I’ll Hie Me To The Shieling Hill

Robert Tannahill published the song “I’ll Hie Me To The Shieling Hill”  in his “Poems and Songs, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect” (1807) written on a traditional and very popular tune: “Gilly Callum”
Robert Tannahill
pubblicò la canzone “I’ll Hie Me To The Shieling Hill” nel suo “
Poems and Songs, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect” (1807) scritta su un’aria tradizionale molto popolare: “Gilly Callum”

Ghillie Callum

“Ghillie Callum” is one of the oldest and most famous traditional Scottish dances and the tune was published with numerous variation sets. A faster version is called “Tail Toddle”
The earliest record of the tune is in David Young’s 1734 Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle; sometimes called the Duke of Perth MS because of the inscription); Glen (1891) finds it also in Bremner’s 2nd Collection or Scots Reels or Country Dances (London, 1768, p. 108) under the title “Keelum Kallum taa fein.” (from here)

Originally, ghillie was the name given to the young man [gaelic “gille”= “youth” or “lad.” from the irish giolla] who would guide the Highland chiefs on hunting and fishing expeditions. It was later generalized to describe the men servants who always accompanied Highland chiefs.
But Ghillies are also a soft shoe worn for traditional Scottish Highland Dances. 
“Ghillie Callum” è una delle danze scozzesi più antiche e famose e la melodia è stata pubblicata in numerosi arrangiamenti. Una versione più veloce s’intitola Tail Toddle.
La prima registrazione della canzone è del 1734 nel “Drummond Castle Manuscript” di David Young (in possesso del Conte di Ancaster al Drummond Castle, a volte chiamato duca di Perth MS a causa dell’iscrizione); Glen (1891) lo trova anche in “2nd Collection or Scots Reels or Country Dances” (Londra, 1768, pagina 108) con il titolo “Keelum Kallum taa fein”.
Ghillie era il termine originariamente dato per “giovane ragazzo” [ dal gaelico “gille” = “giovanotto” o “ragazzo”- giolla in irlandese] che guidava i capi degli altipiani nelle spedizioni di caccia e pesca. In seguito fu generalizzato per descrivere i servitori uomini che accompagnavano sempre i capi delle Highlands. Ma ghillies sono anche una le scarpe in morbida pelle indossata per le tradizionali danze scozzesi delle Highland. 

Scottish Sword dance

It is an ancient dance of war of the Scottish Gael.
Legend tells that Callum (Malcolm MacDuncan “Canmore”), crossed his sword over that of a defeated enemy  at the Battle of Dunsinane in 1054 and danced round and over the blades in triumph.
The dance evolved into a battle dance performed by Highland warriors, to a test of skill and agility. 
È un’antica danza dei guerrieri celti scozzesi. La leggenda narra che Callum (Malcolm MacDuncan “Canmore”-testagrossa) incrociò la sua spada su quella di un nemico sconfitto nella battaglia di Dunsinane nel 1054 e ballò attorno alle lame in segno di trionfo. La danza si trasformò in una danza di battaglia eseguita dai guerrieri delle Highland, come prova di abilità e agilità. 

At the beginning the dancer performs the steps outside the sword  “addressing the swords” (asking permission “to dance”) then he dances over the crossed blades with his back never turned to the swords. The dancer who touched the sword he would be wounded the next day in battlefield!
All’inizio il danzatore esegue i passi fuori dalla spada “rivolgendosi alle spade” (chiede il permesso di “danzare”) poi balla sulle lame incrociate con la schiena mai girata verso le spade. Il danzatore che toccava la spada sarebbe stato ferito il giorno successivo sul campo di battaglia!

I’ll Hie Me To The Shieling Hill

A young girl prefers to marry Donald, the young shepherd rather than accept the courtship of the rich but old Callum, loving the life of the shepherd in the open air, rather than the air of the city
Una fanciulla preferisce sposare Donald, il giovane pastore piuttosto che accettare il corteggiamento del ricco ma vecchio Callum, perchè ama la vita del pastore all’aria aperta, piuttosto che l’aria della città.

Ross Kennedy in The Complete Songs of Robert Tannahill Volume I  (2006) 


I
I’ll hie me to the shieling hill,
And bide amang the braes, Callum,
Ere I gang to Crochan mill ,
I’ll live on hips and slaes, Callum.
Wealthy pride but ill can hide
Your runkl’d mizzly shins, Callum,
Lyart pow, as white’s the tow,
And beard as rough’s the whins, Callum.
II
Wily woman aft deceives!
Sae ye’ll think, I ween, Callum,
Trees may keep their wither’d leaves.
‘Till ance they get the green, Callum.
Blithe young Donald’s won my heart,
Has my willing vow, Callum,
Now, for a’ your couthy art,
I winna marry you, Callum.
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Mi affretterò all’alpeggio (1)
e starò sulle colline, Malcom (2)
presto me ne andrò dal filatoio Crochan (3)
e vivrò sui pendii di prugnole (4) Malcom.
Il ricco orgoglio eccetto il male (5) può nascondere/ i tuoi stinchi chiazzati e rugosi (6), Malcom/ il capo striato, bianco come il lino
e la barba ruvida come le ginestre, Malcom.
II
La donna astuta spesso inganna!
Così penserai che io mi lamenti, Malcom
gli alberi possono conservare le foglie appassite,
fino a quando rinverdiranno, Malcom
il giovane e gioioso Donald vinse il mio cuore
e ha la mia promessa matrimoniale, Malcom
ora, nonostante la tua amicizia
non ti sposerò, Malcom

NOTE
1) Shieling refers to a mountain pasture used for the grazing of cattle in summer, implying transhumance between there and a valley settlement in winter.  (from Wiki) [Un alpeggio utilizzato per il pascolo del bestiame in estate, che implica la transumanza tra lì e un insediamento vallivo in inverno] 
2) Callum= Malcom
3) PAISLEY (Renfrewshire) was a renowned textile center specializing in the processing of silk and cotton thread. The weavers were very skilled and with the introduction of the jacquard loom (1804) for the production of shawls with Kashmir design (Paisley shawls). But in 1700 the weavers still carried out their work in a traditional way, on manual looms and in the typical house-shop dwellings
Paisley era un rinomato centro tessile specializzato nella lavorazione del filo di seta e di cotone. I tessitori erano molto abili e con l’introduzione del telaio jacquard (1804) riuscirono a produrre disegni sempre più elaborati, sono rinomati soprattutto per la produzione di scialli con disegno Kashmir ( e che venivano esportai per il mercato indiano) diventati di moda dopo che la giovane regina Vittoria ne sfoggiò uno (Paisley shawls). Ma nel 1700 i tessitori svolgevano il loro lavoro ancora in modo artigianale, su telai manuali e nelle tipiche abitazioni casa-bottega. Crochan mill probabilmente era il posto di lavoro della ragazza, uno dei tanti opifici tessili di Paisley o Glasgow
4) hip= a curving projection on the lower slopes of a hill side;  slae= sloe, the blackthorn
5) una traduzione un po’ letterale di cui non colgo il significato forse ill= fortuna, fato
6) mizlie-shins= discoloured skin on the legs by sitting too close to the fire, or by exposing them to extreme cold

LINK
https://roberttannahill.weebly.com/letter-to-james-king-4-june-1809.html
http://cornemusique.free.fr/ukghilliecallum.php

https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Gillie_Callum
https://thesession.org/tunes/2305

http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/weaver-factory.htm

Land of Youth, l’Altrove celtico

Read the post in English

L’Altro Mondo viene descritto diffusamente nei racconti celtici come una terra meravigliosa. Altrove è un isola oltre il mare (o sotto il mare) situata simbolicamente ad Ovest. Sebbene Altrove si raggiunga solo con la morte, alcune leggende e poesie celtiche narrano di poeti, eroi semi-divini o semplici visitatori che ci sono arrivati in vita. (prima parte)

LAND OF YOUTH: OISIN E NIAMH

Il racconto arriva dall’Irlanda ed è Oisin (in italiano cerbiatto) poeta e guerriero dei Fianna o Feniani (vedi) conosciuto anche con il nome di Ossian, ad andare con Niamh dalla Chioma d’Oro, figlia di Manannan  il Dio del Mare irlandese a Tír na nÓg (La Terra della Giovinezza).
La fata si era innamorata di Oisin e delle sue poesie e lo convince a unirsi a lei per vivere “per sempre felici e contenti” in una Terra oltre il Mare.

