Updated 6/10/2015 – Outlander Episode 209 – Je Suis Prest – All the Gàidhlig Bits I Could Decipher

What a beautiful episode! The Scottish scenery was breathtaking as always, but for me, what truly added another dimension to this episode was the spectacular score by Bear McCreary. The haunting songs, some familiar and some new, really brought home to me to reality of the task Jamie and Claire were taking on.  And in terms of Gaelic, almost all the Gaelic this episode was in the music other than a few stray Sassenach and Mo nighean donn endearments. (If I’ve missed something else in the dialog, let me know!)  Therefore, this post is going to concentrate on the lyrics and background of the Gaelic songs used by Bear McCreary this week.

Edit: someone did point out that there was a new Gaelic phrase that Jamie used with the men at one point. I believe that is ‘a’ mhór-fhaiche’ (the great field), one of the Fraser battle cries.

Further edit: Here are more details on the other Gaelic words/phrases used this week. Thanks to all those who pointed them out while I was so taken with the music.😉

17:28 Jamie to the marching men

Stadaibh! – Stop!

20:07 Jamie and the men give the Fraser battle cry

a’ mhór-fhaiche – Fraser Battle cry that roughly translates to ‘the great field’. Prounounced /ə VORE EYEch/

20:12 Dougal and the MacKenzies

Tulach Ard – MacKenszie battle cry that translates to ‘the high hill’.

26:58 Jamie to one of the men

a-rithist – again

38:22 Jamie to Claire

Mo nighean donn – My brown-haired lass

49:53 Jamie as Dougal leaves

siud – that/yes

I should note that I had some help in gathering this information from Bear’s tweet, as well as from CompuServe member AlexL who tracked down a lot of this information and was happy for me to share it!

An Fhìdeag Airgid

Many of you may recognize this as song used in season one of Outlander and sung by Gwyllyn the Bard (played by Gillebrìde MacMillan) in episode 103 – Rent. You can find that version, which does not contain any reference to the Prince, on volume 2 of the season 1 Outlander soundtrack, also available on Spotify.


Lyrics: English Translation:
Co a sheinneas an fhideag airigid Who will play the silver whistle?
Sèist: Chorus (after each verse):
Ho ro hu a hu il o Ho ro hu a hu il o
Hi ri hu o, hi ri hu o Hi ri hu o, hi ri hu o
Mac mo righ air tighinn a dh’Alba Since the son of my king has come to Scotland
Air lang mhar nar tri chrann airgid On a great ship with three masts of silver
Air long riomhach nam ball airgid On the handsome vessel with the silver rigging
Tearlach og nan gorm shuil mealach Young Charles with the blue bewitching eyes
Failte, failte mian is clui dhuit Welcome, welcome, may you be desired and famous
Fidhleireachd is ragha a’uil dhuit May there be fiddling and the choicest music before you
Co a sheinneadh? Nach seinninn fhin i? Who’d play it? Who’d say that I’d not play it myself?
Co a sheinneas an fhideag airigid Who will play the silver whistle?
Source: http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/matheson/anfhideag.htm

Moch sa mhadainn ’s mi dùsgadh (also called Oran Eile Don Phrionnsa – Song to the Prince)

This is the haunting song that is played during the drill scenes and at the end on the approach to the Prince’s camp to such devastating effect. This is what Bear had to say on Twitter:



I have had the pleasure of hearing Griogair Labhruidh perform live and he is a brilliant musician. I can also definitely say that I will be pre-ordering the Outlander season 2 soundtrack as soon as it is available based solely upon my desire to have this one song alone.

