Skara Brae Cailín (Chailín) Rua 1970-71


Chailín Rua is a song about a red-headed girl who went off with another lad. Despite Skara Brae being in Orkney, Scotland the band with the same name were a traditional Irish music group from Donegal. Although they were together for only a year, their one and only record is considered to be one of the most important albums in its genre, as they were the first group in history to put harmonies to Gaelic songs. The only album of “Skara Brae” was recorded in 1970 and released in 1971. All of those old traditional songs still keep a spirit even for those who can’t understand what the lyrics mean for every song is in Irish.

Nach doiligh domhsa mo chailín a mholadh
‘S ni he amhain mar bhi si rua
Bhi si mar gath greine a dhul in eadan na gloinne
Is bhi sceimh mhna na finne le mo chailín rua

(It isn’t hard for me to praise my girl
And not only because she’s a red-head:
She’s like a sunbeam reflecting from a glass surface
And she resembles the women of beauty)

cho: Thug me liom i o bhaile go baile
O gheaftai Dhoire is go Baile an Luain
Chan fhiul aon mhile ar shiul me ‘r a fad sin
Nach dtug me deoch leanna do mo chailín rua

(I went from town to town
From Derry’s gates to Athlone
And not even a mile did I walk along that road
Without giving a drop of ale to my red-headed girl)

B’fhearr liom i na bo is na bearrach
A bhfuil da loinghis a’ tarraingt chun cuain
B’fhearr liom aris na cios cluain maidne
Go mbeinn is mo chailin in mBaile an Luain

(I prefer her to cows and ???
And ships drawing near to the harbors
I prefer her too to the rent from an east-facing meadow
If I were with my red-headed girl in Baile an Luain!)

Chuir me mo Cailín go margadh Shligidh
B’e sin fein an margadh bhi daor
Bhi scilling agus punt ar a pheice mine
No go dtug mise na fuinneadh do mo chailín rua

(I sent my girl to the market in Sligo
– That one was the most expensive!
A shilling and a pound for a peck of meal
So I gave it to my red-headed girl for kneading)

Chuaigh si siar le broga breach’ uirthi
Ribini glasuaine teannta ‘ar a gruaig
D’ealaigh si uaimse le buachaill an tsiopa
‘S a Ri, nar dheas i mo chailín rua

(Back she came with fancy shoes on
Blue ribbons tied in her hair
She had slipped away from me with the shop-boy
But begod, my red-headed girl was a fine one!)

 (In Spanish)
No me es dificil elogiar a mi chica pelirroja,
Y no solo por el rojo de su pelo,
Era como un rayo de sol reflejado por el cristal,
Y tenía la belleza de las mujeres de Finne.

La llevé de ciudad en ciudad,
Desde las puertas de Derry hasta Athlone,
Y no hubo una milla del camino que seguí,
Que no ofreciera a mi pelirroja un sorbo de cerveza.

La prefiero a cualquier vaca o novilla,
Y a todos los largos barcos que arriban al puerto,
Y antes que todas las rentas de Clonmel,
Prefiero estar en Athlone con mi chica pelirroja.

Mandé a mi muchacha al mercado de Sligo,
El más caro de entre todos los mercados,
Una onza de mantequilla cuesta una guinea,
Y yo se la dí de buen grado a mi chica pelirroja.

Ella se fué al oeste con sus zapatos rayados,
Y su pelo atado con las cintas más verdes,
Me dejó abandonado por un dependiente,
Dios, que encantadora era mi chica pelirroja.


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