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Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?

Jack Campin 20 Jul 15 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,# 20 Jul 15 - 05:40 PM
Jack Campin 20 Jul 15 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,# 20 Jul 15 - 06:43 PM
Jack Campin 20 Jul 15 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,# 20 Jul 15 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,# 20 Jul 15 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 21 Jul 15 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,# 21 Jul 15 - 11:34 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 15 - 12:10 PM
Jack Campin 21 Jul 15 - 12:53 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 15 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,# 21 Jul 15 - 01:10 PM
Jack Campin 21 Jul 15 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 22 Jul 15 - 08:06 AM
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Subject: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 05:06 PM

Looking at issue 39 of "Tocher", the magazine of the School of Scottish Studies, I came across a couple of waulking songs with documentation saying they had been sung around 1891 at Torr Mor near Fionnphort; transcribed in 1953 by Calum Maclean from the memories of Dugald MacCormick. I know an lady now in her 90s who lived there part of every year from about 1930 onwards: her father bought the house in the 1920s. She thinks she knows the exact spot where MacCormick heard these songs, and certainly knows more than anyone else living about the families that would have sung them. (There isn't much information about waulking in that area - the main local business was quarrying, not sheep and wool).

Anyway. The Tobar an Dualchais site has far more of these songs than "Tocher" printed, but as far as I can tell they haven't been transcribed or translated anywhere. I have no Gaelic and the old lady has not much more.

The items are all from the SSS sound archive tape SA1953.107.

Intro ("Tocher" transcribed and translated that in full)

'S Daor a Cheannaich Mi a' Phòg

Fa ril o ho

Mo Chraobhala Dubh

The sound is pretty good. Can anybody out there understand it all?

There may be other material relating to waulking at Torr Mor on that tape, the SSS's metadata could be clearer.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 05:40 PM

http://www.joydunlop.com/images/uploads/S_daor_a_cheannaich_mi_ph%C3%B2g.pdf


Joy Dunlop speaks Gaelic. You can hear her sing it on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 06:20 PM

Thanks!

Though Calum Maclean got better sound in 1953 with a reel-to-reel tape recorder than Dunlop does on that video...


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 06:43 PM

Jack, while looking for translations for the songs (that's the only one I could find btw) I stumbled over your site. It is fantastic. Looks like one heckuva lot of work went into it. I hope you're proud of it. You deserve to be.

http://www.campin.me.uk/

Thanks to this thread I also learned what waulking is. For anyone wanting to know that, there is a good article at Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waulking_song

Sorry for the thread drift.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 07:29 PM

There is a note (somewhere related to those songs) that says it was sometimes done with the feet - nearly all the pictures you see are of it being done on a table with the hands. One of the songs is slower than the usual pace - maybe that explains why.

The old lady I was talking to spontaneously started moving her hands in a waulking rhythm when I tried playing her one of the tunes (before I found the sound files; using the notation in "Tocher", which isn't very good).

Economics of the enterprise: it kinda makes sense that quarrymen's wives and daughters would do waulking, taking the fabric in to process. Despite having babies in bulk (13 children for one local family of that generation) they would have had more free time than the wives of agricultural workers, who had to tend animals as well.

There is an attempt to revive weaving in the local area, as a rather upmarket business: http://www.ardalanish.com/


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 08:07 PM

Here is a site that might be of interest to you.

http://www.mun.ca/folklore/leach/songs/milling.htm

The page that appears is blue and fills the computer screen. However, scroll down and there there be some milling songs sung in Cape Breton. They link to voice renditions of various singers doing them. I realize this is getting far afield from your original post so after this I will concentrate on your requests. Perhaps in a few days after people have had the chance to respond to your requests I'll start a thread to do with waulking/milling songs as they were and are in Scotland and Nova Scotia. Thanks for your patience, Jack.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 08:54 PM

'S Daor a Cheannaich Mi a' Phg is shown as an alternate title for
Fa ril o ho .

See

http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/gd/fullrecord/92276/5;jsessionid=36C3F1ACAE19B87FBD4F5BF9CA78B1C1


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 07:05 AM

Apologies for the slight thread drift, but Greentrax have just published the latest in The Scottish Tradition series. It's dedicated to the work of Calum MacLean. Here's the discogrpahical data.

Scottish Tradition 26. Cruinneachadh Chaluim; Field Recordings of Gaelic Music and Song From The Highlands and Islands by Calum MacLean. Greentrax CDTRAX9026D. Double CD.

There's no waulking songs unfortunately, but tons of everything else.

I've heard a discussion recently about waulking with the feet. It's not on the Scottish Tradition, unless I'm having the mother of all senior moments, so i think it must have been on one of the two CDs which Mike Yates assembled; Hamish Henderson Collects-Songs, Ballads & A Story From the School of Scottish Studies Archives. Kyloe 107 & 110.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 11:34 AM

dualchas (at) smo.uhi.ac.uk

Perhaps an email to that address would help regarding Mo Chraobhala Dubh.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 12:10 PM

Two of the here from Tocher
Jim Carroll

'S Daor a Cheannaich Mi a' Phg

Dearly have I paid for the kiss
I got from the young man In a hay-barn:
I will remember it for ever
Until I go under the turf
In a narrow coffin of planks
Covered with black satin
And fastened down with a hammer.


Mo Chraobhala Dubh

You are my beloved black (?apple-tree?)
She is the owner of freehold land, My (?apple-tree) &c.
She has goats and cows and calves:
My (?apple-tree?) has a great troop of sheep.
And though she has squint eyes
The lads are just slowcoaches


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 12:53 PM

Yes, but the sound recordings have a lot more verses.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 01:05 PM

That's all there is in Tocher Jack,
Looked to see if they're anywhere else, like the Kennedy Fraser collection, but no luck.
Will be happy to scan down the whole article of it's any use
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 01:10 PM

http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/mackenzie/waulking.htm

Jack, see if that's any use.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 05:51 PM

They just give the verse that "Tocher" printed too.

I've found a bit more background. Seems the woman of the house where MacCormick heard those songs did in fact waulk with her feet, and there is a report in the proceedings of the Crofting Commission from the late 1890s where she was complaining about being put off her croft when they extended the granite quarry - the site of her house is now a large hole in the ground.

It would be particularly interesting if MacCormick's versions of those songs (which I presume are known from elsewhere) worked in any local references.

I might try asking Joy Dunlop what she knows; that was a good find.


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Subject: RE: Translation of 3 Gaelic waulking songs?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 08:06 AM

Right. Found it. The interview about the feet waulking is on Kyloe 107; Hamish Henderson Collects. The track in question is Na Hi A H Chalamain & Mo Nighean Donn Ho-G. Recorded in 1958 by Hamish Henderson from Roderick Campbell of The Mull of Kintyre. SA1958/7(A1)


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