Lyrics: English Translation:
Sèist: Chorus (after each verse):
Thug ho-o, laithill ho-o Thug ho-o, laithill ho-o
Thug o-ho-ro an aill libh Thug o-ho-ro an aill libh
Thug ho-o, laithill ho-o Thug ho-o, laithill ho-o
Seinn o-ho-ro an aill libh Seinn o-ho-ro an aill libh
Och ‘sa mhaduinn’s mi dusgadh Early as I awaken
‘S mor mo shunnd’s mo cheol-gaire Great my joy, loud my laughter
O’n a chuala mi ‘m Prionnsa Since I heard that the Prince comes
Thighinn do dhuthaich Chlann Ra’ill To the land of Clanranald
O’n a chuala mi ‘m Prionnsa Since I heard that the Prince comes
Thighinn do dhuthaich Chlann Ra’ill To the land of Clanranald
Grainne mullaich gach righ thu Thou art the choicest of all rulers
Slan gum pill thusa, Thearlaich Here’s a health to thy returning
Grainne mullaich gach righ thu Thou art the choicest of all rulers
Slan gum pill thusa, Thearlaich Here’s a health to thy returning
‘S ann th ‘n fhior-fhuil gun truailleadh His the royal blood unmingled
Anns a ghruadh is mor-naire Great the modesty in his visage
‘S ann th ‘n fhior-fhuil gun truailleadh His the royal blood unmingled
Anns a ghruadh is mor-naire Great the modesty in his visage
Mar ri barrachd na h-uaisle With nobility overflowing
‘G eirigh suas le deagh-nadur And endowed with all good nature
Mar ri barrachd na h-uaisle With nobility overflowing
‘G eirigh suas le deagh-nadur And endowed with all good nature
Us nan tigeadh tu rithist And shouldst thou return ever
Bhiodh gach tighearn’ ‘n aite At his post would be each laird
Source: http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/capercaillie/oraneile.htm

When researching this song, I stumbled across a fascinating video about the author of the original poetry the song is based upon.   The dialogue in the video is in Gaelic but a written English translation is available on the LearnGaelic web site. I find seeing the Gaelic and English transcription as I’m watching to be an excellent way to learn Gaelic words and sounds.


I hope you enjoy this look behind two of the Gaelic songs used to such effect by Bear McCreary this week!

Tara Rankin and Àdhamh

GreatScot! Travels, Tunes and Tales – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 9


Well, hello again! You may have noticed but I took a day off. Kind of used Thursday as a bit of a rest day before gearing up for the last 10 days of the trip. I just drove up to Pitlochry for lunch with my friend Susan. She had just come off a long tour and was getting ready to head out again, but there was no way I was going to miss some time to chat and catch up, even if she is much in demand as a blue-badge tour guide for Eyes on Scotland and Outlander Tours!

After that, it was back to Glasgow for dinner with Maggie (and there might have been a glass or two of wine involved). Then it was just one more sleep until Ginger and Summer arrive and the mad rush of Outlander touring begins.

Friday morning, I packed up my stuff in preparation for our relocation north, and then it was FINALLY time to head to the airport. It was then that I discovered that a flight from Dublin is not considered an international flight. (I wonder how the Irish feel about that!) I quickly relocated from international arrivals to the Starbucks across from domestic arrivals. Seeing that no green tea was available, I bought some water and settled in to wait.

Once they arrived, we hopped in the car to head back into Glasgow for the night. However, it is bank holiday weekend in the UK and I have to say that the traffic on holiday weekend Friday in Glasgow has much in common with Atlanta. Eventually, thought, we passed the stalled car and things cleared up. At the hotel, the girls took a quick shower (OK. Summer insists hers was sexier than that, not that G and I were watching) and then it was time for dinner.

Based on my experience last time in Glasgow, I had booked us a table at Mother India in the West End. As last time, the food was fantastic. We started with vegetable pakora and then Ginger had a paneer dish, Summer had Chicken Tikka and I had lamb with leeks. (Yes, Mom. The lambs are still cute, but someone told me they are as large as their mothers by the time they are food.)

Dinner complete, we headed just down the street to our final event for the day. And when I say final, I mean I knew we would be there until tomorrow. An Gealbhan never ends early. As we approached the Argyll hotel, a familiar figure came into view. Many hugs and greetings with exchanged with Àdhamh Ó Broin, our host for the evening. He explained that things might be a bit more chaotic than usual as the Sutherlands Bar was without a bartender for the evening! Shock…horror….a Gaelic evening without whisky would be a tragedy. Luckily, Àdhamh is multi-talented and was able to man the bar until help arrived.

As a special treat, Àdhamh had arranged for a couple of special guests for the evening. So after kicking off with a song of his own, he introduced the lovely and talented Tara Rankin who favored us with some Gaelic songs a capella, as well as some Cape Breton tunes played on the piano. I’ve been friends with Tara (and the rest of her family) for many years and I took the opportunity to deliver a hug from her Mom as requested. Later in the evening, we were also treated to a talk on Scottish weaponry by a friend of Àdhamh’s, Allan Sutherland. I have some longer videos that I will edit and post when I get back home.

We rounded out the night with some fabulous Gaelic stories. And no…I don’t think any of the Cape Breton ones had a happy ending. I think Tara was amused by how my face lit up every time I recognized a Gaelic word. It was twice as amusing to hear Tara and Àdhamh translate for each other. I’m pretty sure she picked up some new words.