OISIN IN THE LAND OF YOUTH

Ecco le parole pronunciate da Niamh dalla Chioma d’Oro per convincere Oisin a montare sul suo cavallo bianco e seguirla nella sua “Isola della Giovinezza Eterna”.

Oisin a caccia incontra Niamh sul suo bianco cavallo
Oisin a caccia incontra Niamh sul suo bianco cavallo

(tratto da qui)
“Delightful is the land beyond all dreams,
Fairer than anything
your eyes have ever seen.
There all the year the fruit is on the tree,
And all the year the bloom is on the flower.
There with wild honey
drip the forest trees;
The stores of wine and mead shall never fail.
Nor pain nor sickness knows the dweller there,
Death and decay
come near him never more.
The feast shall cloy not, nor the chase shall tire,
Nor music cease for ever through the hall;
The gold and jewels of the Land of Youth
Outshine all splendors ever dreamed by man.
You will have horses of the fairy breed,
You will have hounds that can outrun the wind;
A hundred chiefs shall follow you in war,
A hundred maidens
sing thee to your sleep.
A crown of sovereignty your brow shall wear,
And by your side a magic blade shall hang,
And you will be lord
of all the Land of Youth,
And lord of Niamh of the Head of Gold.”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
“Deliziosa è la terra al di là di tutti i sogni
Più bella di ogni altra cosa
che i tuoi occhi abbiano visto mai.
Ci sono tutto l’anno frutti sugli alberi,
e tutto l’anno i boccioli sono in fiore.
Gocciolano di miele selvatico
gli alberi della foresta;
le scorte di vino e idromele non mancano mai.
Né dolore né malattia conosce colui che vi dimora,
la morte e la vecchiaia
non lo toccheranno mai più.
Delle feste e della caccia non ci si stanca,
né la musica smetterà di risuonare per la sala;
l’oro e gioielli della Terra della Giovinezza
oscurano tutti gli splendori mai sognati dall’uomo.
Avrai cavalli della razza fatata
avrai segugi che corrono più veloci del vento;
un centinaio di capi ti seguiranno in guerra,
un centinaio di fanciulle
canteranno per te che dormi.
Una corona di re porterai alla fronte,
e il tuo fianco con una lama magica cingerai,
e tu sarai signore
di tutta la Terra della Giovinezza,
e signore di Niamh dai capelli d’oro. “

Oisin & Niamh by Jim FitzPatrick

LA NOSTALGIA PER I SUOI COMPAGNI

Ma dopo tre anni Oisin ebbe il desiderio di ritornare a visitare l’Irlanda, il padre e tutti i suoi compagni, la sua nostalgia rappresentava una nota stonata in quell’isola di perfezione perchè Oisin aveva perso la sua serenità; Niamh non si oppose al suo desiderio, ma gli raccomandò di non scendere mai dal cavallo che lo avrebbe riportato sulla terra cavalcando sul mare: un divieto un po’ oscuro la cui pericolosità non venne colta appieno da Oisin.
Ritornato nell’amata Irlanda i luoghi che conosceva erano svaniti, il padre era morto da centinaia d’anni, le grandi fortezze dei Fianna erano in rovina.

“Oisin and St. Patrick”, P.J. Lynch

Amareggiato, sulla via del ritorno, Oisin cadde di sella e divenne improvvisamente vecchio: i tre anni trascorsi sull’Isola dell’eterna Giovinezza corrispondevano a trecento anni sulla terra!
Secondo una versione della storia Oisin non morì ma sopravvisse magicamente fino all’arrivo in Irlanda di San Patrizio, al quale ebbe modo di narrare le gesta dei Fianna.
Così nel 1889 Yeats immagina il loro dialogo in “The Wandering of Oisin” (in italiano “Il vagabondaggio di Oisin”).

Land of Youth

Così nel 1992 Máire Brennan e Tim Jarvis traspongono la leggenda nella canzone intitolata “Land of Youth”: il coro in gaelico irlandese è l’invocazione incantatrice della Fata Niamh che ha attraversato il mare sul suo magico destriero.

Maire Brennan in Marie, 1992


CHORUS (1)
Is gra geal mo chroi thu
Fan liom i gconai
Is gra geal mo chroi thu
Beith mise dilis
Is gra geal mo chroi thu
Tusa mo mhuirin
Is gra geal mo chroi thu
Fan ag mo thaobh sa
I
Beauty and grace(2) with golden hair
Eyes like pearls
Came from the sea
Wherever you will go I will go
Wherever you will turn I’ll follow so
Take me to the Land of Youth
Chorus
Three hundred years (3)
II
Carried away on impulse
Followed my heart to the Land of Youth
(instrumental)
Three hundred years and time stood still
Campanions calling (4)
There’s a warning
III
Three hundred years
Fallen to earth (5) the thunder sound(6)
Years overtake him
A grey old man
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
Niamh:
“Tu sei l’amore lucente del mio cuore
resta sempre con me
Tu sei l’amore lucente del mio cuore
restami fedele
Tu sei l’amore lucente del mio cuore
sii il mio innamorato
Tu sei l’amore lucente del mio cuore
restami accanto”
I (la risposta di Oisin)
“Oh Bella Grazia dai capelli dorati
e occhi di perla
che vieni dal mare.
Ovunque tu andrai io andrò
ovunque ti sposterai io ti seguirò ancora,
portami nella Terra della Giovinezza”
Coro
300 anni
II
Rapito dall’impulso
seguii il mio cuore nella Terra della Giovinezza
(strumentale)
300 anni e il tempo si fermò;
i compagni gridano
c’è un pericolo!
III
300 anni
caduto a terra, in un lampo
gli anni lo raggiunsero,
un vecchio uomo grigio

NOTE
1) traduzione in inglese tratta da qui
You are the bright love of my heart
Stay with me always
You are the bright love of my heart
Be true to me
You are the bright love of my heart
You are my sweetheart
You are the bright love of my heart
Stay by my side
2) letteralmente  “Bellezza e grazia”, ho preferito considerare beautiful come aggettivo
3) 300 anni è il tempo che Oisin trascorre sull’Isola delle Fate mentre la fata gli fa credere che sono trascorsi soltanto 3 anni, o meglio i 3 anni sull’Isola corrispondono a 300 sulla Terra
4) nel sintetizzare la storia in pochi versi Maire trasforma la nostalgia di casa di Oisin in una preoccupazione nei confronti dei compagni di caccia, i Fianna; Oisin teme che siano in pericolo e vuole ritornare sulla Terra per aiutarli
5) la leggenda narra che Oisin nell’aiutare un gruppo di contadini a spostare un grosso masso, cade da cavallo e viene raggiunto dal tempo che fino ad allora  aveva ingannato
6) letteralmente “rombo del tuono”

FONTI
http://www.luminarium.org/mythology/ireland/oisinyouth.htm
http://guide.supereva.it/musica_celtica_/interventi/2003/12/146119.shtml

https://www.celtic-weddingrings.com/celtic-mythology/tir-na-nog
https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/tir-na-nog-legend-eternal-youth

https://unitalianoasligo.com/archives/43247

Crònan Cuallaich a herding croon

Leggi in italiano

“Crònan Cuallaich” is a Scottish Gaelic song collected on the island of Benbecula (Hebrides) and also transcribed by Alexander Carmicheal in his “Carmina Gadelica” Vol I # 105.
In English “herding croon” is a prayer of protection, sung to the grazing cattle to keep it quiet. The structure, however, is that of the waulking song and as such handed down in the Hebrides.

