TUATH
Songs of the Northlands

TUATH is a musical and cultural exploration of the connections between the Gaels and their nearest Atlantic neighbours.

This stunning album, released February 2020, includes traditional songs as well as new material by Ó hEadhra & NicChoinnich, sung in Scottish Gaelic, Danish, Norwegian, Irish Gaelic and Galician.

The music speaks to our past, present and future, ranging from the simple voice to expansive arrangements and exquisite sound design by composer/musician Mike Vass.

Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChoinnich have, once again, delivered an inspiring work of beauty, honesty and integrity.

Available internationally from Naxos World Music by download, on CD and streaming worldwide.

Artwork for each song on the album was specially commissioned and created by Dundee based artists Freya Cumming.

TUATH - Songs of the Northlands was supported by Creative Scotland National Lottery funds. ​

Brianainn an t-Seòladair


Ceòl / Music: Fiona Mackenzie
Faclan / Words: Brian Ó hEadhra & Fiona Mackenzie

Nuair a bha e òg, choinnich Brian ris a’ chaiptean Tim Severn agus sgioba a’ bhàta “Brendan”, a thàinig air tìr ann an Talamh an Èisg ann am meadhan nan seachdadan an dèidh dhaibh seòladh tarsainn a' Chuain Siar bho Èirinn ann am bàta leathair a chaidh a thogail ri linn tuairisgeil sna teacsaichean far am faighear aithris air na tursan-mara aig Naomh Brianainn).

A song inspired by the adventures of the great Irish monastic navigator, Saint Brendan (born c. AD 484). It is written that Brendan and a small crew of monks sailed around the Atlantic visiting many lands inhabited by different animals and people. Some believe that he made it all the way to North America.


Seòladh saor o bhàgh an iar-sa
Siùil tha làn is muir mar charaid
Dream beag treun ag iomradh mar aonan
Sinne tha làn de dhòchais is iomnaidh

Haigh ò, haigh haigh haigh haigh ò
Ò a bhalachaibh
Haigh ò, haigh haigh haigh haigh ò
Ò a bhalachaibh

Tha sinne nur làmhan mar uain gun lèirsinn
Thoir dhuinn lùth bhon bhuaireas nar n-inntinn
Thoir dhuinn fois bho iomagain beatha
Dìon ar n-anman, Ùghdair na Cruinne

Bho fhaclan nam bard thig tuigsinn is eòlas
Bho gach linn thig guidhe nan daoine
Anns gach ràmh tha ùrnaigh is uaigneas
Anns ar cuirp tha teannas is iarraidh

Eilean nam Faoil gun sgeul don fhialaiche
Eilean nan Caorach le daoine cho tuigseach
Eilean nan Eun mar phàrras air thalamh
Seinnibh gu h-àrd, thoiribh glòir don Athair

Èistibh rim sgeul is cromaibh ur cinn-se
Fàgaibh gach dragh a' còmhnaidh nur cridheachan
Sinne tha beannaichte, sinne le earbsa
Lorgaidh ar soitheach Eilean nan Naomh-sa

Brendan The Navigator

Sailing free from the west bay
The sail is full and the sea like a friend
A team, small yet strong, rowing as one
We are full of hope and worry

Haigh ò, haigh haigh haigh haigh ò
Oh lads
Haigh ò, haigh haigh haigh haigh ò
Oh lads

We are in your hands like sightless lambs
Give us strength from the turbulence in our minds
Give us rest from the worries of life
Protect our souls, Creator of the world

From the words of the bards will come understanding and knowledge
From every generation will come prayers of the people
In every row is a prayer and loneliness
In our bodies are tension and desire

Island of the Generous without sight of the provider
Island of Sheep with people so understanding
Island of Birds like a paradise on earth
Sing out loud, give glory to the Father

Listen to my story and bow your heads
Leave every worry that occupies your hearts
We who are blessed, we who have faith
Our vessel will find the Island of the Saints

Latha Dhan Fhìnn am Beinn Ioghnaidh


Bho sheanchas / Traditional

Bha Caoilte mac Rónáin na mhac-peathar do Fionn mac Cumhaill agus na bhall de na fianna ann an bheul-aithris nan Gàidheal. B’ urrainn dha ruith aig astar iongantach, dèan conaltradh le beathaichean, agus bha e na sgeulaiche air leth.

An Ossianic ballad concerning the adventures of Caoilte, one of the band of legendary warriors known in Gaelic as An Fhèinn. In this song, while out hunting, he goes ahead of the band and meets a lovely maiden. Unfortunately, he encounters a giant and has to fight him, eventually striking his five heads clean off with his spear. As Caoilte is wounded and bleeding heavily he entrusts the maiden - Ailinn, King Duncan’s daughter with his spear and implores her to take it to Dun Till.

