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Songs of Gaelic Scotland [Paperback]

Anne Lorne Gillies
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 1 2010
Gaelic Scotland is one of the world's great treasure-houses of song. In this anthology, Anne Lorne Gillies has gathered together music and lyrics from all over the Gaelic-speaking Highlands and Islands—an extraordinary tradition that stretches in an unbroken line from the bardic effusions of ancient times to the Celtic fusions of today's vibrant young Gaelic musicians and poets. They paint vivid pictures of life among ordinary Gaelic-speaking people, their hopes, fears and preoccupations, births, deaths and marriages, and personal reactions to the great changes that blew their lives about. Everything about this book is designed to make the songs accessible to musicians and general readers alike. Anne Lorne Gillies provides a unique and informative introduction to Gaelic tradition, simple yet highly sensitive musical transcriptions, and English translations. She portrays the social and historical background of the songs, offers her own commentary on technical aspects of the music and its performance, and adds carefully researched biographical notes and a full discography in order to bring to life not only the people who composed the songs but also some of the singers and musicians who have continued the tradition into the twenty-first century. Songs of Gaelic Scotland was winner of the 2006 Ruth Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize in Folklore and Folklife.

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Review

'Unique . . . a truly wonderful achievement' (Scots Magazine)

'Beautiful and full of substance' (West Highlands Free Press)

'Remarkable . . . both scholarly and entertaining' (Am Bratach)

About the Author

Dr Anne Lorne Gillies is one of the best known figures in Scottish life today. She has sung in concerts, theatres, festivals and recording studios throughout the world, and on many TV and radio series which were broadcast throughout the UK during the 1970s and 1980s, until her time was increasingly devoted to the establishment of Gaelic-medium education—as patron of the Gaelic Playgroup Association, national education officer for Comann na Gaidhlig and Gaelic lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. She now devotes a great deal of time to writing and producing multi-media Gaelic resources. For many years she was Gaelic-singing tutor at the University of Stirling Heritage of Scotland Summer Schools, passing on hundreds of songs to her students, several of whom have gone on to have distinguished singing careers of their own.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaelic Flute Music Aug. 17 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A well put together and documented book of Gaelic songs, much more than I expected. The side annotations are so true and enjoyable to read. It is also true that knowing the rhythm of the words helps to understand the nuances of playing the tunes. A must to have song book for those that enjoy the soul of Gaelic music. As the melody is sometimes in rhythm of the words, the voice part is needed for some tunes to support the music compliment.

Solo piper and flute player
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great value: a book to cherish for a lifetime and more! July 29 2007
By Richard Munro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There is quite literally a lifetime of enjoyment in this book for lovers of Scotland, poetry, history and Gaelic song.
Those of us who love the Gaelic in these far shores of America and other places certainly are exiles to some degree but also custodians of what we consider a sacred relic and an essential part of our splendid ancient heritage such as the MIST-COVERED MOUNTAINS (played at JFK's funeral)

So here are some songs of YOUNG HEROES ( òglach):
Tha mi'n dùil, tha mi'n dùil I expect, I expect
Tha mi'n dùil-sa bhith tilleadh I expect to return
Dh'ionnsaigh Dùthaich MhicLèoid To the land of Macleod
Far an òg robh mi mire Where I played when I was young

Fhuair sinn litrichean o'n rìgh We got the letters from the king
Gus sinn fhìn dhèanamh ullamh So that we could prepare
Los a dhol a-null do'n Fhraing To go over to France
A chur braing 'san fhear-mhillidh To upset the destroyer (Boney; Napoleon though in another context it could be Hitler as well)

Nuair a chuir iad sinn air tìr When they put us ashore
A-measg shìobain is murain Among the waves and the sea-bent
Thug sinn batal air an tràigh We fought a battle on the beach
'S gun d'rinn pàirt againn fuireach And some of us remained

Fhir a dh'imicheas do'n Iar You who travel to the West
Ged robh bliadhna mun ruig thu Though it were a year before you arrive
Thoir an t-soiridh seo do m'ghràdh Bring this greeting to my loved one
"Ma is slàn mi gun tig mi" "If I am alive, I will come"

Tha mi'n dùil, tha mi'n dùil I expect, I expect
Tha mi'n dùil-sa bhith tilleadh I expect to return
Dh'ionnsaigh Dùthaich MhicLèoid To the land of Macleod
Far an òg robh mi mire Where I played when I was young

It is interesting to compare the tone of the old Highland song to this more modern Scots variation by Roddy MacMillan which is quite powerful.
I Will Go

Chorus

I will go, I will go
When the fighting is over
Tae the land o' MacLeod
That I left to be a soldier
I will go, I will go

When the King's son came along
And called us all together
Sayin', Brave Highland men
Will you fight for my father?
I will go, I will go

Chorus

I will go, I will go
When the fighting is over
Tae the land o' MacLeod
That I left to be a soldier
I will go, I will go

I've a buckle on my belt
A sword in my scabbard
A red coat on my back
And a shillin' in my pocket
I will go, I will go

Chorus

I will go, I will go
When the fighting is over
Tae the land o' MacLeod
That I left to be a soldier
I will go, I will go

When they brought us all on board
The lasses were singin'
But the tears came to their eyes
When the bells started ringin'
I will go, I will go

Chorus

I will go, I will go
When the fighting is over
Tae the land o' MacLeod
That I left to be a soldier
I will go, I will go

When we landed on the shore
And saw the foreign heather
We knew that some would fall
And would lie there forever
I will go, I will go

Chorus

I will go, I will go
When the fighting is over
Tae the land o' MacLeod
That I left to be a soldier
I will go, I will go

When we came back to the glen
The winter was coming
Our goods lay in the snow
And our houses were burnin'
I will go... I will go

Chorus

I will go, I will go
When the fighting is over
Tae the land o' MacLeod
That I left to be a soldier
I will go, I will go
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful resource - very detailed and beautifully July 28 2014
By aileesh moriarty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
wonderful resource - very detailed and beautifully presented
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining March 5 2013
By schlimmerkerl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For the trad music crowd, you would be hard-put to do better. Plenty to keep you busy reading, researching, and playing. The large format doesn't hurt either.
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