3. Hush, Hush

This story by Jim McLean about forced migration is set to a traditional melody. A mother tells her baby not to cry despite the pain of their eviction from the Scottish Highlands. Sophie heard this song first at the session in The Royal Oak, Edinburgh, sung by a man and his daughter. Several years later, one of the Mulligans regulars – Phil Rook – pulls up this piece of scrap paper from his pockets and shows it to Sophie. “Do you know this song? It’s got great lyrics”. Weirdly enough, the melody came straight back to her and this is how it became part of our repertoire.

Lyrics:
Once our valleys were ringing
With songs of our children singing
But now sheep bleat till the evening
And shielings lie empty and broken

Hush, hush, time to be sleeping
Hush, hush, dreams come a-creeping
Dreams of peace and of freedom
So smile in your sleep, bonny baby

And we stood with our heads bent in prayer
While factors burnt our cottages barer
And the flames rose up in the clear mountain air
And many were dead by the evening

Hush, hush, time to be sleeping
Hush, hush, dreams come a-creeping
Dreams of peace and of freedom
So smile in your sleep, bonny baby

And where was our proud highland mettle
Our soldiers once so fierce in battle
Now stand, cowed, huddled like cattle
And wait to be shipped o’er the ocean

Hush, hush, time to be sleeping
Hush, hush, dreams come a-creeping
Dreams of peace and of freedom
So smile in your sleep, bonny baby

And there is no use pleading or praying
For gone, gone is all hope of staying
Hush, hush, the anchor’s a-weighing
Don’t cry in your sleep, bonny baby

*

***We do not own the copyright to these lyrics, written by Jim McLean. If the rightful owners object to our inclusion of these lines on our website, we will take them down immediately.***