From the recording Six Strings and Coffee Beans

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Johnny Bannerman

Mark Clavey – vocals, guitar
Mary Hanover – vocals, hammered dulcimer
Rachel Gaither – lead vocals, fiddle

The lion's share of information available for this song appears to come from an undated reproduction of an article written by Stephen Houston for the "Glasgow Daily Record". Also known as the "Lewis Bridal Song", "Mairi's Wedding" is a charming little Scottish folk song, originally written in Gaelic by Johnny Bannerman for his friend, Mary McNiven. The song was first played to her at Glasgow's Old Highlanders Institute in Elmbank Street for the Royal National Mòd of 1935. The Gaelic version was translated into English in 1936 by Scottish composer and founder of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir, Hugh S Roberton. And while the song was written for her, it was not written for her wedding... as she married Skye-born sea-captain John Campbell some six years later. An incredibly popular song around the world, Scots schoolchildren have been learning "Mairi's Wedding" for generations, and the song has been sung by millions. An extra-special acknowledgement to Kansas City's super-group Scartaglen for originating the hitch in the penultimate pass through the B-part of "Maid Of Ardagh"... a hitch that never fails to hoodwink the audience, and one that's too good to not use.


Step we gaily on we go – heel for heel and toe for toe, arm in arm and row and row – all for Mairi' s wedding.

Over hill-way up and down, myrtle green and bracken brown, past the shieling, through the town – all for Mairi's wedding.

Step we gaily on we go, &c

Cheeks as bright as rowans are, brighter far than any star, fairest of them all by far is our darling Mairi.

Step we gaily on we go, &c

Plenty herring, plenty meal, plenty peat tae fill her creel, plenty bonny bairns as weel – that's the toast for Mairi.