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Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer

GUEST,JTT 22 Apr 04 - 05:25 PM
Brían 23 Apr 04 - 12:03 AM
GUEST,JTT 23 Apr 04 - 05:52 AM
Fear Faire 23 Apr 04 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 23 Apr 04 - 07:48 AM
GUEST 23 Apr 04 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Com Seangan 03 Feb 05 - 05:58 PM
Thompson 04 Feb 05 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Feb 05 - 06:15 AM
Moleskin Joe 04 Feb 05 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Com Seangan 04 Feb 05 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Patricia in NYC 31 Jul 08 - 08:57 PM
MartinRyan 01 Aug 08 - 04:33 AM
GUEST 01 Aug 08 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Ephy Clarke 07 May 10 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,^&* 07 May 10 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,^&* 07 May 10 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Dermot Buckley 03 Aug 10 - 03:45 PM
Connacht Rambler 05 Aug 10 - 06:25 AM
keberoxu 05 Apr 16 - 02:41 PM
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GUEST,Martin Ryan 07 Jun 16 - 08:04 PM
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Subject: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 05:25 PM

Apparently I gave my nephew a record by Máire Ní Scolai at some stage, and he now wants to know more about her. I haven't an idea. Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: Brían
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:03 AM

Well, I found this by doing a Google search.

Brían


from Joe Offer: Archive of the link above:
MÁIRE NÍ SCOLAÍ
(1909 - 1985) traditional singer
Born Dublin

Educated at Central Model Schools and Ring College. She went to Galway with her sister Mona and soon acquired a reputation as a teacher of Irish singing and dancing. Appeared as Gráinne with Micheál MacLiammóir in his Diarmaid agus Gráinne in the Taibhdhearc in 1928. Married Liam Ó Buachalla, then a lecturer in UCG. She became widely known for her interpretations of traditional songs, won many prizes at feiseanna, broadcast frequently from Radio Éireann and the BBC and in France and America, and gave recitals in Covent Garden and Queen’s Hall, London. She collected many songs in the Galway and Donegal Gaeltacht. Died in Galway on 29 June 1985

Source: A Dictionary of Irish Biography, Henry Boylan (ed.), Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, 1998.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:52 AM

Hmmm. I suppose the nephew's asking about recordings. He says she has a lovely light voice and fabulous phrasing.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: Fear Faire
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 06:58 AM

There was one LP. Not sure if it was ever re-issued on CD. A bit too trained or too sopranoish for many tastes but by far the most "authentic" and also genuine of those (if you know what I mean). Probably a Gael Linn issue given the era.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 07:48 AM

There was an album available on cassette up to quite recently - I remember picking up a copy for someone. I'm not sure if it ended up on CD.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:19 PM

Fear Faire, discussing the merits of Marie Ni Scolai`s interpretations of traditional songs, reminds me of the many arguments among the various "experts", I always enjoyed her singing, although she would never be classed as a traditional singer, as Fear Faire says, " too Sopranoish".


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:58 PM

JTT.

Yes. I knew Maire well. She had gone beyond her "peak" however when I got to know her. She was married to Liam O Buachalla, Professor of Economics UCG and Chairman of the Seanad, they both were very Republican in their outlook and Liam gave his lectures in Irish only. He chaired the Oireachtas (joing meeting of Dail and Seanad) when Presient Kennedy addressed the house in 1963. They had no family.

Maire established a "traditional"choir at UCG which was great fun. - something like Sean Og O Tuama had on Radio Eireann. She had a way with students.

I agree with Fear Faire that Maire would not have been a traditional singer in the "traditional" sense but from her Radio broadcasts did much to promote the traditional songs long before the foundation of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: Thompson
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 03:24 AM

Oh, this is good stuff, Com Seangan, go raibh míle maith agat!


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 06:15 AM

I remember Liam Andrews of Belfast playing an LP of Máire Ní Scolaí for me back around 1972/73. I'm almost certain the album was on Gael-Linn.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: Moleskin Joe
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 06:40 AM

The record is indeed on Gael-Linn CEF 029 and came out in 1971. In the sleeve notes Sean MacReamoinn acknowledges that her art is not "traditional" in the strict sense.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 06:47 AM

For Thompson and JTT and other interested people - a little human story - told by "the Murph" himself - he was Professor of English at UCG - but who ouside class always spoke to his students in Irish.

I should preface the story by emphasising how Liam O Buachalla (married to Maire Ni Scolai) adored the ground that Maire walked on - I'd swear they were as romantically in love the day that death intervened as they were the day that their eyes first met.

Now, The Murph and Liam O Buachalla were the closest of friends - they shared so much - the Irish, The Music, The Taibhdhearc (theatre). One afternoon as they were having a cuppa in the College (Liam never drank)O Buachalla said (in Irish of course) : "Sorry I have to rush home as Maire is on the Radio at five o'clock".

Now it transpired that at that time, there was an Irish writer of substance from Donegal who used broadcast from time to time and his pen-name was MAIRE. "The Murph" who was thinking of Maire the writer replied: "Yerra cuir uait a mhac, le firinne pian sa toin an Maire ceanna". Which being loosly translated is "Ah will you go on, the truth is that Maire gives me a pain in the arse".

"The Murph" was a bit puzzled why Liam left his company so abruptly. It was only when he got home himself and heard the sweet voice of Maire Ni Scolai that he realised - My God - My God -how deep he had put his large foor in it. Immediatly into his car and makes for Liam's abode on Taylors's Hill and I tell you he had some bit of explaining to do before full harmony was restored.

God be good to them all - they were great people.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Patricia in NYC
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 08:57 PM

Maire Ni Scolia was my maternal grandfather's 1st cousin. As a child her and I were pen pals, she had a real spirit. I too would like to find the recordings on CD.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 04:33 AM

As mentioned earlier in the thread, there was an old Gael Linn recording issued as LP and, perhaps, cassette tape many years ago. As far as I can see, it was never released on CD.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 02:12 PM

Thank You


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Ephy Clarke
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:54 AM

Hi
maire Ni Scolai was my grand aunt, she was married to my uncle Liam O Buachalla, Dean of UCG and Chairman of the senate. Maire toured and sang regularly with Father Sidney Mc Ewan


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:19 AM

I think there was a CD of her work published/republished within the past year or two. I'll check.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:24 AM

No - I'm confusing it with another reissue, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: GUEST,Dermot Buckley
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 03:45 PM

Liam O'Buachalla was my Grand Uncle and I think I have a tape of Marie Ni Scolai somewere I must look for it


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: Connacht Rambler
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 06:25 AM

There's now a page about Maire Ni Scolai and a photo at Ramblinghouse


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Apr 16 - 02:41 PM

This singer has a biographical entry, in Irish, at www.ainm.ie. It contains one or two quotes in English. Here is one, attributed to Cyril Ó Céirín:

"Máire, a mezzo-soprano, combined what she had learned of sean-nós singing in the Gaeltachtaí with her training in classical music and was one of the few singers ever to do so with complete success."

And after Ní Scolaí moved to Galway, but before she got married, she came to the rescue of a theatrical production, and people sat up and took notice of her. She played the female lead in Diarmuid and Gráinne. Her Diarmuid was Micheál Mac Liammóir, who recalled:

"I was playing Diarmuid myself, Liam Ó Briain was Fionn (Finn McCool), and Máire Ní Scolaidhe, a lovely dark girl with astonishing golden eyes, was Gráinne. Of course, she wasn't up to a part that contained the stuff for a mature and lyrical tragedienne, but for sheer beauty and charm she was more than one could have hope for, and I have never ceased to be grateful for the hours of work she gave us, or for the grace of her movements."