Russet Highland Cattle, Uig Beach, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 1st August 2013

The Highland cow looks very funny, it almost seems like a Himalayan jak, it is a bovine breed originally from Scotland, also known as Hebridean breed, Hairy Coo, Heilan Coo or Kyloe. With a long, thick and bristly fur and horns of up to one and a half meters it is docile in character, lives outdoors all year round and rarely gets sick. Its particular physical constitution is due to the adaptation to cold and even glacial climates. As far as one single race is concerned, there are two ancestors: one of black color and of smaller size, the other one of reddish color and of bigger size. The breed is very appreciated for its meat (lean and without cholesterol), and has been exported to various parts of the world in America, Australia and Europe, in Italy we find it in South Tyrol, Veneto, Liguria and Lombardy.

Distant Oaks in “Gach Là agus Oidhche: Music of Carmina Gadelica” 2003

An crodh an diugh a dol imirig,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Ho ro la ill o,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Dol a dh’ itheadh feur na cille,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Am buachaille fein ann ’g an iomain,
Ho ro la ill o,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
’G an cuallach, ’g an cuart, ’g an tilleadh,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Bride bhith-gheal bhi ’g am blighinn,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Muire mhin-gheal bhi ’g an glidheadh,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
’S Iosa Criosda air chinn an slighe,
Iosa Criosda air chinn an slighe.
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o.

english translation
The cattle are today going a-flitting(1),
Going to eat the grass of the burial place,(2)
Their own herdsman there to tend them,
Tending them, fending them, turning them,
Be the gentle Bride(3) milking them,
Be the lovely Mary keeping them,
And Jesu Christ at the end of their journey.
NOTE
1) escaping on the sly
2) according to the testimony of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser the locality of reference is Grimnis (Griminish) in particular a fairy hill (a burial mound)
3) the goddess Bride is syncretically approached to Jesus Christ and to the Virgin Mary. The invocation to the Gruagach, the sea maid, a sort of guardian spirit of the house and of the cattle, is inevitable

UIST CATTLE CROON

The song is among those collected by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser in his trip to the Hebrides and merged in her book “Songs of the Hebrides“. The melody is also reported by Frances Tolmie who collected it at Kilmaluagon on the Isle of Skye.
Alison Pearce in Land of Hearts Desire – Songs of the Hebrides. A classical version (soprano and harp) with the arrangement of Kennedy-Fraser


I
Today the kye win to hill pasture,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Sweet the grass of cool hill pastures
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Breedja(3) fair white be at their milking,
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
Lead the kye to the hill pastures
Hill-i-ruin is o h-ug o,
II
Today the kye “flit”(1) to hill pastures
There to graze on sweet hill grasses
Mary(1), gentle be at their keeping,
Keeping all out on hill pastures
NOTE
1)Bride and the virgin Mary are confused in a single protective deity, or in this version of the rev Kenneth Macleod Mary is more prosaically a beautiful herdswiman. The task of watching cattle in the pastures was once reserved for boys and girls.

the kulning of Jonna Jinton

A pretty girl milking her cow

Sources
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg1/cg1114.htm
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/imbolc.htm
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/gruagach-mhara-a-gruagach-or-a-selkie/
https://jlstapletonphotography.me/2013/08/

Crodh Chailein (Colin’s cattle) a highlands milking song

Leggi in italiano

In the rural economy of the past milking the cows (as well as the preparation of butter and cheese) was a task performed by women. Thus the wisdom of the Celtic women has given rise to a whole series of work songs, which are also spells to ward off the evil eye and to calm the cows, so that the milk production is abundant and blessed. It is well known that goblins are fond of butter and milk, and folklore includes witches and disturbing animals like milk suckers with hostile intentions, or determined to make the milk sour, or to prevent the transformation of the cream into butter!

THE SYMBOLS OF THE GODDESS

A maiden milking a cow is a figure found carved on the walls of many medieval churches, and is a very old presence in the land of Ireland, or more generally along the coasts of Europe: already in the megalithism there are names like The Cow and Calf attributed to particular rocks.. see more

MILKING SONG: Colin’s cattle

In the peasant world there existed a whole series of prayers and invocations, often in the form of songs, which were part of the cultural baggage dating back to the time of the Druids; these Ortha nan Gaidheal in Scottish Gaelic, come from the bardic tradition that survived in the folklore, through the centuries of Christianity and despite the English cultural hegemony, and were collected and translated at the end of 1800 by Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912), who published them in his book “Carmina Gadelica”.

Adriaen_van_de_VeldeCrodh Chailein” ( “Colin’s cattle”) is classified as a “milking song” and recorded on the field by Alan Lomax (South Uist) in the 1950s: it is a lullaby whispered to the cows to keep them quiet during milking, and to stimulate them magically in the production of a lot of milk. Scottish cows are so used to this treatment that they do not give milk without a song !!
Listen these three milking songs in sequence:: “Crodh Chailein”, “Chiùinan Ghràidh” e “a’ Bhanarach Chiùin”

Ethel Bassin in her “The Old Songs of Skye: Frances Tolmie and her Circle” (1997) shows two verses of the song collected by Isabel Cameron of the Isle of Mull (internal Hebrides) along with the legend of its origin reported by Niall MacLeòid , “the Skye bard.”
Who sings is the woman kidnapped by the fairies on her wedding day and yet she gets permission to go every day to milk the cows of her husband named Colin: the husband can hear her singing but he can not see her. The bard assures us that the woman will return after one year and a day to her human husband! The abduction of the bride on wedding day was not so remote a possibility according to the beliefs of the time and there were many tricks to keep the fairies away in that occasion! (see more).
According to another legend, Colin’s wife dies at a young age and comes back a few months after her burial for the evening milking of the cows singing this song

Mary Cameron Mackellar writes in her essay ‘The Shieling: Its Traditions and Songs’ (Gaelic Society of Inverness 1889 from here) “Weird women of the fairy race were said to milk the deer on the mountain tops, charming them with songs composed to a fairy melody or “fonn-sith.”  One of these songs is said to be the famous “Crodh Chailein.”  I give the version I heard of it, and all the old people said the deer were the cows referred to as giving their milk so freely under the spell of enchantment. .. Highland cows are considered to have more character than the Lowland breeds, and when they get irritated or disappointed, they retain their milk for days.  This sweet melody sung – not by a stranger, but by the loving lips of her usual milkmaid – often soothes her into yielding her precious addition to the family supply.”
Mary Mackellar lyrics
Seist (chorus)
Chrodh Chailein, mo chridhe,
Crodh Iain, mo ghaoil,
Gun tugadh crodh Chailein,
Am bainn’ air an fhraoch.
I
Gun chuman, gun bhuarach,
Gun lao’-cionn, gun laogh,
Gun ni air an domhan,
Ach monadh fodh fhraoch.
II
Crodh riabhach breac ballach,
Air dhath nan cearc-fraoicb,
Crodh ‘lionadh nan gogan
‘S a thogail nan laogh.
III
Fo ‘n dluth-bharrach uaine,
‘S mu fhuarain an raoin,
Gun tugadh crodh Chailein
Dhomh ‘m bainn’ air an fhraoch.
IV
Crodh Chailein, mo chridhe,
‘S crodh Iain, mo ghaoil,
Gu h-uallach ‘s an eadar-thrath,
A beadradh ri ‘n laoigh

The melody (see) also called Crochallan is also known as My Heart’s In The Highlands . The oldest version in print (text and score) is in “The Elizabeth Ross Manuscript” (1812)

Donald Sinclair from Tiree 1968

Between the Times

Scots Gaelic (from here)
Seist (chorus)
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe
Crodh chailein mo ghaoil
Gu’n tugadh crodh Chailein
Dhomh bainn’ air an fhraoch
I
Gu’n tugadh crodh Chailein
Dhomh bainn’ air an raon
Gun chuman(1), gun bhuarach
Gun luaircean(2), gun laugh.
II
Gu’n tugadh crodh Chailein
Dhomh bainne gu leoir
Air mullach a’ mhonaidh
Gun duine ‘nar coir
III
Gu bheil sac air mo chridhe
’S tric snidh air mo ghruaidh
agus smuairean air m’aligne
Chum an cadal so bhuam
IV
Cha chaidil, cha chaidil
cha chaidil mi uair
cha chaidil mi idir
gus an tig na bheil uam.
The cattle of Colin my dearest,
The cattle of Colin my love,
Colin’s cattle would give me milk
Upon the heather
I
Colin’s cattle would give me milk
Upon the field,
without a cogue(1), without a shackle,
without a luaircean(2), without a calf.
II
Colin’s cattle would give
plenty of milk to me,
on top of the moor
without anyone near us.
III
There is a weigh on my dart,
and often tears on my cheek,
And sorrow on my mind
That has kept sleep from me.
IV
I will not sleep, I will not sleep,
I will not sleep an hour,
I will not sleep at all
until what I long for returns.

