Crea sito

Twa Bonnie Maidens, a jacobite song

Leggi in italiano

“Twa Bonnie Maidens” is a jacobite song published by James Hogg in “Jacobite Relics”, Volume II (1819). It refers to the occasion when Bonnie Prince Charlie sailed with Flora MacDonald from the Outer Hebrides to Skye, dressed as Flora’s maid. The event described here took place during Bonnie Prince Charlie’s months in hiding after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746). By late July, the Hannoverians thought they had Charlie pinned down in the outer Hebrides.

IL PRINCIPE E LA BALLERINA

The prince had managed to get to the Island of Banbecula of the Outer Hebrides, but the surveillance was very tight and had no way to escape. And here comes Flora MacDonald.
In the anecdotal version of the story, Flora devised a trick to take away Charlie from the island : on the pretext of visiting her mother (who lived in Armadale after remarried), she obtained the safe-conduct for herself and her two servants; under the name and clothes of the Irish maid Betty Burke, however, it was hidden the Bonny Prince!: Il Principe e la Ballerina

Flora MacDonald's Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)
“Flora MacDonald’s Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie” di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)

TWA BONNIE MAIDENS

Hogg took the Gaelic words down from a Mrs. Betty Cameron from Lochaber.
Was copied verbatim from the mouth of Mrs Betty Cameron from Lochaber ; a well-known character over a great part of the Lowlands, especially for her great store of Jacobite songs, and her attachment to Prince Charles, and the chiefs that suffered for him, of whom she never spoke without bursting out a-crying. She said it was from the Gaelic ; but if it is, I think it is likely to have been translated by herself. There is scarcely any song or air that I love better.”
Quadriga Consort from “Ships Ahoy ! – Songs of Wind, Water & Tide” 2011
Marais & Miranda from A European Folk Song Festival 2012 (I, III)
Archie Fisher from “The Man with a Rhyme” 1976


I
There were twa bonnie maidens,
and three bonnie maidens,
Cam’ ower the Minc (1),
and cam’ ower the main,
Wi’ the wind for their way
and the corrie (2) for their hame,
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
Chorus
Come alang, come alang,
wi’ your boatie and your song,

Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!

The nicht, it is dark,
and the redcoat is gane,

And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.

II
There is Flora, my honey,
sae neat and sae bonnie,
And ane that is tall,
and handsome withall.
Put the ane for my Queen
and the ither for my King
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
III (3)
There’s a wind on the tree,
and a ship on the sea,
Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!
By the sea mullet’s nest (4)
I will watch o’er the main,
And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
English translation Cattia Salto
I
There were two pretty maidens,
and three pretty maidens,
Came over the Minch (1),
and came over the main,
With the wind for their way
and the mountains (2) for their hame,
And they’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.
Chorus
Come along, come along,
wi’ your boat and your song,
To my hey! pretty maidens,
my two pretty girls!
The night, it is dark,
and the redcoat is gone,
And you’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.
II
There is Flora, my honey,
so neat and so pretty,
And one that is tall,
and handsome withall.
Put the one for my Queen
and the other for my King
And they’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.
III (3)
There’s a wind on the tree,
and a ship on the sea,
To my hey! pretty maidens,
my two pretty girls!
By the sea mullet’s nest (4)
I will watch over the main,
And you’re dearly welcome
to Skye again.

NOTES
1) Minch=channel between the Outer and Inner Hebrides
2) corry=a hollow space or excavation in a hillside
3) the stanza is a synthesis between the III and the IV of the version reported by Hogg
4) The Nest Point is another striking view on the western tip of the Isle of Skye (on the opposite side of Portree), an excellent spot to watch the Minch the stretch of sea that separates the Highlands of the north west and the north of Skye from the Harris Islands and Lewis, told by the ancient Norse “Fjord of Scotland”
At the time of the Jacobite uprising there was still no Lighthouse designed and built by Alan Stevenson in the early 1900s.

TUNE: Planxty George Brabazon or Prince Charlie’s Welcome To The Isle Of Skye?

The Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan (the last of the great itinerant irish harper-composers) wrote some arias in homage to his guests and patrons, whom he called “planxty”, whose text in Irish Gaelic (not received) praised the nobleman on duty or commemorated an event; the melodies are free and lively with different times (not necessarily in triplets). With the title of George Brabazon two distinct melodies attributed to Carolan are known.
“George Brabazon” was retitled in Scotland “Prince Charlie’s Welcome to the Island of Skye” in honor of the Pretender as the vehicle for the song “Twa Bonnie Maidens.” It also appears in the Gow’s Complete Repository, Part Second (1802) under the title “Isle of Sky” (sic), set as a Scots Measure and with some melodic differences in the second part. This is significant, for it predates the earliest Irish source (O’Neill) by a century.
Source “The Fiddler’s Companion” (cf. Liens).
J.J. Sheridan
Siobhan Mcdonnell

The Chieftains  in Water From the Well 2000

“Over the Sea to Skye”

Link
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/twabonny.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25774
http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_maidens.htm
https://www.thebards.net/music/lyrics/Twa_Bonnie_Maidens.shtml
https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/location-a-coilleag-a-phrionnsa-bonnie-prince-charlie-trail-p538071

https://thesession.org/tunes/1609
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=46578
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=19657
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=6422
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9152

Undaunted Mary or  “The Banks of the Sweet Dundee”

Leggi in italiano

“Undaunted Mary” or  “The Banks of the Sweet Dundee” is a nineteenth-century ballad reported in numerous broadside (since 1820) particularly popular in the British Isles (England, Scotland and Ireland) and also widespread in North America (USA) and Canada), still sung today (there are more than 170 versions)

Calling by Roy Palmer, “a 19th-century melodrama” it tells of a rich heiress who remains without parents,and she is forced by her uncle to take an arrogant husband; Mary is instead secretly in love with William, a simple peasant, but in the shadows her uncle plot to call the enlisters to take away her handsome William.
So the nobile suitor reoccurs or rather throws himself on the afflicted Mary trying to put her in front of the fait accompli, but she rebels, takes his pistols and kills him.
Her uncle hearing the shot runs to see and of course he wants to punish Mary, but she shoots her uncle mortally wounding him. At the point of death, his uncle leaves his estate in testament, paying tribute to the strength of mind demonstrated by his nephew (once when a girl of good family managed to shoot with guns it was considered an act of extreme courage)!