Pádraig Ó Siadhail, writing in "Stair drámáoicht na Gaeilge 1900 - 1970" [History of Gaelic Drama 1900-1970], made two observations: Ní Scolaí replaced, in the role of Gráinne, a professional married actress whose husband, three weeks before the play opened, objected to the way that Micheál Mac Liammóir was kissing his wife in character. The actress is not identified in this biographical entry. In the same history, the author discloses that Ní Scolaí retired from the acting profession when she suspected that being an actress was doing damage to her singing voice.

August 28, 1927 in the Connacht Sentinel newspaper:
"Good acting, clear diction, beauty, grace, loveliness, she combined in a portrayal of rare merit. She reminds one forcibly of Miss Eileen Crowe in her early days at the Abbey Theatre. But we doubt if even that talented actress could bring anything better to the stage than the dignity and stateliness and ability of Miss Scully....Mr. Ernest Blythe, at the conclusion of the performance, highly praised Miss Scully. She was only a short time rehearsing the part, but she has the true artistic insight."


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Apr 16 - 01:50 PM

Info is not easy to come by on this artist. My online searches had me raking a lot of cybermuck. I was startled when I saw a forum post -- not this forum! -- by a person who described her/himself as a sean-nos devotee, and complained that when sean-nos was sung with classical technique by Maire Ni Scolai, the person could not help laughing, and found it too much to bear. Well, I have that problem with Andrew Rowan Summers singing in my native English, so who am I to judge?


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Apr 16 - 01:39 PM

Gael Linn, in 2011, issued a CD album that is a sort of sampler, with eight singers in recordings made for Gael Linn over the years. The title of the CD is "Amhráin Ghrá." There are links to it in the Mudcat thread called "All the dear Spinning Eileens."

Plainly Máire Ní Scolaí was something different than a "spinning Eileen," with her classical singing background and her firsthand fieldwork in collecting traditional songs. However, as previous posts state, her one vinyl LP was recorded for Gael Linn at about the same time that the Cabaret Gael Linn was promoting singers who accompanied themselves on the harp.

"Amhráin Ghrá" opens with three songs from Máire Ní Scolaí's long-playing album from 1971. They are:

An Draighneán Donn
Seoithín Seothó
Eibhlín, a Rúin

This Gael Linn compilation is CEFCD 201.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 May 16 - 08:31 PM

It has taken me weeks of cogitation and reflection to work out the words to describe my impression, of sean-nós sung by Máire Ní Scolaí. Here is an attempt.

As I have posted on a different thread, the sound of Máire Ní Scolaí's singing voice exposes the technique of breath control and support with which she sustains long, ornamented, nearly instrumental melodic passages. I hear her classical singing technique especially in that tone, and in the breath support exposed in that tone. She has the breath control, what the Italians prefer to call "appoggio," of a continental European singer -- a great one, I would have to say; her singing is in fact a master class in how to let the voice ride a column of air, on the breath. Opera singers could profit from listening to her recordings.

What is the effect of this sort of sound production in traditional unaccompanied singing in Gaelic?

If I were to compare it to the singing of, let us say, Liam Clancy, himself a seasoned artist and performer, this is how I would phrase it: Liam's voice has the grain of wood, solid yet living wood; while Máire Ní Scolaí's recorded voice sounds like it is carved out of marble and polished until it shines. Necessarily, one sounds more organic and alive than the other. Some listeners have a horror of marble statues in their music rooms; some desire little else. I personally would not be without either one.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 16 - 07:13 PM

Máire Ní Scolaí came to my attention from the three opening songs on "Amhráin Ghrá," a Gael-Linn compact disc anthology issued in 2011. These three tracks, like many others on this recording, were previously issued on earlier productions on the Gael Linn label. The notes with this collection referenced the vinyl long-playing album, titled "Máire Ní Scolaí," which Gael Linn released in 1971: at this point Ní Scolaí was nearly at the end of her life. It occurred to me to question when these studio tracks were actually recorded: her voice sounds in good estate, and it is hard to believe at that advanced age she could still sound quite that flawless.

So I looked around to see if I could discover anything, since the "Amhráin Ghrá" album notes do not say when Ní Scolaí actually went into the studio and sang for Gael Linn....if indeed that was what she did.

Here is what I have unearthed. This comes from www.ainm.ie, where the biographical entries are in Gaelic -- not one of my languages, but there are online tricks to using a translator program. Anyway, ainm.ie has a lengthy, detailed biographical sketch for this singer.

My English translation from the Máire Ní Scolaí biographical page:
"On her long-playing vinyl album ["Máire Ní Scolaí"] issued by Gael Linn, the song recordings for Side One came from the RTÉ archives.
The selection of recordings for Side Two was made from old His Master's Voice records [HMV]."

It seems correct to presume that ALL of these recorded performances, be they for RTÉ or HMV, may predate the 1971 release of the Gael Linn LP by some time, perhaps a rather long time. And it may require a lot more digging before I can find anything specific documenting the vintage of those studio recordings.
Remember, Maire Ni Scolai was born in 1909 and died in 1985. In 1971 she would have been sixty-two years of age.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 16 - 08:06 PM

Regarding the vinyl long-playing album issued in 1971, here's what I have to work with.

There is a grand total of twenty-one songs on "Máire Ní Scolaí." Side One has twelve songs. Side Two has nine songs.

The conclusion to be drawn from the statements in the previous post:

The nine songs on Side Two were previously recorded for HMV at some time. Maybe these were 78 RPM??

The twelve songs on Side One came from the archives at RTÉ. This is outside my area of expertise. Live broadcasts? Pre-recorded? Not to mention, when?

So, through a page online (I don't have a copy of the vinyl album or its sleeve), I offer this listing of the songs by album sides, in order. (an EBay listing)

Side One, which will be the RTÉ archive source.
1. Sail Óg Rua
2. Seoladh Na nGamhna
3. Máire Ní Ghríofa
4. Go dtaga an Nollaig
5. An Droighneán Donn
6. Moll Dubh an Ghleanna
7. Bean an Fhir Rua
8. Una Bhán
9. Frinseach Tír Eoghain
10. Dónall Óg
11. Seoithín Seothó
12. an Clár Bog Déil


Side Two would be from HMV (His Master's Voice).
1. an Caisideach Bán
2. Caisleán Uí Néill
3. 's Oró Mhíle Ghrá
4. 'sé Fáth mo Bhuartha
5. an Sceilpín Droighneach
6. Oró mo Bháidín
7. Cuiachín Ghleann Neifín
8. Caoineach na dTrí Muire
9. Eibhlín a Rún


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 09 May 16 - 07:36 PM

More and more it appears evident that the 1971 long-playing vinyl album "Máire Ní Scolaí," issued on the Gael Linn label, is the re-release of song recordings made, in some cases, many years earlier. Both in the 1940's and 1950's documentation at the BBC and Radio Eireann/RTÉ shows that Ms. Ní Scolaí's singing was something of a broadcast staple, and it is easy to speculate that the 78 RPM recordings date from that period of time as well.

Searching also brings up documentation under the name Máire Ní Scolaidhe.