NOTE
1) cogue = wooden vessel used for milking cows
2) luaircean = a substitute calf, an inanimate prop over which the skin of a milk cow’s deceased calf was draped, in order to console her with it’s scent, thus encouraging her to continue to produce milk

Morvyn Menzies


English translation Charles Stewart*
I
I won’t sleep, I won’t sleep
I won’t sleep one hour,
I won’t sleep at all
Until what was taken returns.
II
May Colin’s cattle give me
Milk for their love of me,
At the top of the hill
With no one nearby.
Chorus
Cows of my beloved Colin
Iain’s cows, my dear;
Cows that would fill up the milking bucket,
Cows that rear the calves
III
My heart is heavy,
Tears frequently on my cheeks,
My mind is dejected,
And this stops me sleeping.
IV
I won’t go to the birch wood
Or gathering nuts;
On a brown, ragged plaid
I wait for the cows.
Scots Gaelic (from here)
I
Cha chaidil, cha chaidil,
Cha chaidil mi uair,
Cha chaidil mi idir
Gus an tig na bheil bhuam.
II
Gun toireadh crodh Chailein,
Dhomh bainn’ air mo ghaol,
Air mullach a’ mhonaidh,
Gun duine nar taobh.
Seist (chorus)
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe,

Crodh Iain, mo ghaoil;
Crodh lìonadh nan gogan,
Crodh togail nan laogh.
III
Gu bheil sac air mo chridhe,
’S tric snigh’ air mo ghruaidh,
Agus smuairean air m’ aigne,
Chùm an cadal seo bhuam.
IV
Cha tèid mi don bheithe,
No thional nan crò;
Air breacan donn ribeach
Tha mi feitheamh nam bò.

NOTE
* in “The Killin Collection of Gaelic Songs”


typical pipe band version

second part

SOURCE

http://www.skyelit.co.uk/poetry/collect21.html
http://www.lochiel.net/archives/arch116.html
http://scotsgaelicsong.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/scots-gaelic-song-crodh-chailein/ http://plover.net/~agarvin/faerie/Text/Music/54.html
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/57427/8;jsessionid=97E1C046ADC0124A757755FF5E401B2F
https://thesession.org/tunes/11647

Some Cradle songs from the Isle of Man

Leggi in italiano

In Manx Gaelic we have some lullabies from folklore, fairy melodies handed down from mother to daughter, which are the splits of life of the old time. The traditional music of the island has experienced a revival in the years of 1970 with a stirring of interest towards the local Gaelic and more generally of popular culture. Today Manks is taught thanks to the records of the 50-70 years released by the last Manx speakers. A great contribution to the compilation was made by Mona Douglas (1898-1987) who began collecting the songs from 1914 and until 1950 and who did a great job of classification and translation.

ARRANE BEN DROGH HRAGHTALAGH
“The Smuggler’s Wife’s Song”

Also titled Arrane Ben Hraghtalagh, Smuggler’s Lullaby, Song Of The Smuggler’s Wife, it is a lullaby sung to the occasion, not so much to the child, as to the husband to warn him of the raid of the English excise men.

Caera in Suantraighe 2006

Mannin Folk 

English version
I
See the excise men are coming
(Sleep my little hero)
They’ll be seeking wine and whiskey
(Sleep my little hero)
Chorus:
Ah me, child of mine
Sleep my little hero
II
Daddy’s late and we must warn him
This time he’ll have nothing illegal
III
The Englishmen may board us
Nothing wrong they’ll discover
IV
Let them searching on boat or dwelling
Nothing’s in the hold but herrings.
Manx Gaelic
I
Jeeagh quoi to cheet! T’an Ferny Keeshyn
(Chaddil oo my Laala!)
Shirraghey son ushteybio ny feeyney.
(Chaddil oo my Laala!)
CHORUS
Oghene, lhiannoo meein,
(Chaddil oo my Laala!)
II
Hig yn Fer thie ‘sy thie anmagh…
As cha bee noiraanaght echey…
III
Cuin vees ny Sostynee cheet orrin…
Cha vow ad rederbee meereiltagh…
IV
Lhig daue shirr ayns thie ny baatey…
Beggan aynjee nish agh sceddan!

ARRANE SAVEENAGH “Slumber Song”

Mona Douglas classifies this song as originally composed in English and then translated into Manks. The text recalls the nursery rhyme “Rock-a-bye Baby” (in Mother Goose’s Melody 1765)

Rock-a-bye baby
On the tree tops,
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
and down will come Baby,
Cradle and all.

Cairistiona Dougherty & Paul Rogers in two versions

 with final melody composed of Caz (flute)

live (voice and guitar)

Staa 

English translation Mona Douglas
I
O hush you my child, sleep while I sing
the wind blows your hammock will swing
But if the branch breaks down, down we shall fall
The babe in the cradle, the singer and all!
II
Oh hush my child on a wave born along
The tall ship is swaying, loud the wind’s song
‘Tis over the tide-ways, over the sea
Wrapped safe you will slumber sailing to me.
III
On the hills of the West, O child of my love
When darkens the twilight, peace broods above
But cobwebs of music (1) through the air go
Hark! Can you not hear them drift to and fro?
Manx Gaelic
I
O bee dty host, lhiannoo, er dty lunjean
Tra heidys y geay eisht leaystee yn clean
My brishys y bangan neose gys yn ooir
Hig lhiannoo as clean as ooilley nyn droor
II
O bee dty host, lhiannoo, er baare y tonn
Tra yllys yn geay lunjeanee y lhong
She harrish yn aarkey, harrish y cheayn
Ayns lhiabbee t’ou cadley, lhiannoo veg veen
III
Heear er y chronk glass, O lhiannoo my chree
Tra cheerys yn oie vees ooilley ec shee
Agh ass yn aer feayn hig snieuaneyn kiaull
Eaisht! Cluinnee uss adsyn syn troailt noon as noal?

NOTE
1) The image of the spiders that weave the canvas in the silence of the night is very powerful: it is the concept of Wyrd, the Wyrd canvas which in ancient iconografy is represented by a network of lozenges.
It is a network of threads that runs through the earth, it is the link of destiny for which we are all bound one to others.

Arrane ny niee

Sources
http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~stephen/chiollaghbooksfirstseries/CBPOD02S.pdf
http://www.ceolas.org/Regions/Manx-article.html http://www.culturevannin.im/ http://www.manxheritagemusic.org/home.aspx https://thesession.org/tunes/12811
https://thesession.org/tunes/12872 http://www.ptsheetmusic.com/Arrane%20Saveenagh.pdf

Eirisionic carols or The Olive Branch

Leggi in italiano

In ancient Greece at the end of autumn and at spring it was practiced by children (boys) the ritual of “Eiresione” or Iresione, in which they carried from home to home, some olive branch (or laurel) decorated with red wool and white, various seasonal fruits and little jars of oil and honey, in hopes of receiving presents.
In this way they were thanking Gods (in particular Apollo, as God of the Sun) for the harvest.

Greek children carolling

The song, attributed to Homer (in Lifes of Homer pseudoerodotea), dates back to the 6th century BC and it is the forefather of the songs of begging perpetuated by the peasant tradition throughout Europe and in particular in the Piedmontese “canto delle uova” and “il canto della Strina” in Magna Graecia.
The beggars promise happiness to those who will give something and and promise of returning each year as the swallow.
The turrets of a man of infinite might
of infinite acrion, substance infinite,
we make access to; whose whole being rebounds
from earth to heaven, and naught but bliss resounds..

