Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tha mi nam Gàidheal

River Dee, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
(Source)
Or if you prefer, Tá mé Gael in Irish. In English - I am a Gael. Many of my ancestors spoke Gaelic, some in Ireland, some in Scotland. My immediate ancestors were mainly Scots with a hefty side order of French, seasoned with a bit o' English. According to the DNA test The Olde Vermonter had, we've a lot of Irish in us if'n you go back far enough. Apparently the Vikings came a calling as well. My ancestors must have been a fun bunch, when they weren't sacking and pillaging that is.

Anyhoo.

I have always had a fascination for the Gaelic side of things. My paternal grandmother came from Aberdeenshire in Scotland, she was born not too far from that river depicted above. She was a wee sma' thing, under five feet tall, with a heart the size of all Scotland. I miss her, a lot, she passed back in the winter of '72. I was in my first year of college, all the brightness in the world seemed to dim when she left this vale of tears.

But as the years went by I began to embrace my Gaelic heritage because of her, she taught me that much and I am grateful for that.

I was rather excited to discover that the Irish numbered amongst my ancestors back in October. Of course, I have always enjoyed the music, the food, the folktales of both the Scots and the Irish. Must be in the blood.

Now back in the early days of The Chant I would post the occasional bagpipe tune, much to Buck's annoyance, he often said that I should post a warning when I did that. So I did, once or twice. There's another person I miss, a lot. Blogging was more fun when Buck was around. Och weel...

Anyhoo.

Gaelic music isn't all bagpipes and drums ya know. There is rich tradition with harps, and flutes, and fiddles. The human voice is also a most magnificent instrument and yesterday I was introduced to the music and singing of a lovely lady born and raised on the isle of North Uist, an island in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland in the wild Atlantic. She grew up speaking Gaelic (which is the language of today's post title).

Now, I wasn't introduced in person, more's the pity, as she is a sweet and lovely lass. No, I was introduced via a post from David Warren, "Pineapples or elephants?" So I had to go exploring to hear what her music sounded like, and I am glad I did.

Here is Julie Fowlis, enjoy -



The song, Hùg Air A' Bhonaid Mhòir, sounds all serious and such doesn't it? Well the title, in English, is "Celebrate the Great Bonnet." Yes, bonnets, hats if you will. (Covers, lids, chapeaux, caps, etc.) The song is rather whimsical in actuality. Here are the lyrics (in Gaelic and English -

Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                    Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                     Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
             
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                    Higher than the corn-stack frame
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                     Higher than the corn-stack frame
             
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                     Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                     Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
             
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                    Higher than the corn-stack frame
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                    Higher than the corn-stack frame
             
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                    Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile               More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                     Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
             
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                    Higher than the corn-stack frame
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                     Higher than the corn-stack frame
             
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                     Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud shìos anns a charaidh           There's something in the fish-trap
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                      Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                      Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud shìos anns a charaidh           There's something in the fish-trap
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                      Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
             
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud shìos anns a' charaidh          There's something in the fish-trap
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud shìos anns a' charaidh          There's something in the fish-trap
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
             
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                     Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud shìos anns a charaidh           There's something in the fish-trap
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                      Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                      Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud shìos anns a charaidh           There's something in the fish-trap
Da thàbh air an fharaidh                      Two spoon-nets in the loft
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
             
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud shìos anns a' charaidh          There's something in the fish-trap
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud shìos anns a' charaidh          There's something in the fish-trap
Ged tha mi gun rud agam                    Although I'm empty-handed
Tha rud aig an fhaoileig                       The seagull has a catch

O hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                 Oh celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                     Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
             
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn        Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                    Higher than the corn-stack frame
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                     Higher than the corn-stack frame
             
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                    Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir                     Celebrate the great bonnet
Cuiribh oirre 's leigibh leatha             Add to it, leave it alone
Tuilleadh air a' bhonaid eile                More on the other bonnet
Chan eil leth gu leòr oirre                     There's not half enough on it
             
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                    Higher than the corn-stack frame
Bhonaid a bh' aig Dòmhnall Bàn       Donald Ban's bonnet
Ann an Bothalam na tàmh                   Is to be found in Bothalam
Bha i uiread ris an spàrr                      It was as high as the roof joist
B' àird' i na lòban                                   Higher than the corn-stack frame
             
B' àird' i na lòban                                   Higher than the corn-stack frame


Catchy tune, innit? I trust you did the sing along thing, right? (Believe me, I tried.)

I am now addicted to Ms. Fowlis' music.

Though as always, YMMV.

But as Buck might have noted - At least I didn't make you listen to the bagpipes, now did I?


14 comments:

  1. My Grandma Olson was Scots/German, and I miss her so much. Grandmas are soo important. So, I am Norwegian/Swedish/Scots/German, which is why I am so flexible of thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flexible is good. Badgers are rather known for their adaptability.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful song. No sing-along on my part due to the fact that my music skills are a large negative number.

    I dug into my families genealogy enough to find that we have been in the United States for a rather long time.
    I also found that some of my great-grandparents on my father's side arrived from Sicily and on my mother's side my grandfather spoke a bit of gaelic, but I couln't confirm an Irish connection.

    Having an Irish-Sicilian heritage would go a long way to explain some of my personality traits.

    Good post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irish-Sicilian? Remind me never to make you angry.

      Delete
  3. The bag pipes must have scared the crap out of opposing armies. From the other side of a hill only a few sounds like thousands of angry soldiers. My friend Frog is a piper, I tell him that is why he has no vermin in his home.

    I tried to sing along but got lost at Hùg air a' bhonaid mhòir. Good stuff though!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I tried but I kept losing my place.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How smart do you need to be to memorize all that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it is her native language, that helps.

      Delete
  6. Well, some of us ( me ) like bag pipe music.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall keep that in mind Paul, I love the pipes!

      Delete
  7. They have a garlic festival here in California in Gilroy every year. Oh, wait. You said "Gaelic". Never mind!

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)