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Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?

GUEST,Willow 28 Jun 02 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Willow 28 Jun 02 - 12:04 PM
Declan 28 Jun 02 - 12:12 PM
The Pooka 28 Jun 02 - 10:23 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 02 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,JTT 29 Jun 02 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 29 Jun 02 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Philippa 29 Jun 02 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Neil Comer 29 Jun 02 - 05:48 PM
Fiolar 30 Jun 02 - 06:00 AM
GUEST 30 Jun 02 - 08:39 AM
keberoxu 11 Jun 16 - 01:37 PM
keberoxu 12 Jun 16 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,Martin yan 12 Jun 16 - 05:30 PM
keberoxu 12 Jun 16 - 06:30 PM
keberoxu 12 Jun 16 - 06:50 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Jun 16 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 13 Jun 16 - 04:15 AM
keberoxu 14 Jun 16 - 02:14 PM
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Subject: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,Willow
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:03 AM

Help?! I have to give a big concert tomorrow and I am trying to write program notes...I can't remember anything useful to say about irish Keening...But I am singing Caoineadh Na Tri Muire and I need a bit to say....If you are online now and know anyhting useful...please respond!!!! Thankyou, Willow


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,Willow
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 12:04 PM

Any little snippets?


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: Declan
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 12:12 PM

I don't have too much information on this. I assume you know that caoineadh is the Irish (Gaelic) word for crying and in the context it means a lament. At Irish funerals in the past, some women used to sob loudly througout the wake. I gather that in some localities some of the women were so good at this they became almost professional and their services would be widely sought after.

Also, as far as I know, the word caoineadh is assocaiated with the wail or the howl of the bean si (banshee), the sound of which was said to be associated with, or sometimes to foretell a death.

Hope this was of some use, I'm sure there are people out there with a lot more auhoriative and detailed information on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: The Pooka
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:23 PM

Here's one link. No idea how accurate it is, but seems OK and since you're in a hurry...Click here


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 08:11 AM

Day late and a dollar short here, but if you commonly use the song...

The above link looks like one of Conrad's cut and paste jobs without acknowledgment, and Conrad isn't exactly known for his scholarly accuracy about all things Irish shall we say?

I did a quick glance of the page, and it says men performed caoineadh, which they didn't. The performance of poetry in Gaelic Ireland, like many other places in the world, was gendered--ie, there was men's poetry and there was women's poetry. Caoineadh was women's poetry. The metre and rhyming schemes weren't as complex as some other forms of Gaelic poetry, but the rituals associated with it were. I urge you to read this article by Jane Bowers, titled "Women's Music and the Life Cycle":

WOMEN'S MUSIC AND THE LIFE CYCLE

It isn't about Irish traditions, but it gives you an idea of how women's song and poetry traditions functioned in traditional societies. Much of what she writes about in this article is also true of the Irish tradition of caoineadh. Ritual lament was also performed in other contexts than just funerals. Although it hasn't been documented in Ireland, ritual laments were also performed at weddings in many traditional European cultures.

There really isn't any good information specific to Gaelic caoineadh on the web. It all seems to be New Agey sort of stuff, and not very useful to explain the genre.

Gaelic women weren't the only ones who used this form of ritual lament. It was common across Europe.

Here is a link to a website with analysis and real audio of a Hungarian lament:

ANALYSIS AND REAL AUDIO OF HUNGARIAN LAMENT

Here is the notes page link to that lament, which will give you some context to the performance of lament:

NOTES ON HUNGARIAN LAMENT

Hope this helps.

Links added by JoeClone


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 08:48 AM

Keening (Caoineadh) was/is a traditional mourning at a wake, very like what you see in Palestine today.

Some women were particularly famous for their laments, and would be paid to come and keen over the body.

The caoineadh is a formal lament, sung to a particular series of tunes - Patrick Pearse has one in notation in one of his stories - and remembering the graces of the dead person, and emphasising how lost his family and all who loved him (or her, of course) will be now. The idea is to call out the grief of the mourners into full expression, so that they can cleanse their hearts of grief and not have it festering inside them.