This garland is clearly the symbol of divinity, the arrival of God and the renewal of the year.
The ritual took place in two main festivals the Pyanepsie in the fall and the Tharghelie in the spring.

child bearing the Eiresione

The Pyanepsie, in fact, celebrated at the beginning of autumn in honor of Apollo or Helios and the Hore, foresaw that a young man with both living parents would bring an olive branch adorned with woolen bandages, fruits and animal products, called eiresion, which was posted on the gate of the temple of Apollo and on the entrance to the common houses, where it would remain until the following year, when it would be replaced by the new one. Pausanias traces the tradition back to Theseus who, leaving for Crete, had dedicated the branch in the temple of Apollo to Delos, and another would have brought it home when he returned after killing the Minotaur: “on this day we bring the eighion , a branch of olive tree wrapped in wool, as Teseo had once brought the branch of supplicants, full of firstfruits of every kind, to indicate the end of infertility, and sang: “Eiresione for us brings figs and bread of the richest, brings us honey in pots and oil to rub off from the body, Strong wine too in a beaker, that one may go to bed mellow.”
The same branch adorned with first fruits, oil, milk and honey also appears in the Targhelias of April-May, and one might think that it could be tracing an ancient rural custom aimed at propitiating the beginning of the harvest and thanking to its conclusion.(translated from here)

Eirene (Irene) is also the goddess of peace of the group of Hours “… the Goddess who dispenses wealth and makes young people grow …” (Euripides, the Bacchae 419/420) depicted with an olive branch and the cornucopia with little Pluto, the god of wealth, in her arms .

Horai (Hours) dance

HORAI

It is Dionysus who leads the procession of the Horai, (the Hours) the three young ladies who personify the renewal of the nature, the daughters of Zeus and Themis, the Universal Order.

They are also the personification of the three Seasons: Thallo, the goddess of Spring who presides over the blossoming of plants; Auso or Auxo, which represents the summer luxuriance; Carpo, the goddess of Autumn that represents the maturity and the fruit of the plants.
At first 3 then 4, 10, they became 12 as months and 24 as hours.
The Horai were the guardian virgins of Olympus, with their circular dance (like the solar wheel), which making the door of Olympus appear or disappear in the clouds. They are depicted as they dance around the solar chariot of Apollo.

An idea of how dance took place, it comes from the Romanian folk tradition, with Hora

Sources
http://agiorisnestanis.blogspot.com/2018/07/blog-post.html
http://www.hellenicgods.org/eiraesiohni—eiresione—eiresione
http://thule-italia.com/wordpress/2013/05/15/targelione/
http://www.odysseo.it/eirene-la-dea-della-pace/
https://tanogaboblog.it/portalino/ore-personificazioni-scorrere-tempo/
http://lyra.altervista.org/pdf/rivista/25-36/XXXIII.pdf

http://mythagora.com/bios/hou

Il canto dell’Eiresione

Read the post in English

L’eiresione, la bella eiresione, il ramo più bello dell’anno!
miele e uva essa reca, fichi e olio pregiato,
mangiate, bevete e dormite bevendo buon vino,
però, se ci date qualcosa, la fortuna vi sarà più vicino.

Nell’antica Grecia a fine autunno e in primavera era praticato dai bambini (ragazzi) il rituale dell’ “Eiresione” o Iresione, un canto benaugurale per portare di casa in casa il ramoscello d’ulivo (o alloro) decorato con lana rossa e bianca, vari frutti di stagione fialette-vasetti di olio e miele. Così si ringraziavano gli Dei (in particolare Apollo, in qualità di Dio del Sole) per il raccolto e si propiziava la fertilità per l’anno a venire.

Canti di questua dei bambini greci

Il canto, attribuito a Omero (in Vita di Omero pseudoerodotea), risale al VI secolo a.C. ed è il capostipite dei canti di questua perpetuati dalla tradizione contadina in tutta Europa e in particolare nella questua delle uova piemontese  e nel canto della strina nella Magna Grecia .
I questuanti promettono la felicità a coloro che doneranno qualcosa e concludono con la promessa di ritornare ogni anno come la rondine.
Ecco ci siamo rivolti alla casa di un grande signore,
ch’ha gran potere e ha gran voce d’un uomo magnifico e ricco.
Su, da voi stesse ora apritevi, o porte, poi ch’entra ricchezza,
molta ricchezza, e con essa la gioia fiorente e la buona
pace; e quante anfore dentro vi sono, si colmino tutte;
e dalla madia una bella focaccia giú scivoli sempre,
fatta di fina farina, condita di sesamo e miele.
Ed a voi presto verrà sopra il carro la sposa del figlio,
a questa casa bei muli piè solidi la condurranno,
onde ella tessi la tela, movendo i suoi piedi sull’ambra.
Oh! tornerò, tornerò come torna la rondine ogni anno.
A piedi scalzi qui sto sulla soglia; or via, subito dona,
dona qualcosa, nel nome di Apollo, signor delle vie.
Se dai, o se non dai, non resteremo,
ché non venimmo qui per abitarci.” (tratto da qui)

Il simbolo del ramo inghirlandato è chiaramente il simbolo della divinità, l’arrivo del Dio e il rinnovamento dell’anno. Altre canzoni di questua nell’antica Grecia erano la Canzone della rondine cantata a Rodi e la Canzone della Cornacchia.
Il rituale si svolgeva in due feste principali le Pyanepsie (Pianepsie) in autunno e le Tharghelie (Targelie) in primavera.

fanciullo che porta l’Eiresione

Le Pyanepsie, infatti, celebrate all’inizio dell’autunno in onore di Apollo o di Helios e delle Hore, prevedevano che un giovane con entrambi i genitori vivi portasse un ramo d’ulivo adornato con bende di lana, frutti e prodotti animali, chiamato eiresione, che veniva affisso sulla porta del tempio di Apollo e sull’ingresso delle case comuni, dove sarebbe rimasto fino all’anno seguente, quando sarebbe stato sostituito da quello nuovo. Pausania fa risalire la tradizione a Teseo che partendo per Creta aveva dedicato il ramo nel tempio di Apollo a Delo, ed un’altro l’avrebbe riportato in patria al suo ritorno dopo aver ucciso il Minotauro: “in questo giorno si porta l’eiresione, un ramo di olivo avvolto da lana, come un tempo Teseo aveva portato il ramo dei supplici, ricolmo di primizie di ogni specie, per indicare la fine della sterilità, e si canta: “Eiresione porta fichi, pane saporoso, coppe di miele, olio per ungersi e calici di vino puro, da andare a dormire ubriachi.'”(6) Lo stesso ramo adornato con primizie, olio, latte e miele compare anche nelle Targhelie di aprile-maggio, e si potrebbe pensare che in esso si possa rintracciare un’antichissima usanza contadina volta a propiziare l’inizio del raccolto e a ringraziare al suo concludersi. (tratto da qui)

Guarda caso Eirene (Irene) è anche la dea della Pace del gruppo delle Ore “… la Dea che dispensa ricchezza e fa crescere i giovani…” (Euripide, le Baccanti 419/420) raffigurata con un ramoscello d’olivo e la cornucopia con in braccio il piccolo Plutone, il dio della ricchezza.

Danza dello Ore

LE ORE (HORAI)

E’ Dioniso a guidare il corteo delle Horai, (le Ore) le tre giovinette che personificano il rinnovarsi della natura figlie di Zeus e di Temi (Themis, l’Ordine Universale)

Eunomia, e la sorella sua, l’incrollabile Dike, base delle città, ed Eirene che cresce insieme a lei, figlie dorate di Themis dal sapiente consiglio, dispensatrici di ricchezza agli uomini e decise a respingere la hybris” (Pindaro)

Sono anche la personificazione delle tre Stagioni: Thallo, la dea della Primavera che presiede alla fioritura delle piante; Auso Auxo, che rappresenta il rigoglio estivo; Carpo, la dea dell’Autunno che rappresenta la maturità e il frutto delle piante.
Dapprincipio 3 poi 4, 10, diventarono 12 come i mesi e 24 come le ore.
Le Horai erano le vergini guardiane dell’Olimpo, con la loro danza circolare (come la ruota solare) facevano apparire o scomparire tra le nuvole le porte dell’Olimpo. Sono raffigurare mentre danzano intorno al carro solare di Apollo.

