MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

C'Àite an Diugh a Bheil mo DhÌlsean
(Where are my kinsmen today)

Hector and Alex MacKinnon CB 1 Tape 3 Track 8
Lake Ainslie Audio:
Homeland Song


C'àite 'n diugh a bheil mo dhìlsean
'S fhad' is cianail mi bho'm chàirdean
C'àite 'n diugh a bheil mo dhìlsean.

'S thug mi ruag a raoir am bruadar
Measg nam bruachan fritheach nàrach.

Bha mi'n duil gun d'rinn mi triall
Gu Amhainn Mheadhonach nan àrd bheann.

Mi a'leum am measg nan gearlaich
'S cha bhi gin ann cur…

Cnàmh a chaoidh ri rudh bha fuireach
Man a mhullach…

Gheibhte Dòmhnullaich an uair ud
Dh'am bu duallach a bhi bàigheil.

Gheibhte Caimbullaich mo rùin ann
Dh'am bu dùthchas Earra Ghàidheal

Na tha 'n diugh a'cnàmh fo'n fhoid dhiubh
Fath mo bhròin a bhi 'gan ireamh.

Nuair a chi mi geall air caochladh
Chi sinn luchd ar gaoil a dh'fhàg sinn.


Where are my kinsmen today
Sad am I far away from my friends
Where today are my kinsmen

Last night, in my dreams lIwandered
Along the banks and quiet moors

I thought that I had travelled
To Middle River of the high hills

I was leaping amongst the friends
There were none…

Decaying forever by a mound, who used to live
About the tops…

There were MacDonalds then
Who were kind in nature

My beloved Campbells were there
Whose native land was Argyll

The number of them who are in the grave today
What grieves me is that there are so many

When we see the promised change
We shall see our dear ones who left us.


This is a local composition that makes use of a much older chorus and tune (see "Tha mo Bheacan-sa Fo’n Dile" by Malcolm Angus MacLeod). The song is a tacit commentary on the great social change which has taken place in Cape Breton since the beginning of the 1900s, when thousands of islanders ventured away from home to seek employment. Consequently the ones who remained in the smaller, remote communities were often elderly and may have passed away within the composer’s lifetime. Scores of once thriving rural communities have all but disappeared as a result of depopulation. Although the poet does not go into detail about these changes in the song, he does refer to his neighbors in Middle River (not far from Margaree) who have either left or died.

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