Latha dhan Fhinn am Beinn Ioghnaidh
An Fhinn uile ’s na fir cholgarr’
Chuir iad Caoilte air luaths a chas
Romhpa dhèanamh a' rothaid
Chunnaic e teach fada bhuaithe
Mar sin ’s a dhà dhoras fosgailt’
Bha ainnir ùr air a chlàr
Is teine mòr a’ cur a smàil
Is oir leam fhìn gun tug i dhomh
Dà thrian dhe biadh is trian dhe h-aodach
’S cò dhubhair orm-sa san rath-solas
Ach fuamhair mòr sa gharbh dhoras
Seachainn mi gu dìreach deas
Chan ann oirre thì a thàinig
Leannan a bh’ agam o thùs
Nighean na mealladh ’s na meall shùl’
Dàil sheachd bliadhna thug mi dhi
’S an-diugh a thànai’ mi oirr’ iomairt
’S thug esan urchair le nimh
Dhan t-sleagh mhòir a bha na dhòrn
’S thug mise urchair bhrodan bhras
Chuir mi na còig cinn o bhràighe
’S leig mi m’ uileann air an tom
’S shil e air mo chreuchdan gu trom
’S cò leig an guth fathach leam
Air an tulaich os mo chionn?
’S gum b’ e h-ainm dhomh tighinn gu teach
Àilinn nighean Rìgh Dhonnchaidh
Àilinn dèan thusa leam bàidh
’S na inns’ e uile bhrathach
Imrich mo sgiath gu Dùn Till
Cha d’ imrich bean a-riamh i romhad

A Day for the Fingalians of Beinn Ioghnaidh
All the Fingalians and the collegiate men
They made Caoilte his leg fast
Make the ride
He saw a house far from him
So, what two doors are open?
There was a new float on his table
It is a big fire burning
It was for me that she gave me
Two-thirds of food and one-third of her clothes
And whoever shook me in the lightning-success
But a big giant in the rough door
I sailed just south
She did not come from her
I had songs from the start
Girl of deceit and deceiving eyes
Seven years I gave her
And today I will finish my campaign
And he took it with poison.
The big spear of the fort
And I took a broken shower of death
I put the five heads from topography
And I let my mind on the mound
He saved my hearts heavily
And who let the giant voice go with me
On the hill above me?
And my name was to come to a house
Elgin, daughter of King Duncan
Must you do me with a cow?
And he doesn't tell all the braes
Move my shield to Dun Till
A woman has never left her before you

Links:
Caoilte MacRónáin - Wikipedia
Fenian Cycle - Wikipedia
Tobar an Dualchais - Latha Dhan Fhìnn am Beinn Ioghnaidh

Na Fir-chlis


Ceòl is Faclan / Music & Words: Brian Ó hEadhra

Stadaibh is èistibh gu ciùin
Bheiribh an ùine dhuibh fhèin
Rachaibh le sìth gun feall
Fosglaibh ur sùilean gu mall

Buidhe is dubh a’ tighinn gu dlùth
Beanntan a' suathadh nan neul
Glas is liath a' danns gu h-àrd
A' lìonadh mo chridhe le gràdh

A' lorg an fhàth le miann
Na speuran air lasadh o thuinn na grèin'
An seo, a-nis leinn fhèin
Daoin’ 'on tuath an t-saoghail

Quietly stand and listen
Take time for yourself
Go in peace, not in falseness
Slowly open your eyes

Yellow and black merging together
Mountains touching the clouds
Green and bluey-grey dancing above
Filling my heart with love

Seeking meaning with desire
The skies alight from waves of the sun
Here, together alone
Folk from the north of the world

South Sami/Scottish Gaelic poet Johan S. McGuinne was kind enough to translate Na Fir-chlis into South Saami and Swedish on his twitter feed ​@guektiengielin. Mòran taing Eòghan!

South Saami / Åarjelsaemien

​GOEKSEGH

Tjåadtjoeh, årroeh sjeavohth jah goltelh maa
Baajh datneb soelkedidh, lïegkestidh
Vaedtsieh raeffesne, slogni namhtah
Rïhpesth tjelmieh suejmieslaakan

viskes klaerieh tjeehpes klaerine ektesne låvla
vaerieh balvh tjuevliestieh
dïhte kruana jïh kraevies elmie dåånhtse
gieriesvoetine vaajmome deava

girvene, manne ulmieb jah vuajnoeb ohtsedeminie
elmie goeksege biejvien baaroej nuelesne
Daesnie, jalhts oktegimse, læjhkan aktesne
mijjieh, almetjh, maanah noerhtelistie

Swedish

NORRSKENET

Stå där, lyssna, vilandes i tystnaden
tillåt dig själv att varva ned, att vila
låt dina steg andas fred, fria från lögner
och öppna sakta dina ögon

​gula flammor väver samman svartheten
fjällen kysser molnen
himladansen färgas blågrön och grå, och
mitt hjärta fylls av kärlek

jag söker villigt efter en mening, ett mål
himlen brinner under solens vågor
vi är här, tillsammans i ensamheten,
vi barn av Arktis