Mudcat Café message #1060723 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48865   Message #1060723
Posted By: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
25-Nov-03 - 02:20 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy: The Dark Island
Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
Willie, there never really WAS a Dark Island. That's what all the information to date is about. Alan's been informing us of the status of the song "Dark Island"'s origins. His father Stewart, wrote the first version, before the version Mr. Silver made popular via the TV show, Dark Island.

From a paper table-mat a friend brought back for me from the Dark Island Hotel in Benbecula, you can read a bit about the Gaelic versions of the song. The first paragraph is taken from the introduction to the song.

Eilean Dorcha

Hope that helps, Willie.


Eilean Dorcha - Dark Island
Faclan le David Silver

The island of Benbecula was the inspiration for the emotive song The Dark Island. Written by David Silver of Inverness, the musician - journalist, who wrote the words, and was asked to write a song for a BBC Thriller called "The Dark Island", filmed here in Benbecula. He reveals how the quiet, lonely place was in mind for the number, and the words were set to music by the accomplished accordionist Ian Maclachlan from Creagorry. The tune has become a classic since it was first sung in 1963. There are more than 50 different recordings by Scot's, among them; Ann-Lorne Gillis, Peter Morrison and Kenneth Mackellar although fittingly the recording which gets most airing on radio is by Silver/Maclachlan on accordion.

The Dark Island Hotel opened on June 30th, 1981 originally for many years a small restaurant. This transformation developed through the years to its present 4 crown, Taste of Scotland, Les Routier status.

Why not read through the Dark Island words and reflect on the writers lyrics as follows:


1 Away to the west ward I'm longing to be,
Where the beauties of heaven unfold by the sea
Where the sweet purple heather blooms fragrant and free
On a hilltop high above - The Dark Island

Chorus Oh, isle of my childhood, I'm dreaming of thee,
As the steamer leaves Oban and passes Tiree
Soon I'll capture the magic that lingers for me
When I'm back once more upon - The Dark Island

2 So Gentle the sea breeze that ripples the bay
Where the stream joins the ocean and young children play
On the strand of pure silver I'll welcome each day
And I'll roam forever more - The Dark Island

3 True Gems of the Hebrides bathed in the light
Of the mid-summer dawning that follows the night
How I yearn for the cries of the seagull in flight
As they circle high above - The Dark Island

In Gaelic:

1 Air mo thùrus do'n iar 's ann bu mhiannach a bhi
Far bheil àilleachd nan Néimh dol fo sgéith 'sa chuan sios
Fraoch dearg 's e fo bhlàth fàile cùbhraidh cho saor
Air a' bheinn ud is àird 'san Eilean Dorcha

1-alt An mo thùras don iar 's leam bu mhiannach a bhi
Far bheil àilleachd nan eathar dol fo sgéith sa chuan sios,
Creag Dhearg 's e fo bhlàth faileadh cùbhraidh cho saor
Air a' bheinn ud as àird 'san Eilean Dorcha.


Séist Eilean òige mo ghràidh 's tu tha tàladh mo chridh'
Is mi seòladh bhon Obain 's a dol seachad Tiridh,
Bi mi glacadh a dh'aithghearr gach mais a tha 'gam dhith
'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

Alt Eilean òige mo ghràidh 's tu tha tàladh mo chridh'
'S mi seòladh bhon Obain gu eilean bòidheach Thiridh,
Bi mi glacadh air oidhche gach mais a tha 'gam dhith
'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

2 Gaoth na mara cho séimh séideach reidh staigh don bhaigh
Far bheil sruth dol don chuan clann suaimhneach le'n gàir',
Air an traigh gheal mar airgead bi mi falbh oirr' gach là

'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

3 Fior àilleagan e measg gach cearn 'san taobh siar
Anns a mhoch mhaduinn thràth 's e ri dearrsadh 'sa ghrian:
Eòin na mara ri seinn 'sa toirt sòlas dom' chridh'
'S iad ag itealachd gu h-àrd 'san Eilean Dorcha.

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 91 12:30:15 EST
From: Craig Cockburn
Subject: An t-Eilean Dorcha / The Dark Island

Here are the Gaelic words to 'The Dark Island', this translation done by Iain Aonghas MacLeòid (John Angus Macleod). John Angus won the bardic crown at the Mod in Stirling in 1971 and this is taken from his book: Na Freumhan Thug Dhomh Cothrom Fàs. The book also contains Gaelic versions of Flower of Scotland, The first time I ever saw your face, A red red rose, Bridge over Troubled water, Mull of Kintyre, Isle of Arran as well as many others he has written himself. He's said it's OK for me to post this here.

An t-Eilean Dorcha

Air taobh thall a' chuain seo bu mhiann leam bhith 'n dràsd',
far eil smuaintean an àit' ud gham tharraing gach là,
far eil fraoch cùbhraidh àlainn air beanntan a' fàs
tha dìreadh àrd, àrd os cionn an Eilean Dhorcha.

Sèisd (chorus)

O Eilein bhig m'òige, 's ann riut tha mo mhiann,
sinn a' fàgail tìr-mòr 's a' cur cùrs' chun an Iar;
gheibh mi sòlas an anam nach d'fhairich mi riamh
on a' chiad latha dh'fhàg mi 'n t-Eilean Dorcha.

On chuan thig an oiteag cho socair don òb,
a' cur fàilt' air an allt ruith gu tràigh bhuidhe òir,
far an cluinn mi gach là aighear 's gàir' aig clann òg -
's e mo bhòid a chaoidh nach fhag mi 'n t-Eilean Dorcha.

O sheud Innse Gall, tha thu sealltainn do luach
ri boillsgeadh grèin samhraidh chuir oidhche gu ruaing;
's truagh nach robh mi mar fhaoileig a' saor-shiubhal cuain -
gura luath bhithinn taobh ri m'Eilean Dorcha.

(c) John Angus Macleod 1989

John Angus also runs the Gàidhlig aig deas group - Scottish Gaelic in the south. For more info on GAD or a copy of any of his books, you can contact him at:
 
5 Berkeley Crescent,
Lydney, Gloucestershire,
GL15 5SH.
 
If you do write to him, it would be useful if you could mention my name - I'm trying to persuade John Angus to get onto the computer network and this might be an interesting exercise in showing him the value of being on the network when it comes to spreading Gaelic news.