Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Brochan Lom

Scottish Traditional Song

Brochan Lom is a Scottish Gaelic nonsense song about porridge. The tune is popular and appears frequently at Scottish country dances and ceilidhs. It falls into the category of "mouth music" (Puirt a beul), used to create music for dancing in the absence of instruments.

As an instrumental tune, Brochan Lom is also known as The Orange And Blue, Katy Jones', Kitty Jones, Kitty Jones', The Orange and Blue Highland, Orange And Blue, The Orange And Blue Highland Fling.

It is a strathspey song and is commonly sung or played for the Highland Schottische (a popular ceilidh dance), and for the Highland Fling.

Frances Tolmie, in One Hundred and Five Songs of Occupation from the Western isles of Scotland (1911) states "This above was a jocular song that arose about some ill-made porridge, which being very thin was declared to be like gruel, or even 'sowans' (the fermented juice of oatmeal husks boiled, in bygone times a favourite article of food in Scotland"

There is a Scottish country dance called The Hebridean Weaving Lilt which is danced to this song.


Brochan Lom Traditional Gaelic Song, With English Translation

Gaelic VersionEnglishTranslation
Brochan lom, tana lom, brochan lom na sùghainPorridge thin and meagre, porridge thin from sowans.
Brochan lom, tana lom, brochan lom na sùghainPorridge thin and meagre, porridge thin from sowans.
Brochan lom, tana lom, brochan lom na sùghainPorridge thin and meagre, porridge thin from sowans.
Brochan lom 's e tana lom 's e brochan lom na sùghainPorridge thin, it is meagre and thin, it is porridge thin from sowans.

SéistChorus
     Brochan tana, tana, tana, brochan lom na sùghain     Meagre and thin porridge, thin, thin, meagre porridge
     Brochan tana, tana, tana, brochan lom na sùghain     Meagre and thin porridge, thin, thin, meagre porridge
     Brochan tana, tana, tana, brochan lom na sùghain     Meagre and thin porridge, thin, thin, meagre porridge
     Brochan lom 's e tana lom 's e brochan lom na sùghain     Porridge thin, it is meagre and thin, it is porridge thin from sowans.

Thugaibh aran dha na gillean leis a' bhrochan sùghainGive ye bread to the young men with sowans-gruel,
Thugaibh aran dha na gillean leis a' bhrochan sùghainGive ye bread to the young men with sowans-gruel,
Thugaibh aran dha na gillean leis a' bhrochan sùghainGive ye bread to the young men with sowans-gruel,
Brochan lom 's e tana lom 's e brochan lom na sùghainPorridge thin, it is meagre and thin, it is porridge thin from sowans.

SéistChorus

Seo an rud a gheibheamaid o nighean gobh' an dùine,This is what we used to get from the smith's daughter at the Dun
Seo an rud a gheibheamaid o nighean gobh' an dùine,This is what we used to get from the smith's daughter at the Dun
Seo an rud a gheibheamaid o nighean gobh' an dùine,This is what we used to get from the smith's daughter at the Dun
Brochan lom 's e tana lom, 's e brochan lom sùghain.Porridge thin, it is meagre and thin, it is porridge thin from sowans.

SéistChorus

Brochan Lom Song Video

Brochan Lom Song - YouTube Scottish Song Video

Brochan Lom Girl Eating Porridge Painting Image
"Girl Eating Porridge" William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905), Oil On Canvas, c. 1874


LearnGaelic - Dictionary Translate Gaelic To English
Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Brochan Lom article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright William-Adolphe Bouguereau [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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