SEA SHANTY VERSION

So the version of John Short inserts the ballad “The Banks of the Sweet Dundee” in the structure of a sea shanty s following the melody and chorus of Heave Away, My Johnny (We’re All Bound to Go)
Barbara Brown from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 3 ♪  accompanied in the chorus by Keith Kendrick and Jackie Oates
This is another shanty where, with the tune and structure fairly consistent, different texts were used over time.  Sharp had only three verses from Short – but they immediately show his text to have been the folksong Banks of the Sweet Dundee.  Colcord also notes the use of Banks of the Sweet Dundee to this tune and notes that “this version was seldom or never sung on American ships.” Other texts used for this shanty include, as Colcord notes, Mr. Tapscott – which Short used to the New York Girls tune (see Mr. Tapscott).   Hugill quotes both Mr. Tapscott and The Banks of Newfoundland texts as sung to Heave Away Me Johnny. Whall and Colcord both surmise an 1850s’ origin to the shanty, but this assumption seems to be based on the fact that their texts are both Mr. Tapscott versions.  Hugill says that the most popular way of singing this shanty in the latter days of sail was with the ‘Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool’’ set of words.  Perhaps we have an evolution here where the form, tune and chorus remains fairly consistent, but the texts used move from Banks of the Sweet Dundee to Mr. Tapscott to Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool’.  Short, once again, gives us an early version and it may indicate that the shanty started life on the English side of the pond rather than the American. From Short’s three verses we have expanded the text from the closest broadside versions of Banks of the Sweet Dundee.  The full text would take too much time for even the longest of tasks so we have exercised some précis skills without, hopefully, destroying the story!   (from here)

I
It’s of a farmer’s daughter,
so beautiful I’m told
Heave away my Johnnies,
heave away
.
Her parents died and left her
five hundred pound in gold;
Heave away me bully boys,
we’re all bound to go.
Now there was a wealthy squire
who oft her came to see,
But Mary loved a ploughboy
on the banks of the sweet Dundee (1).
II
Her uncle and the squire
rode out one summer’s day,
“Young William he’s in favour,”
her uncle he did say.
“Indeed it’s my intention
to tie him to a tree (2)
Or to bribe the press gang (3)
on the banks of the sweet Dundee.”
III
Now the press gang came for William when he was all alone,
He boldly fought for liberty,
but they were six to one.
The blood did flow in torrents,
“Pray, kill me now,” says he,
“I would rather die (4) for Mary
on the banks of the sweet Dundee.”
IV
This maid one day was walking, lamenting for her love,
When she met the wealthy squire down in her uncle’s grove.
And he put his arms around her,
“Stand off, base man,” said she;
“For you vanished the only man I love from the banks of the sweet Dundee.”
V
And young Mary took his pistols
and the sword he used so free,
But she did fire and shot the squire
on the banks of the sweet Dundee.
VI
Her uncle overheard the noise
and he hastened to the sound,
“Since you have shot the squire
I’ll give you your death wound!”
“Stand off!” then cried young Mary, “undaunted (5) I will be!”
She the trigger drew
and her uncle slew
on the banks of the sweet Dundee.
VII
He willed his gold to Mary
who fought so valiantly,
Then he closed his eyes,
no more to rise,
on the banks of the sweet Dundee.

NOTES
1) Many question the name Dundee being a small town in Scotland but without a river of the same name. Obviously it can be any hill or mountain slope near Dundee, even a small stream in the surroundings. Among the hypotheses Ruairidh Greig suggests that it is a mispronunciation of a compound name Dun Dee referring to the river Dee (see more)
2) to leave him at the forest fairs as it was used in the past with poachers
3) The enlistment in the British armies was voluntary, so in the second half of the 1600s and until the mid 1800s, the recruiting sergeants with a young tambourine went around the countryside. They were good at convincing the young tipsy men who were in the inns, to take the infamous King’s Shilling.
And so on with crews for warships.
They used brutal methods with the system called “impressment” or forced recruitment by “press gangs” during mass raids, under the pretext of arrest for minor crimes in which the unfortunate person was just a vagabond and drunk tied up like a salami and boarded
4) we have some hypotheses (with related variations) on how it went: in fact some prefer the happy ending, so William is not killed, but only enrolled in the navy and then return and get married with the beautiful Mary
5) the archetype of the warrior woman corresponding to the strong and courageous adolescent female who does not lose her femininity, rather preserves it for the man who manages to marry her (usually after passing some tests). It is no coincidence that in some Piedmontese versions of the ballad, the virginity of the girl remaining in close contact with the male world is emphasized (see more)

FOLK VERSION

The June Tabor version stands out among all
June Tabor


I
It’s of a farmer’s daughter,
so beautiful I am told.
Her father died and left her
five hundred pounds in gold.
She lived with her uncle,
the cause of all her woe,
But you soon shall hear how this fair maiden  that causes his overthrow
II
Her uncle had a ploughboy young Mary loved fair well
And in her uncle’s garden
their tales of love they’d tell.
There was a wealthy squire
who oft her came to see
But still she loved her ploughboy
on the banks of sweet Dundee.
III
Her uncle and the squire
rode out once on summer’s day.
“Young William’s in favour,”
her uncle then did say,
“Indeed is my intention
to tie him to a tree
Or else to bribe the press gang
on the banks of sweet Dundee.“
IV
The press gang found young William when he was all alone;
He boldly fought for liberty,
but they were six to one.
The blood did flow in torrents,
“Pray, kill me now,” says he,
“I’d rather die for Mary
on the banks of sweet Dundee.“
V
One day this maid was walking, lamenting for her love,
She met the wealthy squire
down by her uncle’s grove.
He put his arms around her,
“Stand off, base man,” said she;
“I would rather die for William
on banks of sweet Dundee.“
 
VI
He put his arms around her
and tried to cast her down;
Two pistols and a sword
she spied beneath his morning gown.
Young Mary drew the pistols
and the sword he used so free;
And she did fire and shot the squire
on the banks of sweet Dundee.
VII
Her uncle overheard the noise
and hastened to the ground,
“Since you shoted the squire,
I’ll give you your death wound!”
“Stand off!” said Mary,
“undaunted I will be!”
The trigger she drew and her uncle slew on the banks of sweet Dundee.
VIII
The doctor was sent for
a man of noted skill,
And likewise a lawyer
that he maked  his will;
He left his gold to Mary
who’d fought so manfully
And closed his eyes,
no more to rise,
on the banks of sweet Dundee.

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/arthur-mcbride.htm
https://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/15084/transcript/1
http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/teach/ballads/mary.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/255.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=113888

https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/heaveawaymyjohnny.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/june.tabor/songs/thebanksofthesweetdundee.html

 

Outlander book: giving a new wife a fish

Leggi in italiano

FROM OUTLANDER BOOK
Diana Gabaldon

In the first book of the Outlander saga written by Diana Gabaldon chapter 16 Jamie recites, the day after their wedding, an old love song to Claire, giving her a fish.

