Chall Eilibh

                                    Tune: Traditional Barra

                                    Arr:  Gordon Bok


This is listed in M. Kennedy-Fraser's book Songs of the Hebrides Vol. I as "a coastwise song; words by Agnes Mure Mackenzie, Stornaway, Lewis."  The air is from the island of Barra.  Kennedy-Fraser arranged it for piano; I hear it more sparsely, with less rhythm.  Here are Mackenzie's words:


Gordon – 12-string guitar


            Where are the ships that have sailed the seas

            Out to the setting of suns long past?

            Broken and gone, for the tumbling seas

            Have covered them over from first to last.


            Noroway snekr out of the north

            Galleys of Venice, tall ships of Spain

            With strong men singing have all set forth

            And the sea lies bare to the drifting rain.


            Chall eilibh hor eile

            Chall oro…





Chall Eilibh is recorded on the album In the Kind Land and is also in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul