Christmas 2020

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Our deisgns for the 2020 Christmas stamps were intentionally simple to reflect the beautiful simplicity of the original lyrics and the message behind them. Each stamp conveys the meaning of a specific line from the first stanza of the famous Hebridean Gaelic carol, Leanabh an àigh.

Leanabh an àigh lyrics: 

Gaelic


Leanabh an àigh leanabh bh'aig Màiri
rugadh 'san stàbull Rìgh nam Dùl,
thàinig do'n fhàsach dh'fhulang nar n-àite,
son' iad an àireamh bhitheas dha dlùth.


Ged a bhios leanaban aig rìghrean na talmhainn
an greadhnachas àrd is anabarr mùirn
's gearr gus am falabh iad 's fàsaidh iad anfhann
an àilleachd 's an dealbh a' searg 'san ùir.


Cha b'ionnan an t-uan thàinig gar fuasgladh
iriseal stuama ghluais e'n tùs.
E naomh gun truailleachd cruithear an t-sluaighe
dh'èirich e suas le buaidh o'n ùir.


Leanabh an àigh mar dh'aithris na fàidhean
's na h-aingealan àrd b'e miann an sùl,
's e 's airidh air gràdh 's ar n'urram thoirt dha.
Sona an àireamh bhitheas dha dlùth.


 

Arthur Cormack’s English translation (lit)


The child of joy, the child who was Mary's,
born in the stable, Lord of the Universe,
came to the wilderness to suffer in place of us.
Happy are those who are close to him.


Although kings in the world have children
in high pomp and with much joy
they are soon gone and they grow weak
their beauty and their figure withering in the grave.


Nothing is equal to the lamb who came to free us,
humble and modest when he first moved,
saintly, with no impurity, the creator of humanity
he rose up with victory from the grave.


The child of joy as told by the prophets
and the archangels, he was the apple of their eye,
it is he who deserves to be loved and honoured.
Happy are those who are close to him.