Bidh clann Ulaidh versus Song of the Exile (We will go home)

Leggi in italiano

Bidh clann Ulaidh (in English “The Clan of Ulster”) is a lullaby from the Hebrides, where the mother sleeps the baby (I imagine the baby is a female), telling her about the great wedding her family will organize when she arrives in the marriageable age. She mention the names of important Clans and also of the illustrious Irish relatives who will go to the wedding to celebrate the couple and honor the family .
Weddings between upper class families were famous events that people talked about and remembered for years, on which they wrote songs (here), in which the clan chiefs displayed their liberality and magnificence. Marriages allowed for alliances (though not always lasting) between clans and were contracts that involved the exchange of livestock, money and property, called tochers for the bride and dowry for the groom.

THE MELODY

The melody is something magical, there is a version that outclasses – in my opinion – all the others, that of the virtuoso (as well as Scottish) Tony McManus, the “Celtic fingerstyle guitar legend”

Tony McManus live

(I suppose the melody brings something to your mind … who has not seen King Arthur’s film?)
and if we add the violin too?
Alasdair Fraser & Tony McManus

and now we add the song..

Catherine-Ann MacPhee 2014

Can Cala 2014

English translation
I
My love, my darling child
The Clan of Ulster(2) will be at your wedding
My love, my darling child
The Clan of Ulster will dance at your wedding
Chorus:
The king’s clans, the king’s clans
The king’s clans will be at your wedding
The king’s clans playing the pipes
Wine will be drunk at your wedding
II
Clan MacAulay(3), a lively crowd
Clan MacAulay will be at your wedding
Clan MacAulay, a lively crowd
Will dance at your wedding
III
Clan Donald(4), who are so special(5)
Clan Donald will be at your wedding
Clan Donald, who are so special
Will dance at your wedding
IV
Clan MacKenzie(6) of the shining armor(7)
Clan MacKenzie will be at your wedding
Clan MacKenzie of the shining armor
Will dance at your wedding

I
Bidh clann(1) Ulaidh luaidh ‘s a lurain
Bidh clann Ulaidh air do bhanais
Bidh clann Ulaidh luaidh ‘s a lurain
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais
Sèist:
Bidh clann a’ rìgh, bidh clann a’ rìgh
Bidh clann a’ rìgh air do bhanais
Bidh clann a’ rìgh seinn air a’ phìob
Òlar am fìon air do bhanais
II
Bidh Clann Amhlaidh nam feachd greannmhor
Bidh Clann Amhlaidh air do bhanais
Bidh Clann Amhlaidh nam feachd greannmhor
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais
III
Bidh Clann Dhòmhnaill tha cho neònach(5)
Bidh Clann Dhòmhnaill air do bhanais
Bidh Clann Dhòmhnaill tha cho neònach
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais
IV
Bidh Clann Choinnich nam feachd soilleir(7)
Bidh Clann Choinnich air do bhanais
Bidh Clann Choinnich nam feachd soilleir
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais

NOTES
1) the word “clan” derives from the Scottish Gaelic “clann” = “child” to underline the strong bond of blood between the chief and the families (descendants). The clans are territorial extensions controlled by the chief who lives in an ancient castle or fortified house. Not all members of the clan are also descendants of blood, because they could also have “affiliated” to the clan in exchange for protection. At Hogmany or at the time of the election of the new chief all the respective heads of the family swore loyalty to the clan leader. The leader is a Laird, a clan leader and a legal representative of the community
2 ) in Ireland the Ard Ri, the king of kings comes from the North, from the Ulaidh, the land of the warriors and the Clan of the O’Neils always remained a prestigious clan even after the English conquest.
3) Clan MacAulay is a Scottish clan of Argyll, among the oldest in Scotland that boasted its descendants from the king of the Picts: they are located on the border between Lowland and Highland
4) the Clan Donald is one of the most numerous Scottish clans and divided into numerous subdivisions. The Lord of the Islands is traditionally a MacDonald (Hebrides)
5) also written “tha cha neonach” = “it’s no wonder”
6 )Clan MacKenzie is a Highlands clan whose coat of arms reproduces a mountain in flame and the motto says “Luceo non uro”
7) also translated as “bright clothing”

VANORA – WE WILL GO HOME (ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS) -KING ARTHUR (2004)

The song titled “The song of Exile” is sung by Vanora (wife of Bors) to the men of Arthur – of the people of the Sàrmati, (but in reality it is addressed to the child in his arms and therefore it is to him, but also to the warrior-husband, who sings a lullaby -anna) in the imminence of the departure for a “suicide” mission; men want to return home, they have the safe conduct that frees them from servitude in Rome, but choose to stay alongside their commander, the Roman-Briton Artorius (the plot here).