Un’idea di come si svolgeva la danza ci viene dalla tradizione popolare rumena con la Hora (diventata danza ebraica importata a Israele dagli ebrei che abitavano in Romania)

FONTI
http://agiorisnestanis.blogspot.com/2018/07/blog-post.html
http://www.hellenicgods.org/eiraesiohni—eiresione—eiresione
http://thule-italia.com/wordpress/2013/05/15/targelione/
http://www.odysseo.it/eirene-la-dea-della-pace/
https://tanogaboblog.it/portalino/ore-personificazioni-scorrere-tempo/
http://lyra.altervista.org/pdf/rivista/25-36/XXXIII.pdf

http://mythagora.com/bios/hours.html

Donkey’s Mass: Orientis partibus

Leggi in Italiano

The Donkey Festival (or Festa dei Folli, known as the Festa dei Pazzi in Florence) was celebrated in the church in different regions of Europe, on the day of the Circumcision of the Child Jesus (on the first of January – see Holy Foreskin); but the date in question varied so could fall to Epiphany or January 14 (see Jean-Baptiste Thiers “Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de la fête des foux“)

Calends Festival

The purpose of the festival was to pay homage to the donkey who had not only kept warm Jesus in the cave, had fled with the Holy Family in Egypt, but also had brought the adult Messiah on his back in the entrance to Jerusalem.
The veneration of the Donkey was still widespread among the eartly Christians and in the Middle Ages we see Jesus Christ crucified/donkey (Alexamenos graffito )

Pietro Lorenzetti: Gesù entra a Gerusalemme, Basilica in Assisi

“Immagine non necessariamente (o per nulla) blasfema, bensì profondo simbolo sacrificale.
Al raglio asinino, quest’invocazione che sembra così piena di dolore e vuota di speranza, è stato in questo senso associato il grido altissimo di Gesù sulla croce. E all’umile e paziente asinello, segnato dalla croce sulla schiena in ricordo e ringraziamento per il suo servizio nella Domenica delle Palme, si associa appunto il Cristo stesso di cinque giorni più tardi, il Cristo dileggiato e sofferente che, al pari dell’asino, porta sulle spalle la croce sulla quale sarà sacrificato. I corteggi medievali dei condannati montati su asini, e poi ancora le “feste dei folli”, i “carnevali degli asini” e tutti i riti “di rovesciamento” nei quali l’asino veniva abbigliato da re o da vescovo e onorato, rex unius diei prima di venire bastonato e scorticato (o anche semplicemente prima di tornare all’improba fatica di tutti i giorni), conservano tutti la memoria di questo ambiguo ma commovente rapporto fra asino e Cristo, entrambi figure regali ed entrambi obiettivo della crudeltà dell’uomo.” (from here)

Poorly tolerated but still practiced by the priests, the Festa dell’Asinello was a mixture of the sacred and the profane, a joke that could be pushed to the mockery of the liturgy, in a parody of the mass.
It must be said that in the Middle Ages the church is not only a building where mass is celebrated: it takes place political assemblies under the aegis of the Bishop, a lot of Corporations affaires with meetings and councils for the Corporation matters . It becomes a hospital refuge during epidemics or for pilgrims or sick in search of healing, inviolable asylum of the persecuted, grave for the illustrious dead. It could happen that men entered on horseback and at least once a year a donkey in a cassock.

THE DONKEY

Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut, “Wheel of Fortune”, c1494

An ambivalent animal in the Middle Ages the donkey is a symbol of both the Good, humble, patient, mount of the Prophets and sapiential creature (the donkey of Balaam), but also of Evil: it is the donkey opposed to the ox symbol of Christianity and the Elected People beeing a “pure animal that has a bifid and non-ruminant nail”, while the pagan donkey is “impure, rumen and has a compact nail”; it is the donkey of Dionysus and then ridden by Jesus to symbolize the Christian church that triumphs over previous cultures. It is the golden Ass of Apuleius slave of the pleasures of the flesh, ignorant but curious to learn the magic.

DONKEY’s MASS

A procession left the church and returned with a donkey led up to the altar. At Mass all the faithful answered with some bray.
Hez va, hez va, hez va, hez !
Biaux sire asnes, car alez,
Bele bouche, car chantez!
For the occasion it was also written a song: Orientis partibus! The song is attributed to the archbishop of Sens Pierre de Corbeil, whose text and music we know of as contained in the “Officium stultorum ad usum Metropoleos ac primatialis Ecclesiae Sennonensis” (XIII century) preserved in Paris in the King’s library.

The Jaye Consort & Gerald English

Musica Vagantium

New London Consort (Philip Pickett)

Clemencic


Compagnia dell’asino che porta la croce

Joglaresa & Belinda Sykes


I
Orientis partibus
adventavit asinus
pulcher et fortissimus
sarcinis aptissimus
Hey, Hez, sir asne, hey!
II
Hic in collibus Sichan
iam nutritus sub Ruben (1)
transiit per Iordanem
saliit in Bethlehem
III
Saltu vincit hinnulos
dammas et capreolos
super dromedarios
velox madianeos
IV
Aurum de Arabia
thus et myrrham de Saba(2)
tulit in ecclesia
virtus Asinaria  (3)
V
Dum trahit vehicula
multa cum sarcinula
illius mandibula
dura terit pabula
VI
Cum aristis, hordeum
comedit et carduum
triticum ex palea
segregat in area (4)
VII
Amen dicas, asine
iam satur de gramine
Amen, amen itera
aspernare vetera
English translation*
I
In eastern lands
the ass arrived
pretty and strong
fit for bunen
Hey, sir Ass, Hey!
II
Here on the hills of Sichan
already suckled by Ruben (1)
he crossed the Jordan
and enters Bethlehem.
III
He defeats in the jump the young mule
the fallow deer and roe deer
higher in speed
to the dromedaries of the Medes.
IV
The gold of Arabia
the incense and the myrrh of Saba
he took to the church
the virtue of the donkey
V
While he pulls his cart
many with heavy loads,
his jaw
grinds tough fodder.
VI
He eats wheat and barley
and the thistle
he separates the wheat from the chaff
on the threshing floor
VII
You say “amen”, ass,
all filled with grass,
“amen”, “amen” once again,
spurning the past.

NOTE
* partially from here
1) Ruben is the first-born son of Jacob
2) the donkey entering the church symbolically enters Jerusalem or peace. The land of Saba was the land of magicians-astrologists in the Middle Ages.
3) for the initiates, the Church had abandoned the path towards esoteric knowledge, so the glorified donkey indicates a new initiation path, the way of the mad.
4) once the animals was used to husk the wheat (simply by walking on the wheat)

second part

Sources
http://markhedsel.blogspot.it/2014/12/il-significato-arcano-della-festa-dell.html
http://www.ctonia.com/pagine/Scritti/patiboli/rituali_di_rovesciamento.htm
http://www.doctorlizmusic.com/mctcchoirs/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Orientis-Partibus-analysis-1.pdf
http://web.mclink.it/MH0077/IlGiardinoDeiMagi/Giardino%201/cardini_asino_6.htm
https://www.mondimedievali.net/Immaginario/asino.htm
http://web.csepasca.it/lasino-del-medioevo

Apples in Winter: New Years Eve in Great Brittany

Leggi in italiano

APPLES IN WINTER

The apple tree is a tree that was born in the mountains of Central Asia and it has spread along the commercial “silk road”, moving to the west. It is commonly believed that it was the ancient Romans who brought the apple tree to Britain, yet the most recent archaeological excavations in Armagh (Northern Ireland) found apple seeds dating back to the 10th century BC. In fact, the apple appears in many Druidic teachings and in Celtic poetry and mythology.
The apples are stored for a long time in a cool and dry place like attics, becoming one of the few fruits that can be eaten in winter.

