I can't seem to find the translation of this one line in any variations I've found (and that's only two, and i've searched this board as well)....
'S a chuachag nam beann Oh cuckoo of the mountains
A haoiri ù
Nach truagh leat mo chlann Don't you pity my children?
A haoiri o horo, haoiri ù
Té eile 'n an ceann With another woman in charge of them
Bidh buille m'an làimh Who will slap their hands
Té eile 's a' cheann Another woman in charge of them
'S an cridheachan fann Their hearts will be weakened
'S gun aca de bhiadh __
Ach boiseag de'n t-sìol Their only food a handful of oats
Cha tug mi sin riamh I never gave food of that kind
Do dhuin' airson Dia To anyone, for God's sake
'S nan tighinn-sa beò And if I were to come back to life
Gun riaghlainn gu leòir I would distribute plenty
De dh'airgiod, 's de dh'òr Of silver and gold
The "Bho Thìr Nan Craobh" booklet doesn't give this either. The Ishbel MacAskil version gives what looks similar to the words up above "Gam biadhadh gu gann (She feeds them poorly)" That version is....
A nighean nan geug Oh rarest of maidens
Tha muigh leis an sprèidh Who is out tending the cattle
Na gabh eagal mo fiamh Do not be afraid
Tha mis' an-seo sian I am here to protect you
Mo thruaidhe mo chlann My poor wee ones
Bean eile nan ceann Another women looks after them
Gam bualadh gu teann She beats them sorely
Gam biadhadh gu gann She feeds them poorly
'S an athair 's a' ghleann When their father is away in the glen
Any help will be appreciated.
Also, can anybody give me some hard facts about the relationship between Celtic and Country/Bluegrass. It's for my Informative Speech.
Yes, I've seen Songcatcher. Yes, I've got enough statistics. And, yes, I have some idea of how to get from point A to point B. So, my question is twofold....
1. How close or far apart are Celtic and Country/Bluegrass?
2. If there is a gap, how reliable is the the Scottish Lowland connection with the American Mountain Songsters?
Here is my DRAFT, not the final product....
In the 1680s, the English take 4 million acres from the Irish after defeating the Armada of the Spanish (the Catholic ally of the Irish), and returns only the unfertile lands. The English proceed to kick the Catholics out of the fertile portion that becomes modern day Northern Ireland and replace them with Scottish Protestants (whom they kick out through plantation grants because of the Scottish side loosing the English Civil War). When Elizabeth I died in 1603, the Personal Union made the son of Mary Stuart King of England and Scotland, so both nations were Protestant. The Penal Laws begin in 1795 after the defeat of Catholic James II by William of Orange. This passes the British Crown into Protestant hands and signals the end of political rights (as well as land rights) for Catholics in Ireland. Catholic farms got smaller and the rent went higher, which lead to evictions in what was known as the Protestant Ascendancy. The Scots of Ulster are affected by the laws of England and want to be farther away from the crown, so between 1715 and 1775, 250,000 move to the colonies, starting in the New England colonies of Maine and Pennsylvania, where they branched off to the Southern colonies of Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Others continued to settle in modern day Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Despite Scotland's home rule desires growing in the strength of their Parliament, the 1707 Act of Union joins Scotland to the U.K., but Stuart supporters disapprove of it with the first Jacobite Rising in 1708. A year after the Crown passes back into English hands on the death of Queen Anne, another Rising erupts in an effort to reinstate their Stuart King. The bans on the Highland culture are passed in the Disarming Act after the defeat of the final Jacobite Rising at the Battle of Culloden (1746), which leaves 1, 200 of the 5,000 Highlanders dead. With the last of the Stuarts escaping to France after the last rising, the Government looted farms, hung clan chiefs, and had the region under Army Occupation. The displaced after Culloden, as well as later generations in North America, could also make do without musical instruments in order to have a good time so puirt a beul originated as a orally traditional substitute for instruments when dance music was required for entertainment. Once this prohibition was lifted, Puirt a beul still remained as a musical from in the Celtic regions and remains so until this day. Normally, puirt are sung to a 4/4 or 6/8 beat, and the words are cleverly chosen to represent the stressed rhythm and sound of a tune instrumentally and have more importance than the sense of the lyrics. Many Fiddle tunes were written about anything and everything; in honor of historical people, about the supernatural, and even disasters. Remembering instrumental tunes were more of a challenge in America, where instrumental music was treated in the same variant fashion as the songs. The results of tune transmission and recall are more distant in melody characteristics, but the playing style was retained. Today, both Appalachian and Cape Breton fiddlers trace their origin back to Scottish fiddling, but Cape Breton is more of a representation of the original style. The Highland Clearances began in 1760, when the expanding textile industry made crops less profitable. Any remaining clan chiefs (who were now landowners) forced farmers out of their homes and replaced them with sheep because they didn't need to lease tenants in order to maintain their loyalty, and brought in Southern sheep farmers because few Highlanders had the money or experience for the job. Various solutions to tenant eviction occurred. Some were encouraged to emigrate while others were forced out. Roofs were pulled down and trees used to rebuild were burned. Between 1805 and 1821, 15,000 were evicted on one piece of farmland alone. The American Revolution forces 30,000 United Empire Loyalists to leave by 1783, because supporting the British is a crime punishable by death. Nova Scotia was created as a place where the Scottish settled and the English built on their far-reaching empire. 