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/

MOR A’CHEANNAICH

In alcuni canti in gaelico delle Highlands troviamo spesso i nomi di Donald MacDonald dai capelli neri e di Morag la figlia del mercante corteggiata da molti pretendenti. (vedi prima parte)

Con il titolo di Mor a’Cheannaich ascoltiamo un’altra piccola parte della storia, la ragazza doveva essere un buon partito (o essere molto bella) e aveva molti corteggiatori (le melodie Domnall Dubh e  Mor A’Cheannaich a volte sono confuse) Negli archivi storici vediamo una foto di  Marion “Mor a Cheannaich” da nonnina

ASCOLTA su Spotify 
Talitha MacKenzie – Mouth Music 1990

GAELICO SCOZZESE
I (x2)
‘S iomadh rud tha dhìth orm
A dh’fheumainn fhìn mu’n dèanainn banais
‘S iomadh rud tha dhìth orm
A dh’fheumainn fhìn mum pòsainn
CHORUS
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Air do shlàinte a Mhòr a’ Cheannaich
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Air do shlàinte a Mhòrag
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Air do shlàinte a Mhòr a’ Cheannaich
‘S iomadh rud tha dhìth orm
A dh’fheumainn fhìn mum pòsainn
II (x2)
Fàinnichean ‘s grìogagan
Bheirinn fhìn do Mhòr a’ Cheannaich
Fàinnichean ‘s grìogagan
A bheirinn fhìn do Mhòrag
III (x2)
Dòmhnall Dubh an Domhnallaich
A-nochd an tòir air Mòr a’ Cheannaich
Dòmhnall Dubh an Domnallaich
A-nochd an tòir air Mòrag
IV (x2)
Aonghas Mac a’Phìobaire
‘S e-fhèin a’ strì ri Mòr a’Cheannaich
Aonghas Mac a’Phìobaire
‘S e-fhèin a’ strì ri Mòrag
CHORUS
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Air do shlàinte a Mhòr a’ Cheannaich
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Air do shlàinte a Mhòrag
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Aonghas Mac a’Phìobaire
‘S e-fhèin a’ strì ri Mòrag


TRADUZIONE INGLESE
I
There are many things I would need
Before I arranged a wedding
There are many things I would need
Before I married
CHORUS
Ibhi abhi ubhi abhi
Your good health, Mor a’ Cheannaich
There are many things I would need
Before I married
II
Rings and necklaces
I would give to Mor a’ Cheannaich
Rings and necklaces
I would give to Morag
III
Black-haired Donald
Tonight is after Mor a’ Cheannaich
Black-haired Donald
Tonight is after Morag
IV
Angus the Piper’s son
Is pursuing Mor a’Cheannaich
Angus the Piper’s son
Is pursuing Morag

tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
Ci sono molte cose di cui ho bisogno
prima di combinare un matrimonio
ci sono molte cose  di cui ho bisogno
prima di sposarmi
CORO
Vocaboli senza senso
la tua buona salute Mor a’Cheannaich
ci sono molte cose  di cui ho bisogno
prima di sposarmi
II
Anelli e collane
vorrei dare a Mor a’Cheannaich,
Anelli e collane
vorrei dare a Morag
III
Donald dai capelli neri
stasera è in cerca di Mor a’Cheannaich.
Donald dai capelli neri
stasera è in cerca di Morag.
IV
Angus il figlio del piper
corteggia Mor a’Cheannaich
Angus il figlio del piper
corteggia Morag

FONTI
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/macaskill/mor.htm

Fear a’ bhàta, la canzone al barcaiolo

Read the post in English

“Fear a’ bhàta” è una canzone in gaelico scozzese probabilmente di fine ‘700 e la leggenda (un’aggiunta aneddotica alle versioni ottocentesche andate in stampa) dice che sia stata scritta da Sine NicFhionnlaigh (Jean Finlayson) di Tong piccolo villaggio sull’Isola di Lewis (Ebridi) per un giovane pescatore di Uig, Domhnall MacRath (Donald MacRae) che ha alla fine sposato.
Fear’ si traduce con “man” e ‘Bhàta’ con “boat”: l’uomo della barca, ovvero il barcaiolo. Anche scritto come 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

La canzone appare pubblicata la prima volta in The Scottish Gael di James Logan, 1831 (con relativa partitura) in cui viene classificata come un’aria lenta e uno iorram (il canto ai remi che aveva la funzione di dare il ritmo ai vogatori, ma nello stesso tempo era anche un lamento funebre). “Fhir a bhata, o il barcaiolo, la cui partitura e allegata, è cantata nella maniera di cui sopra dagli Scozzesi delle montagne con molto effetto. È il canto di una ragazza il cui innamorato è in mare, di cui prega per la sua sicurezza, e il cui ritorno aspetta con ansia.

