Oran na Birlinn
is Gaelic and literally means "Song of the Boat" whereby a birlinn is Hebridean boat, similar in form but smaller than a Viking longboat. It is a beautiful, haunting health-drinking song which I came across in School Songs from the Hebrides
. It was a great pleasure to sing this song with English verses by Kenneth MacLeod here together with the
The Crown & Anchor Taverners
when recording it with Dr. Oliver Rosteck in April, 2007. Processional in nature, leading and following measures may the sung in solemn chords suggesting the drones of a bagpipe. The Hebridean lyrics are as follows:
S'fhada bhuam a chi mi an ceo, Chi mi Muile nam beann mor, ho la bhi o, ho rionn io.
Chi mi'n tàit an robh mi og, Chi mi'n druchd air bharr an fheoir, ho la bhi o, ho rionn io.
Beannachd air na gaolaich bheo, Beannachd air gach aon fo'n fhoid, ho la bhi o, ho rionn io.