Happy Scottish Easter!

Apr 5, 2015 by

Happy Scottish Easter!

The Highland Easter coos from the Isle of Skye are here to wish you A’ Chàisg sona, Easter greetings in Gàidhlig.

Happy Scottish easter in Gailidgh

Happy Scottish Easter from the Highland Easter Coos! Original Image via Bing



Madainn Th’air Eirigh (Morning has Broken), a Scottish Hymn for your Easter Sunday:

The words of this beautiful hymn were penned by Eleanor Farjeon in 1931, using a traditional Scottish Highlands melody known as “Bunessan“–the link takes you to a lovely harp version of the tune.  Although Morning Has Broken was made enormously popular by Cat Stevens in 1972, he did not write it. In fact, the hymn was published in 1931 in the hymnal “Songs of Praise”, and also published as a poem called “A Morning Song (for the First Day of Spring)” in a children’s poetry book published by Oxford University Press in 1957.

Happy scottish easter

The small village of Bunessan, on the Isle of Mull. Image by denisbin via Flickr

Bunessan is a small village on the Isle of Mull. Mary M. Macdonald (1789–1872), who lived in the nearby crofting community of Ardtun and who spoke only Gaelic, wrote her hymn “Leanabh an Aigh” to a traditional melody. When the words were later translated into English, the melody was named after the village by the translator, Lachlan Macbean. A monument to Mary Macdonald can be seen near the village, on the road towards Craignure, just after the Knockan crossroads. The ruins of the house she lived in are also nearby.

Sometime before 1927, Alexander Fraser heard the melody in the Scottish Highlands and wrote it down so that it came to the attention of Percy Dearmer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Martin Shaw. In turn, these editors of the hymnbook “Songs of Praise” requested Eleanor Farjeon to write a further hymn text to the tune.

Gàidhlig lyrics:

Madainn th’ air èirigh mar a’ chiad mhadainn,
Lòn-dubh ag èigheach mar a’ chiad eun.
Taing airson ceòlraidh is solas na maidne;
Taing son gach aon nì thig bho ar Dia.

Milis an ùr-fhras deàrrsadh sna speuran,
Mar an drùchd cùbhraidh air an fheur ùr;,
Taing airson mìlseachd dealtachd a’ ghàrraidh,
‘G èirigh mar spìosraidh far an tèid Thu.

Solas na grèine, solas na maidne,
‘S leam-sa gach solas bho thoiseach an t-saoghail;
Seinnibh le aoibhneas, molaibh gach madainn;
Dia ag ath-ghintinn gach latha as ùr..

English lyrics:

Morning has broken like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rains new fall sunlit from Heaven,
Like the first dewfall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
Born of the one light Eden saw play.
Praise with elation! Praise every morning
God’s re-creation of the new day.

A’ Chàisg sona!

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