Archivi categoria: Gaelico scozzese/ SCOTTISH GAELIC

Aileen Duinn, Brown-haired Alan

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“Aileen Duinn” is a Scottish Gaelic song from the Hebrides: a widow/sweetheart lament for the sinking of a fishing boat, originally a waulking song in which she invokes her death to share the same seaweed bed with her lover, Alan.
According to the tradition on the island of Lewis Annie Campbell wrote the song in despair over the death of her sweetheart Alan Morrison, a ship captain who in the spring of 1788 left Stornoway to go to Scalpay where he was supposed to marry his Annie, but the ship ran into a storm and the entire crew was shipwrecked and drowned: she too will die a few months later, shocked by grief. His body was found on the beach, near the spot where the sea had returned the body of Ailein Duinn (black-haired Alan).

 The song became famous because inserted into the soundtrack of the film Rob Roy and masterfully interpreted by Karen Matheson (the singer of the Scottish group Capercaillie who appears in the role of a commoner and sings it near the fire)

Here is the soundtrack of the film Rob Roy: Ailein Duinn and Morag’s Lament, (arranged by Capercaillie & Carter Burwelle) in which the second track is the opening verse followed by the chorus

FIRST VERSION

The text is reduced to a minimum, more evocative than explanatory of a tragic event that it was to be known to all the inhabitants of the island. The woman who sings is marked by immense pain, because her black-haired Alain is drowned at the bottom of the sea, and she wants to share his sleep in the abyss by a macabre blood covenant.

Capercaillie from To the Moon – 1995: Keren Matheson, the voice ‘kissed by God’ switches from the whisper to the cry, in the crashing waves blanding into bagpipes lament.

Meav, from Meav 2000 angelic voice, harp and flute

Annwn from Aeon – 2009 German group founded in 2006 of Folk Mystic; their interpretation is very intense even in the rarefaction of the arrangement, with the limpid and warm voice of Sabine Hornung, the melody carried by the harp, a few echoes of the flute and the lament of the violin: magnificent.

Trobar De Morte  the text reduced to only two verses and extrapolated from the context lends itself to be read as the love song of a mermaid in the surf of the sea (see also Mermaid’s croon)

It is the most reproduced textual version with the most different musical styles, roughly after 2000, also as sound-track in many video games (for example Medieval II Total War)

english translation
How sorrowful I am
Early in the morning rising
Chorus
Ò hì, I would go (1) with thee
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ ru bhi\,
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ rionn o ho,

Brown-haired Alan, ò hì,
I would go with thee
If it is thy pillow the sand
If it is thy bed the seaweed
If it is the fish thy candles bright
If it is the seals thy watchmen(2)
I would drink(3), though all would abhor it
Of thy heart’s blood after thy drowning
Scottish Gaelic
Gura mise tha fo éislean,
Moch `s a’ mhadainn is mi `g eirigh,
Sèist
O\ hi\ shiu\bhlainn leat,
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ ru bhi\,
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ rionn o ho,
Ailein duinn, o\ hi\
shiu\bhlainn leat.
Ma `s e cluasag dhut a’ ghainneamh,
Ma `s e leabaidh dhut an fheamainn,
Ma `s e `n t-iasg do choinnlean geala,
Ma `s e na ròin do luchd-faire,
Dh’olainn deoch ge boil   le cach e,
De dh’fhuil do choim `s tu `n   deidh dobhathadh,

NOTES
1) to die, to follow
2) for the inhabitants of the Hebrides Islands the seals are not simple animals, but magical creatures called selkie, which at night take the form of drowned men and women. Considered a sort of guardians of the Sea or gardeners of the sea bed every night or only on full moon nights, they would abandon their skins to reveal their human form, to sing and dance on the silver cliffs (here)
3) refers to an ancient Celtic ritual, consisting in drinking the blood of a friend as a sign of affection (the covenant of blood), a custom cited by Shakespeare (still practiced by all the friends of the heart who exchange blood with a shallow cut and joining the two cuts; it was also practiced for the handfasting in Scotland: once the handfasting was above all a pact of blood, in which the right wrist of the spouses was engraved with the tip of a dagger until the blood spurts, after which the two wrists were tied in close contact with each other with the “wedlock’s band” (see more.)

by liga-marta tratto da qui

SECOND VERSION

Here is the version of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser (1857-1930) from “Songs of the Hebrides“, see also Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912) in his “Carmina Gadelica”.

Alison Pearce & Susan Drake from “A Harris love lament”  
Quadriga Consort  from “Ships Ahoy !” 2011  

(english translation Kennet Macleod)
I am the one under sorrow
in the early morn and I arising.
Chorus
Brown-haired Alan

Ò hì, I would go with thee
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ ru bhi\,
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ rionn o ho,

Brown-haired Alan,
 I would go with thee
‘Tis not the death of the kine in May-month
but the wetness of thy winding-sheet./Though mine were a fold of cattle, sure, little my care for them today./Ailein duinn, calf of my heart,
art thou adrift on Erin’s shore?
That not my choice of a stranger-land,
but a place where my cry would reach thee.
Ailein duinn, my spell and my laughter,/would, o King, that I were near thee/on what so bank or creek thou art stranded,
on what so beach the tide has left thee.
I would drink a drink, gainsay it who might,
but not of the glowing wine of Spain
The blood of the thy body, o love,
I would rather,/the blood that comes from thy throat-hollow.
O may God bedew thy soul
with what I got of thy sweet caresses,
with what I got of thy secret-speech
with what I got of thy honey-kisses.
My prayer to thee, o King of the Throne
that I go not in earth nor in linen
That I go not in hole-ground nor hidden-place
but in the tangle where lies my Allan
(scottish gaelic)
Gura mise tha fo éislean,
Moch `s a’ mhadainn is mi `g eirigh
Sèist
Ailein duinn,

O\ hi\ shiu\bhlainn leat,
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ ru bhi\,
Hi\ ri bho\ ho\ rionn o ho,
Ailein duinn,
o\ hi\ shiu\bhlainn leat

Cha’n e bàs a’ chruidh ‘s a’ chéitein
Ach a fhichead ‘s tha do leine.
Ged bu leam-sa buaile spréidhe
‘s ann an diugh bu bheag mo spéis dith.
Ailein duinn a laoigh mo chéille
an deach thu air tir an Eirinn?
Cha b’e sid mo rogha céin-thir
ach an t-àit’ an ruigeadh m’ éigh thu.
Ailein duinn mo ghis ‘s mo ghàire
‘s truagh, a Righ, nach mi bha làmh riut.
Ge b’e eilb no òb an tràigh thu
ge b’e tiurr am fàg an làn thu.
Dh’ òlainn deoch ge b’ oil le càch e,
cha b’ ann a dh’ fhion dearg na Spàinne.
Fuil do chuim, a ghraidh, a b’ fhearr leam,
an fhuil tha nuas o lag do bhràghad.
O gu’n drùchdadh Dia air t’ anam
na fhuair mi de d’ bhrìodal tairis.
Na fhuair mi de d’ chòmhradh falaich,
na fhuair mi de d’ phògan meala.
M’ achan-sa, a Righ na Cathrach,
gun mi dhol an ùir no ‘n anart
an talamh-toll no ‘n àite-falaich
ach ‘s an roc an deachaidh Ailean

Another translation in English with the title “Annie Campbell’s Lament”
Estrange Waters from Songs of the Water, 2016

Chorus
Dark Alan my love,
oh I would follow you

Far beneath the great sea,
deep into the abyss

Dark Alan, oh I would follow you
I
Today my heart swells with sorrow
My lover’s ship sank deep in the ocean
I would follow you..
II
I ache to think of your features
Your white limbs
and shirt ripped and torn asunder
I would follow you..
III
I wish I could be beside you
On whichever rock or shore where you’re sleeping
I would follow you..
IV
Seaweed shall be as our blanket
And we’ll lay our heads on soft beds made of sand
I would follow you..

THIRD VERSION

The most suggestive and dramatic version is that reported by Flora MacNeil who she has learned  from her mother. Born in 1928 on the Isle of Barra, she is a Scottish singer who owns hundreds of songs in Scottish Gaelic. “Traditional songs tended to run in families and I was fortunate that my mother and her family had a great love for the poetry and the music of the old songs. It was natural for them to sing, whatever they were doing at the time or whatever mood they were in. My aunt Mary, in particular, was always ready, at any time I called on her, to drop whatever she was doing, to discuss a song with me, and perhaps, in this way, long forgotten verses would be recollected. So I learned a great many songs at an early age without any conscious effort. As is to be expected on a small island, so many songs deal with the sea, but, of course, many of them may not originally be Barra songs”

A different story from Flora MacNeil’s family: the woman is married to Alain MacLeann who dies in the shipwreck with all the other men of her family: her father and brothers; the woman turns to the seagull that flies high over the sea and sees everything, as a witness of the misfortune; the last verse traces poetic images of a funeral of the sea, with the bed of seaweed, the stars like candles, the murmur of the waves for the music and the seals as guardians.

Flora MacNeil from  a historical record of 1951.


English translation
O na hi hoireann o ho
Hi na hi i ri u hu o
Endless grief the price it cost me
‘Twas neither sheep or cattle
But the load the ship took with her
My father and my three brothers
As if this wasn’t all my burden
The one to whom I gave my hand
MacLean of the fair skin
Who took me from the church on Tuesday(1)
“Little seagull, seagull of the ocean
Where did you leave the fair men?”
“I left them in the island of the sea
Back to back, no longer breathing”
Scottish Gaelic
Sèist:
O na hi hoireann o ho
Hi na hi i ri u hu o
S’ goirt ‘s gur daor a phaigh mi mal dhut
Cha chrodh laoigh ‘s cha chaoraich bhana
Ach an luchd a thaom am bata
Bha m’athair oirre ‘s mo thriuir bhraithrean
Chan e sin gu leir a chraidh mi
Ach am fear a ghlac air laimh mi
Leathanach a’ bhroillich bhainghil
A thug o ‘n chlachan Di-mairt mi
Fhaoileag bheag thu, fhaoileag mhar’ thu
Cait a d’fhag thu na fir gheala
Dh’fhag mi iad ‘san eilean mhara
Cul ri cul is iad gun anail

NOTES
(1) Tuesday is still the day on which traditionally marriages are celebrated on the Island of Barra

FOURTH VERSION

Still a version set just like a waulking song and yet a different text, this time the ship is a whaler and Allen is shipwrecked near the Isle of Man.