Does anyone out there have the Gael-Linn LP with sleeve notes? Do the notes say anything helpful? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 16 - 04:27 AM

Does anyone out there have the Gael-Linn LP with sleeve notes?

The lp comes up very regularly on ebay.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 May 16 - 02:15 PM

This artist's ainm.ie entry, like the others, is written in Irish Gaelic by Diarmuid Breathnach and Máire Ní Mhurchú. What follows is my own clumsy attempt -- with help from a translator program -- to render some of the biographical details in English translation.

[translation quotes]
Not only did Máire Ní Scolaí die without issue, but both of her parents have no surviving issue or surviving relative today.
Information about Michael Scully, the singer's father, comes from the 1911 census and from the singer's birth certificate. The census states that Michael Scully was born in co. Kildare. The birth certificate states that the father had formerly served in the Royal Irish Constabulary as a sergeant. On July 16, 1906 at St. John's parish in Clontarf, Michael Scully married Mary Kavanagh, the daughter of a blacksmith from Delany, co. Wicklow. Máire Ní Scolaí, at birth formally named Mary Anne Gabriel Scully, along with her older brother Michael John Joseph Scully, were born in Dublin; the singer's date of birth is May 24, 1909.

By the time of the 1911 census, another child had been born to the young family, and they had relocated to the native county of the former Mary Kavanagh; they now lived upon the Bellevue Demesne of Delgany, co. Wicklow. On February 26, 1911, Mona Teresa Scully, a little sister, was born there. Michael Scully was receiving some form of support or compensation as a former Constabulary sargeant, and took on additional work to supplement this income: the census describes him as an insurance agent, while his daughter's birth certificate says he was a traveling salesman. There is an additional detail volunteered by Máire N&iacut;e Scolaí during a radio interview, in which she claimed that she had, not one, but two brothers: Michael John Joseph Scully, her older brother, had died while still a small child; and the singer said that she had a brother, Bill, "who seems to have died in South Africa."
[end translation quotes]


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 May 16 - 04:34 PM

"Eibhlín a rúin" was released by His Master's Voice on a 78 RPM vinyl disc, can't find a date for it. This recording can be heard at YouTube videos, there is no "video" as such but the sound can be played back.

The melody is positively that of the "sean-nós" version, also sung by Joe Heaney, and it is not the melody associated with a lyric about "Robin Adair."


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 16 - 01:36 PM

The Breathnach/Ní Mhurchú biography at ainm.ie contains copious detail, all in Gaelic. Over previous weeks I have picked away at this. Rather than parse it out word for word, I am going to improvise, in my own words, an English summary.

The great singer's parents, Michael Scully and Mary née Kavanagh, were not Dubliners, though they were married in the city and their two older children were born there. Miss Kavanagh was a Co. Wicklow native. Mr. Scully, who was old enough to be his wife's father, is said to be a Co. Kildare native, although information about him is extremely scarce.

The Scullys raised their children -- three or four of them, depending on your source -- largely in their mother's native county Wicklow. Tellingly, when the singer Máire Ní Scolaí died, she is said to have been buried in co. Wicklow.

The father, and the two sons, disappear from view quickly; no one gives the father's death date or where he was interred.

It was as a teenager that, somehow, Mary Anne Gabriel Scully, eventually re-named Máire Ní Scolaí, made her way to Dublin. She was fourteen when her singing teacher entered her in competitions, probably the minimum age for eligibility, and it is said, the youngest contestant. She proceed to sweep everything, winning one prize after another. Her teacher is said to have been a woman whose husband was a professional baritone. The name might be Gallagher, or its Gaelic/Erse ancestor.

There follows a period of time when the capitol city is the young musician's homebase; she is studying as well as performing. The ainm.ie account states in one sentence that she had the equivalency, in some respect, of a Royal Academy music diploma. One of the things she did learn, at some point, was how to direct/conduct a chorus of singers. She also began studies of traditional Irish dance.

Her adult home, during much of her career and all her retirement years, however, was Galway, where she was a popular favorite. I don't know if it was in Galway or Dublin that she married, not certain. She and her husband, however, became Galway fixtures. Her sister Mona Theresa often lived and worked with her; and with another woman, a non-relative, they would perform as a vocal trio on occasion. Their widowed mother -- again, we don't know when Mary Kavanagh Scully became a widow -- joined them, and this latter died in Galway, living with her daughter. In time, the sister would marry, and she and her husband would relocate to Dublin.

Touring as part of a company, performing traditional music, was part of Máire Ní Scolaí's curriculum vitae, and she both danced and sang on these tours.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 02:37 PM

Thank you Reg Hall! His book "A Few Good Tunes" -- maybe I have got the title wrong, something like that -- has discographies for a number of traditional Irish musicians. Hall documents and describes Ní Scolaí as one of the few performing artists who would program a concert of largely Gaelic lyrics in a formal concert setting right in London around the time of the Second World War. I ought to go back to the online book and look up Mr. Hall's exact words on this.

Here, from Mr. Hall's book, is information for which I have been digging for weeks.

On 20 August 1938, singer Máire Ní Scolaí and pianist Duncan Morrison completed a session in the London recording studios of His Master's Voice. Mr. Hall can positively state that the session included these titles:

My Bonny Irish Boy
Caoineadh na dTrí Muire
Cuaichín Ghleann Neifín
'S é Fáth mo Bhuartha
Eibhlín a Rúin
and something that looks like "Aghadoe"

At that moment, Ní Scolaí would have been just 29 years of age, so physically and vocally she must indeed have been in her prime.

A shorter HMV recording session in London was squeezed in, the following year, sometime around March (1939). The titles recorded were:

Dun Do Shuile
'S Óró Mhíle Grá
Lúibín Ó Lú


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 04:34 PM

There exists a thread for the traditional song "Caisleán Uí Néill," with variations on its verses.

Máire Ní Scolaí's recording of that song for HMV, with piano accompaniment, is limited to two verses only, possibly because of the time constraints of a 78 RPM single. Consultation of multiple editions of traditional Irish song in print, has got me practically nowhere with verse 1, except for Ní Scolaí's final line in the first verse:

Acht mo lámh faoi do cheann,
cead cainnt' leat go mbuailfidhe an dó-deug.   ....which wording I found in the Connacht collection, oddly enough, edited by Douglas Hyde. I simply cannot make out the words that come before these.


Verse 2 on this recording, it appears to me, was carefully revised so that it does not correspond exactly to a single printed version, but its lines are recognizeably distributed amongst printed versions, from Mrs. Eileen Costello -- "Galway and Mayo" -- to the archives at the Comhaltas website. This is the best I could do with the second verse.

Tá mo gháirdín breágh 'n-a fhásach,
agus a ghrádh gheal ní miste leat é?
Gach padhsae dhá áille
tá 'fás 'níos thrí bhárr glas na cré.
Ní chualas ceól cláirsí 'dhul an t-sráid seo,
ná ceiliúr na n-éan,
Ó d'éalaigh mo ghrádh uaim, cúl-- áluinn, go Caisleán uí Néill.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 01:44 PM

end of verse 1:
"Acht mo lámh faoi do cheann,
cead cainnt' leat go mbuailfidhe an dó-dheug."

"...except for my hand under your head,
and, by your leave, to talk with you
and meet with you until the hour of twelve."


pieced-together translation for verse 2:

"My little garden is a wilderness
And, bright love, does it not affect you to see
Every flower, however beautiful,
about the green of the grounds.
On this street is not heard the sound of the harp
nor the song of the birds at dawn
With the elopement of my love to the O'Neills' castle."


