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The Boatman /Fhear a Bhata Scottish Folk Song Lyrics

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The Boatman Fhear a bhata is a very beautiful traditional Scottish song, sung mainly in the Gaelic language.

Fear A' Bhta or The Boatman

I climb the mountain and scan the ocean
For thee, my boatman, with fond devotion
When shall I see thee? today? tomorrow?
Oh! do not leave me in lonely sorrow.

Chorus

O, my boatman, na horo aila,

O, my boatman, na horo aila,

May joy await thee where'er thou sailest.


Broken-hearted, I droop and languish,
And frequent tears show mg bosom's anguish;
Shall I expect thee tonight to cheer me?
Or close the door, sighing, sad and weary.

Chorus

From passing boatmen I'd fain discover
If they have heard of or seen my lover;
They never tell me - I'm only chided,
And told my heart has been sore misguided.

Chorus

My lover promised to bring his lady
A silken gown and a tartan plaidie,
A ring of gold which would show his semblance
But, ah! I fear me for his remembrance.

Chorus

That thou'rt a rover my friends have told me,
But not the less to my heart I hold thee;
And every night in my dream I see thee,
And still at dawn will the visions flee me.

Chorus

I may not hide it - my heart's devotion
Is not a season's brief emotion;
Thy love in childhood began to seize me
And ne'er shall fade until death release me.

Chorus

My friends oft tell me that I must sever
All thoughts of thee from my heart forever;
Their words are idle - my passions, swelling,
Untamed as ocean, can brook no quelling.

Chorus

My heart is weary with ceaseless wailing,
Like wounded swan when her strength is failing
Her notes of anguish the lake awaken,
By all her comrades at last forsaken.


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Bob Ferguson webmaster of this site, performs with Beggars Row, Celtic Horizon, Celtic Hearts and Celtic Crazy Clan. He also performs in his own solo acts Bob Shortcut, Mister Sunshine, The Parody Man and his own Bob Ferguson Band coming in 2012.