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CUTTING FERNS



Cutting Ferns is also known as "Buain na Rainich" or “The Bracken Highland Fling” or “Cutting Bracken” or “Faery’s Lament” or rThe Weary Maid”. Similarities have been found with the jig “Drummond Castle” and Alan Stivell’s air “Tha Mi Sgith.”

Ferns were employed for a number of uses in times past. They were used as litter for cattle and as a makeshift pallet for sleeping, they could be a compound for manure or for covering corn stacks. In some places ferns were used in thatching of cottage roofs, and could be burned to render an alkali mixture used in bleaching.

Collecting ferns was traditionally women’s work, often carried out by young women. It was not an easy task, for once harvested, great bales would then have to be carried home.

     


CUTTING FERNS LYRICS

The song that accompanies the tune (which can also be sung to “The Broom of Cowden Yowes”) tells on one young lass who went out to cut fern or bracken, and fell in love with one of the Sidhe, or fairy folk. He reciprocated, but when her family discovered the fact and fearing the danger in such a liaison, they kept her to home. The song is sung by the fairy, who is broken-hearted.




I am tired, and I am alone,
Cutting the Bracken, Cutting the bracken
I am tired, and I am alone,
Cutting the Bracken forever

Behind the knoll, up on the knoll,
Behind the pretty knoll
Behind the knoll, up on the knoll,
All the day alone

Why should I sit and sigh,
Puin’ bracken, Puin’ bracken (pulling bracken)
Why should I sit and sigh,
On the hillside dreary?
When I see the plover rising
Or the curlew wheeling,
Then I trow (trust, believe) my mortal lover,
Back to me is stealing.
Why should I sit and sigh,
Puin’ bracken, Puin’ bracken
Why should I sit and sigh,
On the hillside dreary?

  

  Je suis fatiguée et seule
  Fauchant les fougères
  Je suis fatiguée et seule
  Fauchant les fougères à tout jamais

  Derrière la butte, sur la butte
  Derrière la belle colline
  Derrière la butte, sur la butte
  Seule toute la journée

  Pourquoi dois-je m’asseoir et soupirer
  à extirper les fougères ?
  Pourquoi dois-je m’asseoir et soupirer
  Sur l’ennuyeux versant de la colline
  lorsque je vois le pluvier s’envoler
  et le courlis s’affairer ?
  Puisque mon amour, une humaine mortelle
  a été définitivement éloignée de moi
  Pourquoi dois-je m’asseoir et soupirer
  à extirper les fougères ?
  Pourquoi dois-je m’asseoir et soupirer
  Sur l’ennuyeux versant de la colline ?



Tha mi sgìth ’s mi leam fhìn,
Buain na rainich, buain na rainich
Tha mi sgìth ’s mi leam fhìn,
Buain na rainich daonnan

Cùl an tomain, bràigh an tomain
Cùl an tomain bhòidhich
Cùl an tomain, bràigh an tomain
H-uile latha nam ònar















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