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 02:57 PM

Caoineadh was also used to criticise people, including family members, the deceased, and members of the community too though. Irish oral historian Angela Bourke talks about that in some detail in her writings on caoineadh.

Angela Bourke is senior lecturer in Irish at University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, and one of a handful of experts on Gaelic women's oral traditions in the world.


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 04:46 PM

JTT your comment reminds me about the modern poem in Irish, Caoineadh An Phailistínigh by Séamas Ó Neachtain


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,Neil Comer
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 05:48 PM

One of the most famous "Caoineadh" is "Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire." Art Ó Laoghaire was an Irish Catholic who refused to sell his horse to an English nobleman. At the time, an English nobleman in Ireland could insist on spending no more than £5 on his chosed horse, no matter who the owner. Art Ó Laoghaire was killed over this refusal and his wife's lament has been recorded. There's little point in me writing it here, but I will try to post a link!


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: Fiolar
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 06:00 AM

Regarding "Caoineadh Airt Ui Laoghaire", in his autobiography "Mo Sgeal Fein", Father O'Leary tells an amusing story. He was contacted by a lady who had a manuscript of the poem by Art's wife and a man was attempting to translate it into English for her. She was afraid that the would-be translator had a poor grasp of Irish to do the work properly and she wondered if Father O'Leary would do it instead. In due course he received it with an accompanying letter stating that there was one line that the man had completely failed to make out; she said that there was a mention of a "Madam Anne" in the line and that for the life of him he couldn't make out who "Madam Anne" was. She wrote to the priest that Art's wife laid the entire blame for his death on this "Madam Anne" and she was anxious to discover who she was. I now quote the priest's words:
"She told me where I would get the line in the manuscript. I searched and found it and also the two lines before it. Here they are:
'Art Ua Laoghaire
Atá anso traochta
Ó mhaidin anné agam.'
I admit that I opened my mouth and let out a shout of laughter, which was heard in every part of the house, when I saw what a wicked woman - the evil-minded, malevolent Madam Anne! had risen before out of that tiny, little, unsuspected phrase 'Ó mhaidin anné' - 'since yesterday morning."


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 08:39 AM

is that why the spelling has been changed to inné?


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Subject: RE: Help: Caoineadh
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 01:37 PM

The OP had the sean-nós "Caoineadh na dTri Muire" as a point of departure. I searched the Mudcat Forum and could not find a thread that gave lyrics and/or English translation for this great song, as Mudcat does for so many other traditional Irish lyrics.

To add to the questions posed by earlier posters: the sean-nós "Caoineadh na dTri Muire" may be about women lamenting the Passion of Christ, but its singing is hardly limited to women. The late Joe Heaney disclosed that he learned it from the singing of a grandmother; that hardly stopped him from singing it himself, quite the reverse. Maybe keening itself is exclusively for women, but songs about keening?

As for the widow's keen for Art Ó Laoghaire, this text takes pride of place in more than one "from the Irish" anthology of Gaelic poems with English translations; it would only be a question of which translation was to your taste.


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Subject: Lyr Req: Caoineadh na dTri Muire
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 04:54 PM

Could someone with greater expertise than I (that means any expertise) or more access to sean-nós documentation,
please post the lyrics to "Caoineadh na dTri Muire," or begin to post them? From all I can discover, this is a song with many verses.


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,Martin yan
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 05:30 PM

A quick Google on "Caoineadh na dtri mohuire" provides several versions, of which this is one:

Click here

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add:Caoineadh na dTri Muire: Joe Heaney
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:30 PM

This version is copied from "Bright Star of the West," the biography of sean-nós artist Joe Heaney, written by Sean Williams and Lillis Ó Laoire.
Two things are to be remarked upon in the Joe Heaney version. The verses that are included are essential. And a number of verses are omitted. Amongst the omissions, the most telling might be the verse that actually speaks of keening, a dialogue in which Mary the Mother of Christ addresses the other two Marys, and the two of them respond to her.