This is how Caitlin Matthews writes“I am the arranger/translator of “Song of the Exile” which appeared in the film and wasn’t recorded on the CD. Disney won’t allow me to sing or record it as they now own the copyright

These are the words sung in the film:

I
Land of bear and land of eagle
Land that gave us birth and blessing
Land that called us ever homewards
We will go home across the mountains
We will go home, we will go home…
II
When the land is there before us
We have gone home across the mountains
We have gone home, we have gone home
We have gone home singing our songs


A whispered lullaby, sweet-sad together, short but with an intense emotional charge, not included in the soundtrack CD “King Artur.” As an author there are those who thought to credit (wrongly) Hans Zimmer who actually signed the soundtrack of the film and we have seen a lot of complaints from the fans for the exclusion of the song. Hans Zimmer (here) writes “Song of the Exile” is composed and performed by Caitlin Matthews” (see more)

ADDITIONAL STANZAS

III
Land of freedom land of heroes
Land that gave us hope and memories
Hear our singing hear our longing
We will go home across the mountains
IV
Land of sun and land of moonlight
Land that gave us joy and sorrow
Land that gave us love and laughter
We will go home across the mountains

So there’s a song (Bidh clann Ulaidh?) in Scottish Gaelic at the beginning, arranged / translated by Caitlin Matthews and an avalanche of super-charged versions have come out (and keep going out) on YouTube!

ShaDoWCa7

Leah

Maria van Selm

Karliene

Anna Cefalo

Stephanie Hill  Norse version (here)
LINK
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/macaskill/bidh.htm
http://www.omniglot.com/songs/gaelic/clannulaidh.php http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/gaelicsongs/bidhclannulaidh.asp
http://www.hallowquest.org.uk/
http://www.terrediconfine.eu/king-arthur/

My Boatman (“Fear a’ bhàta”)

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“Fear a’ bhàta” is a Scottish Gaelic song probably from the end of the 18th century which was also poured into English under the title “O Boatman” (My Boatman) while maintaining the chorus in Gaelic.
Of all the versions in English (see), the most precious from the point of view of writing is certainly that of 1849 with the words translated from Gaelic by Thomas Pattison and the melodic arrangement of Malcolm Lawson (published in “Songs of the North “, MacLeod and Harold Boulton, 1895)

The girl is waiting for a visit of the handsome boatman who seems instead to prefer other girls!
Silly Wizard from Caledonia’s Hardy Sons 1978, Andy Stewart – voice, Bob Thomas – guitar; Johnny Cunningham – mandola, Phil Cunningham – synthesizer


Sandy Denny 

North Sea Gas from The Fire and the Passion of Scotland 2013


Thomas Pattison version
I
How often haunting the highest hilltop
I scan the ocean I sail tae sea/wilt come tonight love wilt come tomorrow?
Wilt ever come, love, to comfort me?
CHORUS
Fhir a bhata no horo eil’e(1)
Fhir a bhata no horo eil’e
Fhir a bhata no horo eil’e
o fare ye well(2), love, where e’er ye be
II
They call thee fickle, they call thee false one,
and seek tae change me, but all in vain;
no, thou art my dream yet throughout the dark night
and every morn yet I watch the main

III
There’s not a hamlet -too well I know it-
where you go wandering or stay(3) awhile
but all its old folks you win wi’ talking
and charm its maidens with song and smile
IV
Dost thou remember the promise made me
the tartan plaidie, the silken gown,
the ring of gold with thy hair and portrait(4)?
That gown and ring I will never own

