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Cliff McGann Fulling songs (20) RE: Waulking 03 May 98


The process of 'waulking'was common in both Ireland and Scotland as well as in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, almost all of eastern Nova Scotia and the Codroy Valley of Newfoundland. While I am not as familair with Scotland's milling tradition in Cape Breton milling frolics are still common but are usually symbolic only-as mechanical methods of fulling the cloth have taken over. Waulking was actually the final part of a process whereby the tweed was 'fulled'. In Scotland it was done predominantly by women while in Canada both men and women would be part of the process. I think this was likelly due to the harsh winters in Canada which didn't allow men to work as fisherman or farmers year round. The songs were referred to in Gaelic as Orain Luaidh and stale urine (maistir in gaelic) was used as it possesed amonia which would soften the cloth. Orain Luaidh are one of the more common types of gaelic folk songs partially because milling frolics could last quite some time and songs were continually sung. Oxford University Press published 3 volumes entitled Hebridian Folk Songs which is an in depth examination into waulking songs and although hard to find are a good study of the genre. As they are a common song in the gaelic song world you will find that most Gaelic recordings have at least one milling song. Mary Jane Lamond, a fine Gaelic singer from Nova Scotia has a couple on her CD Bho Thir Nan Craobh which you can get from B&R Heritage Enterprises @ www.capebretonet.com/Music/BRHeritage/. To my knowledge the only modern recording featuring all Waulking Songs is the CD by the Scottish group Bannal on Greentrax records. If anyone is interested in othe Gaelic recordings I can suggest some. I'll check this thread again in a day or two.


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