Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Woolly Gaelic Songs & Prayers

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Gaelic cultures are rich in traditional songs, prayers and blessings for daily tasks, from starting the morning fire, milking the cow, churning the butter, harvesting the crops, and putting the fire out at night. So rich in fact that there is even a collection of these songs recorded in Gaelic Songs of Scotland: Women at Work in the Western Isles.

This is a practice that I have adopted and adapted into my daily routine, which I find does make work a lot more pleasant and my actions more meaningful {I talk about this a bit more here}. While I don't have sheep, nor do I spin, weave or knit, I do find the songs and prayers associated with these activities particularly lovely.
The Carmina Gadelica {Vol. I} has a great selection of blessings two of which I will share below:
 Am Beannachd Lombaidh
Falbh lom ’s thig molach,
Beir am boirionn Bealltain,
Bride mhin a bhi dha d’ chonaill,
Moire gheal dha t’ aurais,
Moire gheal dha t’ aurais.
Micheal mil a bhi dha d’ dhion
Bho ’n mhi-chu is bho ’n an-chu,
Bho ’n mhac-tir ’s bho ’n mhadhan stig,
’S bho ianaibh ineach call-ghob,
Bho ianaibh ineach cam-ghob.
The Clipping Blessing
Go shorn and come woolly,
Bear the Beltane female lamb,
Be the lovely Bride thee endowing,
And the fair Mary thee sustaining,
The fair Mary sustaining thee.
Michael the chief be shielding thee
From the evil dog and from the fox,
From the wolf and from the sly bear,
And from the taloned birds of destructive bills,
From the taloned birds of hooked bills.
Coisrigeadh An Aodaich
Is math a ghabhas mi mo rann,
A teurnadh le gleann;
Aon rann,
Da rann,
Tri rann,
Ceithir rann,
Coig rann,
Sia rann,
Seachd rann,
Seachd gu lath rann
Seachd gu lath rann.
Nar a gonar fear an eididh,
Nar a reubar e gu brath,
Cian theid e ’n cath no ’n comhrag,
Sgiath chomarach an Domhnach da,
Can theid e ’n cath no ’n comhrag,
Sgiath chomarach an Domhnach da.
Chan ath-aodach seo, ’s chan fhaoigh e,
’S cha chuid cleir no sagairt e.
Biolair uaine ga buain fo
’S air a toir do mhnai gun fhiosd;
Lurg an fheidh an ceann an sgadain,
’S an caol chalp a bhradain bhric.
The Consecration of the Cloth
Well can I say my rune,
Descending with the glen;
One rune,
Two runes,
Three runes,
Four runes,
Five runes,
Six runes.
Seven runes,
Seven and a half runes,
Seven and a half runes.
May the man of this clothing never be wounded,
May torn he never be;
What time he goes into battle or combat,
May the sanctuary shield of the Lord be his.
What time he goes into battle or combat,
May the sanctuary shield of the Lord be his.
This is not second clothing and it is not thigged,
Nor is it the right of sacristan or of priest.
Cresses green culled beneath a stone,
And given to a woman in secret.
The shank of the deer in the head of the herring,
And in the slender tail of the speckled salmon.
You can see more relevant prayers and songs in the Carmina Gadelica {Vol I} online for free.
Since the uploader has disabled embedding, here are some links to some videos on Youtube of some traditional songs and the singers in action: A Gaelic Waulking Song & A Gaelic Spinning Song.

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