NOTES
1) basically a non-sense phrase that some want to translate “and no one else” ie as “mine and no other”
2) it is both a greeting and a wish for good luck: My greeting to you wherever you go
3) or “sits”
4) It is a small medallion with the lid inside which there was a lover’s miniature and a lock of his/her hair

gaelic version
LINK
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4

Fear a’ bhàta

Leggi in italiano

“Fear a ‘bhata” is a Scottish Gaelic song probably from the end of the 18th century and the legend (an anecdotal addition to the nineteenth century versions printed) says it was written by Sine NicFhionnlaigh (Jean Finlayson) of Tong, a small village on the Isle of Lewis (Hebrides) for a young Uig fisherman, Domhnall MacRath (Donald MacRae) who eventually married.
‘Fear’ translates as “man” and “Bhata” with “boat”: the man of the boat, or the boatman. Also written as Fear A Bhata, Fear Ah Bhata, Fhear A Bhata, Fhear Ni Bhata, Fhir A’ Bhata, Fir Na Fhata, O(h) My Boatman.

Homer Winslow
Homer Winslow

The song appears first published in The Scottish Gael byJames Logan, 1831 (with its score) in which it is classified as a slow and an iorram (the song to the oars that had the function of giving rhythm to the rowers, but at the same time it was also a funeral lament). “Fhir a bhata, or the boatmen, the music of which is annexed, is sung in the above manner, by the Highlanders with much effect. It is the song of a girl whose lover is at sea, whose safety she prays for, and whose return she anxiously expects.

The melody is a lament, sometimes played as a waltz (in instrumental versions) that lends itself to delicate and smooth arrangements

Maire Breatnach on fiddle (live at Dougie MacLean‘ s house)

There are many text versions of the song composed of about ten verses although in the most current recordings only the first three stanzas are sung mostly.

For the full text see

Scottish gaelic version

The girl is waiting for a visit of the handsome boatman who seems instead to prefer other girls! But she waits for him and frowns worried about the health of her handsome boatman.

Capercaillie from Get Out 1996

Superb and masterly recording a voice and the waves of the sea
 Talitha Mackenzie from “A Celtic Tapestry” vol. 2 1997

Alison Helzer  from Carolan’s Welcome, 2010.



English translation
Chorus:
Oh my boatman, na hóro eile
Oh my boatman, na hóro eile
Oh my boatman, na hóro eile
My farewell to you wherever you go
I
I often look from the highest hill
To try and see the boatman
Will you come today or tomorrow If you don’t come at all I will be downhearted
II
My heart is broken and bruised
With tears often flowing from my eyes
Will you come tonight or will I expect you
Or will I close the door with a sad sigh?
III
I often ask people on boats
Whether they see you or whether you are safe,
Each of them says
That I was foolish to fall in love with you.

Scottish Gaelic
Séist:
Fhir a’ bhàta, sna hóro eile
Fhir a’ bhàta, sna hóro eile
Fhir a’ bhàta, sna hóro eile
Mo shoraidh slàn leat ‘s gach àit’ an tèid thu
I
‘S tric mi sealltainn on chnoc as àirde
Dh’fheuch am faic mi fear a’ bhàta
An tig thu ‘n-diugh no ‘n tig thu màireach
‘S mur tig thu idir gur truagh a tha mi
II
Tha mo chridhe-sa briste brùite
‘S tric na deòir a’ ruith o m’ shùilean
An tig thu ‘n nochd no ‘m bi mo dhùil riut
No ‘n dùin mi ‘n doras le osna thùrsaich?
III
‘S tric mi foighneachd de luchd nam bàta
Am faic iad thu no ‘m bheil   thu sàbhailt
Ach ‘s ann a tha gach aon dhiubh ‘g ràitinn
Gur gòrach mise, ma thug mi  gràdh dhut

Irish Gaelic version

The Irish version appears for the first time in print in the Sam Henry collection entitled ‘Songs of the People‘. The songs were collected within 20 miles of Coleraine (Northern Ireland) from 1929 to 1939. It is an Irish Gaelic coming from Rathlin Island and more generally  widespread in Ulster, therefore with much resemblance to the Scottish Gaelic.