Mac-Talla, from Gaol Is Ceol 1994, only the female voices and the notes of a harp, but what immediacy …

English translation
I am tormented/I have no thought for merriment tonight
Brown-haired Allen o hi, I would go with thee.
I have no thought for merriment tonight/But for the sound of the elements and the strength of the gales
Brown-haired Allen o hi,
I would go with thee.

CHORUS
Hi riri riri ri hu o, horan o o, o hi le bho
Duinn o hi, I would go with thee
But for the sound of the elements and the strength of the gales
Which would drive the men from the harbor
Brown-haired Allen, my darling sweetheart
I heard you had gone across the sea
On the slender, black boat of oak
And that you have gone ashore on the Isle of Man
That was not the harbor I would have chosen
Brown-haired Allen, darling of my heart
I was young when I fell in love with you
Tonight my tale is wretched
It’s not a tale of the death of cattle in the bog
But of the wetness of your shirt
And of how you are being torn by whales
Brown-haired Allen, my dear beloved
I heard you had been drowned
Alas, oh God, that I was not beside you
Whatever tide-mark the flood will leave you
I would take a drink, in spite of everyone
Of your heart’s blood,
after you had been drowned
Scottish Gaelic
S gura mise th’air mo sgaradh
Chan eil sugradh nochd air m’aire
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Chaneil sugradh nochd air m’air’
Ach fuaim nan siantan ‘s miad na gaillinn
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Hi riri riri ri hu o, horan o o, o hi le bho
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat~Ailein.
Ach fuaim nan siantan ‘s miad na gaillinn
Dh’fhuadaicheadh na fir bho’n chaladh
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Ailein Duinn a luaidh nan leannan
Chuala mi gun deach thu thairis
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Chuala mi gun deach thu thairis
Air a’ bhata chaol dhubh dharaich
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
‘S gun deach thu air tir am Manainn
Cha b’e siod mo rogha caladh
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Ailein Duinn a luaidh mo cheile
Gura h-og a thug mi speis dhut
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
‘S ann a nochd as truagh mo sgeula
‘S cha n-e bas a’ chruidh ‘san fheithe
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Ach cho fliuch ‘s a tha do leine
Muca mara bhith ‘gad reubach
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Ailein Duinn a chiall ‘s a naire
Chuala mi gun deach do bhathadh
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
‘S truagh a Righ nach mi bha laimh riut
Ge be tiurr an dh’fhag an lan thu
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat
Dh’olainn deoch, ge b’oil le cach e
A dh’fhuil do chuim ‘s tu ‘n deidh do bhathadh
Ailein Duinn o hi shiubhlainn leat

LINK
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/murray/ailean.htm
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/capercaillie/ailein.htm
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8239
http://folktrax-archive.org/menus/cassprogs/001scotsgaelic.htm

Beltane Chase: Fith Fath song

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THE  BELTANE CHASE SONG

The text was written by Paul Huson in his “Mastering Witchcraft” – 1970 inspired by the Scottish ballad “The Twa  Magicians“: Fith Fath is a enchantment of concealment or transmutation, in this lyrics it is the seasonal cycle of transmutations. Caitlin Matthews added a melody in 1978. Today the song is considered a traditional one.

The ritual of the Love chase was to be typical in Beltane when the Queen of May or the Goddess Maiden and the King of May, the Green Man was united to renew the life and fertility of the Earth: still in the Middle Age the boys dressed in green like forest elves ventured into the greenwood (the sacred wood), playing a horn so the girls could find them. Or they turned into hunters and followed magical transmutations with their prey.

Beltane Fire Festival: Green Man and the May Queen

Caitlin Matthews 
Damh The Bard from Herne’s Apprentice – 2003

Pixi Morgan

FITH FATH SONG
I
I shall go as a wren(1) in Spring
With sorrow and sighing on silent wing(2)
CHORUS I
I shall go in our Lady’s name
Aye till I come home again
II
Then we shall follow as falcons grey
And hunt thee cruelly for our prey
CHORUS II
And we shall go in our Horned God’s name(3)
Aye to fetch thee home again
III
Then I shall go as a mouse in May
Through fields by night and in cellars by day.
CHORUS I
IV
Then we shall follow as black tom cats
And hunt thee through the fields and the vats.
CHORUS II
V
Then I shall go as an Autumn hare
With sorrow and sighing and mickle care. (4)
CHORUS I
VI
Then we shall follow as swift greyhounds/ And dog thy steps with leaps and bounds
CHORUS II
VII
Then I shall go as a Winter trout
With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt.
CHORUS I
VIII
Then we shall follow as otters swift
And bind thee fast so thou cans’t shift
CHORUS II

NOTES
1) The Gaelic name “Druidh dhubh” translates as “bird druid” also called “Bran’s sparrow” (the god of prophecy). Sacred animal whose killing was considered taboo and a bearer of misfortune, but not during the time of Yule. In his book “The White Goddess”, Robert Graves explains that in the Celtic tradition, the struggle between the two parts of the year is represented by the struggle between the king holly (or mistletoe), -the nascent year- and the king oak -the dying year. At the winter solstice the king holly wins over the king oak, and vice-versa for the summer solstice. In oral tradition, a variant of this fight is represented by the robin and the wren, hidden between the leaves of the two respective trees. The wren represents the waning year, the robin the new year and the death of the wren is a passage of death-rebirth. see more 
2) the mystery can not be revealed in words: the initiatory path is accomplished and once understood it is not possible to express.
3) the Horned God is a syncretic sum of ancient deities represented with horns and symbols of fertility and abundance (Celtic Cernunnos and Greek-Roman divinities Pan and Dionysus). According to some scholars, this deity was the pagan alternative of the Christian God, to whom those who remained anchored to the old traditions continued to pay veneration, in short, the ideal candidate for the figure of the Devil! But in my opinion it was been the Christian fanaticism to flatten and standardize all the other cults in a single devilish cult.
The idea of ​​the Horned God developed in the occult circles of France and England in the nineteenth century and his first modern depiction is that of Eliphas Levi of 1855, but it was Margaret Murray in “The Witch-cult in Western Europe”, 1921 to build the thesis of a unique pagan cult that survived the advent of Christianity. This theory, however, is not supported by rigorous documentation and certainly we can find the persistence up to the modern age of cults or beliefs present in various parts of Europe attributable to religion towards the Ancient Gods. Many of these beliefs were absorbed into Christianity and finally fought as diabolical when it was not possible to incorporate them into the new cult.
According to the Wicca tradition, the God is born at the Winter solstice, marries the Goddess to Beltane and dies at the Summer Solstice being the masculine principle equivalent to the triple lunar Goddess that governs life and death.

65440797_zernunn4

4) Similarly Isobel Gowdie, tried for witchcraft in 1662 in Scotland reveals to his torturers the formula of a Fith Fath
I sall gae intil a haire,
Wi’ sorrow and sych and meikle care;
And I sall gae in the Devillis name,
Ay quhill I com hom againe.
Much has been written about witches, especially on the great witch-hunt that took place on the two sides of the Christian religion one step away from the “Century of Enlightenment” and not in the dark Middle Ages. Symptom of a cultural change that will shake the “certainties” of the Western religion. Witches or sorcerers have always existed, they are those who use magic, who can see beyond the material accidents and undertake a journey of research and ancient knowledge. Obscene it was been what Catholics and Protestants did in their “struggle” for power, to annihilate those who were seen as a threat to the True Faith: a bloody struggle of religion that has exacerbated the boundaries of tolerance.

DEER ASPECT

Fith Fath is a spell of concealment or transmutation. It is reported and described in the book “Carmina Gadelica” by Alexander Carmicheal (vol II, 1900)
“They are applied to the occult power which rendered a person invisible to mortal eyes and which transformed one object into another. Men and women were made invisible, or men were transformed into horses, bulls, or stags, while women were transformed into cats, hares, or hinds. These transmutations were sometimes voluntary, sometimes involuntary. The ‘fīth-fāth’ was especially serviceable to hunters, warriors, and travellers, rendering them invisible or unrecognisable to enemies and to animals.” (from here)

English translation*
FATH fith(1)
Will I make on thee,
By Mary(2) of the augury,
By Bride(3) of the corslet,
From sheep, from ram,
From goat, from buck,
From fox, from wolf,
From sow, from boar,
From dog, from cat,
From hipped-bear,
From wilderness-dog,
From watchful ‘scan,'(4)
From cow, from horse,
From bull, from heifer,
From daughter, from son,
From the birds of the air, (5)
From the creeping things of the earth,
From the fishes of the sea,
From the imps of the storm.

