Hé mandu (SSAA)

Music: Peter Hill. Words: Trad. Anon
performance time approx 1m 45s
Traditional Gaelic words and tune, arranged for soprano and alto chorus with soprano/alto soli
Price code: A
Complexity: **

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Hear a synthesized rendering
This piece is based on a traditional Gaelic waulking song - a highly rhythmic song mainly performed by women, that would accompany the waulking (beating and finishing, or fulling) of woollen cloth. The performance should have a heavy, steady, stamping quality.
Traditionally, waulking songs and other Gaelic puirt-a-beul (mouth music) songs would have been sung unaccompanied and in unison but they are great to arrange for chorus. Frequently they are sung in sequences of three or four, each song leading without a break into the next. Hé mandu works well as the third song in the following set of three: Bodachan ar-i-ar-o; Na'm biodh trì sgillinn agam; Hé mandu (all published by Canasg).
A recording (of the SATB version) by Rudsambee company of singers is available on their album bottled at source (RUBEECD003).

Pronunciation guide included An SATB version is also available.


Hé mandu

Hé mandu
'S truagh nach tigeadh
siud gam' iarraidh
gille 's litir
each is diollaid
Hé mandu hì ri oró hó ro hù o
'S mise dh'fhalbhadh
null thar sàile
le mo leannan
's cha bhiodh dàil ann
Nam biodh agam
sgiath a'ghlaisein
iteag an eòin
spòg na lachainn
Shnàmhainn na caoil
air an tarsainn
An cuan Ileach
's an caol Arcach
Rachainn a-steach
chun a' chaisteil
's bheirinn a-mach
as mo leannan
traditional Gaelic song

It's a pity that what I want isn't on its way - a lad and a letter, a horse and a saddle.
I would go across the sea with my lover, without delay.
If I had the wing of a finch, the flight of a bird, the webbed foot of a duck,
I would swim the narrows, right across the Sound of Islay and the Orkney Sound.
I would go out into the castle and bring out my lover.
Canasg editors

Full pronunciation guide provided

Purchase – 1516: Hé mandu (SSAA)

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