Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Praise of Islay

This song about memories of the lovely island of Islay was originally written in Gaelic and was translated by Thomas Pattison.

The Praise of Islay

See afar yon hill Ardmore,
Beating billows wash its shore,
But its beauties bloom no more
For me now far from Islay.

O my dear, my native isle,
Nought from thee my heart can wile,
O my dear, my native isle,
My heart beats true to Islay.

Though its shore is rocky, drear,
Early doth the sun appear
On leafy brake and fallow deer,
And flocks and herds in Islay.


Eagles rise on soaring wing,
Herons watch the gushing spring,
Heath-cocks with their whirring bring
Their own delight to Islay.


Birken branches there are gay,
Hawthorns wave their silvered spray,
Every bough the breezes sway
Awakens joy in Islay.


Mavis sings on hazel bough,
Linnets haunt the glen below,
O may long their wild notes flow
With melodies in Islay.


Meaning of unusual words:
Birken=birch tree
Mavis=song thrush

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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