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Sgàthach

Lyrics by Rachel Walker and Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Music by Rachel Walker

Arranged by Rachel Walker and Aaron Jones

 

Musicians:

Rachel Walker (Vocals, Piano)

Aaron Jones (Guitar)

Duncan Lyall (Keys)

 

Rachel’s inspiration:

Sgàthach, or ‘The Shadowy One’ is a warrior queen whose legend dates to around 1300 AD.  The ruins of her fortress, Dùn Sgàith, are situated near Tarskavaig on the Isle of Skye, next to the sea and under the shadow of the Black Cuillin. 

 

The best warriors from Ireland and Scotland were sent to Sgàthach for training where she would put them through a series of tests and trials to ensure they were ready for the fiercest battles. She was renowned for her skill with the ‘Gath Bolga’ a spear with a barb at the end which she threw with her feet. 

 

Her story is told only in relation to the men and warriors she trained, so there is little insight into her own life and background. In this song I wanted her own voice to be heard.

LYRICS

Mise ’n sgàil anns gach sgòth
Mis’ a’ chagairt air a’ ghaoith
Mise cìrean geal an stuaidh
Mise breith beath ‘s buaidh.

Mise ban-laoch sgèith is gatha
Mise ‘n trianaid den na mnàthan
Mise ’m fiosaiche gun ghò
Mise Sgàthach, cluinn mo ghuth

Iarr orm air àird’ an dùin,
Fo sgàth a’ Chuilthinn dhuibh
Fhuair mi aisling air do ruighinn
Do theachd an gàir a’ chuain
          
Feuch do chridhe, feuch do chàil
Feuch am beàrn eadar beatha is bàs
Ò, a laoich lainn is smuais
Is m’ eòlas as prìsle duais
                                              
Feuch cothrom tha domhain san tìr
Thig beò le taghadh do shlighe
Fhuair mi aisling air do ruighinn
Chuala mi do theachd an gàir a’ chuain
                
Fàg do fhrìth is faigh do ghlòir
Feuch is glèidh ann ubhal an òir?
Ò, a laoich lainn is smuais
Is m’ eòlas as prìsle duais

I am the shadow in the clouds

I am the whisper on the wind
I am the white crest of the waves
I am birth, life and victory
         
I am a she-warrier of sheild and spear
I am the trinity of women
I am the prophet without deceit
I am Sgàthach, hear my voice

Seek me in the high fortress
In the shadow of the Black Cuillin
I had a dream of your coming
Your approach on the roar of the ocean
   
Try your heart, try your fate
Attempt the bridge between life and death
O hero of blade and marrow
My knowledge is the most precious prize

Behold the balance deep in the land
Come to life with your choice of path
I had a dream of your coming
I heard your approach on the roar of the ocean

Leave your anger, find your glory
Try to grasp the golden apple
O hero of blade and marrow
My knowledge is the most precious prize