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 01:44 PM

In looking at the songs recorded and re-issued on the "Máire Ní Scolaí" vinyl LP from Gael Linn records in 1971, I will have to focus carefully on one published/printed anthology in particular: the Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla, "traditional folk-songs from Galway and Mayo," printed in 1921 and edited by Mrs. Eileen Costello of Tuam. While I have been cross-checking in more than one traditional-song anthology of late -- for example, the Munster anthology edited by O'Daly and Sigerson, and the Connacht anthology edited and translated by Hyde -- the words recorded on the Gael Linn album, often as not, come from song versions in the Galway/Mayo anthology from Mrs. Costello. This is true of "An Draighneán Donn," for example; it is also true of the recorded version of the Connemara lullaby (Suantraídhe) with lyrics by a UC Galway professor.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 07:51 PM

Just started a fresh thread for "Seoithín Seothó," the Suantraídhe from Connemara, with Gaelic lyrics (written in the early 1900's, to be sung rather than lilted or hummed) and English translation. Máire Ní Scolaí does, indeed, sing the cradle-song exactly as presented in Mrs. Costello's "Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla."


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 07:28 PM

It's interesting (and pleasing) how many of Máire Ní Scolaí's relations have written in this discussion thread


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 08:04 PM

Mrs. Costello's "Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla." was originally published in the Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, if I remember correctly. It's available online - I'll post a link later.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 01:39 PM

Correct, Martin Ryan, thank you. The link I used was to the "Hathitrust" digital library, where they have more than one copy. The copy from a university in California, is full-view; it is the Irish Folk Song Society original edition, not the later reprint.

Yesterday I went to a Barnes and Noble branch and bought a little Crosley turntable, into which headphones can be plugged. It's the basic model, does nothing but vinyl records: no cassette tapes, no compact discs, not even a radio set. The sound is not wonderful, but it does work.

Having acquired a copy of the Máire Ní Scolaí LP second-hand, I listened to the entire thing straight through. Heard all the songs I have previewed and reported on in this and other threads. And I heard, without preparation or warning, all the other songs.

I was prepared for "Caoineadh na dTri Mhuire," which got the full art-song treatment; the keening "ochone" was sung, each time, VERY soft, like a moan, and gave me goosebumps.

I was NOT prepared for "Una Bhán." Had no idea what it was about. My blood ran cold listening to it, and I thought, this is going to keep me awake in bed tonight, and I don't even know what's going on or what has happened.

So I just pulled up the Mudcat thread for the latter song: well, no wonder. This is not the Celtic twilight, this is the wee small hours past midnight, the darkest hours before dawn. All terribly romantic, of course, but WHEW.

When more research and cross-referencing has been completed, I will report back to this thread to say what edition/version of the song was chosen by the artist for her recorded performance.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 05:49 PM

There is of course an "Úna Bhán" thread on the forum already, and conveniently, the verses sung on the recording match what is posted to the thread. I have cross-referenced several other songs recorded on the album that way, and it is not always the case -- frequently Máire Ní Scolaí sings verses very different than the ones posted here.... and then, of course, she has a time limit. So some of these songs have many verses, and she can manage somewhere between two verses and six verses, depending on the song. Mudcat's "Úna Bhán" thread has eleven verses, with Douglas Hyde's translation into English. Máire Ní Scolaí sings three of those eleven verses: by my reckoning they are verses 2, 5, and 6.

For the thread, I will submit Douglas Hyde's English rendering of just those three verses, to match the Gael-Linn album version.

O fair Úna, o blossom of the amber locks,
After your death because of bad advice;
Look, my love, which of the two counsels was better,
O bird in a cage, when I was in the Ford of the Donogue?

O fair Úna, you were like a rose in a garden,
And you were a golden candlestick on the queen's table;
You were a melody, and musical, when you walked the road before me,
'Tis my sorrowful loss of the morning that you were not married to me.

O fair Úna, it is you who deranged my senses;
O Úna, it is you who came firmly between me and God;
O Úna, o fragrant branch, o curly ringlet of hair,
Wouldn't it have been better for me to be without eyes, never seeing you?


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 08:00 PM

Frinseach Thir Eoghain, also on the Gael Linn LP, is a bit of comic relief. Firstly, she sounds like she is singing it to the tune of The Limerick Rake, and in places she drops the Gaelic and just goes dumpty dumpty dum!

Secondly, this lyric is in Mrs. Costello's Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla (Galway and Mayo), where there are seven or eight verses, and it is all about how the fox finally met his match in the person of Ffrench of Tyrone -- "lost my tail," as the fox puts it. Must listen again, but I suspect the recording has far fewer verses.

Won't start a new thread for this song. Either I'll find a thread about comical songs in Gaelic about foxes, or I'll confine the song to this thread with a post or two. Now, off to my little turntable to woodshed with headphones on, and see if I can make out which verses she sings.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 09:57 AM

re foxes, I suppose you are already familiar with An Maidrín Rua?

threads re Úna Bhan
Big Al Whittle version

lyrics and background

both threads contain further links


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 11:24 AM

"Maire Ni Scolai"
It needs to be remembered that Maire Ni Scolai was singing in a different time and for totally different audiences than those usually associated with Seán Nós singing
Hers was the world of the OIREACHTAS na GAEILGE competitions that were as far away from genuine traditional singing as you could get.
I attended some of broadcaster Ian Lee's classes at the Wille Clancy Summer School and heard him talk of his mother's experiences as a singer in that world - fascinating - hopefully he'll take it up again next month.
Not knocking it - I thoroughly enjoyed crouching over our radio in my youth listening to the crackly reception from the Radio Eireann and Athlone stations - good days!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 02:33 PM

The Gael-Linn LP opens with "Sail Óg Rua," and much to my surprise, when I look at Mudcat threads, I find the Gaelic of origin all right, but no English translation. Anyhow, the existing Mudcat thread for this song (thread 78855) gives four verses as sung by Darach O Cathain; Máire Ní Scolaí sings verses 1, 2, and 4, unaccompanied. I think it's a stunning performance, but then, I love her voice anyhow.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 02:21 PM

Have been struggling for some time with the lyrics to two of the LP selections: "Caoineadh na dTri Muire," which I can find nowhere except on the vinyl recording itself; and "An Caisideach Bán," for which there is a recording on YouTube (sound only). And I have to admit defeat here. The sean-nós repertoire is well and truly beyond my depth. I mean the lyrics of course. Some traditional songs can be followed even by a listener with no Gaelic; but poetry of this sophistication demands a working acquaintance, a grasp of some level, with its language of origin. And I haven't got it.

Four verses of "Caoineadh na dTri Muire" were chosen for Máire Ní Scolaí's 78 RPM vinyl single for HMV at the recording session in 1938. Dimly I apprehended the latter two of the four chosen verses, so I will offer, here, the English translations for those last two verses that you can hear on the record.

She [the Mother of Christ] was raised high on [the enemy's] shoulders
Ochón agus ochón ó
And cast down onto the flagstones of the street
Ochón agus ochón ó

To me, ye two Marys, and keen with me for the one I love
Ochón agus ochón ó
What have we to keen, without even His bones
Ochón agus ochón ó

I have searched the Mudcat forum in vain for a thread that gives the lyrics for "Caoineadh na dTri Muire," for some reason. The translation in this post comes from elsewhere online, I could do no better.


