This Scottish Gaelic song is full of loss, defiance and isolation—somehow it feels fitting this evening. Prayers to our friends and partners around the world tonight.

This song is sung from the perspective of the selkies, the seal people of Gaelic myth and legend. The words are hauntingly fitting for many Scottish Gaelic communities that feel the loss and the erosion of their people and culture. That’s a common thread for many of the people we serve throughout Europe.

Pray with us for the indigenous minorities of Europe—peoples made in God’s image and treasured by Him. Pray for the Good News and the hope of restoration that Jesus brings—and the prophetic image John gives us in Revelations of all peoples gathered around the throne of God.

You can listen to more of Julie Fowlis’s music on her website where her album alterum is also available. She’s well-known even outside of Scottish Gaelic communities and has helped raise the profile of her people and their culture throughout the world.

Òran an Ròin

Hò i hò i hì o hò i
Hò i hò i hì o hì
Hò i hò i hì o hò i,
cha robh mi m’ aonar a-raoir. 

’S mairg san tìr seo, ’s mairg san tìr,
’g ithe dhaoine ’n riochd a bhìdh.
Nach fhaic sibh ceannard an t-sluaigh,
goil air teine gu cruaidh cruinn. 

’S mise nighean Aoidh mhic Eòghainn,
gum b’ eòlach mi mu na sgeirean.
Gur mairg a dhèanadh mo bhualadh,
bean uasal mi o thìr eile. 

Thig an smeòrach, thig an druid,
thig gach eun a dh’ionnsaigh nid.
Thig am bradan thar a’ chuain,
gu Latha Luain cha ghluaisear mis’.

The Seal’s Song

Hò i hò i hì o hò i
Hò i hò i hì o hì
Hò i hò i hì o hò i,
I was not alone last night.

Pity to be in this place,
Where people are eaten as food.
See the chief of the people of the people,
Boiling hard on a fire.

I am the daughter of Aoidh son of Eòghainn,
I was knowledgeable about the reefs.
Pity the person who would hit me,
I am a noble woman from another land.

The thrush comes, the starling comes,
Every bird returns to its nest.
The salmon comes from the sea,
Until Doom’s Day I will not be moved.