Westering Home, the Islay "National Anthem"

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Islay's national anthem "Westering Home"

Click here if you'd like to download an MP3 version of the song

Written in the 1920s by Sir Hugh S. Roberton (1874-1952), a self-taught choirmaster who founded the Glasgow Orpheus Choir.  Sir Hugh also wrote Mhairi's Wedding which is also frequently mistaken for a traditional song.  The melody originally had Gaelic verses about the Isle of Skye set to it before Sir Hugh appropriated it for his own use.  The song as Sir Hugh wrote it, and everyone here sings it, goes:

Westering home, and a song in the air,
Light in the eye, and it's good bye to care,
Laughter o'love, and a welcoming there,
Isle of my heart my own one.

1st verse:
Tell me o'lands of the orient gay!
Speak o' the riches and joys of Cathay!
Eh but its grand to be wakin' ilk day,
To find yourself nearer to Islay.
Repeat chorus:

2nd verse:
Where are the folks like the folks o' the West?
Canty and couthy, and kindly the best,
There I would hie me, and there I would rest,
At hame wi' my ain folk in Islay!
Repeat chorus:

(Ilk means each...  Canty means neat or trim...  Couthy means homely, simple, unpretentious...)

Click here if you'd like to download an MP3 version of the song

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