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Personal Choice 10

The first song I learned as a very young child at Blair Athol Primary School and later performed at the Adelaide Town Hall as part of the ‘Hundred Voice Children's Choir’ in the early 1950s. Just an exquisite poem of love and separation with a haunting, tender, passionate musical score. What wasn’t there to love as a child more than words and music?

Eriskay Love Lilt

Traditional: from the Hebrides Islands

When I'm lonely, dear white heart,

Black the night and wild the sea;

By love's light my foot finds

The old pathway to thee.


Vair me o, ro van o

Vair me o ro ven ee,

Vair me o ru o ho

Sad I am without thee.

Thou'rt the music of my heart,

Harp of joy, o cuit 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.

A traditional Gaelic folk song Gràdh Geal Mo Chridh collected from the singing of Mary MacInnes on the isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, whose piano arrangement modified the tune a little. She also added this English lyric. It was published by Boosey & Co in Volume 1 of ‘Songs of the Hebrides and Other Celtic Songs from the Highlands of Scotland’ by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Kenneth MacLeod in 1909.


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