See new thread titled Caoineadh na Tri Muire (sean-nos)

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 12:31 PM

"An Sceilpín Draighneach": the recording of this song puzzles an ignorant outsider like me. Is there more than one tune for this lyric? Máire Ní Scolaí's recording uses a tune which is about as far from sean-nós as I can imagine; when I look for notation of the tune, it is the highly ornamented sean-nós version that comes up. She sings three verses, and the third is actually two traditional verses which she has spliced together. Lacking any translation I don't know what she is singing.

For "An Clár Bog Déil" two verses are sung, unaccompanied, and highly ornamented.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 05:09 AM

"I have searched the Mudcat forum in vain for a thread that gives the lyrics for "Caoineadh na dTri Muire,""

Original in Irish

A Pheadair, a Aspail,
An bhfaca tú mo ghrá geal?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Chonaic mé ar ball é,
Gá chéasadh ag an ngarda.
Óchón agus óchón-ó!

Cé hé an fear breá sin
Ar Chrann na Páise?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
An é n-aithníonn tú do Mhac,
A Mháthrín?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!

An é sin an Maicín
A hoileadh in ucht Mháire?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
An é sin an Maicín
A rugadh insan stábla?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!

An é sin an Maicín
A d'iompair mé trí ráithe?
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
A Mhicín mhúirneach,
Tá do bhéal 's do shróinín gearrtha,
Óchón agus óchón-ó!

Cuireadh tairní maola
trína chosa 's trína lámha,
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Cuireadh an tsleá
Trína bhrollach álainn.
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
Óchón agus óchón-ó!
English translation

Peter, Apostle,
Have you seen my bright love?
Alas, and alas-o!
I saw not long ago
Surrounded by his enemies.
Alas, and alas-o!

Who is that good man
Upon the Passion Tree?
Alas, and alas-o!
It is your son, Mother,
Don't you recognise me?
Alas, and alas-o!

Is that the wee son
That was nourished at Mary's breast?
Alas, and alas-o!
Is that the son
That was born to me in the stable?
Alas, and alas-o!

Is that the son
I carried for three quarters?
Alas, and alas-o!
Darling little son,
Your mouth and your nose are cut,
Alas, and alas-o!

Blunt nails were pushed through
His feet and his hands.
Ochón agus ochón-ó!
And a spear pierced
Through his beautiful chest.
Alas, and alas-o!
Alas, and alas-o!

SONGS IN IRISH
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 05:32 AM

I seem to have a version with some extra verses here. I don't remember where it came from. I used it when teaching the air on the pipes.

The ochons are left out after the first verse, for brevity.

Caoineadh na dTri Mhuire


A Pheadair a aspail an bhfaca tu mo ghrá bhan
Ochón is ochón ó
Chonaic me ar bar é is é dhá chéasadh in airde
ochón is ochón ó

Cé hé an fear breá sin ar chrann na páise
An é nach n-aithníonn tu do mhac a mháithrín

An é sin an maicín a diompair me trí ráithe
No an é sin an maicín a rugadh in san stábla

An é sin an maicin a hoileadh in ucht mhaire
A mhicín mhuirneach tá do bhéal is do chróinín geartha

Agus crocadh suas í ar ghuaillní arda
Agus cathadh anuas í ar leacrachai na sráide

O buailigi mé féin ach na bainí le mo mhaithrin
O maróidh muid thu féin agus buailfidh muid do mháithrín

Agus cuireadh táirni maola thrína chosa 's thrína lámha
Agus cuireadh an tsleá thrina bhrollach álainn

Gabhaigí a dhá mhuire go gcaoinfidh muid mo ghrá geal
Céard tá le caoineadh a'inn, muna gcaoinfidh muid a chnámha

Ó éist a mháithair agus ná bí cráite
Ta mná mo chaointe le breith fós a mháithrín

Is a bhean atá ag gol de bharr mo bháise
Beidh na ceadta inniu i ngairdin phárrthais


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:10 PM

Regarding "Caoineadh na dTri Muire:"
My post of June 10 notes that Máire Ní Scolaí recorded four verses of this lengthy song. With my poor comprehension of Gaelic, I could not make out the first two of the verses on her recording. I reckon they must include at least one of the verses in Jim Carroll's June 14 post, in which there is a dialogue between the Blessed Mother and her son, Christ Jesus, on the cross. I just can't make out which ones.

I did make out the third and fourth verse sung on the recording. Interestingly, neither of these two particular verses are represented in Jim Carroll's post. But I do spy both of these verses in the June 14 post from Peter Laban: in the order Laban gives all the verses, they are stanzas 5 and 8. I posted a translation for both in my June 10 post.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:19 PM

Still on the subject of the long-playing 1971 Gael-Linn collection, but switching to a different song.

Máire Ní Scolaí's "An Sgeilpín Droighneach" is turning into my latest earworm. Her melody, which is very simple and quickly recognized, has got stuck in my head. I think it must be this tune which is performed/recorded instrumentally. There is a sean-nós melody which, oddly, she did not choose.

I want to do a little more work to attempt to locate Verse 2 of the three verses she sings, then will come back to identify which three stanzas are represented on her recording; of the multiple versions in print, Eileen Costello's for "Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla" gives six verses altogether.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 07:48 PM

Slowly working my way through Side 1 of her Gael Linn collection, on vinyl LP, released in 1971. Unaccompanied vocals, twelve songs on that side: according to sleeve notes, recorded for Radio Éireann or whatever it was called earlier than that name: studio broadcast recordings. To picture a singer singing entirely by herself in the studio for something that was going to go out over the airwaves....I would be so scared to do that.

Have already mentioned "Amhráin Mhuige Seóla: Traditional Folk Songs of Galway and Mayo." If this was not clear before, I should make it clear here and now, that this is not a sound recording. It is a printed book with lyrics and music (melodic lines only, not arrangements or accompaniments). The lyrics are given in Gaelic; an English translation follows each set of lyrics. The book is largely in English, especially the commentaries, notes, and bibliography; but Gaelic appears throughout.

Just found "Moll Dubh an Ghleanna," and can report that Máire Ní Scolaí sings the tune exactly as printed, and lyrics exactly as given, pages 141 through 143 in the printed book. However the book gives six verses, and for the recording the artist sings only verses 1, 2, and 4.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 02:21 PM

This post will cross-reference -- in a clumsy amateur fashion, sorry -- the titles on "Máire Ní Scolaí," the long-playing anthology on the Gael Linn label released in 1971 (re-releases of songs recorded MUCH earlier), with the same titles in Mrs. Eileen Costello's editing/collection, "Amhráin Mhuighe Seóla: Traditional Folk Songs of Galway and Mayo." Although some variations can be noted, the majority of titles on the record album line up with the printed music (the latter now reprinted by Cló Iar-Chonnachta, re-published in 1990).

listings from Costello/ Amhráin etc. / Galway and Mayo, 1921/1990

Go dTagaidh an Nodlaig, song no. 5, page 8
Máir' Ní Ghríobhtha, song no. 10, pages 15 - 18
Seoladh na nGamhna 'sa Bhfásach, song no. 11, pages 19 - 21
Sail Óg Ruadh, song no. 16, pages 30 - 32
Frinseach Thír' Eóghain, song no. 31, pages 60 - 62
Suantraidhe ["Seoithín Seothó"], song no. 35, pages 66 - 67
An Droighneán Donn, song no. 39, pages 72 - 74
An Caisideach Bán, song no. 49, pages 89 - 91
An Sgeilpín Droighneach, song no. 67, pages 126 - 128
Caisleán Uí Néill, song no. 73, pages 136 - 137
Moll Dubh an Ghleanna, song no. 76, pages 141 - 143

That's eleven out of the 21 songs on the vinyl album.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 07:06 PM

"An Clár Bog Déil" concludes the unaccompanied singing on Side One of the Gael Linn vinyl collection. Two verses are sung. True to form, the opening verse is sung first, and then the artist proceeds to a verse further down in the lineup of stanzas. Let me see if I can come up with SOMEBODY ELSE'S English translations for the two verses on this recording.

