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.

The stunning 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

Chan eil mi gun Mhulad Orm


Bho sheanchas / Traditional

San amhran seo tha an nighean glè shoilleir cò nach bu toil leithe pòsadh. Glè cheart!

A fun clapping song from the isle of Barra where the women would finish waulking (preparing) the newly spun tweed by smoothing out the cloth through patting it with their hands.

Air fa li leo
Ho Ro Ghealladh Eileadh
Air fa li leo

Chan eil mi gun mhulad orm
H-uile h-aon a' pòsadh
'S tha mise gun pòsadh fhathast
Seann duine cha ghabh mi idir
Bidh e fada 'g éirigh
Fada fada dol 'na éideadh

Cha téid e 'mach gun am bata
Cha tig e 'steach gun an ad air

Saoilidh e gur caoraich creagan
Saoilidh e gur geòidh na cearcan

Saoilidh e gur grian a' ghealach
Saoilidh e gur siùcar sneachda
Saoilidh e gur luch an lacha

B'annsa balach sgiobalta
A thogadh mi 's a leagadh mi

Air fa li leo
Ho Ro Ghealladh Eileadh
Air fa li leo

I am not without sorrow.
Everyone getting married
And I am not married yet.
I won't take an old man.
He will be slow getting up,
Very slow getting on his clothes.

He won't go out without a stick.
He won't come in without a hat on.

He will think rocks are sheep.
He will think the hens are geese.

He will think the moon is the sun.
He will think snow is sugar.
He will think the duck is a mouse.

I'd rather have a smart lad
That would lift me up and lay me down.

Iseabail


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

Abair gun robh beatha brùideil dha ar sinnsearan. Tha sgeulachd na h-Alba agus beatha nan riaghladairean làn de bhròn agus de bhrathadh. Tha cùisean beagan nas fheàrr an-diugh taing do shealbh!

Inspired by the brutal and tragic tale of Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan who crowned Robert the Bruce in 1306.

Chuir thu crùn hìll iu hìll ò
Air rìgh nan rìgh hìll ill ill ò
A bhana-ghaisgeach òg hìll iu hìll ò
A bhan-iarla chòir hìll a hoireann hò rò

Bh' agaibh ri hìll iu hìll ò
Lagh nam beus hìll ill ill ò
A chumail slàn hìll iu hìll ò
A Chlann 'ic Dhuibh hìll a hoireann hò rò

Chaidh do chreach hìll iu hìll ò
Chaidh do mhilleadh hìll ill ill ò
On thrèig an t-iarl' hìll iu hìll ò
Gun dìon no mòd hìll a hoireann hò rò

D' ìsleachadh hìll iu hìll ò
Do thaisbeanadh hìll ill ill ò
Mo mhallachd orra hìll iu hìll ò
A rinn do nàir' hìll a hoireann hò rò

Fad ochd bliadhn' hìll iu hìll ò
Am braighdeanas hìll ill ill ò
O càit an deach hìll iu hìll ò
Bean nam feart hìll a hoireann hò rò

Cuimhnichibh hìll iu hìll ò
An sgeul làn bròin hìll ill ill ò
Agus thig an latha hìll iu hìll ò
Far an èirich an leòmhann hìll a hoireann hò rò

You crowned
The king of kings
Strong heroine
Worthy countess

You had to
Keep
Your ethics intact
Clann MacDuff

You were ruined
You were destroyed
From the deception of the Earl
Without protection or court

Your humiliation
Your exhibition
My curses upon them
Who shamed you

For eight years
In captivity
O where did the
Powerful woman go

Remember
The sorrowful tale
And the day will come
When the lion will rise again

Fichead Aodan


Ceòl is Faclan / Music & Words: Brian Ó hEadhra

Bidh sinn uile a' fulaing le tinneas an dràsta is a-rithist; nar cuirp is nar n-inntinn. Gu fòrtanach, bidh barrachd dhaoine bruidhinn mu dheidhinn trom-inntinn agus am buaidh a tha e oirnn na làithean-sa.

For those who suffer from mental health issues; you are not alone.

Fichead aodann anns an sgàthan
A' dùrdanaich, a' dùrdanaich
Sùilean orm is mi air fàire
A h-uile latha a' lorg sìth

Iomadh guth a' bruidhinn gu sàmhach
Nam inntinn dhorch' is smuaintean trom’
Cùm gu rèidh am measg nan daoine
Na foillsich na tha a’ dol nad cheann

Daoine dùinte 's iad leth choma
Cùm do mhiann am broinn do chrìdh’
Dèan an danns’ sna reultan àrda
Leig mu sgaoil na smuaintean binn

Cà' bheil saorsa; cà' bheil càirdeas;
Càit an deach am balach òg?
A chluich gun dragh sna làithean geala
...Cuimhneachain a' tighinn bhon sgleò

Fanaidh mi gus ’n tig a' ghrian
Feuchaidh mi ri cumail beò;
Gus an uair sin bidh mi stòlda
Cuimhnich oirnn a tha sa cheò

Twenty Faces in the mirror
Murmuring, murmuring
Eyes upon me and I'm on guard
Everyday, everyday

Many voices speaking quietly
My mind dark; my thoughts heavy
Stay calm among the people
Don't reveal what's inside your head

Closed people and they half caring
Keep your wish inside your heart
Dance among the stars on high
Release the sweet thoughts

Where is freedom; where is friendship
Where did the young boy go
Who played without a care in those bright days
… Memories coming through the fog

I will wait until the sun comes
I will try to stay alive
Until then I will be still
Remember us in the mist