Eventually though, it was time to call the night to an end. Our new friend Asifa gave us a lift back to the hotel so that we didn’t have to find a taxi in the West End after midnight and it was greatly appreciated. Back at the hotel, we all collapsed into bed to refresh ourselves for the next day’s adventure.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!


Outlander Season 1A Episodes 101-108 Gàidhlig Roundup

With Outlander launching on Amazon UK Prime Instant Video this week, I thought it might be a good time to have a post that consolidates the links to all of the episode posts I did deciphering a bit of the Gaelic from each episode.

Episode 101 – Sassenach – http://wp.me/p4jvVh-li

Episode 101 – Sassenach Follow-up – https://greatscotblog.com/2014/08/11/outlander-episode-101-more-gaidhlig-bits/

Episode 102 – Castle Leoch http://wp.me/p4jvVh-ms

Episode 103 – The Way Out http://wp.me/p4jvVh-mI

Episode 104 – The Gathering http://wp.me/p4jvVh-n8

Episode 105 – Rent http://wp.me/p4jvVh-nA

Episode 106 – The Garrison Commander http://wp.me/p4jvVh-nW

Episode 107 – The Wedding http://wp.me/p4jvVh-o8

Episode 108 – Both Sides Now http://wp.me/p4jvVh-ow

I hope this helps those new to the series!  And for those who have been following all along, don’t worry! I’ll be continuing my attempts at translation into the second half of the season as well!


Ending on a high note – will ye no come back again? – Scotland Day 15

Awoke early on my final day in Scotland as I just didn’t want to miss anything. I also made a start at figuring out just how I’m going to get everything back in my suitcase. With one suitcase packed, I called it a good beginning and resolved to worry about the rest later.

Candida and I headed out on a final day of visiting Outlander filming sites, not feeling in the least guilty that we hand tempted Miss S. to join us once again. We arrive at our designated meeting place at Linlithgow Palace in good time only to find the car park and street overflowing with cars. Turns out that there was a funeral at the church just adjacent to the Palace. We backtracked and found a spot at a pay and display lot and then walked back up the hill to the Palace.

Found our compatriot with no problems, purchased our tickets and ….within minutes lost Candida in the myriad nooks and crannies available in Linlithgow. S and I just caught a glimpse of her every now and then. Eventually we just grabbed a seat in the courtyard and waited for her to reappear as she always does.

After exploring the Palace, we were feeling distinctly peckish, so we headed down into the town in search of lunch serenaded by the skirl of a bagpiper playing on the hill. We decided that only fish ‘n chips by the loch would do for this final day of fun, so we placed our orders and carried our bounty down to a picnic table by the water. It was very beautiful and peaceful, at least until we opened out boxes and took out the first chip. Then we were descended upon by dozens of birds. We proceeded to eat our lunches but the ratio of chips consumed by birds vs humans was at least 10 to 1. Continue reading

View over Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond

From singing in the pub to singing in the rain…Days 1 and 2 in Scotland

So last we spoke, I was sitting in the airport waiting to board a flight for Scotland. Let me assure you, this is absolutely the first moment I have been still yet awake in the last 48 hours. I hit the ground running in Glasgow about 1 pm local time yesterday and have only stopped for about 7 hours sleep since! Luckily jet lag doesn’t seem to be an issue. I guess adrenaline can counteract the effects of jet lag.

Let me start with some pre- and during travel photos.

Luckily I had no problems with my connection to Glasgow in Amsterdam. By 1:00 pm local time, I was on the ground in Glasgow. I picked a great time to have a non UK passport. The queue (that’s a line for you Americans) for non-UK was only about 10, while the UK passport line was easily almost 200. After zipping through immigration (thankfully I had the right answers to all the questions), I picked up my luggage and staggered, I mean made, my way to the International Arrivals area where Susan was waiting, quite literally, with open arms.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but how lucky are we that the Outlander fan community is filled with such wonderful and talented people? Susan and I have been online and Skype friends for only months, yet she made it her mission to help me plan to get the most out of my 16 days in Scotland. She patiently put up with my dithering and procrastinating over exactly what things were important to me and even reshuffled things again when it turned out that Candida was going to be able come over as well. It’s nice to have friends with skills and on only day 2, I can more than vouch for Susan’s abilities as a blue-badge tour guide and holiday planner. Continue reading