I would marry you without cows, without money, without a portion of dowry,

(with the will of your people, if you should wish it so)

It is my melancholy sickness that I and you are not, love of my bosom,
In Cashel in Munster and with no bed under us but a bog-deal board.
(from Gregory A Schirmer, "Out Of What Began")

I have given you the devotion of my heart in secret love
And my wish is for fate to permit that one day we will be
Made one by the clergy, and spancelled in love by a ring
And if any man claimed you, my love, I would die of the pain
(from Seán McMahon, "Taisce Duan")


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 07:40 PM

"An Caisideach Bán" is another voice-and-piano arrangement, recorded in the studio, intended for a vinyl single at 78 RPM.

The surprise with the lyrics, in this one, is that -- from a song with many verses, and numerous variations -- the two verses sung on the recording have been pieced together from more than one source. Here is an attempt to put into English, the first three of the four quatrains (two quatrains per verse) sung in this recorded performance.

I am a troubled brother [i.e.: friar, religious brother]
I have been put to wandering from place to place
Like one hunted
The cold mountains are not harder
They took me down from the summit of tSléibhe Bháin [the White Mountain]

My shoulders swelled up to my ears
And I got a clear sharp warning from death
No man who heard my story at that time
Who did not say that he was a pity, the Fair-Haired Cassidy

At the top of the stairs is the flower of all maidens
???    of the white breast
It's a pity that she is without cattle or payment
And I cannot win her hand

The final quatrain, I cannot make out the Gaelic at all. If I ever do, you all will be the first to know.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 03:13 PM

There are bi-lingual sleeve notes for Gael-Linn's vinyl LP anthology, Máire Ní Scolaí. I am trying to hack through the Gaelic notes authored by Pádraic Ó Raghallaigh.

For a start, Ó Raghallaigh's notes refer to Dublin's "Modhscoil Láir," I am ignorant of this. Ní Scolaí, after a childhood in County Wicklow where her mother's people came from, seems to have been sent to this Dublin school for her secondary education. And it was then, according to Ó Raghallaigh, that she studied voice with a Mrs. Gallagher or "Ghallchóir" who laid the technical foundation on which her career as a singer would be built.

Next, the Gaelic commentary takes us to the Waterford Gaeltacht, and the Coláiste na Rinne, for Máire Ní Scolaí's indepth study of the Gaelic language; no year/time is given, rather it is written that her attendance and study was during the era of educators An Fear Mór a/k/a Seamus Ó hEochaidh, Nicolas Tobin, and Cormac Ó Cadhla. "It is not surprising, therefore, that in almost no time she could communicate and express herself in the vernacular."

From there, then, to Galway, which city would anchor her adult career and personal life. Máire's little sister Mona joined her here, it says, and they were both well-known as singers in Galway.

The notes in Gaelic are peppered with name-dropping. I will have to enter the translation piece by piece, as it is slow work. I do see that the next paragraph introduces Liam Ó Buachalla; the two met and married in Galway. To be continued.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 03:59 PM

Continuing, from the third paragraph of the LP sleeve notes originally printed in Gaelic.

In Galway she met Liam Ó Buachalla, the man she would marry. His origins, also, were in Leinster, to the south ("anoir"); at the time he worked as a lecturer in Galway's Coláiste na hIolscoile in "I gCathair na dTreabh." This is all over my head. More name-dropping: Ó Raghallaigh discloses, at the time of publishing his notes for the Gael-Linn album, that the Department of the Gaeltacht includes an assistant secretary named Séamus Mac Úgó. In younger days, however, Mac Úgó, along with Ó Buachalla and Tomás Ó Máille, Ollamh, were jointly engaged in the study of Gaelic dialects, in which study Ní Scolaí assisted them. At the same time, the young singer did her own song-collecting in Connacht.

Presumably in Galway, she founded the Coláiste chorus which performed at the Coláiste Claisceadal, which she also started; she prepared and rehearsed this chorus with the goal of performing at the Connacht Feis and the Limerick Féile, "feis agus fleadh." There's more, much more. Later post.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 04:30 PM

Oh, brother.

Under Máire Ní Scolaí's direction, the choir -- is this the UCG choir of which Guest Com Seangan posted earlier in this thread -- won prizes at (deep breath)
Feis Cheoil, Aonach Tailteann, Feis Chonnacht, Feis Mhaitiú and Feis Shligigh.

That wretched Translate dot Google dot Com tried to tell me that the translation of "Ghnóthaigh sí féin iomad corn" means "she passed herself too much corn..." .... where is my sense of humor when I need it most!


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Felipa
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 06:32 PM

so it's time to give up using the translator. If you have been learning a bit of Irish, you would probably get further using online Irish language dictionaries and asking for help with particularly problematic sentences or phrases on one of the Irish language learners' fora. Though I may miss your amusing mistranslations. Not much of an excuse for machine translator giving corn (English) as the meaning of "corn" Irish. http://www.teanglann.ie/ga/fgb/corn

In this instance "Corn" is a prize cup; as you are interested in seán nós singing,you have probably come across the Corn uí Riada.
By the way, have you come across singer Sorcha Ní Ghuairim yet?


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 07:32 PM

Well, Sorcha Ní Ghuairím can be heard on YouTube thanks to the Topic channels. Ní Scolaí is thinner on the ground, only a few of her recordings can be listened to online. "Cuaichín Ghleann Neifín," to the best of my knowledge, is not one of them, as I have only heard her recording by playing back the vinyl on a turntable.

The compact disc "Amhráin Ghr´" from Gael-Linn does have her early recording of "Eibhlín a Rún", however.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Felipa
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 08:11 PM

spelling should be Coláiste na hOllscoile - university college (ollscoil = college)


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 07:12 PM

It has been edifying to research the career of this mezzo-soprano and to discover that the vinyl LP of her singing, released when she was still alive (1971), is incomplete in a sense. Not all of her recordings are there. With twelve songs on one side, and nine on another, it is possible that the long-playing disc was filled to capacity. In fact there are several Gaelic titles, and two in English, recorded by Máire Ní Scolaí which were omitted from the Gael-Linn anthology that bears her name.

Perhaps at some future date, now that compact-disc sound recordings exist and there are now digital forms of archiving music, a project will be undertaken to complete and reunite every song she recorded in the studios.

As Reg Hall's book revealed, she recorded a single with "My Bonny Irish Boy" on one side and "Aghadoe" by Todhunter on the other, the only English-language songs that my searches have uncovered in her repertoire.