Niamh Parsons live and from Gaelic Voices 1999 (I, II, IV, V)

And why not! Let’s listen to this celtic-metal version of the German group founded by Ben Richter in 2001!
Thanateros ( I, II, V)

 

 

English translation (from here)
Chorus:
O Boatman and another “horo”! [i.e. welcome] /A hundred thousand welcomes everywhere you go
I
I went up on the highest hill
To see if I could see the boatman
Will you come tonight or will you come tomorrow?
If you do not come, I will be wretched
II
My heart is broken and crushed.
Frequent are the tears that run from my eyes. /Will you come today or when I’m longing for you, /Or shall I close the door with a tired sigh?
III
I gave you my love, and I cannot change that.
Not love for a year, and not just words of love,
But love from the beginning, when I was a child, /And I will never cease, even when my death bell tolls.
IV
My love promised me a dress of silk
He promised me that and a gray tartan
A gold ring where I’d see my reflection
But I’m afraid he has forgotten
IV
My heart is lifting
Not for the tailor or the harper
But for the navigator of the boat
If you don’t come, I’ll be very sad
Irish Gaelic (from here)
Chorus:
Fhir an bháta ‘sna hóró éile (1)
Fhir an bháta ‘sna hóró éile
Fhir an bháta ‘sna hóró éile
Ceád mile failte gach ait a te tú (2)
I
Théid mé suas ar an chnoic is airde,
Féach an bhfeic mé fear an bháta.
An dtig thú anoch nó an dtig thú amárach?
Nó muna dtig thú idir is trua atá mé.
II
Tá mo chroí-se briste brúite.
Is tric na deora a rith bho mo shúileann.
An dtig thú inniu nó am bidh mé dúil leat,
Nó an druid mé an doras le osna thuirseach?
III
Thúg mé gaol duit is chan fhéad mé ‘athrú.
Cha gaol bliana is cha gaol raithe.
Ach gaol ó thoiseacht nuair bha mé ‘mo pháiste,
Is nach seasc a choíche me ‘gus claoibh’ am bás mé.
IV
Gheall mo leanann domh gúna den tsioda
Gheall é sin, agus breacan riabhach
Fainne óir anns an bhfeicfinn íomha
Ach is eagal liom go ndearn sé dearmad
V
Tá mo croíse ag dul in airde
Chan don fidleir, chan don clairsoir
Ach do Stuirithoir an bhata
Is muna dtig tú abhaile is trua atá mé

NOTES
1) basically a non-sense phrase that some want to translate “and no one else” ie as “mine and no other”
2) or “mo shoraidh slán leat gach áit a dté tú”

My Boatman (english version)

LINK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/foghlam/beag_air_bheag/songs/
song_03/index.shtml

http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Scottish/FearABhata.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=121195
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=2463
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/compilations/fear.htm
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/capercaillie/fear.htm
http://thesession.org/tunes/8919
http://blueloulogan.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/songs-of-logan-6-fear-a-bhata-the-boatman/

Pulling the dulse

Leggi in italiano

For centuries people living along the coasts have learned to collect, for habitual consumption, different qualities of algae.
In particular in Scotland and Ireland, dulse algae and Irish moss have always been part of the diet of coastal inhabitants.

dulse_3276643cSimilar to a little hand with the open fingers of a purple red, the dulse algae grows along the coasts of the North Atlantic and the North-Western Pacific and it is a superfood, rich iron, calcium, potassium vitamins, amino acids (high quality protein ) and mineral salts. Eaten raw it has an elastic consistency like chewingum and as such was consumed by the English sailors of the seventeenth century who chewed it instead of tobacco. It has a very salty taste, also called spicy and is a very versatile food.

DULSING

The dulse algae are harvested mainly in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Scandinavia, Iceland and Brittany in the months between June and October during the low tide and they are sold in leaves or minced: the harvesters (in danger of extinction) leave the first hours of morning at high tide, when the sea withdraw they hand-picked dulse from rocks. For self-consumption, the collection of small quantities is done directly on the shore, among the rocks. The algae are then laid out on the beach to dry, at the end they are rolled up in large bales and are brought to the production plants for treatment and packaging.
It is essential that the waters of the sea where the harvest takes place are unpolluted (algae absorb large amounts of pollutants -fertilizers and heavy metals, so they are also good sweepers from the sea ..) and that the production chain guarantees high quality standards .