A good size,” he said proudly, holding out a solid fourteen-incher. “Do nicely for breakfast.” He grinned up at me, wet to the thighs, hair hanging in his face, shirt splotched with water and dead leaves. “I told you I’d not let ye go hungry.”
He wrapped the trout in layers of burdock leaves and cool mud. Then he rinsed his fingers in the cold water of the burn, and clambering up onto the rock, handed me the neatly wrapped parcel.
“An odd wedding present, may be,” he nodded at the trout, “
“It’s an old love song, from the Isles. D’ye want to hear it?”
“Yes, of course. Er, in English, if you can,” I added.
“Oh, aye. I’ve no voice for music, but I’ll give you the words.” And fingering the hair back out of his eyes, he recited,
“Thou daughter of the King of bright-lit mansions
On the night that our wedding is on us,
If living man I be in Duntulm,
I will go bounding to thee with gifts.
Thou wilt get a hundred badgers, dwellers in banks,
A hundred brown otters, natives of streams,
a hundred silver trout, rising from their pools

A nighean righ nan roiseal soluis

Alexander Carmichael in his “Carmina Gadelica” Vol II, reports the fragment of this old Scottish Gaelic song, translating into English, and assuming that the author was a Macdonalds of the Isle of Skye. (a clan renowned for the poetic fame of its exponents of prominence)
Skye is probably the island of the Hebrides more similar to the land of Avalon, privileged location of many fantasy films, but more recently a inflated destination for mass tourism (with all the negative aspects of high prices, streets overcrowded by tourist buses and even to the most inaccessible destinations you risk finding yourself in a large company)


English translation *
I
Thou daughter of the king of bright-lit mansions,
On the night that our wedding is on us,/If living man I be in Duntulm
I will go bounding to thee with gifts.
II
Thou wilt get an hundred badgers dwellers in banks,
An hundred brown otters native of streams,
Thou wilt get an hundred wild stags that will not come/ To the green pastures of the high glens.
III
Thou wilt get an hundred steeds stately and swift,
An hundred reindeer  intractable in summer,
And thou wilt get an hundred hummelled red hinds,
That will not go in stall in the Wolfmonth of winter
Scottish Gaelic
I
A nighean righ nan roiseal soluis (1),
An oidhche bhios oirnne do bhanais,
Ma ’s fear beo mi an Duntuilm (2)
Theid mi toirleum (3)  da d’earrais.
II
Gheobh tu ciad bruicean tadhal bruach,
Ciad dobhran donn, dualach alit,
Gheobh tu ciad damh alluidh nach tig
Gu innis ard ghleannaidh. (4)
III
Gheobh to ciad steud stadach, luath,
Ciad bràc (5) bruaill an t-samhraidh,
’S gheobh tu ciad maoilseach (6) maol, ruadh,
Nach teid am buabhall am Faoileach (7) geamhraidh

NOTES
* Alexander Carmicheal
1) roiseal soluis= fine bright light or display of light,
2) Duntulm  (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Thuilm) is a township on the most northerly point of the Trotternish peninsula of the Isle Of Skye. The village is most notable for the coastal scenery coupled with the ruins of Duntulm Castle,
3) tòirleum: leum bras
4) Diana Gabaldon concludes the poem by adding a verse that recalls the comic situation created between the two protagonists “a hundred silver trout, rising from their pools”
5) bràc= brae= Beurla (reindeer)
6) bean an fhèid
7) Faoilteach

The symbolism of matrimonial gifts is evident: the abundance of herds is auspicious for the fertility of the couple.

LINK
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg2/cg2106.htm
http://www.electricscotland.com/books/pdf/carminagadelicah02carm.pdf
http://luideagbheag.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-nigheann-righ-nan-roiseal-soluis.html

https://www.thecastlesofscotland.co.uk/the-best-castles/scenic-castles/duntulm-castle/
https://50sfumaturediviaggio.com/2017/07/01/isola-di-skye-informazioni-generali/
https://50sfumaturediviaggio.com/2017/06/30/isola-di-skye-4-giorni-tra-le-nuvole/

Heave away, my Johnny sea shanty

Leggi in Italiano

The second sea shanty sung by A.L. Lloyd in the film Moby Dick, shot by John Huston in 1956, is a windlass shanty or a capstan shanty. As we can clearly see in the sequence, crew action the old anchor winch.
Kenneth S. Goldstein commented on the cover notes of the album “Thar She Blows” by Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd (1957)”A favourite shanty for windlass work, when the ship was being warped out of harbour at the start of a trip. A log rope would be made fast to a ring at the quayside and run round a bollard at the pierhead and back to the ship’s windlass. The shantyman would sit on the windlass head and sing while the spokesters strained to turn the windlass. As they turned, the rope would round the drum and the ship nosed seaward amid the tears of the women and the cheers of the men. This version was sung by the Indian Ocean whalers of the 1840s“.

The song starts at 1:50, when the catwalk is pulled off and the old spike windlass is activated, model replaced by the brake windlass around 1840



There’s some that’s bound for New York Town
and other’s is bound for France,
Heave away, my Johnnies, heave away,
And some is bound for the Bengal Bay
to teach them whales a dance,
and away my Johnny boys, we’re all bound to go.
Come all you hard workin’ sailors,
Who round the cape of storm (1);
Be sure you’ve boots and oilskins,
Or you’ll wish you never been born.
1) the curse of every sailor at the time of sailing ships: Cape Horn

This sea shanty presents a great variety of texts even with different stories, so sometimes it is a song of the whaleship other times a song of emigration. (a collection of various text versions here).

WHALING SHANTY: HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNY (JOHNNIES) – WE’RE ALL BOUND TO GO

Dubbing Cape Horn was a feared affair by sailors, being a stretch of sea almost perpetually upset by storms, a cemetery of numerous unlucky ships.
The wind dominated the bow, so the ship was pushed back for days with the crew exhausted by effort and icy water that was breaking on all sides.

Louis Killen from Farewell Nancy 1964  “capstan stands upright and is pushed round by trudging men. A windlass, serving much the same function, lies horizontally and is revolved by means of bars pulled from up to down. So windlass songs are generally more rhythmical than capstan shanties. Heave Away is usually considered a windlass song. Originally, it had words concerning a voyage of Irish migrants to America. Later, this text fell away. The version sung here was “devised” by A. L. Lloyd for the film of Mody Dick

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

I
There’s some that’s bound for New York town,
And some that’s bound for France;
Heave away, my Johnny heave away.
And some that’s bound for the Bengal Bay,
To teach them whales a dance;
Heave away, my Johnny boy
we’re all bound to go.
II
The pilot he is awaiting for,
The turnin’ of the tide;
And then, me girls, we’ll be gone again,
With a good and a westerly wind.
III
Farewell to you, my Kingston girls (1),
Farewell, St. Andrews dock;
If ever we return again,
We’ll make your cradles rock.
IV
Come all you hard workin’ sailor men,
Who round the cape of storm;
Be sure you’ve boots and oilskins,
Or you’ll wish you never was born.