Then there are:
Mo Chaillachean Fionn
Jimmy Mo Mhile Stor
Ag Raibh Tu Ar An gCarraigh
Luibin O Lu
Dun do Shuile

and it is possible that this list is also incomplete.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Felipa
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 08:33 PM

you may wish to enquire what Máire Ní Scolaí recordings are held at the Irish Traditional Music Archive

In the online catalogue I only see LP and cassette, no mention of unissued recordings (unless the cassette is not a commercial recording?)

keberoxu, you really seem to be enamoured of Máire Ní Scolaí, as you could find recordings of those songs sung by other singers.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 08:47 PM

Further translation from the ainm.ie entry by Breathnach and Ní Mhurchú:
At the newly established 2RN, its director, Seamus Clandillon, greatly assisted her career by having her sing on radio broadcasts. While touring with the Jimmy O'Dea performing troupe, she studied Gaelic dance with the eminent teacher, Peg Medlar.

This is in the 1920's, it seems, before she settled in Galway.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Felipa
Date: 06 Jul 16 - 06:39 AM

to help with your translations, Keberoxu

Cathair na dTreabh, city of the Tribes is a name for Galway/Gallaimh

An Mhodhscoil, modhscoil - I'm more familiar with the word Bunscoil for a primary school perhaps An Mhodhscoil is fashioned after the English language "the Model School". An Mhodhscoil Láir was in Dublin. In this case I suppose láir is from lár (middle, central) and that the school was centrally located. Or could it mean a meánscoil, intermediate/
middle school?


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 06 Jul 16 - 07:28 PM

One of the 26 June 2016 posts on this thread, is correct, but a little confusing; this post is intended to clear it up.

"Nicholas Tobin" is named, on the Gaelic sleeve notes to the 1971 "Máire Ní Scolaí" LP issued by Gael-Linn, as one of the educators at Colaiste na Rinne in the Co. Waterford Gaeltacht, where Ní Scolaí, when young, went to undertake in-depth studies of the Gaelic language.

The fact is that there are TWO men named Nicholas Tobin / Nioclais Toibin.

The Tobin/Toibin known as a sean-nos singer was in fact younger than Ní Scolaí; Toibin was born in the 1920's, while Ní Scolaí was born in 1909.

There was, however, an author and lecturer also named Nicholas Tobin, whose dates I do not have. However he was the lecturer in question at the Colaiste, and he was a prolific author of translations into the Irish Gaelic, the better to propagate and promote the language. He is much the senior of the two men with the same name. Since both men, with the same name, came from Ring / an Rinn in co. Waterford, is it safe to guess that there is some blood connection? At any rate, it is confusing only if you presume that the name refers to only one man, when in fact there are two.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 05:21 PM

More translation work on the Gaelic entry, at ainm.ie, by Breathnach and Ní Mhurchú. This article is longer and better detailed the the Gaelic sleeve notes to Gael-Linn's "Máire Ní Scolaí" vinyl LP released in 1971. The two articles/sets of notes do not always agree.

Both articles, writing of the early career of this singer, agree on the locations where she began making a name for herself.
In 1923, at the age of fourteen, she began competing on the Feiseanna circuit; she was then based in Dublin, where she studied singing with Mrs. M.J. Gallagher at the Mhodhscoil Láir. By 1927, she went for the first time to Galway, where her eventual marriage would locate her, where she would put down roots. But she went elsewhere in between. According to the Gaelic article from ainm.ie:

[translated] Máire Ní Scolaí related to Patrick Reilly that her teachers encouraged her to go into teaching herself. It was suggested to her, following her initial successes in Dublin, that she spend some time in co. Waterford, at the Colaiste an Rinne (spelling?). Here I interject a comment: the ainm.ie article has remarked on Séamus Clandillon, with his pioneering Gaelic-language radio broadcasts, to which he welcomed Ní Scolaí. Clandillon, it may be verified, was himself a native of co. Waterford. He may well be included amongst the professional mentors who urged Ní Scolaí to deepen her knowledge of Gaelic, both the language and the artistic traditions around it.

Sometime between 1923 and 1927, Ní Scolaí immersed herself in a course of study that lasted between a month or six weeks, say Breathnach and Ní Mhurchú. They don't say when. The Colaiste an Rinne in co. Waterford is well known for its summer sessions, with intense immersion into Gaelic; so I am wondering if, in the mid to late 1920's, our budding singer was not amongst the summer students, studying at the college, boarding with locals, and speaking Gaelic exclusively at home and in class.

Patrick Reilly's Gael-Linn recording sleeve notes pay lip service to the studies at An Rinn, and drop the names An Fear Mor, Nioclois Toibin, and Cormac O Cadhla.   More to come.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 05:44 PM

Of Ní Scolaí's studies in co. Waterford, at the Colaiste na Rinne, Breathnach and Ní Mhurchú continue:

It was during the intensive four-to-six-week study at an Rinn that Ní Scolaí first took an interest in sean-nós, after encountering the magic of such local singers as Labhrás Ó Cadhla. Not, as Patrick Reilly maintained, Cormac O Cadhla, unless both were present in that time and place.

For those who are as new to this traditional music as I am:
Co. Waterford native Labhrás Ó Cadhla has dates of 1889-1961, so when a young mezzo-soprano named Máire Ní Scolaí first heard Ó Cadhla singing sean-nós in an Rinn, the singer, in the mid-1920's, would have been in his late 30's in age, and probably vocally and physically in his prime. Ó Cadhla is written about at the Musical Traditions "mus-trad" website, and you can read more about him there.

On the other hand, the much better-known Nicolas Toibin has a birth year of 1928: when Ní Scolaí was a young woman, Toibin the singer was no more than a babe in arms! There is an older Nicolas Tobin, as an earlier post on this thread has pointed out, and he was a writer and educator at an Rinn; if our young singer encountered anyone with that name in the 1920's in co. Waterford, it would have been the latter Tobin.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 10:18 AM

Not sure this has been mentioned on this thread (I don't think so actually) but I just serendipitously stumbled in to this video while looking for something else in the RTE archive. Anyhow, there you have it, Máire Ní Scolaí interviewed by Ciarán MacMathúna on Pobal:

Máire Ní Scolaí on Pobal, 1976


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 12:21 PM

Referencing back to the post made 10 Jul 16 - 05:44 PM, Labhrás Ó Cadhla was perhaps a better know singer than the post suggests.

Extensive biographical information on him can be found in the booklet of his recording 'Amhráin ó Sliabh gCua' (RTÉ 234CD)

There's also the story of Séamus Ennis, a friend of Ó Cadhla's, arriving in the radio studio to do a program on him (LOC) but realising he had arrived without the required recording Ennis duely annonced the first item and sang the song in Ó Cadhla's style. Apparently nobody nopticed.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 05:04 PM

I looked for info on the Colaiste na Rinne, and found myself in a newspaper archive, looking at an issue of the Irish Press dated 11 October 1937. The article is "A Great Gaelic Centre," don't know how much I can read properly but I will quote what I can. Forget about linking, it's too difficult to read....

"On the far side of Dungarvan Bay, looking across to the blue Commeraghs, Ring College stands on brown cliffs above the sea. ?? is the finest, most highly-organized and self-supporting Gaelic college in Ireland. A little over thirty years ago it was started with a blackboard and a piece of chalk in the corner of a field. Among the first brave Gaels who determined that the language in this remote Gaeltacht should not perish were Father O Chathasaigh, the [illegible]
"A little later, Dr. O'Sheehan, Vice-President of Maynooth at that time, and Padraig O Cadhla, the well known Gaelic scholar, came to Ring and joined in the teaching of Irish. The first plans were laid to found a Gaelic college for regular summer courses and in 1906 a small wooden schoolhouse was erected. Each summer brought an increase in the number of students, and by 1909 the 'Tigh Dubh' could no longer hold the big classes.