La melodia è un lament, talvolta suonato come valzer (nelle versioni strumentali) che si presta ad arrangiamenti delicati e sospesi

Maire Breatnach al violino (registrata live nel portico della casa di Dougie MacLean)

Si conoscono molte versioni testuali del canto composto da una decina di strofe anche se nelle registrazioni più attuali vengono cantate per lo più solo le prime tre strofe.

Per il testo completo vedi

VERSIONE GAELICO SCOZZESE

La ragazza è in attesa di una visita del bel barcaiolo che sembra invece preferire altre fanciulle! Ma lei lo aspetta e si strugge preoccupata per la salute del suo bel barcaiolo.

Capercaillie in Get Out 1996

Superba e magistrale con la sola voce e le onde del mare:
 Talitha Mackenzie in “A Celtic Tapestry” vol. 2 1997

Alison Helzer  in Carolan’s Welcome, 2010.


Gaelico scozzese
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


Traduzione inglese
Chorus:
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.

traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Ritornello
O mio barcaiolo..(frasi non sense)
Il mio saluto a te ovunque tu vada
I
Spesso guardo dalla collina più alta
per cercare di vedere il mio barcaiolo
Verrai stasera a casa, o domani?
Sarò triste se non verrai affatto
II
Il mio cuore è spezzato, ferito
spesso le lacrime scorrono dagli occhi.
Verrai a casa stasera, e ti aspetterò alzata
o dovrò chiudere la porta sospirando tristemente?
III
Spesso chiedo ai barcaioli
se ti hanno visto, se stai bene,
ma ognuno di loro mi dice
di essere stupida ad essermi innamorata di te

VERSIONE GAELICO IRLANDESE

La versione irlandese compare per la prima volta in stampa nella raccolta di Sam Henry dal titolo ‘Songs of the People‘ i canti furono raccolti entro 20 miglia di Coleraine (Irlanda del Nord) dal 1929 al 1939. E’ un gaelico irlandese proveniente da Rathlin Island e  più in generale nell’Ulster, quindi con molta somiglianza con il gaelico scozzese

Niamh Parsons live e in Gaelic Voices 1999 (strofe I, II, IV, V)

e perchè no! Ascoltiamoci anche questa versione celtic-metal del gruppo tedesco fondato da Ben Richter nel 2001!
Thanateros (strofe I, II, V)


Gaelico Irlandese (tratto da qui)
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


traduzione inglese (da qui)
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

traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
ritornello
O barcaiolo benvenuto (1)
sia tu 100mila volte benvenuto ovunque tu vada
I
Sono andata sulla collina più alta
per poter vedere il barcaiolo,
verrai stanotte
o verrai domani?
Se tu non verrai sarò infelice
II
Il mio cuore è a pezzi e ammaccato
e lacrime sgorgano dai miei occhi
verrai oggi o quanto dovrò aspettarti? O chiuderò la porta con uno stanco sospiro?
III
Ti diedi il mio amore e ciò non posso cambiare, niente amore per un anno e nemmeno parole d’amore
ma l’amore c’era agli inizi, quando era una ragazzina
e non smetterò mai anche quando suonerà la mia campana
IV
Il mio amore mi promise un vestito di seta
mi promise quello e un tartan grigio
un anello d’oro dove poter vedere il riflesso
ma temo che se lo sia scordato
V
Il mio cuore è inebriato,
non per un sarto o un arpista,
ma per il barcaiolo,
e se tu non verrai sarò molto triste

NOTE
1) sostanzialmente una frase non-sense che alcuni vogliono tradurre “and no one else” cioè come “mio e di nessun altra”
2) oppure come nella versione scozzese “mo shoraidh slán leat gach áit a dté tú”

continua My Boatman (versione in inglese)

FONTI
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/