NOTES
1) Kingston upon Hull (or, more simply, Hull) is a renowned fishing port from which flotillas for fishing in the North Sea started from the Middle Ages. In the song, the departing ships also head for the Indian Ocean (see routes )

Barbara Brown & Tom Brown  from Just Another Day 2014, from the repertoire of the seafaring songs of Minehead (Somerset) collected by Cecil Sharp from only two sources – the retired captains Lewis and Vickery.

trad and Tom Brown verses
I
As I walked out one morning all in the month of May,
Heave away, me Johnny, heave away,
I thought upon the ships and trade that sailed out of our bay,
Heave away, me jolly boys, we’re all bound away.
II
Sometimes we’re bound for Wexford town and sometimes for St. John,
And sometimes to the Med we go, just to get the sun.
III
We’re running to St. Austell Bay, with coal we’re loaded down;
A storm came down upon us before we reached Charlestown.
IV
There’s dried and pickled herring we’ve shipped around the world,
Two hundred years of fishing, until they disappeared.
V
It’s green oak bound for Swansea town, it’s salt we bring from France,
But it’s down into the Indies to lead those girls a dance.
VI
With a cargo now of kelp, me boys, for Bristol now we’re bound,
To help them make the glass, you know, all in that famous town.
VII
Flour and malt and bark and grain are on the Bristol run;
The Jane and Susan beat them all in eighteen-sixty-one.
VIII
We’ve sailed the world in ships of fame that came from Minehead hard,
And Unanimity she was the last from Manson’s Yard.

NEWFOUNDLAND VERSION

Genevieve Lehr (Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook # 49) was released by Pius Power, Southeast Bight,  in 1979 Genevieve Lehr writes “this is a song which was often used to establish a rhythm for hauling up the anchors aboard the fishing schooners. Many of these ‘heave-up shanties’ were old ballads or contemporary ones, and very often topical verses were made up on the spur of the moment and added to the song to make the song last as long as the task itself.”

The Fables from Tear The House Down, 1998 a cheerful version with a decidedly country arrangement

I
Come get your duds(1) in order ‘cause we’re bound to cross the water.
Heave away, me jollies,
heave away.
Come get your duds in order ‘cause we’re bound to leave tomorrow.
Heave away me jolly boys,
we’re all bound away
.
II
Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool,
sometimes we’re bound for Spain.
But now we’re bound for old St. John’s (2) where all the girls are dancing.
III
I wrote me love a letter,
I was on the Jenny Lind.
I wrote me love a letter and I signed it with a ring.
IV
Now it’s farewell Nancy darling, ‘cause it’s now I’m going to leave you.
“You promised that me you’d marry me, but how you did deceive me.(3)”

NOTES
1) duds in this context means “clothes” but more generally the large canvas bag containing the sailor’s baggage
2) Saint John’s, known in Italian as San Giovanni di Terranova for the Marconi experiment, is a city in Canada, capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located in the peninsula of Avalon, which is part of the Newfoundland island
3) clearly a “flying” verse taken from the many farewells here is Nancy answering

 

broadside ballad: The Banks of the Sweet Dundee ( Short Sharp Shanties)
 emigration song: The Irish girl or Mr Tapscott

LINK
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/heave-away,-my-johnnies—kingston.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/heaveawaymyjohnny.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/05/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/36/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/24/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/02/heave.htm http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/07/13-were-all-bound-to-go.html

http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/default.htm

Blood Red Roses, a whale shanty

Leggi in italiano

Ho Molly, come down
Come down with your pretty posy
Come down with your cheeks so rosy
Ho Molly, come down”
(from Gordon Grant “SAIL HO!: Windjammer Sketches Alow and Aloft”,  New York 1930)

To introduce two new sea shanties in the archive of Terre Celtiche blog I start from Moby Dick (film by John Huston in 1956) In the video-clip we see the “Pequod” crew engaged in two maneuvers to leave New Bedford, (in the book port is that of Nantucket) large whaling center on the Atlantic: Starbuck, the officer in second, greets his wife and son (camera often detaches on wives and girlfriends go to greet the sailors who will not see for a long time: the whalers were usually sailing from six to seven months or even three – four years). After dubbing Cape of Good Hope, the”Pequod” will head for Indian Ocean.
It was AL Lloyd who adapted  “Bunch of roses” shanty for the film, modifying it with the title “Blood Red Roses”. It should be noted that at the time of Melville many shanty were still to come

Albert Lancaster Lloyd, Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger

It’s round Cape Horn we all must go
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
For that is where them whalefish blow
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
It’s frosty snow and winter snow
under’s many ships they ‘round Cape Horn
It’s your boots to see again
let you them for whaler men

oswald-brierly
Oswald Brierly, “Whalers off Twofold Bay” from Wikimedia Commons. Painting is dated 1867 but it shows whaling and the Bay as it was in the 1840s

Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Nils Brown, Sean Dagher, Clayton Kennedy, John Giffen, David Gossage)


Me bonnie bunch of Roses o!
Come down, you blood red roses, come down (1)
Tis time for us to roll and go
Come down, you blood red roses, Come down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Come down, you blood red roses, Come down
We’re bound away around Cape Horn (2), Were ye wish to hell you aint never been born,
Me boots and clothes are all in pawn (3)/Aye it’s bleedin drafty round Cape Horn.
Tis growl ye may but go ye must
If ye growl to hard your head ill bust.
Them Spanish Girls are pure and strong
And down me boys it wont take long.
Just one more pull and that’ll do
We’ll the bullie sport  to kick her through.