[Comment: 1909 is the year Ní Scolaí was born.]

"Money was very scarce; but at this point, crucial in regard to Ring's future as a centre of Gaelic studies, the Stuarts of Dromana came to the rescue....they offered a large roofless building....the offer was gladly accepted. A roof was added and in 1909 Ring College started in earnest. During the next few years it continued to develop and prosper, and in 1919 the children's school, Sgoil na Leanbh, was founded, with Séamus Ó h-Eochadha (An Fear Mór) as President."

to be continued


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 05:23 PM

continued: 11 October 1937, "A Great Gaelic Centre," Irish press

"Real hospitality and the genial atmosphere of a big united family are among the first and most lasting impressions of all visitors and students to the college. The summer courses in Ring are famous. From July until the end of August, classes and lectures are held to meet the needs of all -- of beginner as well as scholar. During these months, many men distinguished in Gaelic letters return there as teachers. Seán Ó Fhloinn from Carrick-on-S ??, and Cormac Ó Cadhla, the Phonetician, come back to Ring every years, also Padraig Ó Mileadha; Níoclas Tóibin, the novelist,

[comment: this must be the one, as distinguished from the much younger sean-nós specialist]

and Seán Ó Curraoin, noted for his fine classical style. It is remarkable that all Ring's professors are authors or poets....
"Another interesting feature about the College is the effort which An Fear Mór has made to encourage and carry on in a simple, natural way the old tradition of literary criticism and the discussion of ideas. A visitor coming into the College on a winter night might indeed be surprised to find himself in the midst of an animated company grouped around the fire, engaged in the discussion of a modern Gaelic manuscript....Among the interesting walks around Ring there is the old coast road from Helvick on to Mine Head, which Níoclas Tóibin used as part of the background for "An Rabaire Bán." [A novel?]   
(end of excerpt)


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 07:21 PM

More from ainm.ie:

It was in order to participate in the Feis that she relocated to Galway in 1927. George Connolly / Seoirse Ó Conghaile urged her to make the relocation permanent, and to set herself up on Galway as a teacher of singing and dance. Her sister Mona joined her there, and with Bríd Ní Chúláin / Bridie Folan, they formed "The Galway Trio" as a singing group, performing to enthusiastic audiences both in Galway and Dublin.

Very shortly after her relocation to Galway, she made her debut at the Gaelic-language Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, taking the role of the female lead in their production of Diarmuid agus Gráinne. Earlier posts in this thread offer translated particulars about this engagement, in either 1927 or 1928.

She settled on Nun's Island initially; then she met the man she would marry, Liam Ó Buachalla. Their marriage took place on 9 September 1931 in University Church on St. Stephen's Green in Dublin.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 10:36 PM

If Mudcat had a "thumbs up" this thread would earn one. Thank you for all of the research you're putting into each topic you choose to pursue.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 08:09 AM

Well, Acme, I suppose while one has tp appreciate the personal quest side of these threads, it is a shame they are a kind of monologue with the odd useful suggestion inserted by other users generally ignored.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 06:31 PM

Tried to log in to Mudcat as a member. The present version of Mudcat says "chuck," as opposed to "etta" or "brownie." For some reason "chuck" is reluctant to process my log-in. Given what "chuck" rhymes with, I have some exclamations about this, which I will keep to myself.

This post will submit some of the original Gaelic sentences in the biographical material. I detect the sort of wit at work which is beyond my poor ability to translate. So I will let everybody else have at it.

The writing and research team, Diarmuid Breathnach and Máire Ní Mhurchú, at ainm.ie open their article by commenting on bibliographical sources; and in one sentence they say where they found interviews:

"Tá taifid a rinne sí le Pádraic Ó Raghallaigh [other names follow] i gCartlann Raidió RTÉ."

"Tugann Ó Raghallaigh cuntas ar na deiseanna foghlama a bhí aici ansiúd:
bhí Eric MacFhinn, Tomás Ó Raghallaigh [Pádraic Ó Raghallaigh's father], Pádraig Ó Finneadha agus Máirtín Ó Flatharta, príomh bhunaitheoir an Chomhchaidrimh, ar an bhfoireann teagaisc."

And here, we move from the ainm.ie comments to direct quotes from Pádraic Ó Raghallaigh on the sleeve notes for Gael-Linn CEF 029, the vinyl LP issued in 1971.

"Ag na céilith chuile oíche bhí amhráin agus ceol le cloisteáil ó fhonnadóirí is ó cheoltóirí maithe -- leithéidí Cháit Nic Dhonncha[dha?], Phádraic Uí Chúláin, Liam Mhic Fhlanncha, Phádraic Learaí Uí Fhinneadha agus Sheosamh Uí Choisdeala, nach maireann, agus ó cheoltóirí eile ar nós Mháirtín Uí Fhatharta, Mhaidhc Ging, nó Mhaitiú Uí Chúláin gan ach cuid acu a luadh. Bhí Gaeilge bhlasta le n-aireachtáil freisin ag na hoícheanta áirneáin agus na 'cúirteanna bréige' ó Mháirtín Mór Ó Tuairisc, Pádraic Ó Donncha[dha?], Tomás Mac Diarmuda, Seán Mór Ó Cúaláin, Seán Ó Flatharta, Micheál Ó Céide agus Seán Ó Conghaile."


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 05:08 PM

Now I am trying to look up some of the names in the name-dropping sequences, as quoted above in their original Gaelic.

"Cháit Nic Dhonncha"

When she is mentioned elsewhere online, her name is given as Cáit Ní Dhonnchada. It seems she is neither singer nor musician. Little is said about her online, which only means that documentation of her career is in other places. If it is the person I believe it to be, then this is a woman considerably older than Máire Ní Scolaí, as in, old enough to be her mother at least. Ní Dhonnchada is described as a specialist and enthusiast in/for the Gaelic language, in which she wrote dispatches that were published in journals. She had an extremely negative opinion of playwright Synge, and in this, it seems, she had lots of company at the time.

"Liam Mhic Fhlanncha"

is this really Liam Clancy? of the Clancy brothers? I thought Liam Clancy a bit young to be part of this group. Well, if the name is a common one....


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 05:19 PM

"Phádraic Learaí Uí Fhinneadha"

Likewise, this man was a Connemara native who wrote poetry and short stories in the Gaelic language.


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 07:22 PM

"Mhaidhc Ging"

About the same age as Ní Scolaí. One source says that "Mike Ging" came from "Knock, Moycullen." (Bealoideas)


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Subject: RE: Maire Ni Scolai (1909 - 1985) traditional singer
From: Felipa
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 07:25 PM

Ag na céilith chuile oíche bhí amhráin agus ceol le cloisteáil ó fhonnadóirí is ó cheoltóirí maithe -- leithéidí ...##

At the nightly ceilidhs (gatherings, get-togethers) each evening, song and music was heard from good singers and musicians - the likes of ...
then all those names ..,

"nach maireann" means "not living"; we would say in English, "the late .." before the name instead of afterwards.


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