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Oran (Song)

August 31, 2012

An cluinn thu, Iain?

An cluinn, an cluinn, an cluinn thu Iain?  (Ahn CLOO-in, ahn CLOO-in, ahn CLOO-in oo EE-in) Do you hear, do you hear do you hear, Iain?

An cluinn, an cluinn, an cluinn thu Iain? 

An cluinn, an cluinn, an cluinn thu Iain? 

Tha chuthag ‘s a’ choill ‘s an oidhche tighinn, o tha (Tha CHOO-uks ah CHOH-ils uhn OY-ee-chuh CHEE-in oh tha) The cuckoo is in the wood and the night is coming, o yes.

A few words:

  • cuthag (KOO-uk) cuckoo
  • coill (KOH-il)
  • oidhche (OY-ee-chuh)
  •  tighinn (CHEE-in) coming

Notice that cuthag and coil are different as vocabulary words than they appear in the song.  This is due to lenition, discussed in previous lessons.  Certain words ‘lenite,’ depending on grammatical usage, meaning the H is added.  This H, when added after a C, changes the pronunciation from a hard K to the ch back in the throat, as in the German ich.

The complete song can be found at Omniglot, along with a wonderful selection of Scottish music, all translated and with links to listen.

You can listen to a piece of the actual song at Tobar an Dualchais.  Or you can hear Mary Jane Lamond sing another song with the same phrase at youtube, below.  Notice the two singers pronounce cluinn very differently.

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