The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37703   Message #529706
Posted By: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
16-Aug-01 - 07:14 PM
Thread Name: Jean Ritchie Book in the Auction
Subject: Il Me Dhu Vetrim - Waulking Song
It's a Hebridian waulking song, with a strong lead voice on the two lines of each verse, with all singing the refrain between each line. The last line of each verse becomes the first line of the following verse. We recorded the singers in Gaelic, but Seamus Ennis went through the song with me, explained the structure, and gave me a sense of the meaning of the words, or the poem. I made a loose translation, so that our children could sing it in English. So far, no one has complained, but you may be the first! But that was when I was young and foolish- I've (probably) lived long enough not to tamper with the old songs so quickly, now. But anyway, even back then, Seamus thought it was a pretty good translation:

Late yestre'en I gathered the shellfish
Il me dhu vetrim, ho, ho! (Row lightly, row, row!)
More to watch your boat returning.
Il me dhu vetrim, ho, ho!

More to watch your boat returning,
Il me dhu vetrim, ho, ho!
You my share of this world's treasure.
Il me dhu vetrim, ho, ho!

You my share of this world's treasure,
Il me dhu vetrim, ho, ho!
Black the night came down upon me.
Il me dhu vetrim, ho, ho!

Well, this goes on for six more verses...I have an idea- why not let the person who gets the book finish it? He/she will probably know how to do all the clickies and the music. It's a glorious song and one of my favorites of all we found in the fifties. Jean

Mor