NOTES
1) this line most likely was created by A.L. Lloyd for the film of Mody Dick, reworking the traditional verse “as down, you bunch of roses”, and turning it into a term of endearment referring to girls (a fixed thought for sailors, obviously just after the drinking). I do not think that in this context there are references to British soldiers (in the Napoleonic era referring to Great Britain as the ‘Bonny bunch of roses’, the French also referred to English soldiers as the “bunch of roses” because of their bright red uniforms), or to whales, even if the image is of strong emotional impact:“a whale was harpooned from a rowing boat, unless it was penetrated and hit in a vital organ it would swim for miles sometimes attacking the boats. When it died it would be a long hard tow back to the ship, something they did not enjoy. If the whale was hit in the lungs it would blow out a red rose shaped spray from its blowhole. The whalers refered to these as Bloody Red Roses, when the spray became just frothy bubbles around the whale as it’s breathing stopped it looked like pinks and posies in flower beds” (from mudcat here)
2) Once a obligatory passage of the whaling boats that from Atlantic headed towards the Pacific.
3) as Italo Ottonello teaches us “At the signing of the recruitment contract for long journeys, the sailors received an advance equal to three months of pay which, to guarantee compliance with the contract, it was provided in the form of “I will pay”, payable three days after the ship left the port, “as long as said sailor has sailed with that ship.” Everyone invariably ran to look for some complacent sharks who bought their promissory note at a discounted price, usually of forty percent, with much of the amount provided in kind. “The purchasers, boarding agents and various procurers,” the enlisters, “as they were nicknamed,” were induced to ‘seize’ the sailors and bring them on board, drunk or drugged, with little or no clothes beyond what they were wearing, and squandering or stealing all sailor advances.

Sting from “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys” ANTI 2006. 
The textual version resumes that of Louis Killen and this musical interpretation is decidedly Caribbean, rhythmic and hypnotic ..


Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
Go down, you blood red roses,
Go down

It’s flamin’ drafty (1) ‘round Cape Horn
Go down, you blood red roses,
Go down

Oh, you pinks and posies Go down,
you blood red roses, Go down
My dear old mother she said to me,
“My dearest son, come home from sea”.
It’s ‘round Cape Horn we all must go
‘Round Cape Horn in the frost and snow.
You’ve got your advance, and to sea you’ll go
To chase them whales through the frost and snow.
It’s ‘round Cape Horn you’ve got to go,
For that is where them whalefish blow(2).
It’s growl you may, but go you must,
If you growl too much your head they’ll bust.
Just one more pull and that will do
For we’re the boys to kick her through

NOTES
1) song in this version is dyed red with “flaming draughty” instead of “mighty draughty”. And yet even if flaming has the first meaning “Burning in flame” it also means “Bright; red. Also, violent; vehement; as a flaming harangue”  (WEBSTER DICT. 1828)

Jon Contino

“Go Down, You Blood Red Roses” is a game for children widespread in the Caribbean and documented by Alan Lomax in 1962

(second part)

LINK
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/debunking-myth-that-go-down-you-blood.html
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/coming-down-with-bunch-of-roses-lyrics.html

http://songbat.com/archive/songs/english-americas/blood-red-roses
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/bloodredroses.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=34080 http://www.well.com/~cwj/dogwatch/chanteys/Blood%20Red%20Roses.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/36/blood.htm http://will.wright.is/post/1367066738/jon-contino

The Grey Selkie

Leggi in italiano

The best known of the ballads of the Orkney Islands, also as The Gray Silkie of Sule Skerry, tells of a selkie living on the rocky cliff of Sule. The ballad was collected by professor Child  ( # 113).

The legend says that to reproduce the selkie-male must be in human form and transmit his power to descendants: when his child is weaned on dry land, the selkie will return from the sea.

TRADITIONAL VERSION: The Gray Silkie

From Sailormen & Servingmaids 1961, a songs collection on field recordings from England, Scotland and Ireland with John Sinclair of the Fleet island, (melody collected in 1938 by Otto Anderson and transcribed in notation with text by Annie G. Gilchrist.)

John G. Halcro 
in Orkney, Land, Sea & Community, Scottish Tradition vol 21, recordings from the archives of the Scottish School of Studies of the University of Edinburgh (fragment recorded in 1973): “A brief version of it appears as no. 113 in Child without a tune, but this is no match for the variant which old John Sinclair of Flotta in the Orkney Isles turned up with in January 1934. He has since been visited by Swedish folklorists [i.e. Otto Andersson] and recorded for the BBC. Bronson remarks that his tune is a variant of the air often associated with Hind Horn, another ballad of traffic between spirits and mortals. Sinclair (who learned the song from his mother), worked all his life as a seaman, and a farmer-fisherman until his retirement. He now lives in a cottage by the sea where Silkies perhaps may still appear.”

Alison McMorland from Rowan in the Rock 2001

June Tabor from Ashore 2011

I
In Norway’s Land there lived a maid
“Hush ba-loo-lilly”. this maid began,
“I know not where my babe’s father is
Whether by land or sea does he travel in”
II
It happened on a certain day
When this fair lady fell fast asleep
That in came a good grey silkie
And set him down at her bed feet
III
Saying, “Awak’, awak’, my pretty fair maid,
For oh, how sound as thou dost sleep,
And I’ll tell thee where thy babe’s father is,
He’s sitting close at thy bed feet.”
IV
“I pray thee tell to me thy name,
Oh, tell me where does thy dwelling be?”
“My name is good Hill Marliner,
And I earn my living oot o’er the sea.
V
I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie in the sea,
And when I’m far from every strand
My dwelling it’s in Sule Skerry”
VI
“Alas, alas, that’s woeful fate,
That’s weary fate that’s been laid on me,
That a man should come from the West o’ Hoy
To the Norway Lands to have a bairn wi’ me.”
VII (1)
“My dear, I’ll wed thee with a ring,
With a ring, my dear, will I wed with thee.”
“Thee may go to thee weddings with whom thou wilt,
For I’m sure thou never will wed wi’ me.”
VIII
She has nursed his little wee son
For seven long years upon her knee
And at the end of seven long years
He came back with gowd and white monie (2)
IX
For she has got the gunner good
And a gay good gunner it was he,
He gaed oot on a May morning
And he shot the son and the grey silkie.
X
“Alas, alas, that’s woeful fate,
That’s weary fate that’s been laid on me.”
And eenst or twice she sobbed and sighed
And her tender hairt did break in three.(3)

NOTES
1) she asks silkie to marry her, but he refuses, telling her that she will marry another.
2) silkie pays the Norse tribute for his child
3) in another version, however, the woman decides to follow selkie and son throwing herself into the sea to prevent the prophecy from coming true

But the most widespread melody that became standard it is that of the American James Waters  (see first part)

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/sule-skerry.htm

http://terreceltiche.altervista.org/the-great-selkie-of-sule-skerry/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/greatsilkieofsuleskerry.html
https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4882

E la barca va: The Prince & the Ballerina

Leggi in italiano

Flora MacDonald (1722 – 1790), was 24 when he met Charles Stuart. After the ruinous battle of Culloden (1746) the then twenty-six-year-old Bonnie Prince managed to escape and remain hidden for several months, protected by his loyalists, despite the British patrols and the price on his head!
Charles found many hiding places and support in the Hebrides but it was a dangerous game of hide-and-seek.

