FEAR A’BHATA (The Boatman)

This is a lament from the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. A woman is pining and waiting for her boatman to return. I first heard this from the Corries Folk Trio with Paddie Bell. I found these words in a song book put out by The Portable Folk from Hartford, CT.

Chorus
Fear a bhata sna hóro éale
Fear a bhata sna hóro éale
Fear a bhata sna hóro éale
Fare thee well love where art thou be.

How often haunting the highest hilltop
I scan the ocean, your boat to see
Will it come tonight, love, will it come tomorrow
Will it ever come, love, to comfort me?

Chorus

They call me fickle, they call me false one.
And see to change thee, but all in vain.
Thou art my dream yet, throughout the dark night.
And every morn yet I watch the Main.

Chorus

There’s not a hamlet, too well I know it,
Where you go sailing and stay a while.
It’s all the old folk you win with talking.
Charm its maidens with song and smile.

Chorus

Dost thou remember the promise made me?
The tartan plaid, the silken gown,
The ring of gold with your hair and locket,
The ring and gown, love, I’ll never own?

Chorus

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