Na Gaidheil am Basra

Norman McArthur
Language: Gaelic

List of versions

Related Songs

Òran nan Raiders
(Julie Fowlis)
An scathàn (Lo specchio)
(Massimiliano D'Ambrosio)
(Somhairle MacGill-Eain [Sorley MacLean])

by Norman McArthur, 2006
From/da Songs For Change

"Norman MacArthur is a piper and singer/songwriter in the Gaelic group Meantime. Along with his bandmates he is one of very few who are actually writing contemporary songs in Gaelic. 'I wrote this song after seeing images on the news of Scottish soldiers in the the Black Watch regiment marching into Basra in Iraq being led by the pipes playing The Black Bear. I felt quite confused by what I felt. On the one hand I was proud of them, on the other I was angry. Scottish soldiers fighting and dying under a British flag. Indeed fighting under an American flag in an illegal war. It reminded me of footage from the First and Second World Wars yet here we are again listening to and following the piper playing the same old tune.'"
Chunna mise a-raoir
Na balaich againn fhìn
An teas marbhtach na grèin’
B’ ann air a’ mhàirds’ a bha na seòid
Am fàsach fada thall

Oh seinn, seinn
Phìobair’ an aona-phuirt
Tog ort do phìob

Chan eil cail ùr fon ghrèin
Mort, fuath agus bàs
An ainm nar n-uachdaran fhèin
‘S ann mar seo a bha e a-riamh
An cogadh no sìth
Nar tràillean do dh’iompaireachd chèin

Oh seinn, seinn
Phìobair’ an aona-phuirt
Tog ort do phìob

Is lìonmhor na laoich
A chaidh romhpa gu blàr
Cràth is cruadal nan dàn
‘S nuair a sheinneas a’ Phìob
An cois fuaim a’ bhlàir mhòir
Mar pheilear thèid iad an sàs
Is leanaidh iad dlùth
Rin sinnsir ‘s an cliù
‘S thèid an spadadh ‘s an reubadh air an raon

Balaich thapaidh threun
An cuid armachd nan làimh
A’ dol a dh’ ionnsaigh buaidh no bàs
Ach am faclan Dhòmhnaill Ruaidh*
Gum bi buaidh leis na seòid
‘S gun till iad sàbhailte slàn

Oh seinn, seinn
Phìobair’ an aona-phuirt
Seinn an aon phort a-rithist

*Dòmhnall Ruadh Choruna – Na Camshronaich san Fhraing

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/11 - 20:34

Language: English

English Version from Songs For Change

I saw last night
Our very own lads
In the murderous heat of the sun
Heroes on the march
In a far desert land

Oh sing, sing
Piper, play the same old tune
Strike up and play

There’s nothing new under the sun
Murder, death and hate
In the name of our leaders.
It’s always been this way
In war or in peace
Slaves to a foreign empire

Oh sing, sing
Piper, play the same old tune
Strike up and play

Many are the heroes
Who went before them to war
Pain and suffering their destiny
And when the pipe plays
In the noise of battle
Like a bullet they will charge
Following too close
Their forefathers’ fame
Lying slaughtered and torn in the field

Strong healthy lads
Ready at arms
Toward victory or death
But in Red Donald’s words*
Victory to the heroes
Let them return safe and well.

Oh sing, sing
Piper, play the same old tune
Play the same old tune again.

* Red Donald of Coruna (Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna) – From his poem The Camerons in France.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/3/11 - 20:35

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by