ADÓ, ADÉ

“Pulling the sea-dulse” is a worker song from the Hebrides collected by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser and translated into English for her “Songs of the Hebrides”

Quadriga Consort (solist voice Elisabeth Kaplan)

The Salt Flats from The Salt Flats 2011  ♪
Same melody but new arrangement, from Northern Ireland (Belfast) in the notes they wrote: “Pulling the Sea Dulse is a working tune detailing the harvest seaweed at the shore. It is surprisingly upbeat and the Dulse in question resonated with childhood memories of Dulse and Yellow Man at the Auld Lammas Fair in Northern Ireland.” (see more)


CHORUS
Adó, Adé
Clings dulse to the sea rock
Clings heart to the loved one
Be’t high tide or low tide
Adó, Adé.
I
Pulling the dulse
by the sea rocks at low tide,
Ne’er pull I thy love(1), lad,
be’t high tide or low.
II
Shoreward the sea mew
comes flying at low tide,
But seaward my heart flies out
seaward to thee(2).

NOTES
1) she keeps loyalty to his lover
2) probably emigrated to America or embarked on some ship as a sailor (for example on a whaling boat).

THE SEAWEED-GATHERER IN IRISH BALLADRY

LINK
http://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/it/arca-del-gusto-slow-food/alga-duileasg/
http://www.materiarinnovabile.it/art/100/Alghe_meno_raccolta_piu_produzione

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

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/

Aileen Duinn, Brown-haired Alan

Leggi in italiano

“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

MY BOATMAN

Read the post in English

“Fear a’ bhàta” è una canzone in gaelico scozzese probabilmente di fine ‘700 che è stata versificata anche in inglese con il titolo “O Boatman” (My Boatman) pur mantenendo il coro in gaelico.
Tra tutte le versioni in inglese (vedi), la più preziosa anche dal punto di vista della scrittura è senz’altro quella del 1849 con le parole tradotte dal gaelico da Thomas Pattison e l’arrangiamento melodico di Malcolm Lawson (pubblicata in “Songs of the North”, MacLeod e Harold Boulton, 1895)

La ragazza è in attesa di una visita del bel barcaiolo, che sembra invece preferire altre fanciulle!
Silly Wizard in Caledonia’s Hardy Sons 1978, Andy Stewart – voce, Bob Thomas – chitarra; Johnny Cunningham – mandola, Phil Cunningham – tastiera elettronica


Sandy Denny 

North Sea Gas in The Fire and the Passion of Scotland 2013


Thomas Pattison
I
How often haunting the highest hilltop
I scan the ocean I sail tae sea/wilt come tonight love wilt come tomorrow?
Wilt ever come, love, to comfort me?
CHORUS
Fhir a bhata no horo eil’e(1)
Fhir a bhata no horo eil’e
Fhir a bhata no horo eil’e
o fare ye well(2), love, where e’er ye be
II
They call thee fickle, they call thee false one,
and seek tae change me, but all in vain;
thou art my dream yet throughout the dark night/ and every morn yet (morning)  I watch the main
III
There’s not a hamlet -too well I know it-
where you go wandering or stay(3) awhile
but all its old folks you win wi’ talking
and charm its maidens with song and smile
IV
Dost thou remember the promise made me
the tartan plaidie, the silken gown,
the ring of gold with thy hair and portrait(4)?
That gown and ring I will never own

Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Spesso salgo sulla collina più alta
e scruto il mare per vedere la tua vela,
verrai stanotte amore o verrai domani?
Verrai presto a confortarmi?RITORNELLO
Uomo della barca la, la la
Uomo della barca la, la la
Uomo della barca la, la la
buonasorte, amore, ovunque tu sia
II
Ti chiamano il volubile, ti chiamano il bugiardo
e cercano di farmi cambiare idea, ma invano; perchè tu sei il mio sogno nell’oscurità della notte
e ogni mattino io guardo il mare
III
Non c’è borgo – lo so troppo bene
dove tu non vada  ramingo o un poco ti fermi,
ma superi tutta la vecchia gente nelle chiacchiere
e incanti le fanciulle con la voce e il sorriso
IV
Non ti ricordi la promessa che mi hai fatto,
il plaid di tartan e la gonna di seta
il gioiello d’oro con i tuoi capelli e il ritratto?
Quella gonna e gioiello non avrò mai