THE PRINCE & THE BALLERINA

The prince had managed to get to the Island of Banbecula of the Outer Hebrides, but the surveillance was very tight and had no way to escape. And here comes the girl, Flora MacDonald.
The MacDonalds as loyal to the king and Presbyterian confession, but they were sympathizers of the Jacobite cause and so Flora who lived in Milton (South Uist island) went on visiting her friend, wife of the clan’s Lady Margareth of Clanranald , and she was presented to Charles Stuart.

In another version of the story the prince was hiding at the Loch Boisdale on the Isle of South Uist, hoping to meet Alexander MacDonald, who had recently been arrested. Warned that a patrol would inspect the area, Charles fled with two jacobites to hide in a small farm near Ormaclette where the meeting with Flora MacDonald had been arranged. The moment was immortalized in many paintings like this by Alexander Johnston.

Flora MacDonald's Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)
Flora MacDonald’s Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)

In the anecdotal version of the story, Flora devised a trick to take away Charlie from the island : on the pretext of visiting her mother (who lived in Armadale after remarried), she obtained the safe-conduct for herself and her two servants; under the name and clothes of the Irish maid Betty Burke, however, there was the Bonny Prince! (see more)

E LA BARCA VA

charlie e floraThe boat with four (or six) sailors to the oars left Benbecula on 27 June 1746 for the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. They arrived to Portée and on July 1st they left, the prince gave Flora a medallion with his portrait and the promise that they would meet one day

FLORA MACDONALD’S FANCY

Among the Scottish dances is still commemorated the dance with which Flora performed in front of the Prince. It ‘a very graceful dance, inevitable in the program of Highland dance competitions: it is a courtship dance, in which girl shows all her skills while maintaining a proud attitude and composure.
It is performed with the Aboyne dress, dress prescribed for the dancers in the national Scottish dances, as disciplined by the dance commission in the Aboyne Highland Gathering of 1970 (with pleated skirt doll effect, in tartan or the much more vaporous white cloth) .
Melody is a strathspey, which is a slower reel, typical of Scotland often associated with commemorations and funerals.

FLORA MACDONALD’S REEL

Many other musical tributes were dedicated to the beautiful Flora. The melody of this reel appears with many titles, the first printed version is found in Robert Bremer “Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances”, 1757 and also in Repository Complete of the Dance Music of Scotland by Niel Gow (Vol I). The reel is in two parts

Tonynara from “Sham Rock” – 1994

The Virginia Company

RUSTY NAIL: CLAN MACKINNON COCKTAIL

Rusty-NailTo repay the help given by Clan MacKinnon during the months when he had to hide from the English, Prince Stuart revealed to John MacKinnon the recipe for his secret elixir, a special drink created by his personal pharmacist. The MacKinnon clan accepted the custody of the recipe, until at the beginning of the ‘900, a descendant of the family decided that it was time to commercially exploit the recipe calling it “Drambuie”

4.5 cl Scotch whisky
2.5 cl Drambuie

Procedure: directly prepare an old fashioned glass with ice. Stir gently and garnish with a twist of lemon.

A double-scottish cocktali: Scotch Whiskey and Drambuie which is a liqueur whose recipe is a mix of whiskey, honey … secrets and legends. Even today the company is managed by the same family and keeps the contents of the recipe secret. (Taken from here)

At this point many will ask “But the Skye boat song, where did it end?” (here  is)

LINK
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/women/wih9.htm
http://www.windsorscottish.com/pl-others-fmacdonald.php
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31609
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94755
http://thesession.org

Twa Bonnie Maidens

Read the post in English  

“Twa Bonnie Maidens” (in italiano “Due graziose fanciulle”) è una canzone giacobita pubblicata da James Hogg in “Jacobite Relics”, Volume II (1819) che celebra l’arrivo nell’isola di Skye di una barchetta con due belle fanciulle, senonchè l’ancella di Flora Macdonald è il nostro Bel Carletto travestito, nella sua fuga dalla Scozia, dopo la disfatta della rivolta giacobita nella rovinosa battaglia di Culloden (1746).

IL PRINCIPE E LA BALLERINA

Il principe era riuscito ad arrivare nell’isola di Banbecula delle Ebridi Esterne, ma la sorveglianza era strettissima e non aveva modo di fuggire. Ed ecco che entra in scena la fanciulla, Flora MacDonald.
Nella versione anedottica della storia, Flora escogitò un trucco per portare via dall’isola Charlie: con il pretesto di andare a trovare la madre (che viveva ad Armadale dopo essersi risposata), ottenne per sè e per i due suoi domestici il salvacondotto; sotto il nome e gli abiti della cameriera irlandese Betty Burke però si celava il Bonny Prince!: Il Principe e la Ballerina

Flora MacDonald's Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)
“Flora MacDonald’s Introduction to Bonnie Prince Charlie” di Alexander Johnston (1815-1891)

TWA BONNIE MAIDENS

Hogg trascrisse il testo dalla testimonianza della signora Betty Cameron di Lochaber, la quale affermava che originariamente la canzone fosse in gaelico scozzese. Così scrive Hogg
È stato copiato letteralmente dalla bocca della signora Betty Cameron di Lochaber; un personaggio ben noto in gran parte delle Lowlands, specialmente per la sua grande quantità di canzoni giacobite, e il suo attaccamento al principe Carlo, e ai capi che soffrirono per lui, dei quali non parlò mai senza scoppiare a piangere. Disse che la canzone era dal gaelico; ma se lo è, penso che probabilmente l’ha tradotta lei stessa. Non c’è quasi nessuna canzone o aria che amo di più”
Quadriga Consort in “Ships Ahoy ! – Songs of Wind, Water & Tide” 2011
Marais & Miranda in A European Folk Song Festival 2012 (strofe I, III)
Archie Fisher in “The Man with a Rhyme” 1976


I
There were twa bonnie maidens,
and three bonnie maidens,
Cam’ ower the Minc (1),
and cam’ ower the main,
Wi’ the wind for their way
and the corrie (2) for their hame,
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
Chorus
Come alang, come alang,
wi’ your boatie and your song,

Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!

The nicht, it is dark,
and the redcoat is gane,

And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.

II
There is Flora, my honey,
sae neat and sae bonnie,
And ane that is tall,
and handsome withall.
Put the ane for my Queen
and the ither for my King
And they’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
III (3)
There’s a wind on the tree,
and a ship on the sea,
Tae my hey! bonnie maidens,
my twa bonnie maids!
By the sea mullet’s nest (4)
I will watch o’er the main,
And you’re dearly welcome
tae Skye again.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
C’erano due graziose fanciulle
e tre fanciulle belle
che attraversarono il Minch
oltre il mare
sospinte dal vento a favore
e accolte dalle nostre montagne
sono sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye
Coro
Venite, venite
con la vostra barchetta e la vostra canzone, belle fanciulle,
mie due fanciulle belle!
La notte è buia
e le giubbe rosse sono partite,
voi siete sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye.
II
C’è Flora, la mia diletta;
così forte e bella
e uno che è alto
e anche bello.
Metti l’una come Regina
e l’altro come Re
sono sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye
III
C’è il vento all’albero
e una barca nel mare
belle fanciulle,
mie due fanciulle belle!
Dal nido di triglie
sorveglierò il mare
voi siete sinceramente le benvenute
a Skye.

