MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
'S e Tinneas Thraogh Mo ShlÀinte
(The Illness Ruined My Health)
Hector and Alex MacKinnon CB 1 Tape 3 Track 10
Lake Ainslie Audio:
Milling Song


Hao ri ri o rathill iu
Rathill iu rathill iu
Hao ri ri o rathill iu
'S e 'n tinneas thraogh mo shlàinte.

Feasgar dhomh 's mi gabhail sgriob
'S mi glè airsneulach leam fhèin
Thachair orm an t-òigear grinn
'S cha dhì-chuimhnich mi ri'm bheò e.

'S labhair e gu sòcair ciuin
'S e seo tòiseach na bliadhn' ùr
Cuiridh "whisky" oirnn an sùnnd
Nuair ni sinn drodhag òl dheth.

'S fhuair e botul whisky làn
Agus tumbeleir no dhà
Siorop siùcar agus spàin
Is chàraich air a' bhòrd e.

Lion e ghloine nach robh gann
Ged is spìocaire a bh'ann
'S mun do dh'òl sinn as a dhram
Gun dannsamaid gu doigheil.

Ged a bha sinn ann an glee
Cha robh mi idir air a spree
Air ùrlar dìreach còmhnard.

Dh'fhalbh a shlàinte dh'fhalbh an tìde
Dh'fhalbh gach ni a bha fo'n ghrèin
Cha robh acaid orm nam chrìdh
Nach do shiubhaill e còmhla

Dh'fhàs mise aotrom fallain
Dh'fhàs mi cho sùnndach ri balach
'S bhithinn an comhradh nan caileag
Mur boidh Anna co-rium

Thòisich Anna air iaraidh dhachaidh
'S mor dhe'n oidhch' air dhol seachad
Ach b'fheàrr a dh'fhuireach mi gu maduinn
Gum biodh pàilteas spòrs ann.

Ach mu dh'fhuireas mise fallain
'S nach till a mhòin air an Earrach
'S tusa thèirig dhomh mo bheannachd
Fhad's a mhaireas beò mi.


Hao ri ri o rathill iu
Rathill iu rathill iu
Hao ri ri o rathill iu
The illness has drained my strength

One evening as I took a walk
I was very depressed and by myself
I met the handsome youth
And never shall I forget it.

He spoke softly and calmly
This is the beginning of the year
Whisky will make us happy
When we have a little drop

He got a full bottle of whisky
And one or two tumblers
Syrup, sugar, and a spoon
And placed them on the table

He filled the glass which was not small
Though it was.
Before we finished our dram
We could dance sensibly

Although we were full of glee
I was not at all on the spree
I would dance.
On a smooth level floor.

Our health was gone, we lost count of time
Everything under the sun was gone
I had no worry in my heart
That was not gone also.

I became light hearted and fit
And as happy as a boy
I would have chatted up the girls
If Ann had not been with me.

Anne wanted to go home
When much of the night had gone
I would have liked to stay till morning
We would have lots of fun

But if I remain healthy
Without this fear returning in the Spring
You will always have my blessing
As long as I live.


This song of anonymous composition is sung from the perspective of a man who was tempted to drink, drank, and consequently made a fool of himself at a dance. He states that although he regrets his actions at the dance, as soon as he regains his health, he will drink again.

Leach noted that this song was classified locally as a milling song.

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