Wednesday, May 05, 2010

'Mo Ghile Mear' and 'Will Ye No' Come Back Again'

More information on "Mo Ghile Mear," the Irish Gaelic song about the 1745 Jacobite rising, aka Bonnie Prince Charlie, I discovered last week as recorded by the Chieftans - backing English rock artist Sting - and a group of Gaelic-language singers on a BBC show.

Another performance, by Jimmy Crowley, traditional singer-songwriter of Co. Cork, and others in a show dedicated to the memory of Michéal O Domhnaill of the Bothy Band... apparently filmed from the audience (with a mobile phone?) at Vicar Street in Dublin:

Joining on the chorus, according to a comment on the YouTube clip, were Moya Brennan, Mary Black, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill.

And a good bit of information about "Mo Ghile Mear" and its very closely related Scots cognate "Will Ye No' Come Back Again" in Andrew Kuntz' Fiddler's Companion. First "Mo Ghile Mear" ...
MO GILE MEAR (My Nimble Lad/My Spirited Lad). AKA – "Ó, Mo Laoch, Mo Ghile Mear," "Seal do Bhíos im' Mhaighdin Shéimh,” "De bharr na gCnoc 's i nImigéin," "Air Bharr na G-Cnoc 's an Ime G-Céin.” AKA and see “Will Ye No’ Come Back Again?” Irish, Slow March or Air (4/4 time). Ireland, West Kerry. G Major. Standard tuning. One part (Ó Canainn): AB (Mac Amhlaoibh & Durham, Tubridy, Vallely). A Jacobite song originally composed by Seán Clárach Mac Dónaill (1691-1754), in which Eire laments her love, Bonnie Prince Charlie Stuart, then in exile. It has been called “one of the most powerful lamentations of the 17th century,” and while it is usually rendered by a male voice in a martial fashion, it is in fact a woman's lament for her love, a war hero, who was killed in battle. The verses have been reworked in the folk process and there is a modern chorus to the song. As "Air Bharr na G-Cnoc 's an Ime G-Céin” it appears in Edward Walsh’s Irish Popular Songs (Dublin, 1847).

[Lyrics omitted.]

The tune was played at the funeral of Seán Ó Riada, when he was buried in the little church in Cúil Aodha on October 3rd, 1971. Ó Riada is credited with helping to revitalize Irish traditional music in the mid-20th century and was founder of Ceoltóirí Cualann, the group out of which developed the Chieftains. Some hear similarities between this tune and the reel “Silver Spear.”
And here's Kuntz' writeup of "Will Ye No' Come Back Again?" ...
WILL YE NO' COME BACK AGAIN? AKA and see "Bonnie Charlie's Gone/Noo Awa'." Scottish, Air (4/4 time). F Major (Neil): A Major (Sweet). Standard tuning. AB (Neil): AA'B (Sweet). The song by Lady (Baroness) Nairne (1766-1845), born Carolina Oliphant, to the tune by Neil Gow Junior (1795-1823), the famous Scots fiddler Niel Gow's namesake and grandson, refers to the exiled Bonnie Prince Charlie and reflects her Jacobite upbringing and "is considered to be among the last of the earnest and spontaneous Jacobite songs" (Neil, 1991). The tune is the same as that of the song “Mo Gile Mear.”

1 comment:

珮均 said...