NOTE
1) Minch=channel between the Outer and Inner Hebrides
2) corry=a hollow space or excavation in a hillside
3) la strofa è una sintesi  tra la III e la IV della versione riportata da Hogg
4) i due sbarcarono nel villaggio di Portree. Il Nest Point è invece un altro suggestivo panorama  sulla punta occidentale dell’isola di Skye (sul lato opposto di Portree), ottimo punto per guardare il Minch il tratto di mare che separa le Highlands do nord ovest e il nord di Skye dalle isole Harris e Lewis, detto dagli antichi Norreni “Fiordo della Scozia”
Ai tempi della rivolta giacobita non esisteva ancora il Faro progettato e costruito da Alan Stevenson nei primi anni del 900.

LA MELODIA: Planxty George Brabazon o Prince Charlie’s Welcome To The Isle Of Skye?

L’arpista irlandese Turlough O’Carolan (ricordato come l’ultimo dei bardi-arpisti itineranti) scrisse alcune arie in omaggio ai suoi ospiti e mecenati, che chiamava “planxty”, il cui testo in gaelico irlandese (non pervenuto) elogiava il nobile di turno o ne commemorava un evento; le melodie sono libere e vivaci con tempi diversi (non necessariamente in terzine). Con il titolo di George Brabazon si conoscono due distinte melodie attribuite a Carolan.
“George Brabazon”è stato rititolato in Scozia “Prince Charlie’s Welcome to the Island of Skye” in onore del Pretendente come veicolo per la canzone “Twa Bonnie Maidens”. Appare anche nel Complete Repository di Gow, Parte Seconda (1802) con il titolo “Isle di Sky “(sic), suonato come una Scots Measure e con alcune differenze melodiche nella seconda parte. Questo è significativo, perché precede la prima fonte irlandese (O’Neill) di un secolo.
Fonte “The Fiddler’s Companion” (cf. Liens).

J.J. Sheridan
Siobhan Mcdonnell

The Chieftains  in Water From the Well 2000

“Over the Sea to Skye”

FONTI
http://chrsouchon.free.fr/twabonny.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25774
http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_maidens.htm
https://www.thebards.net/music/lyrics/Twa_Bonnie_Maidens.shtml
https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/location-a-coilleag-a-phrionnsa-bonnie-prince-charlie-trail-p538071

https://thesession.org/tunes/1609
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=46578
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=19657
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=6422
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9152

Outlander: i regali dello sposo

Read the post in English  

DAL LIBRO LA STRANIERA

Diana Gabaldon

Nel primo libro della saga Outlander scritto da Diana Gabaldon il capitolo 16 Jamie recita,  il giorno dopo il loro matrimonio, una vecchia canzone d’amore a Claire, dandole una trota appena pescata con le mani.
“E una vecchia canzone d’amore, viene dalle Isole. Vuoi sentirla?”
“Si, certo. Ehm in inglese, se puoi” aggiunsi.
“Oh, aye. Non sono granchè intonato, ma posso dirti le parole” E, togliendosi le ciocche dei capelli dagli occhi, recitò:
Tu, figlia del re dei castelli illuminati a giorno,
la sera del nostro matrimonio,
se ancora uomo vivo sarò a Duntulm,
a grandi balzi verrò da te pieno di doni.
Avrai cento tassi, che dimorano in riva ai fiumi,
cento lontre brune, native dei torrenti..

A nighean righ nan roiseal soluis

Alexander Carmichael nel suo “Carmina Gadelica” Vol II, riporta il frammento di questa vecchia scottish song in gaelico scozzese, facendone la traduzione in inglese, supponendo che l’autore sia stato un Macdonalds delle Isole (clan rinomato per la fama poetica dei suoi esponenti di spicco) dell’isola di Skye.
Skye è probabilmente  l’isola delle Ebridi più simile alla terra di Avalon, location privilegiata di molti film fantasy e non, e più recentemente meta inflazionata del turismo di massa (con tutti gli aspetti negativi dei prezzi gonfiati, le strade sovraffollate dai bus turistici e anche alle mete più impervie rischiate di trovarvi in numerosa compagnia)

I
A nighean righ nan roiseal soluis (1),
An oidhche bhios oirnne do bhanais,
Ma ’s fear beo mi an Duntuilm (2)
Theid mi toirleum (3)  da d’earrais.
II
Gheobh tu ciad bruicean tadhal bruach,
Ciad dobhran donn, dualach alit,
Gheobh tu ciad damh alluidh nach tig
Gu innis ard ghleannaidh.
III
Gheobh to ciad steud stadach, luath,
Ciad bràc (5) bruaill an t-samhraidh,
’S gheobh tu ciad maoilseach (6) maol, ruadh,
Nach teid am buabhall am Faoileach (7) geamhraidh

traduzione inglese *
I
Thou daughter of the king of bright-lit mansions (1),
On the night that our wedding is on us,/If living man I be in Duntulm (2)
I will go bounding to thee with gifts.
II (4)
Thou wilt get an hundred badgers dwellers in banks,
An hundred brown otters native of streams,
Thou wilt get an hundred wild stags that will not come/ To the green pastures of the high glens.
III
Thou wilt get an hundred steeds stately and swift,
An hundred reindeer intractable in summer,
And thou wilt get an hundred hummelled red hinds,
That will not go in stall in the Wolfmonth of winter
Traduzione italiana**
[Tu, figlia del re dei castelli illuminati a giorno,
la sera del nostro matrimonio
se ancora uomo vivo sarò a Duntulm, a grandi balzi verrò da te pieno di doni.
II
Avrai cento tassi, che dimorano in riva ai fiumi,
cento lontre brune, native dei torrenti]
Avrai cento cervi
che non andranno
sui verdi pascoli degli altopiani.
III
Avrai cento destrieri maestosi e dal piè veloce,
cento renne difficili da trattare in estate
Avrai cento cervi rossi senza corna
che non andranno nella stalla nel mese invernale di Gennaio.

