Mairi Laghach (Winsome Mary)
DESCRIPTION: Gaelic: The chorus says the mountains, fountains, dewy dells, and snowy blossoms are sweet but "sweeter is young Mary of Glensmole to me." The singer fantasizes about roving with Mary through the woods. He would scorn wealth rather than give her up.
AUTHOR: John Macdonald (1766-1865) (tune: Lachlan M'Kenzie) (source: _The Celtic Monthly_)
EARLIEST DATE: 1899 (Macdonald, "Mairi Laghach. Winsome Mary," _The Celtic Monthly_)
KEYWORDS: foreignlanguage love nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
GreigDuncan7 1331, "Winsome Mary" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: K.N. Macdonald, "Mairi Laghach. Winsome Mary," _The Celtic Monthly_, vol VII 1899, pp. 8-9 (1 text plus 2 translations into English) (can be seen at the Am Baile highland history and culture site)
Kenneth Norman MacDonald, "The Gesto Collection of Highland Music," 1895 (reprinted 1997 by Llanerch Publishers), p. 23, "Mairi Laghach" (1 Gaelic text, 1 tune)
NOTES: The GreigDuncan7 text is the chorus of the translation by D Macpherson. The description is based on this translation from The Celtic Monthly which states that "it is more poetical, but not so near the original as Evan MacColl's" (also in The Celtic Monthly).
The MacColl translation description: The singer says he has often been with Mary and "there seemed 'neath heaven No such loving two!" He would prize her as his bride "far more Than all the treasure Europe has in store" He describes her beauty. The birds singing to them gives them more pleasure than artful music.
Macdonald in The Celtic Monthly says that John Macdonald wrote the song after he saw Mary Mciver (1786-1869), his future wife, for the first time, when she was twelve. - BS
On the oither hand, the Gesto collection says the words are by Mr. McKenzie of MonkCastle. Of course, they may be different words.... - RBW
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