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Lyr Req: Fionnghula (Bothy Band)

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FIONNGHUALA


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Fionnghuala (2)
Lyr Req: Fionnghuala (Over the hills and far away (7)
Fionnghuala (9)
Fionnghuala (8)


GUEST,Alison Cone 18 Apr 01 - 11:28 PM
Sorcha 18 Apr 01 - 11:52 PM
Mark Cohen 19 Apr 01 - 12:12 AM
alison 19 Apr 01 - 01:05 AM
Sorcha 19 Apr 01 - 01:11 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Apr 01 - 01:20 AM
Clinton Hammond 19 Apr 01 - 03:06 AM
alison 19 Apr 01 - 07:44 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Apr 01 - 08:16 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 19 Apr 01 - 10:56 AM
harpmolly 19 Apr 01 - 11:47 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Apr 01 - 10:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM
annamill 20 Apr 01 - 01:32 PM
annamill 20 Apr 01 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Alison Cone 21 Apr 01 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,Alison Cone 21 Apr 01 - 01:41 AM
alison 21 Apr 01 - 09:01 AM
old man winter 21 Apr 01 - 09:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Apr 01 - 10:50 AM
Big Mick 21 Apr 01 - 11:40 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Apr 01 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 28 Jul 12 - 11:48 AM
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Subject: Words for Fionnghula
From: GUEST,Alison Cone
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:28 PM

A while back the Scots gaelic words for Fionnghula (from the Bothy Band's album Old Hag You Have Killed Me) were on the Mudcat database, but they've disappeared. I want them desperately! Can anyone help out? Reply here, or alternatively, email me at tursacan@yahoo.com.au.

Cheers, -Alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:52 PM

They're still there, it just can be a bit tricky finding them. I used @gaelic in the blue box..... Click here, OK?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:12 AM

Now, alison, I'm sure that helps you, being Irish and all, but this poor Yank can't make any connection between that word salad on the screen and what I hear on the record. To me, the first line of the chorus sounds something like "Erin a born a born," and I can't for the life of me figure out how "'S a gheala nam botham nam botham" comes out sounding like that. Then there's the line, I guess it's in verse 3, that sounds to me like (cover your ears, kids) "A tushy dap na shah". And you tell me that's how you pronounce "Cha d'thuirt an dadan a' seo"? Get real! Now, I know all about the craziness of English pronunciation as compared to phonetic languages like Spanish and Italian and Hebrew. But English is a walk in the park compared to this stuff!

Aighleothiram*,
Mark
*that's how you write "Aloha" in Gaelic


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: alison
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:05 AM

lol Mark, (the Alsion you replied to is an Aussie but she sings great gaelic)

Alison... are you and Mark going to St Albans? haven't heard you for a while....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:11 AM

Me too on the LOL, Mark! Looks more like an algebraic equation than aghloghtgha to me, (*BG*)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:20 AM

Oops, sorry, wrong alison! But I stand by my statement anyway. Isn't there a phonetic transcription of this song somewhere? I'd love to sing it, but...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:06 AM

Ditto!

let's have more phonetic versions for us monoglots!!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: alison
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 07:44 AM

the ones I sing I have done phonetically...... not good enough to do them any other way.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:16 AM

Usually called Am Bothan a Bh'Aig Fionnghuala (Fionghuala's Bothy), the song in the DT is Scottish, not Irish, Gaelic, and came from Calum Johnston of Barra; the Scots spelling system is both more difficult and more logical than the (modernised) Irish.  The DT entry is labelled @Irish, which is a commonly-occuring mistake here where songs happen to have been recorded by popular Irish performers.

There is a longer set of lyrics in this discussion from a couple of years back, if you can cope with the complete lack of formatting:  Fionnghuala

George Seto has transcriptions and translation of Johnston's set (but with an additional verse) and of another, virtually the same but with a simpler chorus, Eilean nam Bothan, which I take to be the one later recorded by the Bothy Band, at his site:  Fionnghuala

There is a midi of the tune, made from a transcription of Johnston's singing given in the accompanying booklet to Music of the Western Isles (Tangent TNGM 110, 1971; now available on CD from Greentrax) at the Mudcat Midi Pages:  Mudcat Midi Pages:

Fionnghuala

I differ from many people here in that I think it wrong to attempt to sing songs in a language that one does not understand; learning a thing parrot-fashion from a "phonetic" transcription is the sort of thing opera singers do, but I believe that traditional music deserves more respect than that.  Other peoples' culture is not such a cheap thing that it can be so quickly and easily won; the thing to do is to attempt first to get at least a basic grasp of the language concerned, so that you have some idea what you're doing.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:56 AM

Malcolm, I agree with you. It's impossible to give a song proper emotional connection without knowing the meaning of each part of the sentence.

However, that shouldn't stop people from at least attempting the song, and later learning what it means.

BTW, most translations, unless it is given as a "LITERAL translation" are going to be off the mark.

Most of the "translations" I have seen come far short of the actual meaning of the original words. It gets worse if they try to maintain the metre of the original words. Boy does it get funny how English gets twisted around.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: harpmolly
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:47 AM

Mark...rofl on the aloha...

(arriving late as usual. Sigh.)

M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:33 PM

Thanks, Moll, but nobody noticed I wrote the last letter as 'm' when it obviously should have been an 'n'. Ah, well...

