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Eriskay Love Lilt by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser

Leggi in italiano

Diana Gabaldon

From “Drums of Autumn” of the Outlander saga written by Diana Gabaldon chapter 4.
In the future Roger sings many popular airs at the Celtic Festival in New England (Outlander Season 4, episode 3)
“He’d got them going with “The Road to the Isles,” a quick and lively clap-along song with a rousing chorus, and when they’d subsided from that, kept them going with “The Gallowa’ Hills” and a sweet slide into “The Lewis Bridal Song,” with a lovely, lilting chorus in Gaelic. He let the last note die away on “Vhair Me Oh,” and smiled, directly at her, she thought. ”
But in this point of the book we find an error because with the title “The Lewis Bridal Song” we mean the Marie’s Wedding, while the song to which Gabaldon refers (English text and refrain in Gaelic “Vair me o, ro van o”) is” Eriskay Love Lilt “!

It was Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser who popularized this sweet melody that she heard during her vacation on the island of Eriskay : “Bheir mi ò” (aka “Gradh Geal Mo Chridhe”) a song in Scottish Gaelic with a very sweet slow air; Marjorie arranged the melody and added a text in English (always from the pen of the rev. Kenneth MacLeod) titling Eriskay Love Lilt.

Judith Durham & The Seekers  ‘The Seekers At Home’ TV special (1967)

Siobhan Owen 

Alfred Deller 

Which woman would not want to hear so sweet verses?

Vair me o, ro van o (1)
Vair me o ro ven ee,
Vair me o ru o ho
Sad I am without thee.
When I’m lonely, dear white heart (2),
Black the night and wild the sea;
by love’s light my foot finds
The old pathway to thee.
Thou’rt the music of my heart,
Harp of joy, o cruit mo chridh'(3),
Moon of guidance by night,
Strength and light thou’rt to me
In the morning, when I go
To the white and shining sea,
In the calling of the seals
Thy soft calling to me.

1) no meanings only sounds
2)  a good, honest and generous person.
3) from scottish gaelic “harp of my heart”


Eriskay  from the Old Norse for “Eric’s Isle”, is a small island of the Outer Hebrides. It is a rocky island connected to the largest South Uist island by a causeway: white beaches, crystal clear waters, seals and dolphins, hawks, buzzards, breathtaking views!


A poem of remote lives:  Werner Kissling 1934
So you understand how music is an integral part of the harsh rural life of the past: a collective work acquired from a centuries-old experience and in balance with the earth, underlined by the traditional songs!!

Pubblicato da Cattia Salto

folklorista delle Terre Celtiche

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