Folk Notes 6 - Eriskay Love Lilt


Eriskay (Scottish Gaelic: Èirisgeigh, pronounced [ˈeɾʲiʃkʲej]), from the Old Norse for "Eric's Isle", is an island and community council area of the Outer Hebrides in northern Scotland. It lies between South Uist and Barra and is connected to South Uist by a causeway which was opened in 2001. In the same year Eriskay became the ferry terminal for travelling between South Uist and Barra. The Caledonian MacBrayne vehicular ferry travels between Ceann a' Ghàraidh in Eriskay and Ardmore in Barra. The crossing takes around 40 minutes.

Eriskay Love Lilt

Vair me oro van o Vair me oro van ee Vair me oru o ho Sad am I without thee When I'm lonely dear white heart Black the night or wild the sea By love's light my foot finds The old pathway to thee Vair me oro van o Vair me oro van ee Vair me oru o ho Sad am I without thee Thou'rt the music of my heart Harp of joy oh cruit mo chridh 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.

Vair me oro van o Vair me oro van ee Vair me oru o ho Sad am I without thee

This is a traditional song and therefore has no particular artist associated with it. It is believed to have originated in Scotland but was first written down and published by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser after she visited the island in 1905 to record traditional Hebridean songs and folklore.

©Jeff Guess 2017

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