FATH fith

Ni mi ort,
Le Muire na frithe,
Le Bride na brot,
Bho chire, bho ruta,
Bho mhise, bho bhoc,
Bho shionn, ‘s bho mhac-tire,
Bho chrain, ‘s bho thorc,
Bho chu, ‘s bho chat,
Bho mhaghan masaich,
Bho chu fasaich,
Bho scan (4) foirir,
Bho bho, bho mharc,
Bho tharbh, bho earc,
Bho mhurn, bho mhac,
Bho iantaidh an adhar,
Bho shnagaidh na talmha,
Bho iasgaidh na mara,
‘S bho shiantaidh na gailbhe

NOTES
* translated by Alexander Carmicheal
1) “deer aspect”; in reality with the spell it is possible to change into any animal form.
The red deer is the animal par excellence of the woods, the coveted prey of hunting, but also mythological animal lord of the Wood and of the Rebirth. For the Celts of the Gauls Cernunnos was the god of fertility with antlers on his head, the animal equivalent of the spirit of wheat. Magic guide, messenger of the fairies, the deer (especially if white) is associated with the Great Mother (and the lunar goddesses) but also with Lug (the Celtic equivalent of a solar deity). As Lugh’s animal it represents the rising sun (with the horns equivalent to the rays) and so in Christianity it is the representation of Christ (or of the soul that yearns to God): it is the king Deer cyclically sacrificed to the Mother Goddess to ensure fertility of the earth. “I am the seven-stage stag” sings the bard Amergin and so the druid-shaman should be dressed during the rituals with horns and deer skins see more
2) Danu (or Anu) mother goddess of the waters. It was the time of primordial chaos: dry deserts and boiling volcanoes, it was the time of the great emptiness. Then from the dark sky a trickle of water fell on the earth and life began to blossom: from the ground grew the sacred tree and Danu (the goddess Mother), the water that descended from the sky, nourished it. From their union the Gods were born ..
Hypogeic waters, labyrinthine caves, spring waters but also river running waters were the sites of prehistoric and protohistoric worship throughout Europe. In particular for the Keltoi Danu was the Danube near whose springs their civilization was born. see more
3) The name derives from the root “breo” (fire): the fire of the blacksmith’s forge combined with that of artistic inspiration and the healing energy. Also known as Brighid, Brigit or Brigantia, she is the goddess of the triple fire, patron saint of blacksmiths, poets and healers. He bore the nickname Belisama, the “Shining” and was a Solar Goddess (near the Celts and the Germans the Sun was female). It was dedicated to her the End of Winter Festival which was celebrated in Celtic Europe at the Calends of February. It was the party of IMBOLC, the festival of the purification of the fields and of the house to mark the slow awakening of Nature.
4) nobody knows that animal is a vigilant explorer, surely a mistake of transcription of Carmicheal
5) follows an invocation of the three kingdoms, Nem (sky), Talam (Earth) Muir (sea) and or if we want world above, middle and below

THE MIST OF AVALON

With the invocation a magical fog it is materialized, that is the mist of Avalon (or Manannan), which acts as a means of transport to the Otherworld. The fog has a dual nature, of concealment and of passage. Another word for “fog”, in Irish origins, is féth fiadha which means “the art of resembling”. Both gods and druids can evoke magical fog as a means of communication between the two worlds. The divination was therefore the féth fiadha.
The prayer “Fath Fith” seems to be the invocation of the hunter to hide from his prey, but it was also used as a form of divination in a “threshold place” for the magical experience of space such as the river bank or the coast of the sea, the compartment of an access door to the building or a bridge. But also time like dawn and sunset which are neither day nor night nor the holy days that are on the border between the seasons.
In doing so you find yourself in a place that is a non-place that some call the opaque world.

The Tale of Ossian and the Fawn

Still Alexander Carmicheal always in the chapter of Fith Fath tells the meeting of the boy Oisin (Ossian) with his mother: Ossian is a legendary bard of ancient Scotland or Ireland, compared to Homer and Shakespeare, thanks to the alleged discovery of his poems in Scotland . His legends chase in Ireland, Isle of Man and Scotland, but his popularity only grew in the mid-1700s when James MacPherson wrote “The Songs of Ossian” claiming to have found his manuscripts and fragments in the Scottish Highlands, among them a epic poem about Fingal, the father, who said he had “simply” translated, actually inventing: the ossianic fashion flared up throughout Europe giving life to Romanticism. continua

According to this Scottish version, Oisin borned by Finn Mac Coll (Fionn Mac Cumhaill) and a mortal woman, but previously Finn had been the lover of a fairy that he had abandoned to marry the daughter of men; so the fairy for revenge made the spell of the “Fath Fith” on the human bride turning her into a hind that went away and shortly thereafter gave birth to Oisin (the little fawn) on the island of Sandray (Outer Hebrides) in the Loch-nan-ceall in Arasaig.
Now we must make a leap of time and resume the story at the time of Ossian’s childhood when he returned to live with his father and the rest of the Fianna. One fine day, as usual, the are a-chasing a majestic deer on the mountain, when a magical mist descended over them, causing them to separate and disperse.
So Ossian wandered without knowing where he was and found himself in a deep green valley surrounded by high blue mountains, when he saw a fawn so beautiful and graceful that he remained admired to look at her. But when the spirit of the hunt took over in him and he was about to hurl the spear, she turned to look him straight in his eye and said “Do not hurt me, Ossian,I am thy mother under the “fīth-fāth,” in the form of a hind abroad and in the form of a woman at home. Thou art hungry and thirsty and weary. Come thou home with me, thou fawn of my heart “And Ossian followed her and passed a door in the rock and as soon as they crossed the threshold, the door disappeared and while the hind changed into a beautiful woman dressed in green and with golden hair.
After feasting on his fill, refreshed by drinks and music and having rested for three days, Ossian wanted to return to his Fianna, so he discovered that the three days in the mound under the hill, was equivalent to three years on earth. Ossian then wrote his first song to warn the mother-hind to stay away from the hunting grounds of the Fianna: ‘Sanas Oisein D’a Mhathair (Ossian’s To-To-His-Mother) of which Carmicheal reports a dozen stanzas

Stanilaus Soutten Longley (1894-1966)-Autumn

third part 

LINK
“I misteri del druidismo” di Brenda Cathbad Myers
http://terreceltiche.altervista.org/beltane-love-chase/
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg2/cg2014.htm
http://www.annwnfoundation.com/ians-blog/pwyll-pen-annwn-shapeshifting-and-the-fith-fath
http://www.devanavision.it/filodiretto/default.asp?id_pannello=2&id_news=6950&t=IL_DRUIDISMO
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=59312
http://www.ynis-afallach-tuath.com/public/print.php?sid=252

Aodann Srath Bhain  (The Slopes of Strath Ban)

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The Gaelic name Srath Bhàthain translates to English as “the valley of the Blane”, with reference to the Blane Water is ‘The Braes of Strathblane’ ballad, also sung in Scottish Gaelic, may have originated in Stirlingshire; it is however widespread in the Hebrides and in Ireland like “The Banks of Strathdon”
‘The Braes of Strathblane’ is a song which is firmly based in the oral tradition. As a result it is difficult to pinpoint its origins and author. It is, however, one of many folksongs which feature the braes of a village and young love. This song, indeed, an identical match to the lyrics of ‘The Braes of Strathdon’, which lies in Aberdeenshire. On other broadsides the suggested to tune to these lyrics is often ‘As I stood at my cottage door’.see)

SCOTTISH GAELIC VERSION

lavandaiaWidespread in the Hebrides and sung in Scottish Gaelic ballad’s history is a bit unusual compared to the “courting songs”: a young washerwoman refuses the proposal of marriage of her suitor (apparently a idle lad and not liked by her parents) and he instead to wander desperately and disconsolate for some distant valley (as would happen in an Irish song) goes to woo some other more available girl. In the last verses the girl complains about having let slip the opportunity to get married (with the fear of being a spinster forever)!

Capercaillie in “Delirium”, 1991.

Aodann Srath Bhain  (The Slopes of Strath Ban)

English translation *
I
Walking out early alone
on a morning in May
Among green fields,
an outcast and purposeless,
I saw a maiden
who lived some way above me
As she washed her clothes
out on the slopes of Strath Ban.
II
I then climbed upwards
to the maiden I loved was
And courteously and mildly
I spoke to her
“It’s over a year
since our love began,
And if you are willing
we shall marry at once.”
III
“Marry? To Marry
I’m too young
Your sort has tongue
that could cause trouble anywhere;
My father and mother
would scold me forever more
If I were to marry the likes of you,
you feckless young man.’
IV
But you young girls everywhere
who are still unmarried,
Don’t go turning young men down through pride or contempt.
How sad for me
to be unmarried forever more-
I’ll have to live alone,
out on the slopes of Strath Ban.

I
‘S mi ri imeachd nam aonar
Anns an òg-mhadain Mhàigh
Feadh lèantaichean uaine
Mar fhear-fuadain gun stàth
Nuair a chunnaic mi a’ ghruagach
An taobh shuas dhiom a’ tàmh
‘S i ri nigh’a cuid aodaich
Mach air aodann Srath Bhàin
II
An sin dhìrich mi suas
Far ‘n robh gruagach mo ghràidh
Is labhair mi rithe
Gu sìobhalta tlàth
“Tha bliadhn’agus còrr
Bhon a thòisich an gràdh
Is ma bhitheas tu deònach
Nì sinn pòsadh gun dàil”
III
“Gu pòsadh, gu pòsadh
Ro òg tha mi ‘n dràsd’
Gu bheil teang’aig do sheòrsa
Dhèanadh fògradh ‘s gach àit
Gum biodh m’athair ‘s mo mhàthair
Gam chàineadh gu bràth
Nam pòsainn do leithid
O fhleasgaich gun stàth”
IV
Ach a nìonagan òga
Tha gun phòsadh ‘s gach àit’
Na diùltaibh fir òga
Le mòrchuis no tàir
Nach muladach dhòmhsa
Bhith gun phòsadh gu bràth
‘S fheudar fuireach nam aonar
Mach air aodann Srath Bhàin

NOTES
(1) The Blane Water has also been referred to as Beul-abhainn  meaning “mouth-river” after the numerous burns merging.One of its tributaries, the Ballagan Burn passes over the waterfall the Spout of Ballagan which shows 192 alternate strata of coloured shales and limestone (including pure alabaster) (from Wiki)

Gary Ellis “Balloch”

SCOTTISH AND IRISH VERSIONS

LINK
http://glasgowpictures.blogspot.it/2010/02/high-ballagan-waterfall.html
https://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/strathblane-p240461
http://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/20794
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/capercaillie/aodann.htm

Outlander: Wool Waulking Songs

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FROM  OUTLANDER SAGA

Diana Gabaldon

“Hot piss sets the dye fast,” one of the women had explained to me as I blinked, eyes watering, on my first entrance to the shed. The other women had watched at first, to see if I would shrink back from the work, but wool-waulking was no great shock, after the things I had seen and done in France, both in the war of 1944 and the hospital of 1744. Time makes very little difference to the basic realities of life. And smell aside, the waulking shed was a warm, cozy place, where the women of Lallybroch visited and joked between bolts of cloth, and sang together in the working, hands moving rhythmically across a table, or bare feet sinking deep into the steaming fabric as we sat on the floor, thrusting against a partner thrusting back.”
(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, Chapter 34, “The Postman Always Rings Twice”. Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon.)
The Scottish women have developed a particular technique for the twisting of the tweed, that woolen fabric from Scotland, warm, resistant and almost indestructible, used by fishermen and shepherds to keep warmer in a climate so cold and windy.
Cloth were “mistreated” by a group of women sitting around a table with 4 beat: first, the fabric is banged on the table in front of you, then slammed towards the center of the table, then returned to the initial position and then is passed to the next woman (clockwise). To count the time and make the work less monotonous the women sang some songs, there was the ban dhuan (or the song-woman) that directed the song, while the others followed her in the refrain. After some songs the fabric was softer, thicker, and more tightly woven.