Seriously, Malcolm, I understand your point, I'm reluctant to say it's "wrong" to sing a certain song if you don't know the language. I get nervous when people start prescribing who is "allowed" to sing which songs. I would agree with your comment in a positive sense, that is, I think if someone wants to sing a song in a different language, it will probably enhance their appreciation of the song (as well as the audience's appreciation) if they tried to learn something about the language and the song's meaning. But I would resist being *required* by some arbiter to become a student of a particular culture in order to sing a song I like. (Especially with puirt a beul songs like Fionnghuala, whose lyrics--according to my admittedly imperfect understanding of the tradition--are generally nonsense words and phrases, used simply to carry the tune!)

Besides, who are we to condemn the millions and millions of children who for generations have been singing about that happy ungulate, "Sunny llama Tina"? (ding dong ding)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM

I do take your point.  I'm not really trying to be proscriptive, and I imagine that the majority of people here would disagree with me in any case, so it's just my personal opinion.  I do feel, though, that there has been rather of lot of what almost amounts to cultural imperialism in the Folk Revival; "cherry picking", if you like, of interesting pieces from other languages and cultures, all too rarely accompanied by any real attempt to understand the context from which they arose, or what the words actually mean.  It seems to me disrespectful of others' cultures to demand that kind of instant gratification; "It's only a song", or, "I'll do what I want and nobody has the right to criticise me" are common reactions, but they beg the question.

Of course, song is a very good vehicle for teaching languages; I learnt a good few French songs at school as part of that process, including the one you mention, though we always sang that in tandem with a translation.  I still sing French songs from time to time, but only because I mastered the language and know exactly what I'm doing.  Though I would love to sing in Gaelic, too, I know only too well that it would be little better than a parody given my very slight grasp of the language, so I leave it well alone.  That's a personal choice, but I do think it's the right one.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: annamill
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:32 PM

You mean that's an IRISH word???? I always thought it was Italian!!!

;-)

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: annamill
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:31 PM

Gee... I thought it was funny.... no??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: GUEST,Alison Cone
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:27 AM

Just to add my two cents worth to the debate...

I have a very VERY basic knowledge of Irish and Scots pronunciation (I would not presume to say that I have a basic understanding of either language) but I love the languages' rhythms and I work very hard to recreate what I hear. I usually start by getting a recording AND the original gaelic words, then using both to write my own phonetic "translation" . If possible, I also find a native speaker to help me go over the words until I get the pronunciation right (that's how I learned "Taladh Criosda"). There aren't that many places to learn Scots in Australia, so I make do, and apologise to anyone I offend along the way... It's no different to what I do when I sing operatic arias in Italian or Bach cantatas in German, and in fact I've been told my pronunciation of gaelic is not too bad.

Hi there Alison - Mark and I won't be at St Albans this year - I've been too busy gestating. We're expecting our first on May 3. Nice of you to think of us though! Look out for some recordings from Tursacan in the not too distant future!

Cheers, -AC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: GUEST,Alison Cone
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:41 AM

PS thanks for the help with the lyrics! Much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: alison
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 09:01 AM

awww... that's wonderful... congratulations

pop back on and announce the birth when you get around to it...... all the very best to all 3 of you....

love

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: old man winter
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 09:25 AM

I thought, as Mark does, that this tune was made up of nonsense words so any understanding of the lyrics would be impossible anyways. I am curious if it would be inappropriate to change these silly Scot's words to sillier Anglo-ized ones to acheive a simillar effect? One could give it a skat treatment a la Mel Torme.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 10:50 AM

There are a few nonsense words in the refrain, but almost all of the text is perfectly coherent; see the link to George Seto's site that I gave above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 11:40 AM

Malcolm's point on the singing is well taken, even if I don't wholly agree with it for the same reason as Mark, who gets this mornings "coffee in the sinus" award for the gaeilge translation on Aloha. A couple of points:

I agree with the comment by George Seto with regard to the translations. Native English speakers will have a hard time because (if they are monoglots), they don't have as good an understanding of the shadings available in other languages, especially the Gaelic family of languages. Another problem they face in getting an understanding of the languages is based on the cultural differences. English is a very direct language. But Irish and Scots Gaelic (the Scots language is the only one that it is proper to use the term Gaelic as part of its name) are very indirect. For example there is no way "as gaeilige" (which is means "of the Irish language") to say "I am a man". It is one of the reasons why the Scots and the Irish are so eloquent in describing feelings and events in English. They had a direct language superimposed on a people used to describing all the things that made them sad, happy, mad, etc. instead of just saying I am pissed off, etc. And by the way, up until about the 17th century, Irish and Scots Gaelic were pretty much the same language.

I would absolutely recommend that if one is going to try and sing in either of these languages, that they at least get a basic understanding of that language. There are many good tutorials available online and in good bookstores. I don't believe you have to be fluent, but these songs have such wonderful subtleties to them that it is important to at least have a basic understanding in order to do them justice.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Words for Fionnghula
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 03:47 PM

Mark, if you are native Hawaiian, would you allow other people to sing your songs?

Many puirt seem like nonsense to people with no understanding of Gaelic. While many of the choruses may be nonsense, it doesn't follow that all of them are. Quite a few are for real, and the words are quite humourous.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fionnghula (Bothy Band)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 11:48 AM

Even native problems with this Irish speakers have problems with this Scots Gaelic lyric and the meaning and context are obscure. stick to Do You Love An Apple is my advice.


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