To save space, the verses are printed as couplets, which is not how they are sung. In singing, each line would be followed with:
"Ochón is ochón ó."

A Pheadair a aspail, an bhfaca thú mo ghrá bán
Chonaic mé ar ball é dhá chéasach ag an ngarda

Cé hé an fear breá sin ar Chrann na Páise
An é nach n-aithníonn tú do Mhac, a Máithrín

An é sin a Maicín a d'iompair mé trí ráithe
An é sin a Maicín a rugadh in sa stábla

An é sin a Maicín a hoileadh in ucht Mháire
A mhicín mhuirneach tá do bhéal 's do shróinín gearrtha

(to be continued)

© 2011 Oxford University Press


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Subject: Lyr Add:Caioneadh na dTri Muire: Joe Heaney
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:50 PM

Six more verses, let's see if they all fit in one post.

Is cuireadh calla rúin ar le spídiúlacht óna námhaid
Is cuireadh an choróin spíonta ar a mhullach álainn

Crochadh suas é ar ghuaillí arda
Is buaileadh anuas é faoi leacrachaí na sráide

Cuireadh go Chnoc Chailbhearaí é ag méadú ar a Pháise
Bhí sé ag iompar na Croiche agus Simon lena shála

Buailigí mé féin ach ná bainidh le mo mháithrín
Marómuid thú féin agus buailfimid do mháithrín

Cuireadh tairní maola thrí throithe a chosa agus a lámha
Cuireadh an tsleá trí na bhrollach álainn

Éist a mháthair is ná bí cráite
Ta mna mo chaointe le breith fós a mháithrín

© 2011 Oxford University Press


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 03:55 AM

The point seems largely to have been missed here.
Keening for the dead, certainly in Ireland, is invariably improvised on the spot - there are, to my knowledge and as far as I know, there are no set set texts.
There maybe examples captured at the time of their making, captured like butterflies but real keens were seldom written down.
There are few recordings - the famous one being that recorded by Mrs Sidney Robertson Cowell on The Aran Islands in 1957, but it was not the done thing to treat them as entertainment to be passed on, and there are a few where singers attempted to imitate what they had heard at wakes, but even that was frowned upon.
Even Mrs Cowell's recording had to be made behind closed doors with the curtains drawn and without the knowledge of the locals - performing them was regarded bad taste and was thought to bring bad luck.
We recorded an Irish Traveller from Kerry whose mother was an "ullagoaner" - someone who would be expected to turn up at the death of a neighbour and lament over the corpse.
The best collection of European keens are to be found on A.L. Lloyd's radio programme, 'The Lament', made sometime in the 1960s, where, apparently, they were recorded when the tradition was accessible and the restrictions not as strict.
One of the most moving pieces of singing I have ever heard was recorded (I think) in Rumania.
The recording team were working in a mountain village when news came in that relative of one of the crew had been drowned not too far away.
He took Lloyd and a tape recorder to the wake; Lloyd describes how the village singer, the sister of the dead boy, had been summoned from the fields to keen over her brother - the hairs on the back of my neck still bristle just to remember it - an incredible mixture of skill and passionate grief.
I suspect that the 'keens' which are to be found in printed collections are no more than poems or songs written in keening style.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:15 AM

I seem to remember Paul de Grae did a talk on keens for Na Piobairi Uilleann's Notes and Narratives series but I was unable to to find a video registration of it on NPU's Source.

I have a few recordings knocking around here, I may look into the mlater but as Jim says most of what is known are probably songs in a keening style, the recording of Labhrás Ó Cadhla singing Caoineadh Iníon Uí Mhuiríosa being as fine an example as any I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Keening-Caoineadh- Help?
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:14 PM

Can anyone comment on the writer Angela Bourke, also published under the name Angela Partridge? It seems that she made, and published, a critically well-received analysis of keening in general, and of the song "Caoineadh na dTri Muire" in particular. I can't say anymore as it is beyond my depth/expertise.


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