OUTLANDER TV, season I: “Rent”

In Outlander TV serie this glimpse of life in a scottish village of eighteenth-century, is developed in the Dougal Mackenzie’s journey, as he collects rents from the tenants of Castel Leoch. Claire goes on the road with Dougal, and almost by chance, she hears some voices and sees the women as they are waulking the tweeds.

Outlander I, episode 5: Mo Nighean Donn

English transaltion*
Oh how my mind is heavy
as I’m north west of the Storr (1)
[Sèist:]
My brown haired girl hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
My brown haired girl hò gù.
My brown haired girl, I remark
thee
At the fair of the young women.
[Sèist]
Hì rì rì hù lò  My brown haired girl hò gù.
And we will walk hand in hand
[Sèist]
Hì rì rì hù lò  My brown haired girl hò gù.
Regardless of any living elders (2).

Gur e mise tha fo ghruaim
‘S mi ‘n taobh tuath dhan an Stòr.
[Sèist:]
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù 
Mo nigh’n donn shònruich mi fhéin thu
ann an broad nam ban òg
[Sèist]
Hì rì rì hù lò Mo nigh’n donn hò gù 
‘S bidh mo làmh na do làimh
[Sèist]
Hì rì rì hù lò Mo nigh’n donn hò gù 
Dh’aindeoin èildeir tha beò.

NOTES
1)  The Storr is a rocky hill on the Trotternish peninsula of the Isle of Skye in Scotland
2) Similar expressions are recurrent in popular songs when a young couple “swimmed against the tide” about courtship and don’t followed the tradition.  (celtic wedding)

Clair takes part in the fulling of the tweed and sings with the village women. The ban dhuan is Fiona Mackenzie

Two are the Wool Waulking Songs  in  Outlander: Season 1, Vol. 2 (Original Television Soundtrack) 
Latha Siubhal Beinne Dhomh” and “Mo Nighean Donn” (a tribute to Claire’s brown hair)

Latha Siubhal Beinne Dhomh

Originally from the island of Barra “Latha Siubhal Beinne Dhomh” (One day as I roamed the hills) is about a man roaming around the Highlands, who comes across a beautiful young girl gathering herbs; these accidental encounters on the moors (between the heather and the broom in bloom) are the subject of many traditional Scottish songs from ancient origins, and often man is not limited to the request for a kiss! The girl rejects him because she considers him a vagabond. As usual in the choice of musical tracks, the lyrics always have an affinity with the story told in the saga.

Hi ill eo ro bha ho
Hi ill eo bhòidheach
‘S na hi ill eo ro bha ho

English translation*
One day as I was traveling a hill
A day of traveling moorland
I met a girl
beautiful, tresses in her hair
A little knife in her hand
As she was reaping daisies
As she was reaping watercress
I went over to her
And I asked her for a kiss
“Oh, oh, my! (1)
O hairy old man! (2)


(It’s in my own father’s house
That the company would be found:
Twenty hatted-men
A dozen cloaked women
With white towels
Spread out on tables
With clay cups
And glasses full of beer)”


Latha siubhal beinne dhomh
Latha siubhal mòintich
Thachair orm gruagach
Dhualach, bhòidheach
Sgian bheag na làimh
‘S i ri buain neòinean
‘S i ri buain biolaire
Theann mi null rithe
Dh’ iarr mi pòg oirre
Ud! Ud! Ud-ag araidh!
A bhodachain ròmaich


(‘S ann an taigh m’ athar fhèin
Gheibht’ an còmhlan
Fichead fear adadh ann
Dusan bean cleòca
Tubhailtean geal aca
Sgaoilt’ air bhòrdaibh
Cupannan crèadh’ aca
‘S glainneachan beòraich)

NOTES
1) or “Hoots toots!”
2) or ” you shaggy old man!”, a shaggy peasant

Mo Nighean Donn

“Mo Nighean Donn” (My brown-haired lass) does not have a real meaning, it seems more than the ban dhuan to report the gossip of the moment.  Outlander: Season 1, Vol. 2 (Original Television Soundtrack) 
Dougie MacLean in Whitewash 1990 
(a Celtic song with instrumental parts and male voice)

English translation*
Oh how my mind is heavy
as I’m north west of the Storr
[choir]
My brown haired girl hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
My brown haired girl hò gù.
Right now I’m in the loch by forest
And Effie will not be joning me.
The militia has been risen
And that will take away the young lads from us.
They will be out for a month
This will not leave us full of sadness.
My brown haired girl who gained recognition
At the fair of the young women.
My brown haired girl won a bet
Where the warriors were encamped
I’m tired of setting my nets
In the lower parts of each cove.
(I will head over the hill
Where there is the beautiful young women.
And we will walk hand in hand
Regardless of any living elders.
And my hand will be around you
Though I’d prefer to embrace you.
And if I manage to reach over to you
You’ll get a crown in your hand.
You’ll get that and something better
A good, young, strong sailor.)

Gur e mise tha fo ghruaim
‘S mi ‘n taobh tuath dhan an Stòr.
[Sèist]
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù
‘N-dràst’ an loch fada choill
‘S nach tig Oighrig nam chòir.
Thog iad a’ mhailisi suas
‘S bheir siud bhuainn gillean òg.
Cha bhi iad a-muigh ach mìos
‘S cha bhi ‘n cianalas oirnn.
Mo nighean donn choisinn cliù
Ann an cùirt nam ban òg.
Mo nighean donn choisinn geall
Far na champaich na seòid.
Tha mi sgìth cur mo lìon
Ann an iochdar gach òb.
Thèid mi null air a’ bheinn
Far eil loinn nam ban òg.
(‘S bidh mo làmh na do làimh
Dh’aindeoin èildeir tha beò.
‘S bhiodh mo làmh mud chùl bhàn
Gad a gheàrrt’ i mun dòrn.
Ach ma ruigeas mise null
Gheibh thu crùin na do dhòrn.
Gheibh thu sin is rud nas fheàrr
Maraiche math làidir òg.)

LINK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/oran/orain/latha_siubhal_beinne_dhomh/
http://s3.spanglefish.com/s/10130/documents/songs/latha%20siubhal%20beinne%20dhomh.pdf
https://virtualgael.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/lathasiubhalbeinne.pdf
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/39128/10
http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/alltandubh/orain/Latha_Siubhal_Beinne.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/oran/orain/mo_nighean_donn/
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/97218/1;jsessionid=F3FF526DC4C88B40F544EE4E1332E1D6
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/100031/1
http://totalsketch.com/shed-life/

Outlander: Wool Waulking Songs

Read the post in English

DALLA SAGA OUTLANDER

Diana Gabaldon

Nel libro “”Il ritorno” (capitolo 11) della saga Outlander scritta da Diana Gabaldon Claire è invitata dalle donne di Lallybroch a prendere un tè e assiste alla follatura del tweed che si svolge in un apposito capanno “riservato” alle donne della tenuta
““Hot piss sets the dye fast,” one of the women had explained to me as I blinked, eyes watering, on my first entrance to the shed. The other women had watched at first, to see if I would shrink back from the work, but wool-waulking was no great shock, after the things I had seen and done in France, both in the war of 1944 and the hospital of 1744. Time makes very little difference to the basic realities of life. And smell aside, the waulking shed was a warm, cozy place, where the women of Lallybroch visited and joked between bolts of cloth, and sang together in the working, hands moving rhythmically across a table, or bare feet sinking deep into the steaming fabric as we sat on the floor, thrusting against a partner thrusting back.” continua
Le donne scozzesi hanno elaborato una tecnica particolare per la follatura del tweed, quel tessuto di lana originario dalla Scozia, caldo, resistente e pressoché indistruttibile, utilizzato dai pescatori e pastori per tenersi più al caldo in un clima così freddo e ventoso.
Per infeltrire la lana ma in modo uniforme e migliorane le prestazioni  le pezze di stoffa venivano “maltrattate” da un gruppo di donne sedute introno ad un tavolo (precedentemente immerse in grandi tinozze piene di urina); il movimento della battitura consisteva in 4 tempi: prima si sbatteva il tessuto sul tavolo davanti a sé, poi si sbatteva verso il centro del tavolo, quindi si riportava alla posizione iniziale e infine lo si passava alla donna successiva (in senso orario). Per contare il tempo e rendere meno monotono il lavoro le donne cantavano delle canzoni, c’era la  ban dhuan (ovvero la donna-canzone) che dirigeva il canto, mentre le altre la seguivano nel ritornello. Dopo qualche canzone il tessuto diventava più morbido, ma anche più compatto e resistente.

OUTLANDER TV, stagione I: “Riscossione”

Nella serie televisiva questo scorcio di vita nei villaggi della Scozia settecentesca è sviluppato nel giro di Dougal  Mackenzie di Castel Leoch presso gli affittuari per la riscossione dei tributi. Quasi per caso Clarie sentento delle voci, si avvicina alle donne mentre infeltriscono il tweed.

Outlander I episodio 5: Mo Nighean Donn

Gur e mise tha fo ghruaim
‘S mi ‘n taobh tuath dhan an Stòr.
[Sèist:]
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù 
Mo nigh’n donn shònruich mi fhéin thu
ann an broad nam ban òg
[Sèist]
Hì rì rì hù lò Mo nigh’n donn hò gù 
‘S bidh mo làmh na do làimh
[Sèist]
Hì rì rì hù lò Mo nigh’n donn hò gù 
Dh’aindeoin èildeir tha beò.