NOTE
* Alexander Carmicheal
** Cattia Salto fuori dalle [ ]
1) letteralmente roiseal soluis= fine bright light or display of light, se fosse una fiaba verrebbe voglia di tradurre come “re della schiera luminosa” e prosegue “la notte del nostro matrimonio è alle porte
2) Duntulm Castle è un castello diroccato su uno spuntone di roccia sulla costa settentrionale di Trotternish , nell’isola di Skye. Sede del clan Mac Donald di Sleat a partire dal Seicento è stato abbandonato  nell’anno del 1730.
3) tòirleum: leum bras
4) Diana Gabaldon conclude il poema aggiungendo un verso che richiama la situazione comica creatasi tra i due protagonisti “cento argentee trote, che saltano dagli stagni
5) bràc= brae= Beurla (reindeer)
6) bean an fhèid
7) Faoilteach

Il simbolismo dei doni matrimoniali è evidente: l’abbondanza degli armenti è benaugurale per la fertilità della coppia.

FONTI
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg2/cg2106.htm
http://www.electricscotland.com/books/pdf/carminagadelicah02carm.pdf
http://luideagbheag.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-nigheann-righ-nan-roiseal-soluis.html

https://www.thecastlesofscotland.co.uk/the-best-castles/scenic-castles/duntulm-castle/
https://50sfumaturediviaggio.com/2017/07/01/isola-di-skye-informazioni-generali/
https://50sfumaturediviaggio.com/2017/06/30/isola-di-skye-4-giorni-tra-le-nuvole/

The Grey Silkie of Sule Skerry

Leggi in italiano

5494853578_b8a653b169Selkie / silkie / Selchie are the dialectal terms with which in Scotland and Ireland the shapeshifting creatures of sea are called; derive from selich, the Scottish archaic word for  gray seal of the oceans and the Atlantic seas: they are guardians of the sea, seal in the sea and man on earth.

ALL ABOUT SELKIE see here

The power of shapeshifters seems to be contained in their mantle (seal skin), selkies can no longer transform themselves without it and are forced to remain human. This condition is understood in a negative way, a sign of a lack or deprivation, as if the skins of Selkie there were also their soul.
Some researchers wanted to see the origin of the legend in the Finfolk, ( probably the Sami people) Scandinavian men who arrived on the islands and on the coast of Scotland aboard their leather kayaks, while gradually they were advancing at sea their canoe had absorbed water and  sank until only part of their trunk it could be seen.

Both male and female, they are described in their human form as beautiful creatures (long hair and big dark eyes, agile limbs), docile but at the same time endowed with seductive power. The legend says that to reproduce a selkie-male must be in human form and transmit his power to descendants: when his child is weaned on dry land, the selkie will return from the sea. Once when the infant mortality rate was very high, only children over the age of seventh could be considered out of danger and it was at the end of the seventh year that the selkie returned to take his child.
Selkie males were invoked by girls in search of lovers, pouring seven tears in the tide, while sailors were attracted to the female selkie who tried to take as their brides.

Selkie by Maryanne Gobble

THE GREAT SELKIE OF SULE SKERRY

The best known of the Orkney ballads, also known as The Gray Silkie of Sule Skerry, it tells of a selkie living on the rocky cliff of Sule. Skerry derives from the Norse “sker” which means rock in the sea .
The ballad was also collected by professor Child ( # 113).

tumblr_loialeB04U1r04h5zo1_500A young girl has a child from an unknown man who turns out to be a selkie: man on earth, seal at sea whose dwelling is the rocks of Sule. After seven years the sea creature returns to claim his son, giving him a chain of gold, and the mother lets him go.
She after some time gets married with a hunter who trades with animal skins. One day he returns home with the skins of two seals he had killed to give them to his wife: one was of an old gray seal, the other of a young seal with a golden chain around his neck! She dies, overwhelmed by the pain of this vision: her heart breaks or she chooses to follow selkie and son throwing herself into the sea to prevent the prophecy from coming true.

SELKIE PROPHECY

The enchantment of the story lies in particular in the narrative choice: the story is often described as in a nocturnal dream in which a man who claims to be silkie and father of the child, appears almost magically and, next to the cradle of the newborn as in fairy godmothers of fairy tales, he traces child’s destiny.

TWO TUNES

A first melody, which was shot in the folk revival of the 70s, it was written by the American James Waters in 1954 (popularized by Joan Baez); another melody is instead traditional and it was collected in 1938 by Otto Anderson from the voice of John Sinclair of the island of Flotta and transcribed in notation.

JAMES WATERS TUNE

A funeral lament in a lullaby form.

Castelbar  (I, II, IV, V, III, VI, VII, I)

Very intense version of Steeleye Span from Cogs, Wheels and Lovers, 2009, Maddy Prior and Peter Knight

Cécile Corbel ( I, II, IV as refrain, III, V, VI)

Seriouskitchen (Nick Hennessey, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer ) live: magic instruments, beautiful voices, intense expressiveness

I
An earthly nurse (1) sits and sings,
And aye, she sings by lily wean,
“And little ken (2) I my bairn (3)’s father,
Far less the land where he dwells in.
II
For he came one night to her bed feet (4),/And a grumbly (5) guest, I’m sure was he,/Saying, “Here am I, thy bairn’s father,/Although I be not comely.”
III
He had ta’en a purse of gold/And he had placed it upon her knee/ Saying, “Give to me my little young son,/And take thee up thy nurse’s fee.”
IV
“I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie on the sea,
And when I’m far and far frae land,
My home it is in Sule Skerrie.”
V
“And it shall come to pass on a summer’s day,/When the sun shines bright on every stane,/I’ll come and fetch my little young son,/And teach him how to swim the faem.”
VI
“Ye shall marry a gunner good/And a right fine gunner I’m sure he’ll be,/And the very first shot that e’er he shoots/Will kill both my young son and me.”
VII
“Alas! Alas! this woeful fate!
This weary fate that’s been laid for me!”/And once or twice she sobbed and sighed/and she joint to a sun and grey silkie (6)

NOTES
1) nourris = nurse
2) ken = know
3) bairn = child
4) bed fit = foot of the bed
5) grumly = strange, scary but also sad
6) or: And her tender heart did break in three

traditional tune

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/sule-skerry.htm
http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/selkiefolk/sulesk.htm
http://thawinedarksea.blogspot.it/2010/04/selkie-pallawah-skin.html
http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/finfolk/index.html
https://japanesemythology.wordpress.com/study-notes-investigating-sealkins-selkies-and-sea-goddess-folklore/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/greatsilkieofsuleskerry.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31375
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch113.htm
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/recordings–info-113-great-silkie-of-sule-skerry.aspx
http://bestoflegends.org/fairy/selchies.html
http://fiabesca.blogspot.it/2013/06/acque-settentrionali-le-storie-della.html

Tra terra e cielo, la cultura nei paesi dei Celti