Author Topic: Add: Ny Kirree Fo-Snaightey


Posted - 09 Dec 06 - 11:52 am

Lurg geurey dy naightey as arragh dy rio
Va ny shenn chirree marroo's n' eayin veggey bio;
Oh! irree shiu gillyn, as gow shiu dyn clieue,
Ta ny kirree fo-snaightey shen va nyn draid reeve.

One very keen winter, and spring-time of frost,
The young lambs were saved, and the old sheep were lost;
Oh! rise now, my shepherds, to the mountain up go!
For the sheep are all buried deep under the snow.

Then Nicholas Raby, when sick he was lying,
"In Braid-farrane-fing the sheep are now dying."
(Oh! rise now etc)

Thus spoke Nicholas Raby as he went up to sleep
"My best wishes light on my two thousand sheep."
(Oh! rise now etc)

"I have sheep that in mountainous passes do roam,
Wild sheep in the vales that will never come home"
(Oh! rise now etc)

Then up rose the the men of Kirk-Lonan with speed;
In the pass of Berroll they found the sheep dead.

Then the men of Kirk Lonan and Kirk Christ too,
Found in Agneash's hollow young lambkins a few.

In the front were the wethers, next the rams did appear,
And the ewes heavy laden, to make up the rear.

I've one sheep for Christmas, two for Lent I'll put by.
And two or three more for the time when I die.

Source: Broadwood, L, 1893, English County Songs, London, Leadenhall Press


Words and tune from Quayle C Farrant, Eqs, Greeba Towers, St John's, Isle of Man.

Roud: 1371 (Search Roud index at VWML)


Posted - 02 Jan 07 - 10:16 pm

This song is also known as "The Master of Raby" or "The sheep 'neath the snow". In my group we usually call it "The dead sheep song". I have the alternative translation, which is probably less literal but certainly more singable. But having only just registered, I'm not sure if it's feasible to post six verses here. Would anyone like them?


Posted - 02 Jan 07 - 10:18 pm

Please do post them!
Also, if you have any record of where you got them, (including whether they are something you put together), its helpful if you post that as well.


Posted - 02 Jan 07 - 11:04 pm

I'll ask the member of our group who supplied the song where he got it from (that might not be for a couple of weeks), but I know I've heard it before many years back. I might even have the casette somewhere so I'll try to find it. On looking closer at my version, I don't think you could call it a translation at all - the place-names and the outcome are quite different. (Perhaps "Braid-farrane-fing" means "The Cliff of the Treasure", which I suppose could commemorate a valuable shipwreck). Maybe "a text inspired by the original" is a more accurate description of this version. But we think it's a lovely song, and I do hope one of you gets round to singing it.

1 Today a deep snowfall, last night a sharp frost,
all the young lambs are living but the old sheep are lost
O arise you my shepherds and away to the hill
for the old sheep are dying and the snow is falling still

2 O the Master of Raby lay sick on his bed
with the cry of lost ewes like a fire in his head
O arise ... etc

3 Said the Master of Raby "I'm sick and alone,
my sheep cry for succour, my men yield them none.
O arise ... etc

4 "I have sheep at the Laggan, I have goats on Clear Reay,
at the Cliff of the Treasure my ewes go astray.
O arise ... etc

5 Then out went the shepherds in darkness and dread
and high on the mountain they found the sheep dead,
for the whole flock lay smothered in a drift on the hill
and over their bodies the snow gathered still.

6 Said the Master of Raby,"My sheep cried in vain,
and while I lay helpless none heeded their pain.
So now they've all perished for the want of your skill,
and over their bodies the snow gathers still."


Posted - 26 Mar 07 - 09:10 pm

The above version, from jeff, is believed to have been recorded by Magpie Lane on their "Wassail" CD

masato sakurai

Posted - 27 Mar 07 - 06:12 am

This song is in Manx Ballads & Music, edited by A.W. Moore (1896), as "Ny Kirree fo Niaghtey (Sheep under the snow)."

p. 257: Score
p. 186: Words

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 27 Mar 07 - 06:32 am

Also in Kennedy, Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland, 190, with translation (but another, slightly different one).

Four tune variants, with two related Scottish tunes, are in Journal of the Folk-Song Society, VII (28) 1924, 117-120.

The translation quoted by Jeff isn't in any source I have immediately to hand, but I think that I've seen it before.


Posted - 30 Mar 07 - 01:25 pm

There's another version here.

Manx folk songs

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