Traduzione inglese*
Oh how my mind is heavy
as I’m north west of the Storr
My brown haired girl hò gù
Hì rì rì hù lò
My brown haired girl hò gù.
My brown haired girl, I remark thee
At the fair of the young women.
And we will walk hand in hand
Regardless of any living elders.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Oh quali pensieri tormentati
mentre sono a nord ovest di Storr (1)
la mia brunetta hò gù
Hì rì rì hù lò
la mia bella brunetta.
O mia brunetta, ti ho notata
al mercato delle belle fanciulle
e cammineremo mano nella mano
nonostante tutti i pettegoli (2)

NOTE
1) il “vecchio uomo di Storr” (the Old Man of Storr) è un pinnacolo di basalto alto una cinquantina di metri che sorge sull’Isola di Skye, la più grande delle Ebridi Interne (Scozia)
2) letteralmente “nonostante tutti gli antenati” cioè a dispetto delle tradizioni. Espressioni simili sono ricorrenti nei canti popolari quando una giovane coppia andava “contro corrente” cioè non si seguivano le tradizioni in merito al corteggiamento: erano i genitori a combinare le unioni, in genere tra persone della stessa classe sociale e mezzi economici, i bei ragazzi ma senza arte ne parte, potevano ricevere il consenso solo in vista di un’improvvisa fortuna  (matrimonio celtico)

 

Clair partecipa alla follatura del tweed e canta insieme alle donne del villaggio. La ban dhuan è Fiona Mackenzie

Le Wool Waulking Songs sono due in  Outlander: Season 1, Vol. 2 (Original Television Soundtrack) 
la prima più veloce “Latha Siubhal Beinne Dhomh“, la seconda vista nel video “Mo Nighean Donn” (un omaggio ai capelli castani di Claire)

Latha Siubhal Beinne Dhomh

Originaria dell’isola di Barra,  la canzone parla di un uomo in giro per le Highland che s’imbatte in una bella fanciulla intenta a raccogliere delle erbe, questi incontri fortuiti nelle brughiere (tra l’erica e la ginestra in fiore) sono il soggetto di molti canti tradizionali della Scozia dalle origini antiche e spesso l’uomo non si limita alla richiesta di un bacetto! La fanciulla lo respinge perchè lo reputa un vagabondo. Come consuetudine nella scelta delle tracce musicali i testi hanno sempre un’attinenza con la storia narrata nella saga.

Hi ill eo ro bha ho
Hi ill eo bhòidheach
‘S na hi ill eo ro bha ho
Latha siubhal beinne dhomh
Latha siubhal mòintich
Thachair orm gruagach
Dhualach, bhòidheach
Sgian bheag na làimh
‘S i ri buain neòinean
‘S i ri buain biolaire
Theann mi null rithe
Dh’ iarr mi pòg oirre
Ud! Ud! Ud-ag araidh! (1)
A bhodachain ròmaich
(‘S ann an taigh m’ athar fhèin
Gheibht’ an còmhlan
Fichead fear adadh ann
Dusan bean cleòca
Tubhailtean geal aca
Sgaoilt’ air bhòrdaibh
Cupannan crèadh’ aca
‘S glainneachan beòraich)

Traduzione inglese*
One day as I was traveling a mountain
A day of traveling moorland
I met a girl
beautiful, tresses in her hair
A little knife in her hand
As she was reaping daisies
As she was reaping watercress
I went over to her
And I asked her for a kiss
“Oh, oh, my! (1)
O hairy old man! (2)
(It’s in my own father’s house
That the company would be found:
Twenty hatted-men (3)
A dozen cloaked women
With white towels
Spread out on tables
With clay cups
And glasses full of beer)”
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Un giorno che ero in viaggio per i monti
un giorno che ero in viaggio per la brughiera incontrani una ragazza
dalle belle trecce
con un piccolo pugnale tra le mani
stava tagliando delle margherite
e raccoglieva il crescione.
Mi sono avvicinato
e le ho chiesto un bacio.
“Smamma bello
Vattene zoticone!
(Nella mia dimora di famiglia
si trovano nobili genti
una ventina di uomini con il cappello
una dozzina di donne con il mantello
bianche tovaglie
stese sui tavoli
con tazze di percellana
e bicchieri pieni di birra.)”

NOTE
il canto è stato tramandato in una versione più estesa  e le strofe mancanti sono state messe tra parentesi
1) l’espressione tradotta anche come “Hoots toots!”  è un modo colloquiale per respingere una persona sgradita
2) anche tradotto come ” you shaggy old man!” letteralmente “piccolo vecchio peloso” vecchio ha un significato colloquiale che non necessariemnte indica una persione anziana, nel contesto la frase è un appellativo rivolto a un vagabondo malandato, dai capelli lunghi e la barba incolta, anche bifolco
3) indossare il cappello è d’obbligo per un gentiluomo

Mo Nighean Donn

La canzone “Mo Nighean Donn” (la mia ragazza castana) non ha un vero e proprio significato, sembra più altro che la ban dhuan  riferisca i gossip del momento. La versione in  Outlander: Season 1, Vol. 2 (Original Television Soundtrack)  è più lunga rispetto alla versione nelle riprese
Dougie MacLean in Whitewash 1990 
Negli anni 40-50 con il tramonto della lavorazione artigianale (in particolare dell’Harris Tweed) queste canzoni di lavoro sono diventate occasione di session dimostrative o sono passate nei repertori di alcuni gruppi di musica celtica con l’inserimento di parti strumentali e voci maschili.

Gur e mise tha fo ghruaim
‘S mi ‘n taobh tuath dhan an Stòr.
[Sèist]
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
Mo nigh’n donn hò gù
‘N-dràst’ an loch fada choill
‘S nach tig Oighrig nam chòir.
Thog iad a’ mhailisi suas
‘S bheir siud bhuainn gillean òg.
Cha bhi iad a-muigh ach mìos
‘S cha bhi ‘n cianalas oirnn.
Mo nighean donn choisinn cliù
Ann an cùirt nam ban òg.
Mo nighean donn choisinn geall
Far na champaich na seòid.
Tha mi sgìth cur mo lìon
Ann an iochdar gach òb.
Thèid mi null air a’ bheinn
Far eil loinn nam ban òg.
(‘S bidh mo làmh na do làimh
Dh’aindeoin èildeir tha beò.
‘S bhiodh mo làmh mud chùl bhàn
Gad a gheàrrt’ i mun dòrn.
Ach ma ruigeas mise null
Gheibh thu crùin na do dhòrn.
Gheibh thu sin is rud nas fheàrr
Maraiche math làidir òg.)

Traduzione inglese*
Oh how my mind is heavy
as I’m north west of the Storr
My brown haired girl hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
My brown haired girl hò gù.
Right now I’m in the loch by the forest
And Effie will not be joning me.
The militia has been risen
And that will take away the young lads from us.
They will be out for a month
This will not leave us full of sadness.
My brown haired girl who gained recognition
At the fair of the young women.
My brown haired girl won a bet
Where the warriors were encamped
I’m tired of setting my nets
In the lower parts of each cove.
I will head over the hill
Where there is the beautiful young women.
And we will walk hand in hand
Regardless of any living elders.
And my hand will be around you
Though I’d prefer to embrace you.
And if I manage to reach over to you
You’ll get a crown in your hand.
You’ll get that and something better
A good, young, strong sailor.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Oh quali pensieri tormentati
mentre sono a nord ovest di Storr (1)
la mia brunetta hò gù Hì rì rì hù lò
la mia bella brunetta hò gù
In questo momento sono al lago vicino alla foresta
e Effie non mi sta canzonando.
La milizia è stata ripristinata
e questo porterà via i giovani da noi.
Staranno fuori per un mese
questo  non mancherà di lasciarci pieni di tristezza.
O mia moretta , ti ho notata
al mercato delle belle fanciulle
La mia ragazza bruna ha vinto una scommessa
dove erano accampati i guerrieri
Sono stanco di gettare le reti
nelle parti basse di ogni baia.
Io andrò oltre la collina
dove ci sono le belle donne
giovani.
e cammineremo mano nella mano
nonostante tutti i pettegoli(2)
E la mia mano ti terrà stretta
anche se preferirei abbracciarti
E se riuscirò a raggiungerti (3)
ti metterò una corona tra le mani.
Avrai quella e ancor meglio
un bravo marinaio, giovane e forte

NOTE
il canto è stato tramandato in una versione più estesa  e le strofe mancanti sono state messe tra parentesi
1) il “vecchio uomo di Storr” (the Old Man of Storr) è un pinnacolo di basalto alto una cinquantina di metri che sorge sull’Isola di Skye, la più grande delle Ebridi Interne (Scozia)
2) letteralmente “nonostante tutti gli antenati” cioè a dispetto delle tradizioni. Espressioni simili sono ricorrenti nei canti popolari quando una giovane coppia andava “contro corrente” cioè non si seguivano le tradizioni in merito al corteggiamento: erano i genitori a combinare le unioni, in genere tra persone della stessa classe sociale e mezzi economici, i bei ragazzi ma senza arte ne parte, potevano ricevere il consenso solo in vista di un’improvvisa fortuna .
3) il ragazzo è partito per mare in cerca di un buon guadagno, al suo ritorno le chiederà di sposarlo

 

LINK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/oran/orain/latha_siubhal_beinne_dhomh/
http://s3.spanglefish.com/s/10130/documents/songs/latha%20siubhal%20beinne%20dhomh.pdf
https://virtualgael.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/lathasiubhalbeinne.pdf
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/39128/10
http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/alltandubh/orain/Latha_Siubhal_Beinne.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/oran/orain/mo_nighean_donn/
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/97218/1;jsessionid=F3FF526DC4C88B40F544EE4E1332E1D6
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/100031/1
http://totalsketch.com/shed-life/

Nighean Dubh, Nighean Donn

Leggi in italiano

“Nighean Dubh, Nighean Donn” (“Black-haired Girl, Brown -haired Girl”) is a waulking song in which a sailor in love with a beautiful girl with black hair, hopes that she will not be courted by anyone else, because he wants to marry her as soon as he returns from the sea.
Although the verses in these working songs are mostly extemporaneous, the textual version examined lends itself to two interpretations: they met each other while they went to work as agricultural workers, and the boy to make some money, takes the sea and then he is desperate because he fears that his beauty in the meantime will marry another. In the second interpretation (which does not exclude the first) the sailor promises (if the girl will wait for him) to leave the sea and go back to being a farmer to stay close to her.