AILLIN & BAILE

The apple tree is the embodiment of the female principle; a medieval narration tells us the love story of Aillin and Baile, two children in love to whom the Druids had prophesied that they would never meet in life, but only after death to never separate again: the macabre (or romantic) prophecy came true magically with the union of the wood of two trees, the apple and the yew grown on their graves!
The legend is set at the time of Celtic Ireland by King Cormac mac Airt (II-IV century), but it is somewhat inconsistent with respect to the archaeological sources in our possession; they tell the story of the “taball filidh” (the poet’s tablet) -probably a wooden tablet or a waxed tablet in use with the ancient Greeks and Romans – one made from the wood of the apple tree of Aillin and the other from the wood of the Baile rate, that they indissolubly linked to each other when they found themselves nearby for the first time (to Samain during the party presided over by Art, son of Conn of the Hundred Battles, king of Erinn). If the story were true, the bards of Ireland writed they poems on wooden tablets; these two tablets were one from Leinster (apple), the other from Ulster (rate) and for their magical adherence were preserved as rarities in the treasure of Tara.
The story seems to be a variant of the love knot between the rose and thorn, recalled in the medieval ballads (grown from the respective tombs of the unfortunate lovers, they come together and intertwine with each other).

But the main association of the apple tree with the Celtic world is the Island of the apples, Avalon, the land of the Fairies.
Geoffrey of Monmouth writes in the Historia Regum Britanniae (1136)
Insula pomorum quæ fortunata vocatur,
Ex re nomen habet, quia se singula profert.
Non opus est illi sulcantibus arva colonis,
Omnis abest cultus, nisi quem natura ministrat,
Ultro fœcundas segetes producit, & herbas,
Nataque poma suis prætonso germine sylvis.

The isle of Apples, truly fortunate,
Where unforc’d goods and willing comforts meet.
Not there the fields require the rustick’s hand,
But nature only cultivates the land.
The fertile plains with corn and herbs are proud,
And golden apples smile in ev’ry wood.“.

Fairies’ food that can make immortal or restore health to the sick, the apple is the basis of the preparation of cider, a low-alcohol drink obtained from the fermentation of fruits such as apples, pears or loquats, typical of the United Kingdom, Basque Country and of Normandy. see

APPLE WASSAIL

by Hedingham Fair

The oldest form of the winter celebration of the Wassail provides the blessing of trees and bees, so important for pollination, in order to ensure a healthy harvest for the next year.
“Apple Wassail”, is the blessing of the orchards: during the ritual they sing and make a spell, with a great noise they beating pots and pans (or shooting in the air) to ward off evil spirits, pourring some cider around the roots of the oldest tree; finally all drink to the health of the apple trees and the future harvest, eating sweet buns, and leaving a slice to the spirit of tree (to feed the robins), placed on the branches of the plant as thanksgiving.
(see more)

HEL CALENNIG (GALLES) 

The second rite comes from Wales called “Hel Calennig” (Literally “the hunt of the Calends”) based on the ancient tradition of exchanging a gift for the first of January. (some scholars believe that the ritual derives from the customs practiced in the Roman Empire for the New Year. see Strenia)

Hel Calennig” is a Welsh tradition of the first day of the new year: an apple impaled on three sticks like a tripod, decorated with cloves and a sprig evergreen. This “trophy” is brought as a gift (or shown) in the neighbors’ house by the children singing a good-luck song.
In return they receive bread and cheese or some coins.

Blwyddyn newydd dda i chwi,
Gwyliau llawen i chwi,
Meistr a meistres bob un trwy’r ty,
Gwyliau llawen i chwi,
Codwch yn foreu, a rheswch y tan,
A cherddwch i’r ffynon i ymofyn dwr glan.
A happy new year to you,
May your holidays be merry,
Master and mistress – everyone in the house;
May your holidays be merry,
Arise in the morning; bestir the fire,
And go to the well to fetch fresh water

The New Year is also the Hoodening Day in Wales when Mari Lwyd, “Y Fari Lwyd”   (in English “Gray Mare”) is brought home.

MARI LWYD

Paul Bommer

Mari Lwyd is the Welsh version of the hooden horse. Tradition still practiced in central and south Wales, in particular in Llantrisant and Pontyclun on New Year’s Eve. The mask consists of a horse’s head (a real skull) with movable jaw and disquieting eyes made from two pieces of green bottle, decorated with colored ribbons and carried on a pole by a person hidden under a wide white sheet.
The wassailers stop to sing in front of the doors of the houses and call the mistress and challenge her in a pwnco, a sort of debate between the two sides, often with insolent verses. The victory of the singing challenge allows the wassailers to enter the house to eat sweets and drink beer.
As we can see in the illustration, the landlady holds a broom in her hand and she does not want to let the wassailers enter, because they are bringers of chaos.
The revel as all the rituals of the peasant world requires a certain degree of drunkenness and harassing behavior. In fact, the mare will turn around the room trying to take the women, she is clearly a monstrous and otherworldly creature who must be appeased with some offers. Sometimes a small child stands with a sweet and manages to calm the beast. keep it going. see more




I
Here we come
Dear friends
To ask permissions to sing
II
If we don’t have permission,
Let us know in song
How we should go away tonight
III
I have no dinner
Or money to spend
To give you welcome tonight
Welsh gaelic
I
Wel dyma ni’n dwad
Gyfeillion diniwad
I ofyn am gennod i ganu
II
Os na chawn ni gennad
Rhowch wybod ar ganiad
Pa fodd mae’r ‘madawiad, nos heno
III
‘Does genni ddim cinio
Nac arian iw gwario
I wneud i chwi roeso, nos heno

NOTE
1) if the people of the house were defeated in the poetic contest, the Mari Lwyd claimed the right to stay at dinner with all his followers. Alternatively they offered a glennig, (a small tip), a glass of glaster, (water and milk) or beer

At Cwm Gwaun (Gwaun Valley), above Abergwaun (Fishguard), the community celebrates Yr Hen Galan (the old New Year) on January 13, according to the calendar prior to 1752.
Even in Wales as in Scotland is still rooted the practice of Firstfoot: here must be a man with a lucky name (Dafydd, Sion, Ifan or Siencyn), or alternatively a woman with a lucky name (Sian, Sioned, Mair or Marged ); in New Year’s Eve there was also a wren hunting.

APPLES IN WINTER JIG

The “Apples in winter” is an Irish jig also known by many other titles (see)

David Power uillean pipe & Willie Kelly violin in “Apples in winter” (n enjoyable cd of jigs and reels + some traditional Irish air)

Dervish

Anglo concertina, Cittern, & Guitar

Ardan

second part

LINK
http://bifrost.it/CELTI/4.Eriuiltempoelospazio/05-Soprannaturale.html
http://www.unamelaalgiorno.com/la-mela-nella-cultura-celtica.html
http://icoloridelvento-mirial.blogspot.it/2015/10/il-melo-e-il-frutto-della-conoscenza.html
http://www.laltrafacciadellamela.altervista.org/
https://isimbolinellacomunicazione.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/la-mela/
http://www.amando.it/ricette/alimenti/mela.html
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/johnny-jump.htm
https://museum.wales/articles/2014-06-14/Christmas-customs-Hel-Calennig/
https://lilydewaruile.wordpress.com/tag/calennig/

SCORES
https://thesession.org/tunes/299
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Apples_in_Winter_(1)
http://spokanesessions.com/tune.php?tune=1
http://www.celticguitarmusic.com/tbj_apples_winter.htm

Auld Lang Syne: melodies in search of an author

auld

Leggi in italiano

At New Year’s Eve the most widespread song in Scottish homes is Auld Lang Syne, a song sung all over the world on many occasions.
The song is accompanied by a collective ritual: in a circle we hold each other’s hands during the first verse. Then the arms must be crossed by grasping the hands of the neighbor during the last verse.