NOTA
1) sostanzialmente una frase non-sense che alcuni vogliono tradurre “and no one else” cioè come “mio e di nessun altra”
2) è sia un saluto che un augurio di buona fortuna: Il mio saluto a te ovunque tu vada
3) a volte come “sits”
4) si tratta di un piccolo medaglione con il coperchio all’interno del quale si celava una miniatura e una ciocca di capelli dell’innamorato, un pegno in vista del matrimonio

continua versione in gaelico
FONTI
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=45602

GRUAGACH-MHARA: A GRUAGACH OR A SELKIE?

Sebbene il termine gaelico Gruagach si traduca con “fanciulla“, il Gruagach del folklore scozzese è diventato più simile ad un folletto tipo Brownie che una fanciulla del Mare.

SPIRITO TUTELARE

Khatarine Briggs nel suo “Dizionario di fate, gnomi e folletti” parla dei Gruagach maschi delle Highlands scozzesi paragonandoli ai Brownie, belli e slanciati, elegantemente vestiti di rosso e dotati di capelli biondi, dediti alla sorveglianza del bestiame. La maggior parte però sono brutti e trasandati e come i Brownie aiutano gli uomini nei lavori domestici e agricoli.

Sorta di spirito tutelare della casa e del bestiame la gruagach è considerata un folletto da rabbonire con offerte di latte lasciate nelle coppelle dei massi erratici. Stuart McHardy ritiene tuttavia che la gruagach sia stata una divinità più potente e antica decaduta nel tempo al rango di guardiano. J.A. McCulloch (The religion of the ancient Celts, 1911) had this to say: “Until recently milk was poured on ‘Gruagach stones’ in the Hebrides, as an offering to the Gruagach, a brownie who watched over herds, and who had taken the place of a god”. Evans-Wentz in The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries (1911) also describes the Gruagach, again stressing the link with cattle: “The fairy queen who watches over cows is called Gruagach in the islands, and she is often seen. In pouring libations to her and her fairies, various kinds of stones, usually with hollows in them, are used. In many parts of the Highlands, where the same deity is known, the stone into which women poured the libation is called Leac na Gruagaich, ‘Flag-stone of the Gruagach’. If the libation was omitted in the evening, the best cow in the fold would be found dead in the morning”. (tratto da qui)

LA FANCIULLA DEL MARE

John Gregorson Campbell nel suo “Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland”, 1900 descrive il Gruagach come una fanciulla del mare dai capelli biondi: “A Gruagach haunted the ‘Island House’ (Tigh an Eilein, so called from being at first surrounded with water), the principal residence in the island, from time immemorial till within the present century. She was never called Glaistig, but Gruagach and Gruagach mhara (sea-maid) by the islanders. Tradition represents her as a little woman with long yellow hair, but a sight of her was rarely obtained. She staid in the attics, and the doors of the rooms in which she was heard working were locked at the time. She was heard putting the house in order when strangers were to come, however unexpected otherwise their arrival might be. She pounded the servants when they neglected their work.”

LA DEA DEL MARE

Così nella tradizione la gruagach è associata ad una vacca sacra giunta dal mare e ad una pietra coppellata per le offerte di libagioni (ovvero latte), una creatura soprannaturale in origine sicuramente di genere femminile  guardiana del bestiame di un determinato territorio. Potrebbe essere il ricordo di antichissimi rituali celebrati da sacerdotesse della Dea Madre e in seguito trasformate in creature fatate.