Mary Jane Lamond in “Orain Ghaidhlig” (Gaelic Songs of Cape Breton) 2000 
Capercaille in  “At The Heart Of It All” 2013 
(but the verses are different from those sung by Mary Jane Lamond)

English translationTom Thomson
Hò ra hù o
black-haired girl,
brown-haired girl…
Hì rì ri ò
beautiful brown-haired girl…
Hò ra hù o black-haired girl,
brown-haired girl..
Brown-haired girl with the very white bosom…
After you I am so sorrowful…
Brown-haired girl with the fair bosom…
I will meet you on Sunday…
I will meet you in the autumn…
the time when the barn is being filled .(1)…
I will meet you in the evening…
Though the rest will talk about us…
In the morning the horn was blown…
waking us up in Seònad’s house…
Here I am, going to Greenock (2)…
And struggling with the rigging…
You talking with the maiden…
Me sailing over the sea…
You talking with the girl…
who gave her heart’s love to me…
But if you wait until Mayday (3)…
No living Campbell will get you…
No Campbell under the sun will get you…
nor will any MacLean…
No more will a MacLean get you…
indeed I myself will wed you…
Mary Jane Lamond lyrics
Hò ra hù a nighean dubh, nighean donn…
Hì rì ri ò nighean donn bhòidheach…
Hò ra hù a nighean dubh, nighean donn..
Nighean donn a’bhroillich glé-ghil…
As do dhéidh tha mise brònach…
Nighean donn a’ bhroillich shoilleir…
Dheannain coinneamh riut Di-Dòmhnaich…
Dheannain coinneamh riut ‘s an t-fhoghar…
Ám an t-sabhail a bhi ‘ga bhòrdadh…
Dheannain coinneamh riut ‘s an anmoch…
Ged ‘bhiodh càch a seanachas oirnn…
Anns a’ mhadainn shéid an dùdach…
Bha’gar dùsgadh an taigh Seònaid…
Mise seo a’ dol a Ghriannaig…
‘S mi gam riasladh aig na ròpan…
Thusa bruidhinn ris a’ gruagaich…
Mis’ air bhàrr a’ chuain a’ seòladh…
Thusa bruidhinn ris an nighean…
A thug gaol a cridhe dhomhsa…
Ach ma dh’fhanas tu gu Bealltainn…
Chan fhaigh Caimbeulach tha beò thu…
Chan fhaigh Caimbeulach fon ghréin thu…
Chan fhaigh Mac ‘Illean nas mòth’, thu…
Chan fhaigh Mac ‘Illean nas mòth’, thu…
‘S ann a ní mi fhín do phòsadh…

NOTES
1) it describes the activity of the seasonal laborer who was going to harvest for the big farmers. See The Band o’ shearers
2) In the eighteenth century Greenock became the main port on the west coast of Scotland and prospered through trade with the Americas, importing sugar from the Caribbean.
3) the Celtic festival of the May

OUTLANDER LESSON

How to pronounce Mo nighean donn?

LINKS
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/lamond/nighean.htm
http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Scottish/Orain_Luaidh/NigheanDubhNigheanDonn.html
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/2032/4

Nighean Dubh, Nighean Donn

Read the post in English

“Nighean Dubh, Nighean Donn” (in inglese “Black-haired Girl, Brown -haired Girl”) è una waulking song in cui un marinaio innamorato di una bella ragazza dai capelli neri, spasima per lei, e spera che non si faccia corteggiare da nessun altro, perchè la vuole sposare non appena sarà di ritorno dal mare.
Anche se le strofe in questi canti di lavoro  (la tecnica d’infeltrimento del tweed scozzese) sono per lo più  estemporanee, la versione testuale esaminata si presta a due interpretazioni: i due si sono conosciuti mentre andavano a lavorare come braccianti agricoli e il ragazzo per fare un po’ di soldi prende il mare e poi si dispera perchè teme che la sua bella nel frattempo si sposi con un altro. Nella seconda interpretazione (che non esclude la prima) il marinaio si ripromette (se la ragazza lo aspetterà) di  lasciare il mare  e ritornare a fare il contadino per poter starle sempre vicino.

Mary Jane Lamond in “Orain Ghaidhlig” (Gaelic Songs of Cape Breton) 2000 
Capercaille in  “At The Heart Of It All” 2013 
(ma le strofe sono diverse da quelle cantate da Mary Jane Lamond la waulkin song “Nighean Dubh, Nighean Donn” è seguita nella traccia da un’altro canto che al momento non ho ancora identificato)

Versione Mary Jane Lamond in gaelico scozzese
Hò ra hù a nighean dubh, nighean donn…
Hì rì ri ò nighean donn bhòidheach…
Hò ra hù a nighean dubh, nighean donn..
Nighean donn a’bhroillich glé-ghil…
As do dhéidh tha mise brònach…

Nighean donn a’ bhroillich shoilleir…
Dheannain coinneamh riut Di-Dòmhnaich…

Dheannain coinneamh riut ‘s an t-fhoghar…
Ám an t-sabhail a bhi ‘ga bhòrdadh…

Dheannain coinneamh riut ‘s an anmoch…
Ged ‘bhiodh càch a seanachas oirnn…

Anns a’ mhadainn shéid an dùdach…
Bha’gar dùsgadh an taigh Seònaid…

Mise seo a’ dol a Ghriannaig…
‘S mi gam riasladh aig na ròpan…

Thusa bruidhinn ris a’ gruagaich…
Mis’ air bhàrr a’ chuain a’ seòladh…

Thusa bruidhinn ris an nighean…
A thug gaol a cridhe dhomhsa…

Ach ma dh’fhanas tu gu Bealltainn…
Chan fhaigh Caimbeulach tha beò thu…

Chan fhaigh Caimbeulach fon ghréin thu…
Chan fhaigh Mac ‘Illean nas mòth’, thu…

Chan fhaigh Mac ‘Illean nas mòth’, thu…
‘S ann a ní mi fhín do phòsadh…

Traduzione inglese di Tom Thomson
Hò ra hù o
black-haired girl,
brown-haired girl…
Hì rì ri ò
beautiful brown-haired girl…
Hò ra hù o black-haired girl,
brown-haired girl..
Brown-haired girl with the very white bosom…
After you I am so sorrowful…
Brown-haired girl with the fair bosom…
I  would meet you on Sunday…
I would  meet you in the autumn…
the time when the barn is being filled…
I will meet you in the evening…
Though the rest will talk about us…
In the morning the horn was blown…
waking us up in Seònad’s house…
Here I am, going to Greenock…
And struggling with the rigging…
You talking with the maiden…
Me sailing over the sea…
You talking with the girl…
who gave her heart’s love to me…
But if you wait until Mayday…
No living Campbell will get you…
No Campbell under the sun will get you…
nor will any MacLean…
No more will a MacLean get you…
indeed I myself will wed you…
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Hò ra hù o
ragazza mora
ragazza castana (1) …
Hì rì ri ò
mia bella brunetta..
Hò ra hù o moretta,
ragazza castana
Brunetta
dal candido petto
Mi tormento a causa tua.
Brunetta
dal bel seno
Ci incontreremo domenica.
Ci incontreremo in autunno
Quando ci sarà la fienagione (quando si riempiranno i fienili).(2)
Ci incontreremo la sera
Anche se gli altri sparleranno di noi.
Al mattino il suono del corno
ci sveglierà nella casa di Seònad.
Ed eccomi diretto a  Greenock (3)
alle prese con le manovre.
tu parli con la mia ragazza
e io navigo sul mare.
tu parli con la ragazza
che mi ha dato l’amore del suo cuore.
Ma se aspetti fino a Beltane (4)
Nessun Campbell che respira ti prenderà.
Nessun Campbell sotto il sole ti prenderà
E nemmeno un MacLean .
MacLean non ti prenderà più
infatti io stesso ti sposerò.

NOTE
1) letteralmente ragazza dai capelli neri, ragazza dai capelli castani, per noi sono sinonimi di moretta e brunetta. Il colore castano nei capelli definisce una vasta gamma di sfumature in italiano  il termine descrive la tipica colorazione della buccia di una castagna.
2)si descrive l’attività del bracciante stagionale che andava a mietere per le grandi fattotie. vedasi ad esempio The Band o’ shearers
3) Nel Settecento Greenock diventò il porto principale della costa occidentale della Scozia e prosperò grazie ai traffici con le Americhe, importando zucchero dai Caraibi.
4) la festa celtica del Maggio

OUTLANDER LESSON

Come si pronuncia Mo nighean donn? (mia bella mora.. letteralmente “la mia ragazza cai capelli neri”)

continua

WAULKING SONGS
i canti tradizionali delle donne scozzesi intente nella lavorazione del tweed: http://terreceltiche.altervista.org/worker-songs/waulking-the-tweed/

FONTI
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/lamond/nighean.htm
http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Scottish/Orain_Luaidh/NigheanDubhNigheanDonn.html
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/2032/4

Godred Cròvan’s Galley

Leggi in italiano

Godred Cròvan (in irish gaelic “Gofraid mac meic Arailt“) was a Norse-Gael ruler of Dublin, and King of Mann and the Isles in the second half of the 11th century.
Godred may well be identical to the celebrated King Orry of Manx legend, Godred and King Orry are associated with numerous historic and prehistoric sites on Mann and Islay.  As the ruler of Dublin and the Isles, Godred dominated the routes through the Irish Sea region.

