mavises [song thrushes] on the tops of the branches



Larks above the moor



Beautiful is the prospect with the sun rising



A mild morning under the dew of the heavens





Mo Ghleannan Taobh Loch Lìobhainn


O 's truagh nach robh mis' ann an gleannan mo ghaoil
Oir tha beannachadh Dhè agus sith ann
Tha na h-aibhnean 's na coilltean as bòidhch' air an t-saoghal
Ann an gleannan mo ghaoil taobh Loch Lìobhainn.

Fàile càbhraidh an fhraoich tigh'nn thar mullach nam beann
Agus chì thu'n damh ruadh air an fhrìth ann
'S ged shiùbhladh tu Alba chan fhaic thu aon ghleann
Tha cho boidheach rim' ghleann taobh Loch Lìobhainn.

Air an achadh bheag uain' chaidh lomadh le fàl
Bidh na gillean le'n camain a' strì ann
'S chan 'eil buidheann an siorramachd mhór EarraGhàidheal
Tha cho clis ris na suinn taobh Loch Lìobhainn.

Tha daoine cho coibhneil 's cho càirdeil 'sa ghleann
'S chan eil aobhar bhith dubhach no sgìth ann,
Ach cho fhad's a bhios Gàidhlig 'ga sgrìobhadh le peann
Bidh mi moladh mo ghleann taobh Loch Lìohainn.

My little valley by Loch Leven

It's a pity I'm not in the little valley I love,
for God's blessings and peace are there.
The rivers and woods are the most beautiful in the world
in the little glen I love by Loch Leven.

The fragrant scent of the heather coming over the tops of the hills,
and you'll see the red deer in the forest there
and even should you travel throughout Scotland you wouldn't see a single valley
that is as beautiful as my valley by Loch Leven.

On the little green field that was mown with a scythe
the lads will be competing there with their shinty sticks
and there isn't a team in the great county of Argyll
that is as agile as the men by Loch Leven.

The people are so kind and so friendly in the valley
that there's no reason to be sad or weary there;
and as long as Gaelic is being written with pens
I shall praise my valley by Loch Leven.




Taladh Eirisgeach


Horo lady bhig, horo eile,
Horo lady bhig, horo eile.
Horo lady bhig, horo eile,
A luidh biodh na stuadhan 'gad luasgadh gu braudar
Horo lady bhig, horo eile,
Horo lady bhig, horo eile,
Horo la, horo la.


[Lyric of later verses required]

An Eriskay Lullaby


Horo, lady wee, horo eile!

My babe, on a curling green wave,

Be thy cradling.

While the seagull and swan

For the curach are caring.

With his nets from the bay

Will thy father be faring.


Marjory Kennedy-Fraser


Horo eile - common chorus words of no meaning

Curach - a boat or coracle


(From Lullabies of Four Nations, arranged by Adelaide L.J. Gossett (1915))




Bothan an Fhuarain


'S e bothan beag an fhuarain
A ghluais an-diugh mo rann,
'S mi cuimhneach air gach suaimhneas
A mheal mi uairean ann;
Gam bhlianadh air na bruachan,
Mar bha mi am bhuachaille thall,
An eilean nam beann fuara,
Nan ruadh-chearc 's nan damh donn.

Tha fasgadh air bhon fhuar-ghaoith
A thig bhon tuath le srann,
An dìon an tomain uaine
'S luasganaich nan crann;
Bidh gàire an uillt am chluasan
'S e siubhal nuas an gleann,
Gu tormanach a' gluasad
Air slighe bhuan gun cheann.

Ach 's e mo chion am fuaran,
An deoch as uaisle th' ann
Na chaochan tighinn an uachdar
Bho aigeann fuar nam beann:
Gun òlainn làn na cuaich dheth
Gun tuaineal chur nam cheann
Ach 's meud mo spèis don chluain seo
Mo chèile suairc bhith ann.


Fountain Cottage


It is the small hut of the fountain

Today my verse moved,

I remember all the peace

Which I sometimes enjoyed there;

 Sunning me on the banks,

As I was the herdsman over there,

The island of cold mountains,

The red hens and the brown stags.


It is sheltered from the cold winds

Coming from the north with a snort,

The protection of the green mound

The trees sway;

The laughter of the stream burns in their ears

Travel is down the glen,

Rumblingly moving

On a lasting, endless path.


But my guilt is the fountain,

It is the noblest drink

The chaochan comes to the surface

From the cold depths of the mountains:

That I would drink the full cup of it

Without dizziness

But my respect for this field is great

My sweet partner being there.





Toirt M' aghaidh ri Diùra



O hiùraibh ì hiùraibh,
O hiùraibh ò gheallaidh,
Bheir mi hò na hò èile,
'S e bhith rèidh riut bu mhath leam.

Toirt m' aghaidh ri Diùra
'S mo chùl ri Port Ascaig,
Shil gu frasach mo shùilean,
'S gun mo dhùil ri tighinn dhachaigh.

Tha thu foghainteach làidir,
Tha thu tàbhachdach smearail,
Dol an èideadh a' Ghàidheil,
Air an tràigh bu tu 'm meangan.

Gaol peathar, gaol bràthar,
Gaol màthar, is athar,
An gaol a thug mi cha trèig mi
Gus an tèid mi san anart.


Facing Jura



Oh, hurry, hurry,

O ye heirs of promise,

I'll give him or her,

I want to get rid of you.


Facing Jura

With my back to Port Askaig,

My eyes rained profusely,

And with no intention of coming home.


You are mighty and strong,

You are important, smeared,

Going in Highland Dress,

On the beach you were in the middle.


Sister love, brotherly love,

Mother's and father's love,

The love I have given will not forsake me

Until I go in the linen.