Stuart McHardy prosegue nel suo saggio: ‘Gruagach’ may mean “the long-haired one” and be derived from gruag = a wig, and is a common Gaelic name for a maiden, or a young woman. In A Midsummer Eve’s Dream (1971) Alexander Hope analyses16thC Scots poems by Dunbar. In the poem the Golden Targe Dunbar’s goddesses wear green kirtles under their green mantles and with their long hair hanging loose they are also presented as fairies in their appearance. The belief in a “fairy-cult” which Hope discerns in these and other works is quite clearly a remnant of an earlier pagan religion. .. Gruagach may be related to the Breton words Groac’h or Grac’h, a name given to the Druidesses or Priestesses, who had colleges on the Isle de Sein, off the NW coast of Brittany. These Groac’h were known for being involved in divination, healing and shape-shifting, and P.F.Anson (Fisher Folk Lore, 1965) says of them: “On the intensely Catholic Isle de Sein there used to be the conviction that certain women had what was known as ‘le don de vouer’, i.e. the power of communicating with the Devil or his emissaries, in other words that they were witches. Fishermen alleged that they had seen these women on dark nights launching mysterious boats (bag-sorcérs) to enable them to take part in a witches’ Sabbath or coven known as groach’hed”. (sempre tratto da qui)

Quindi la Gruagach è un altro nome della Cailleach, la dea primigenia della creazione come viene chiamata in Scozia, il cui ricordo ha lasciato una traccia nel folklore celtico e ci parla di un culto primordiale conservatosi pressoché immutato anche durante l’affermarsi del Cristianesimo e praticato soprattutto dalle donne con poteri sciamanici, ben presto demonizzate e declassate al rango di streghe.

La Giumenta Bianca era una delle sembianze di Cailleach, la velata, così come si manifestava la Dea durante l’Inverno la “Vecchia Donna”, lei colpiva con il suo martello la terra e la rendeva dura fino a Imbolc, la festa del risveglio della Primavera.
Questa antichissima Dea Anziana che controlla le forze della natura e plasma la terra con il suo potere ha forse origini lontane dalle Isole Britanniche. Lo storico greco Erodoto nel V° secolo A.C. ci parla di una tribù celtica in Spagna che chiama “Kallaikoi”. L’autore romano Plinio parla del popolo dei Callaeci, tribù da cui deriva il nome Gallaecia (Galizia) e Portus Cale (Portogallo). Il nome Callaeci viene fatto risalire ad “adoratori della Cailleach”. …Numerose sono le leggende [scozzesi] che ci parlano di questa Dea e analizzandole possiamo evidenziare delle caratteristiche ricorrenti: – La Cailleach dà forma alla terra sia in modo volontario che involontario (il suo grembiule carico di pietre ritorna in moltissime leggende celtiche) creando laghi, colline, isole e costruzioni megalitiche. – Una costante associazione con l’acqua attraverso pozzi, laghi e fiumi di cui è spesso guardiana. – L’associazione con la stagione invernale. – La sua mole gigantesca. – La sua antichissima età, essendo fatta risalire a uno dei primi esseri presenti sulla terra. – La sua funzione di guardiana di particolari animali come il cervo e l’airone. – La sua capacità di trasformarsi ed assumere diverse forme come quella di fanciulla, airone e pietra… In Irlanda l’animale sacro alla dea è la mucca. La dea stessa si occupava del suo bestiame e mungeva le sue mucche fatate ricavandone del latte magico che usava per ridare la vita ai morti. La Dea appare quindi sia come signora della morte che della vita. (Claudia Falcone tratto da: ilcerchiodellaluna.it)

Una creatura che si può associare alla Gruagach è il folletto-capra presente sia nel folklore irlandese con il nome di bocánach sia in quello delle Highlands scozzesi con il nome di Glaistig (metà donna e metà capra):  dai lunghi capelli biondi e bellissima nasconde la sua parte inferiore animale sotto una lunga veste verde. Nella sua versione  maligna la fanciulla è una sorta di sirena che attira l’uomo con un canto o una danza e poi si nutre del suo sangue. Al contrario nella sua versione benigna è considerata una protettrici del bestiame e dei pastori, oltre che dei bambini lasciati soli dalle madri per sorvegliare gli animali al pascolo.