MANX VERSION: Birlinn Ghorree Chrovan

In the XX century George Broderick, Douglas Fargher and Brian Stowell wrote the text in manx gaelic  from an Hebridean tune. It tells of the King Orry galley’s landing on the Isle of Man.
Cairistiona Dougherty & Paul Rogers live (or sound track here)
Scran

 Manx gaelic
O vans ny hovan O,
Hirree O sy hovan;
O vans ny hovan O,
Birlinn Ghorree Chrovan.
I
Kiart ayns lhing ny Loghlynee
Haink nyn Ree gys Mannin
Tessyn mooiryn freayney roie
Birlinn Ghorree Chrovan.
II
Datt ny tonnyn, heid yn gheay
Ghow yn skimmee aggle;
Agh va fer as daanys ayn,
Hie yn Ree dy stiurey.
III
Daag ad Eeley er nyn gooyl
Shiaull’ my yiass gy Mannin;
Eeanlee marrey, raunyn roie,
Birlinn Ghorree Chrovan.
IV
Hrog ad seose yn shiaull mooar mean,
Hum ny maidjyn tappee –
Gour e vullee er y cheayn,
Cosney’n Kione ny hAarey.
V
Stiagh gy Balley Rhumsaa hie
Birlinn Ghorree Chrovan;
Ooilley dooiney er y traie
Haink dy oltagh’ Gorree.
VI
Jeeagh er Raad Mooar Ghorree heose
Cryss smoo gial ‘sy tuinney,
Cowrey da ny Manninee
Reiltys Ghorree Chrovan.
English translation*
O vans ny hovan o,
Hirree o ‘sy hovan,
O vans ny hovan o,
Birlinn Ghorree Chrovan.
I
Right in the era of the Norsemen,
Their king came to Mannin,
Running across surging seas,
Gorree Crovan’s longship.
II
The waves swoll up and the wind blew,
The crew were frightened,
But there was one brave man,
The King went to steer.
III
They left Islay behind them,
Sailing southward to Mannin,
Sea birds and seals running,
Gorree Crovan’s longship.
IV
They raised the main-sail,
The oars dipped quickly,
Onwards on the sea,
Reaching the Point of Ayre.
V
Into Ramsey went,
Gorree Crovan’s longship,
Every man on the beach,
Come to salute Gorree.
VI (1)
Look at the Milkey-Way above,
Brightest band in the heavens,
A sign to the Manx,
Of the Gorree Crovan’s government.

1) Ramsey is a coastal town in the north of the Isle of Man: landing point of the Viking warrior Godred Crovan around 1079, came to subjugate the island and make it his kingdom. The fact told is obviously after the conquest because the first time the islanders tried to defend themselves from the Vikings, and near the landing of the galley there was a violent battle and not a festive crowd !!

SCOTTISH VERSION: Birlinn Ghoraidh Chrobhain

And here is the Hebridean tune, the song composed by the bard and songwriter Duncan Johnston of Islay (Donnchadh MacIain 1881-1947) and published in his book “Cronan nan Tonn” (The Croon of the Sea) in 1938! The journey, however, is told to the contrary, the Viking galley leaves the Isle of Man to go to Islay.
Scottish gaelic lyrics

English lyrics
The Corries
The Barge O’ Gorrie Crovan, a more warlike version

The Sound of Mull, a trio from Tobermory, Isle of Mull : Janet Tandy, Joanie MacKenzie and David Williamson. (verses I, II, IV)
Robin Hall & Jimmy Macgregor  (verses I, IV)

Scottish gaelic
Hóbhan na hóbhan hó,
hi horó na hùbhan,
Hóbhan na hóbhan hó,
Air Birlinn Ghoraidh Chrobhain (1)
I
Fichead sonn air cùl nan ràmh,
Fichead buille lùghmhor,
Siùbhlaidh ì mar eun a’ snàmh,
Is sìoban thonn ‘ga sgiùrsadh.
II
Suas i sheòid air bàrr nan tonn !
Sìos gu ìochdar sùigh i !
Suas an ceòl is togaibh fonn,
Tha Mac an Righ ‘ga stiuireadh !
III
A’bhìrlinn rìoghail ‘s i a th’ann
Siubhal-sìth ‘na gluasad
Sròl is sìoda àrd ri crann
‘S i bratach Olaibh Ruaidhe (2)
IV
Dh’ fhàg sinn Manainn (3) mòr nan tòrr,
Eireann a’ tighinn dlùth dhuinn,
Air Ile-an-Fheòir tha sinn an tòir
Ged dh’ èireas tonnan dùbh-ghorm
V
Siod e ‘nis-an t-eilean crom!(4)
Tìr nan sonn nach diùltadh,
Stòp na dìbhe ‘thoirt air lom
‘S bìdh fleadh air bonn ‘san Dùn (5) duinn!
English
Hóbhan na hóbhan hó,
hi horó na hùbhan,
Hóbhan na hóbhan hó,
The barge of Gorrie Crovan
I
Behind the oars, a score so brave,
A lusty score to row her,
She sails away like bird on wave,
While foaming seas lash o’er her.
II
Up she goes on ocean wave !
Down the surge she wails O,
Sing away; the chorus, raise,
A royal prince; he sails her !
III
The royal galley onward skims,
With magic speed, she sails O,
Aloft her silken bunting swims,
Red Olav‘s Banner waving.
IV
The towers of Man we leave away,
Old Erin’s hills we hail O,
On Islay’s shore her course we lay
Though billows roar and rave O.
V
See the island bent like bow,
Where kindly souls await us;
The Castle hall, I see it now,
The feast’s for us prepared O

NOTES
Gaelic and English texts by Duncan Johnston (Donnachadh Mac Iain), published in his book Cronan nan Tonn (The Croon of the Sea) 1938/9 and reprinted in 1997 by Dun Eisden of Inverness. These are his comments on the song:
1)  Godred, or Gorry Crovan was, according to the ancient sagas, the son of Harald the Black of Isla.  Tradition has it that his mother was a lady of the subdued House of Angus Beag, son of Erc, who occupied Isla in 498.  This explains his remarkable popularity with both the Norse and Celtic elements in the west.  His grand-daughter, Regnaldis (Raonaild), daughter of Olave the Red, afterwards married Somerled, who displaced Red Olave as King of the Isles.  Somerled founded the Dynasty of the Lords of the Isles, with its headquarters on an island on Loch Finlagan in Isla.  Godred was a celebrated warrior of the eleventh century.  He acted as Adjutant to the King of Norway at the battle of Stamford Bridge, 1066.  Escaping from that stricken field, he made his way to the Isle of Man, and thence to Isla, where he raised his standard.  The Norsemen and the Gaels alike flocked to his standard.  With a large force, he crossed over into the North of Ireland (Ulster), and carried everything before him up to the gates of Dublin, which City surrendered to him.  For a time, he waged a successful war against the King of Scotland.  In Isla he was spoken of with saintly reverence because of his prowess and dauntless gallantry in ridding the island of a huge saurian that had his lair near the present village of Bridgend.  Many of our Clans and their Septs of the west can claim descent from Godred.  The MacDougalls, MacDonalds, MacAllisters, MacRuaries, MacRanalds, MacIains, etc.  He died in Isla in 1095, and his grave is marked with a huge white boulder, known locally as “An Carragh Ban.”  He founded the Dynasty of the Kingdom of the Isles, of Dublin and of Man.  He was succeded by his son King Lagman, who reigned at the time of the “Sack of Isla” by Magnus Barefoot .  Lagman was taken prisoner.  He latterly, after a short reign of seven years, embraced Christianity, abdicated in favour of his brother, Olave the Red, and went to Palestine to fight for the Holy Sepulchre.  He is buried at Jerusalem.
2) Olave the Red, third son of Godred Crovan, and father of the princess Regnaldis.
3)  The Isle of Man
4)  Isla, so called in Fingalian Poetry. Approaching the island at dusk from the south, the skyline presents the appearance of a bent bow – “Tha e crom mar bhogha air ghleus.”
5) Dunyveg or Dùn Naomhaig Castle, more properly, Dùn Aonghais Bhig, abbreviated “aobhaig.” This was the House of Aengus, or Aonghas Beag, son of Erc, 498.”

LINK
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31829
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/mackenziefiona/birlinn.htm
https://thesession.org/tunes/12851
https://wiki1.sch.im/wiki/pages/i063V5H9/Birlinn_Ghorree_Crovan_.html
https://soundcloud.com/cairistiona-dougherty/birlinn-ghorree-chrovan

http://www.iomguide.com/kingorrysgrave.php
http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/hist1900/ch13.htm

Il tordo del Clan Donald

Read the post in English  

Smeòrach Chlann Dòmhnaill (Il tordo del Clan Donald) è una canzone in gaelico scozzese in cui il poeta elogia il Clan Donald e l’isola North Uist (Ebridi).
Fu composta da John MacCodrum (Iain Mac Fhearchair 1693-1779) uno dei primi “poeti del villaggio”, che la scrisse sulla scia del gusto antiquario sollevato dal “ritrovamento” delle poesie del bardo Ossian

Il poeta dice di essere un tordo sulla cima della collina, che guarda il sole e il cielo sereno. Descrive la sua terra, la terra degli eroi e dei poeti. Il Clan Donald (o MacDonalds di Sleat) è elogiato per la bravura e il coraggio in battaglia, non si escludono riferimenti giacobiti nel testo.