The title is composed of three terms in Scottish that mean old, long, since three words to indicate the past time, “the good old days”. This is an old song that Robert Burns says he heard from an elderly singer, Burns also states that the song had been passed down only orally. Here is the correspondence between Burns and the publisher George Thomson (1793): “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man’s singing, is enough to recommend any air”

Similar rhymes and melodies date back to 1500: in particular two, the ballad Auld Kyndnes Foryett -in Bannatyne Manuscript 1568- and the ballad attributed to the court poet Sir Robert Ayton (1570-1638) published in 1711 by James Watson in “Choice Collection of Scots Poems” collection; for the latter some verses are the same that are found in the Burns’ ones.
Should auld Acquaintance be forgot,
a
nd never thought upon,
The Flames of Love extinguished,
And freely past and gone?
I
s thy kind Heart now grown so cold
I
n that Loving Breast of thine,
That thou canst never once reflect
On Old-long-syne?

In 1724 Allan Ramsay wrote in his “A Collection of Songs” the song entitled “Should auld acquaintance be forgot” (perhaps taken from the sixteenth-century ballad Auld Kyndnes Foryett) and the song was then published in Vol 1 of the “Scots Musical Museum” 1787, with the title “Auld Lang Syne” but the verses are light years away from those of Burns!

THE MELODIES 
"O Can Ye Labor Lea" 
"For old long Gine my jo"  
(from Playford in "Original Scotch Tunes" 1700)

Johnson publishes “Auld Lang Syne” from the first version of Burns in the Scots Musical Museum, vol 5, 1796; but Robert Burns sent his writings about this song even to the publisher George Thomson, and in particular his third version. Later, Thomson learns from Stephen Clarke that Johnson already had a copy of Burns’ song and that the melody was always transcribed by Johnson in the version of Ramsay. Burns, so he replies:‘The two songs you saw in Clarke’s are neither of them worth your attention. The words of ‘Auld lang syne are good, but the music is an old air, the rudiments of the modern tune of that name. The other tune you may hear as a common Scots country dance.’ Burns 1794.

So the first melody that Robbie calls “an old air” is that published by Johnson “O Can Ye Labor Lea“, while the second melody “For old long Gine my jo” is the one in Playford.

THE MARK OF A GENIUS

Burns’ merit was to write a couple of verses and to modify and arrange the others. A fragment written by Robert Burns in 1793 is kept at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (see)

THE MERIT OF THE EDITOR

WhenGeorge Thomson published “Auld Lang Syne” in the “Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs”, 1799 replaced the first melody with the much more popular one in the eighteenth century called “The Miller’s Wedding” (formerly in “Scots Reels”, Bremner 1759) and commonly called ‘Sir Alexander Don’s Strathspey’ because also played by the famous violinist Niel Gow: a typically Scottish dance melody the strathspey!

THE EDITOR MELODY WITH BURNS’ VERSES


George Thomson republished “Auld Lang Syne” in 1817 with a new arrangement by the Czech composer Leopold Kozeluch


Burns had already reused the same melody in two songs: “O can ye labor lea” ( “I fee’d a man at Martinmas”) and “Coming thro ‘the rye.

THE LEGEND ON DAVID RICCIO

Lately on the web (of course only on Italian sites) in the wake of Jesse Blackadder’s novel “The Raven’s Heart”, 2011 they have spread the attribution of the melody to Davide Rizzo (or David Riccio as they called in Scotland ). The journalist and writer Renzo Rossotti (in “Assassinio in Scozia” da “Piemonte magico e misterioso”, Newton Compton Editori, 1994 see) in his “Assassinio in Scozia” reports an italian legend according to which David Riccio is the author of “Auld Lang Syne”, but this is indeed a legend.

Two old friends, meeting after many years of separation, remember the youth and toast to the old days! 

AULD LANG SYNE
Robert Burns 1799 (George Thomson)

Dougie MacLean in Tribute– 1996
Velvety voice, pronounced seductively scottish, guitar background, a delicate arrangement

AULD LANG SYNE Robert Burns in SMM vol 5 1796 (James Johnson)

 Jim Malcolm  in Acquaintance
Velvety voice, pronounced seductively scottish, a splash of notes on the piano, guitar and violin background. The melody is slightly different as the sequence of strophes I, IV, II, III, V and the theme of the Waltz is recorded in the final played by the guitar alone

Paolo Nutini

Eddi Reader


I
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days auld lang syne?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear(1),
For days auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For days auld lang syne!
II
We twa hae run about the braes(3)
And pou’d the gowans(4) fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit(5),
Sin days auld lang syne.
III
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid(6) hae roar’d,
Sin days auld lang syne.
IV
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp(2)
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness(8) yet,
For days auld lang syne!
V
And there’s a hand my trusty fiere(7),
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught(8),
For days auld lang syne
NOTE
1) or “jo”
2) stowp= vessel, 
3) braes= hills,
4) gowans= daisies,
5) monie a weary fit= many a weary foot,
6) braid= broad
7) fiere= friend,
8) right guid-willie waught= “cup of kindness” good toast, friendly draught, 

 

brindisiPOPULARITY IN THE WORLD

The song has been translated all over the world (in at least forty languages). The popularity of “Auld Lang Syne” derives most probably from its inclusion with the title “Farewell Waltz” in the film “Waterloo bridge” (1940) directed by Mervyn LeRoy, with Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor. This film was the prototype of the typical Hollywood melodrama.

The famous scene of the waltz.

The Farewell Waltz version was arranged by Cedric Dumont (1916-2007) Swiss composer, author and conductor and it was translated / arranged in Italian by the authors Larici & Mauri in 1943 like danceable. At the time, the Anglo-Saxon melodies were forbidden in Italy by the war censorship, but it was enough to change the title and arrangement and here is “Il valzer delle candele”!

IL VALZER DELLE CANDELE

Tati Casoni 

I
Domani tu mi lascerai
e più non tornerai,
domani tutti i sogni miei
li porterai con te.
II
La fiamma del tuo amor
che sol per me sognai invan
è luce di candela che
già si spegne piano pian.
III
Una parola ancor
e dopo svanirà
un breve istante di
felicità.
IV
Ma come è triste il cuor
se nel pensare a te
ricorda i baci tuoi
che non son più per me.
V
Domani tu mi lascerai
e più non tornerai,
domani tutti i sogni miei
li porterai con te.
VI
La fiamma del tuo amor
che sol per me sognai invan
è luce di candela che
già si spegne piano pian.

Nini Rosso.

The melody has finally become a new song titled “Il Canto dell’Addio” well know by all those who have been scouts, or have spent their summer in the italian colonies, or at the shelters run by priests and the like.

I
È l’ora dell’addio, fratelli,
è l’ora di partir;
e il canto si fa triste; è ver:
partire è un po’ morir.
RITORNELLO
Ma noi ci rivedremo ancor
ci rivedremo un dì
arrivederci allor, fratelli,
arrivederci sì.
II
Formiamo una catena
con le mani nelle man,
stringiamoci l’un l’altro
prima di tornar lontan.
III
Perché lasciarci e non sperar
di rivederci ancor?
Perché lasciarci e non serbar
questa speranza in cuor?
IV
Se attorno a questo fuoco qui,
l’addio ci dobbiam dar;
attorno ad un sol fuoco un dì
sapremo ritornar.
V
Iddio che tutto vede e sa
la speme di ogni cuor;
se un giorno ci ha riuniti qui,
saprà riunirci ancor.
VI
Ma non addio diciamo allor
che ancor ci rivedrem:
arrivederci allor, fratelli,
arrivederci insiem!
VII
Fratello non dolerti se
la fiamma langue già:
doman la stessa fiamma ancor
fra noi risplenderà.

second part

LINK
http://sarahannelawless.com/2009/12/31/happy-hogmanay/ http://www.electricscotland.com/HISTORY/articles/langsyne.htm http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/langsyne.htm http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/AuldLangSyne.5.shtml http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/ online/AuldLangSyne/default.asp?id=4 http://burnsc21.glasgow.ac.uk/online-exhibitions/auld-lang-syne/ http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16346 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=29124 http://www.kultunderground.org/art/305 http://www.kultunderground.org/art/395 http://www.renzorossotti.it/notetorinesi.htm#menestrello http://www.eddireader.net/tracks/erALS.htm