MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Banais MhicPhail
(MacPhail's Wedding)

Alex MacKinnon CB 1 Tape 3 Track 6
Lake Ainslie Audio:
Village Verse


'S tha làn an àireamh bhon a rinn MacPhàil a bhànais
Fhuair te leagadh allils a bhàr-rum, fhuair dha na càirdean drama
Saolaidh mi gu robh iad gorach tòiseachadh air stròiceadh tighe
Air son balach 's gillean òga 'bhi tighinn comhla 's dol a laighidh.

Ged a bha charaid ud aosda, saolaidh mi gun robh iad gòrach
Tòiseachadh air siabhadh riadhan air an raon ri oidhche reòdhta
Ged nach robh ann ach faoineas dh'fhaodadh iad rud chuir far doigheal
A chumail gun sliochd a shaoghal thon a mhnaoi a rinn e phòsadh.

'S nuair a dh'èirich Ceitag Dhùghal gu robh flù air chuir an àireamh
Chuir i 's thug i sùil air fear na h-àireamh
Bha Sandaidh Ingulaidh rùisgte, 's tìr aig air a ghàirear
'S a sealladh a fhuair a sùilean, gum bidh sùnnd oirre gu bràth.

'S ged dheanain duanag do dh'òran, gur e spore a th'air m'ìnntinn
Tòisichidh mi air moladh Flòiridh thon a thàinig i dhan tìr seo
Saolaidh mi gu robh i gòrach a dhol far doigheach na h-ìnntinn
Air son balaibh 's gillean òg bhi deanamh spòrs do shiabhadh riadhan.

'S nuair gheibh i eòlas 'san nabachd chan fhàgadh i air duais e
Daoine coimhneil, crìtheil, càirdeil a tàmh 's gach àite mun cuairt dhith
Nuair gheibh i eolas air pairt dhiubh, gum bidh chuis nas fheàrr an uair sin
'S bidh i cho sona ri ban-righ fhad's a bhios MacPhàil ri gualainn.


It's to record, since MacPhail got married
He was knocked down in the bar, the friends had given him a drink
I think they were very foolish starting to tear down a house
Because of a youth and a little boy coming together to sleep.

Though that couple was old, I think they were foolish
Starting on swathes (of hay) in the field on a frosty night
Though it was only vanity, they could have thought of something
To keep his offspring, for the sake of the wife he married.

When Katie, Dugald's daughter got up,
It was rumoured she put..... and looked at the story teller
Sandy Ingulay was naked, with a new on the fire guard
And the sight that met her eyes will keep her happy for ever

Though I should compose a little verse, it is fun I have in mind
I shall start to praise Flora, since she came to this land
I think she was vary foolish to be so displeased
Because of the young men and boys making fun of binding swathes.

And when she gets to know the neighbourhood, she would not leave it for any price
Kind, happy, friendly people living all around her
When she gets to know some of them, things will improve
And she will be as happy as a queen, as long as MacPhail is at her side.


This is a humorous song about a man in the community who married at a rather advanced age. He married a woman by the name of Flora, who had just arrived from Scotland and was somewhat unhappy with the villager’s comical antics. The song also mentions the courtship tradition of bundling or binding. Once a couple had gotten to know each other, the girl’s family permitted the young man to sleep in her bed providing that the couple were each bundled tightly in separate blankets. The blankets would then be sewn tightly around the body. Torn stitches were a sure sign that the couple had “misbehaved” during the night.

This song which Leach refers to in his notes as “The Wedding Song,” was composed by Alex MacKinnon’s grandfather.

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