La fanciulla del Mare continua

FONTI
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/poor-horse.htm
https://listserv.heanet.ie/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9311&L=celtic-l&D=0&P=13250
http://www.goddessalive.co.uk/index.php/issues-21-25/issue-21/gruagach

AIGNISH ON THE MACHAIR

Una canzone dalle Isole Ebridi per commemorare la fine di una vita, colta dalla vecchiaia, così come dovrebbe essere una morte serena. La canzone esprime la nostalgia per la propria terra e il desiderio di giacere anche in morte, nel grembo della comunità di appartenenza.

aignish-cimitero
Il testo è stato composto da Agnes Mure Mackenzie di Stornoway, isola di Lewis (Ebridi esterne) su di una vecchia melodia scozzese. Nel canto si cita il cimitero di Aignish, un borgo poco distante da Stornoway già luogo di insediamenti monastici medievali. I ruderi di una piccola chiesa dedicata a S Columba sono il fulcro di un cimitero (per il clan dei Macleod) proprio a ridosso del mare. (vedi)

ASCOLTA Capercaillie in The blood is strong 1988 e ristampa 1995
Nell’album il brano è accreditato sia a John Archie Morrison che a Marjory Kennedy Fraser, che con il suo lavoro ha più arrangiato il materiale tradizionale delle isole Ebridi, che composto qualcosa di suo.

AIGNISH ON THE MACHAIR
I
An ciaradh m”fheasgairs mo b`heath `air claiodh
Mo rosg air dunad`s a`bhas gun chli
Stuir curs` an lar leam gu Eilean ciatach
Gu Aignish sgiamhach far an d`araich mi
II
An sin gun cairich sibh mi` san fhod
A mheasg mo chairdean `smo shinnsrean coir
Ri toonan barr-gheal a` bualadh traghad
`Sri machair(2) Aignish nan laoighs nam bo.
III(3)
Bi eoin an aite gach la ri seinn
‘S an iarmailt ghorm sin gu h-ard os cionn
Is machair Aignis ri taobh na traghad
Gu tosdach samhach ‘s mi sint’ ‘s a’ chill
AIGNISH SULLA PIANA*
I
When day is over and life is done
My eyes have closed and my strength has gone
Steer my course westwards(1) to the beautiful island
To lovely Aignish where I was raised
II
There please leave me on the ground
By parents kindly and all my friends
By white waves pounding on beaches sounding/And the plains of Aignish of the calves and cattle.
III
The birds of the place will sing every day
In those blue skies high above me
And the plains of Aignish beside the beach
Peaceful and still as I rest in the grave
traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Quando il tempo è alla fine e la mia vita trascorsa, ho chiuso gli occhi e  mi sono lasciata andare
accoglimi allora nella Terra dell’Ovest(1) nella splendida isola
della bella Aignish dove sono cresciuta.
II
Là lasciatemi sottoterra
con i genitori amati e tutti i miei amici,
tra il suono delle onde chiare che si frangono sulla spiaggia,
sulla piana erbosa (2) di Aignish delle mandrie
III
Gli uccelli del posto canteranno tutto il giorno
in quei cieli azzurri stesi su di me
sulla piana di di Aignish accanto al mare in pace e quiete così riposerò nella tomba

NOTE
* una traduzione più letterale qui
1) è l’Avalon, la terra delle fate, l’altromondo celtico
2) machair è una fertile pianura d’erba, come se ne trovano sulle isole Ebridi proprio a ridosso della spiaggia

La traduzione di Agnes Mure Mackenzie (in Lyra Celtica)

When day and night are over,
And the world is done with me,
Oh carry me west and lay me
In Aignish by the sea.

And never heed me lying
Among the ancient dead,
Beside the white sea breakers
And sand-drift overhead

The grey gulls are wheeling ever,
And the wide arch of sky,
Oh Aignish on the Machair(2),
And quiet, quiet there to lie.

AMHRÁN MHUÍNSE

FONTI
http://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/st-columbus-church-eaglais-na-h-aoidhe-p524161 http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/capercaillie/aignish.htm http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/macaskill/aignis.htm http://www.elvendale.de/songs/aignish.html
http://www.albumtrad.com/en/ishbel-macaskill/00392-sioda.xhtml http://www.alansim.com/scohtml/sco262.html http://www.cdandlp.com/kennedy-fraser-traditional/land-of-heart-s-desire-lisa-milne-sioned-williams/cd/r116587407/