100,000 of them are Scottish who move to Nova Scotia after having their houses burned, families evicted, and sympathizers imprisoned. The Irish exodus to North America tapers off with the 1800 Act of Union that adds Ireland to the U.K., the repeal of the Penal Laws with the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829, and The Great Hunger (1845-1851). The Famine results from the English exporting much of the food grown in Ireland, the well-known factor of the fungal blight, and because their landlords avoided taxing tenants by sending them away with their responsibility. Poets held important status in Gaelic society because they served wealthy patrons who depended on them as public-relations servants, composing songs to praise them and satirize their enemies. A fully qualified professional poet spent 7 years studying grammar, linguistics, and history; he memorized examples of the more than 300 poetic meters and composed poems on subjects assigned by his teacher. Gaelic songs continue to be sung because of their beauty and powerful evocation of people and events. In order to pass on these events to other generations so to remember their ancestry, the settlers preserved their stories in song .They brought (as well as authored) love songs, fun songs, laments, and murder ballads ; all of which served the same old-country purpose on a small scale, or was related to either vague or well-known history. The distinctly Anglo-Scottish songs all are from as far back as Tudor England, and these ballads tell a huge story that would be cut into variations by settlers over the years. All of these songs come in hundreds of thousands of variations in lyrics and perhaps an altered melody line, because of the distance between communities. The reason behind the stark difference in oral transmission between the same group of settlers in America and Canada is geographical circumstance. The Nova Scotia Gaels had to adopt oral mnemotics after having their culture almost ripped out from under them and never traveled away into the rest of Canada, while the Ulster-Scots Mountain Folks brought with them their Anglo-Celtic hybrid style that grew into one big game of musical password that continued to travel with them. In the Mountainous Frontier, there were no political threats against their world. Yet, they continued to sing about how someone died, how another was betrayed, and who fought who. Much of the inflections used by singers echo the sean-nos (old style) style of singing. These songs were performed hauntingly slow, and the performer was free to accent ascents and descents with emotion. The singer took the form of a storyteller, so it was not uncommon for female singers to sing male-narrarated songs and vise versa. In Scotland, songs (especially laments and work songs) follow their own unique pattern or lyrics: Sentence A, vocable chorus or three lines, Sentence B, and so on. Vocables are syllables in a chorus that allowed singers to distinguish songs having similar themes from others and maintained the rhythm of the songs, while the repetition of the lines was to ease the learning and transmission of the songs and to add emphasis to the words. A traditional-origin lament in this lyric pattern is "O Cuckoo of the Mountains", in which the ghost of a dead woman appears to a shepherdess and tells her to rescue the ghost's children from their abusive stepmother. A historical example of this lament pattern is the reoccurring story of a woman whose male relative or relatives have drowned, which can be found in the waulking song style. Waulking involves drawing the threads of the newly woven fabric together to prevent shrinkage when it is tailored by rhythmically beating the wet fabric against a wooden table. This task provided an opportunity for women to meet together, to discuss important issues, and to compose their thoughts into songs. Call and response songs that had a steady beating rhythm were sung to ensure that the work was done evenly, and helped take the monotony out of the work with their improvised lyrics that would not have been made in mixed company. Difference sections were added for different occasions, with some songs lasting up to 20 minutes. Cape Breton adapted the work so that men participated, and many waulking songs originated as shanties.
If the Scottish and Irish passed down history in song, their future generations set more events to music. These ballads were the newspaper articles of their day, with subjects such as epidemics, wraths of nature, and even the sinking of the Titanic! Murder ballads are a common type of song, with at least 2 folksongs ("Omie Wise" and "Tom Dooley") are historically documented as true. Many of the songs composed before 1800 are considered of Elizabethan broadside origin, which means they were old enough to have channeled into variations leading back to that point but were now ficticious in those later forms. The tradition of singing about the loss of the crop shifted to the loss of the farm, and then to the loss of the trailer-all from the same storm (or even divorce). However, the soulful composers recounted these issues in their lives as survivors of them, and so inspired others out of their own troubles. People now realized that they weren't alone in their concern, because those singers and their listeners had either lost their home and job in the Great Depression, was born a Coal Miner's Daughter, or had Exes in Texas.
Who knew that a Celtic Music Tradition born out of rending conflict could harmoniously bring their North American generations together? They say that acknowledging grief helps heal people.