Sinn Fhèin(Folk Group) 1983 
Rachel Walker in Bràighe Loch Iall 2004  (I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII)
Julie Fowlis in Gach Sgeul – Every Story 2014 live (I, II, III, IV, V, VI)

Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró i
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi
I
Smeòrach mis’ air ùrlar Phaibil
Crùbadh ann an dùsal cadail
Gun deòrachd a théid nas fhaide
Truimid mo bhròin, thòirleum m’ aigne
II
Smeòrach mis’ air mullach beinne
‘G amharc gréin is speuran soillear
Théid mi stòlda chòir na coille
Bidh mi beò air treòtas eile
III
Ma mholas gach eun a thìr féin
Cuim’ thar éis nach moladh mise?
Tìr nan curaidh, tìr nan cliar
An tìr bhiadhchar fhialaidh mhiosail
IV
‘N tìr nach caol ri cois na mara,
An tìr ghaolach, chaomhnach, channach,
An tìr laoghach, uanach, mheannach:
Tìr an arain, bhainneach, mhealach.
V
An Cladh Chomhghain mise rugadh,
’N Àird an Rùnair fhuair mi togail,
Fradharc a’ chuain uaibhrich chuislich,
Nan stuagh guanach cluaineach cluiceach.
VI
Measg Chlann Dòmhnaill fhuair mi m’ altrum
Buidheann nan seòl ‘s nan sròl daithte
Nan long luath air chuantan farsaing
Aiteam nach ciùin rùsgadh ghlas lann
VII
Na fir eòlach stòlda stàideil
Bha ‘s a’ chòmhstri stròiceach scaiteach
Fir gun bhròn gun leòn gun airtneul
Leanadh tòir, is tòir a chaisgeadh
VIII
Buidheann mo ghaoil nach caoin caitean
Buidheann nach gann greann san aisith
Buidheann shanntach ‘n àm bhith aca
Rùsgadh lann fo shranntraich bhratach
Traduzione Inglese *
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
A mavis of Clan Donald 
I
A mavis I on Paible’s flatland
Huddled in a drowse of sleep
unwilling to go any further
in the depths of my sorrow
my spirit made a mighty leap
II
A mavis I on a mountaintop
Watching the sun and cloudless skies
I will approach the forest quietly
and I’ll be living on other sustenance
III
If every other bird praises its own land/ Why then should not I?
Land of heroes, land of poets/The abundant, hospitable, estimable land.
IV
The land not narrow near the sea,
The delectable, mild, comely land,
The land of calves and lambs and kids,
The land of bread and milk and honey.
V
ln Comgan’s Churchyard I was born,
In Àird an Runnair I was reared,
In sight of the proud throbbing sea,
Of the sportive, fickle, playful waves.
VI
Among Clan Donald I was nursed
Of sails and colored banners
Of swift ships on wide oceans
A people not mild when baring grey blades.
VII
Men experienced, steady, stately
Haughty and keen in battle
Men without sorrow, without wounds, without weariness
Who would follow in the rout and who could also stop one
VIII
My beloved company, not smooth of temper
A company resolute in war
A company ambitious when it was necessary
To bare their blades beneath fluttering banners
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
sono il tordo (1) del Clan Donald
I
Sono un tordo sulla piana di Paible
accovacciato nel sonno,
riluttante a migrare
dal profondo del dolore
il cuore sobbalzava
II
Sono un tordo in cima alla montagna
A guardare il sole e il cielo limpido
Mi avvicinerò alla foresta in silenzio
Vivrò con altri mezzi.
III
Se ogni altro uccello elogia la propria terra, perché allora non dovrei io?
Terra di eroi, terra di poeti, ospitale e generosa terra dell’abbondanza
IV
Un’ampia distesa accanto al mare
deliziosa, mite, terra gentile
la terra dei vitelli,  agnelli e capretti, terra del pane, del latte e del miele
V
Nella parrocchia di Comgan sono nato, sono cresciuto a  Àird an Runnair in vista del fiero, pulsante mare, delle sue onde giocose e mutevoli
VI
Tra il Clan Donald sono cresciuto
quelli delle vele e bandiere colorate
Di navi veloci sui mari
Un popolo inclemente quando sfodera le spade
VII
Uomini esperti, saldi, maestosi
fieri e forti in battaglia
Uomini senza dolore, senza ferite, senza stanchezza
che seguono la folla
o che possono anche fermarla
VIII
I miei amati compagni, dal carattere non adultatore
compagni risoluti in guerra
compagni arditamente pronti alla bisogna
a denudare le lame sotto gli stendardi svolazzanti

NOTE
* in parte dalla traduzione inglese di Tom Thomson
1) Mavis è il tordo, un piccolo passerotto che si differenzia però in almeno due principali specie: il tordo bottello e la tordella, il termine in gaelico per il primo è smeòrach (song thrush, mavis -turdus philomelos) mentre per il secondo è smeòrach-mhòr or smeòrach-ghlas (mistle thrush -turdus viscivorus) Il nome mavis viene dal medioevo probabilmente dal francese antico “mauvis”

FONTI
‘The Uist Collection – The poems and songs of John MacCodrum, Archibald MacDonald, and some of the minor Uist bards’ (Rev. A. MacDonald ed., 1894
https://archive.org/details/uistcollectionpo00macd

http://theatreorgans.com/hammond/keng/kenhtml/scottour(b)/TheUists(Page3).htm
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/juliefowlis/smeorachchlanndomhnaillthemavisofclandonald.html
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/25571/10
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/walker/smeorach.htm
http://www.countrylife.co.uk/country-life/folklore-mistle-thrush-66404

Smeòrach Chlann Dòmhnaill

Leggi in italiano

Smeòrach Chlann Dòmhnaill (‘The Mavis of Clan Donald’) is a scottish gaelic song in which the poet praises Sleat MacDonalds and North Uist.
It was composed by John MacCodrum (Iain Mac Fhearchair 1693–1779) one of the earliest of the “village poets”‘, who penned it as an ‘antiquarian’ re-creation of the Celtic bard Ossian in the 1760s

He says that he is a on the tops of the hills, looking at the sun and clear skies. He describes his own land, as the land of heroes and of poets. Clan Donald are praised for their skill and bravery in battle, there are also Jacobite references in the song.

Sinn Fhèin(Folk Group) 1983 
Rachel Walker in Bràighe Loch Iall 2004 (I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII)
Julie Fowlis in Gach Sgeul – Every Story 2014 live (I, II, III, IV, V, VI)


Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró i
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Smeòrach le Clann Dòmhnaill mi
I
Smeòrach mis’ air ùrlar Phaibil
Crùbadh ann an dùsal cadail
Gun deòrachd a théid nas fhaide
Truimid mo bhròin, thòirleum m’ aigne
II
Smeòrach mis’ air mullach beinne
‘G amharc gréin is speuran soillear
Théid mi stòlda chòir na coille
Bidh mi beò air treòtas eile
III
Ma mholas gach eun a thìr féin
Cuim’ thar éis nach moladh mise?
Tìr nan curaidh, tìr nan cliar
An tìr bhiadhchar fhialaidh mhiosail
IV
‘N tìr nach caol ri cois na mara,
An tìr ghaolach, chaomhnach, channach,
An tìr laoghach, uanach, mheannach:
Tìr an arain, bhainneach, mhealach.
V
An Cladh Chomhghain mise rugadh,
’N Àird an Rùnair fhuair mi togail,
Fradharc a’ chuain uaibhrich chuislich,
Nan stuagh guanach cluaineach cluiceach.
VI
Measg Chlann Dòmhnaill fhuair mi m’ altrum
Buidheann nan seòl ‘s nan sròl daithte
Nan long luath air chuantan farsaing
Aiteam nach ciùin rùsgadh ghlas lann
VII
Na fir eòlach stòlda stàideil
Bha ‘s a’ chòmhstri stròiceach scaiteach
Fir gun bhròn gun leòn gun airtneul
Leanadh tòir, is tòir a chaisgeadh
VIII
Buidheann mo ghaoil nach caoin caitean
Buidheann nach gann greann san aisith
Buidheann shanntach ‘n àm bhith aca
Rùsgadh lann fo shranntraich bhratach
English translation *
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ró i
Hoilibheag hilibheag hó ail il ó
A mavis (1) of Clan Donald
I
A mavis I on Paible‘s flatland
Huddled in a drowse of sleep
unwilling to go any further
in the depths of my sorrow my spirit made a mighty leap
II
A mavis I on a mountaintop
Watching the sun and cloudless skies
I will approach the forest quietly
and I’ll be living on other sustenance
III
If every other bird praises its own land
Why then should not I?
Land of heroes, land of poets/The abundant, hospitable, estimable land.
IV
The land not narrow near the sea,
The delectable, mild,
comely land,
The land of calves and lambs and kids,
The land of bread and milk and honey.
V
ln Comgan’s Churchyard I was born,
In Àird an Runnair I was reared,
In sight of the proud throbbing sea,
Of the sportive, fickle, playful
waves.
VI
Among Clan Donald I was nursed
Company of sails and colored banners
Of swift ships on wide oceans
A people not mild when baring grey blades (2).
VII
Men experienced, steady, stately
Haughty and keen in battle
Men without sorrow, without wounds, without weariness
Who would follow in the rout and who could also stop one
VIII
My beloved company, not smooth of temper
A company resolute in war
A company ambitious when it was necessary
To bare their blades beneath fluttering banners

References
* partially from Tom Thomson
1) “Mavis is indeed a colloquial name for the song thrush but can refer to both male and female birds. It appears to have been used in East Anglia, Ireland and Scotland. The name Mavis appears in Chaucer and was used by other Middle English poets. It comes from the French word mauvis and may be of Celtic origin. It was used by Shakespeare, as was the word throstle for song thrush, which, in East Anglia, refers to the mistle thrush. Just to confuse things, in southwest Scotland Mavis is generally the word used for the mistle thrush with throstle referring to the song thrush. Other names for the song thrush include dirsh, thrusher, thirstle and throggle and for the mistle thrush, skirlock, gawthrush, felfit and stormcock.” (in http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/ask-an-expert/previous/mavis.aspx)
But in this poem we can see the original gaelic word that is smeòrach (song thrush, mavis -turdus philomelos) and not smeòrach-mhòr or smeòrach-ghlas (mistle thrush -turdus viscivorus)

2) Tom Thomson notes “glas can mean a whole range of colours. Usually green (green field – that colour is glas), also blue, wan, grey-green, grey-blue, pale, etcetera. Or it can be a noun – lock, handcuff, … And while “lann” can mean blade or sword, it can also mean repository, enclosure, area… so a glas-lann could be a building with lots of locks (and rusgadh could perhaps mean opening it up so prisoners could escape) – but I think the “sword” meaning is much more likely in mid-18th century Gaelic poetry. A decade later after the German King and the anti-catholic parliament had continued their attempts at genocide and/or ethnic cleansing for a further decade and passed more laws clearly deigned to ensure that no Gael remained free, the lockup meaning would perhaps have been feasible, but not as early as I think this was written.”

LINKS
https://dasg.ac.uk/corpus/textmeta.php?text=165&uT=y
‘The Uist Collection – The poems and songs of John MacCodrum, Archibald MacDonald, and some of the minor Uist bards’ (Rev. A. MacDonald ed., 1894
https://archive.org/details/uistcollectionpo00macd

http://theatreorgans.com/hammond/keng/kenhtml/scottour(b)/TheUists(Page3).htm
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/juliefowlis/smeorachchlanndomhnaillthemavisofclandonald.html
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/25571/10
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/walker/smeorach.htm
http://www.countrylife.co.uk/country-life/folklore-mistle-thrush-66404