Mairi’s Wedding / Marie’s Wedding / The Lewis Bridal Song / Mairi Bhan – John Roderick Bannerman (1865–1938), writer and politician and; Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952), choirmaster, conductor, and composer.
The melody of ‘Mairi’s Wedding’ was composed Dr. Peter A. MacLeod, from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The singing nuptial to the melody was written in Scottish Gaelic in 1938, by J. R. Bannerman. Mr. Bannerman titled it ‘Mairi’s Wedding’ and dedicated it to Mary McNiven, someone he knew at the time. This old Scottish song continues to be frequently sung at marriage receptions in Scotland. The song was rewritten in English by Sir Hugh Robertson in 1939 and titled ‘The Lewis Bridal Song’.
This song is about a man expressing his desire to marry a woman named Mairi. The song tells the story of guests traveling to the wedding, what Mairi looks like on her wedding day, and the toast for the bride to have food, comfort and many children. In the chorus the guests are dancing “arm in arm and row on row.”