Ailein duinn

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Ailein duinn ("Dark-haired Alan") is a traditional Scottish song for solo female voice, a lament that was written in Gàidhlig for Ailean Moireasdan ("Alan Morrison") by his fiancée, Annag Chaimbeul ("Annie Campbell"). In 1788, Ailean, a sailor, set off with his ship to Scalpay, Harris, where he and Annag would be married. In a tragic twist, the ship sailed into a storm and all on board were lost. Annag was devastated and lost her will to live, dying several months later. Her body was later discovered on the beach, not far from where Ailean's body was found. Before she died, Annag composed this lament for her lost love.



There are many versions of the lyrics and of the melody; the following version was used in the film Rob Roy (the untranslated words are vocables):

Rob Roy version
Gura mise tha fo éislean
Moch sa mhaduinn is mi 'g éirigh
Ò hì shiùbhlainn leat
Hì ri bhò hò ru bhì
Hì ri bhò hò rinn o ho
Ailein Duinn, ò hì shiubhlainn leat
Ma 's e 'n cluasag dhut a' ghaineamh
Ma 's e leabaidh dhut an fheamainn
Ma 's e 'n t-iasg do choinnlean geala
Ma 's e na ròin do luchd-faire
Dh'òlainn deoch ge b' oil le càch e
De dh'fhuil do choim 's tu 'n déidh do bhathadh
English translation
How sorrowful I am
Early in the morning rising
Chorus (after each verse):
Ò hì, I would go with thee
Hì ri bhò hò ru bhì
Hì ri bhò hò rinn o ho
Brown-haired Alan, ò hì, I would go with thee
If it is thy pillow the sand
If it is thy bed the seaweed
If it is the fish thy candles bright
If it is the seals thy watchmen
I would drink, though all would abhor it
Of thy heart's blood after thy drowning

Popular culture

The song was sampled, somewhere around 2000, as a solo voice, with a very good interpretation, in a music library called "Vocal Planet" by Spectrasonics, making the a cappella version of the original song very accessible to lot of composers, this would be one of the reasons for which there are so many appearances in the media. The following is a list of songs, some of them using the sample of that music library, while others offer their own new interpretation:


MovieYearNameOrchestratorVocal singingAlbumTrack numberLength
Rob Roy1995"Ailein Duinn"Carter BurwellKaren MathesonRob Roy: Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack From The Film
N/AN/A"Ailein Duinn"[1]David BeardSpectrasonics sampleN/AN/A3:33

Modern music

"Ailein Duinn"19953:35CapercaillieWorldNoyoutube
"Ailein Duinn"19983:42Celtic SpiritWorldNoyoutube
"Ailein Duinn (Theme From Rob Roy)"[2]20004:33MéavWorldNoyoutube
"A Tear in the Open"[3]20029:23DJ TiestoTranceYesyoutube
"Ishka"20025:23Angel TearsGoa chilloutYesyoutube
"Cura Me"20028:31SignumTranceYesyoutube
"Splitting An Atom"20037:22OttDubYesyoutube
"A Tear in the Open (Leama & Moor remix)"20059:55DJ TiestoTranceYesyoutube
"Ailein Duinn"20051:39Trobar de MorteNeofolkNoyoutube
"Hall Of Dreams"20065:47En VoiceAmbient enigmaticYesyoutube
"Anna"20086:10Spectrum VisionPsybientYesyoutube
"Ailein Duinn"[4]20104:28Wine and AlchemyWorldNoN/A
"World Inside My Heart"N/A5:20Deep Spirit of Native AmericansNew age, WorldYesyoutube
"Ailein Duinn (Theme From Rob Roy)"N/A2:36Nathalie KuijpersAcapellaNoyoutube
"Ailein Duinn" [5]N/AN/AMac-tallaWorldNoN/A
"Ailein Duinn"2011N/AQuadriga ConsortEarly Music, WorldNoN/A
"Friendship to Last"2007N/ATwo Steps From HellWorld/TrailerNoyoutube

Video games

Video GameYearComposerAppearanceSpectrasonics
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos2002Tracy W. Bushstarts when the player loses as a Night ElfN/AN/A
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (video game)2003N/Avery briefly used in one of the songsN/AN/A
Chaos Legion2003Hideyuki Fukasawain the cave battle stageN/AN/A
Rome: Total Realism2005Vlad KurylukTitle Creditsyesyoutube
Spartan: Total Warrior2005Jeff van Dyckafter the final mission in Athens, as the
heroes mourn the slain Pollux
World of Warcraft2005N/Afirst cinematic, before the game was releasedN/AN/A
Tomb Raider: Legend2006Troels FolmannMain theme includes the song
with an Ave Maria chorus
Tomb Raider: Legend2006Troels Folmannin Nepal, original pitched down voice
together with a male voice
Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms2007Jeff van Dyckin its Britannia campaign as part of
a composition entitled Dream of Albion


External links