----- Original Message -----
From: Jonas Holmqvist <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, July 16, 1999 8:21 PM
Subject: Cànan nan Gaidheal
I'm sorry I can't wirte this letter in Scottish Gaelic, but I hope you will
accept Irish Gaelic as well. I found the song Cànan nan Gaidheal with Dan ar
Braz and another version by Murdo MacFarlane. I know, of course, that Murdo
MacFarlane is the man who made the song, but there's a great difference
between them. I think the Dan ar Braz (or Karen Matheson) version is further
away from Irish, perhaps there's a northern accent in it, but Murdo
MacFarlane was from Lewis, wasn't he, and his version should be further
away. Can you help me?
The differences betwen the two versions are mostly minor spelling
differences, which are not surprising since Scots Gaelic spelling is not
standardised. If you had the version that Na h-O\ganaich sang in the early
70s (I gues they got it direct from Murdo, as the words weren't in print
until 1975) and the version published in 1975(approx) in Gairm, and the
version in Murdo's papers left to An Comunn in Lewis, you'd find much bigger
However, there are a couple of very off things in the Dan ar Braz version
Nuair ch́thear fear-feilidh sa ghleann,
Bu chinnteach gur Gàidhlig a chainnt,
This is nonsense - the tense sequence is rubbish. Chithear is future (or
present habitual), bu is past. Chite in place of chitheadh makes sense (and
the it should obviouls ne uair, not nuair - once, not when). I don't think
this bad Gaelic makes it any closer to Irish (it would be just as bad in
Nuair sṕon iad a fhreumh as an fhonn
An àite gàidhlig tha cànan a' Ghoill
Again the tense sequence is wrong if you use "Nuair", since you are
coordinating spion (past) with tha (present); change it to ach, and it's a
reasonable tense sequence (if I were trying to make an Irish version, I
would write "do" in place of "ach", not "nuair" which surely makes no more
sense in Irish than in Scots).
Lasaibh suas iad an sẹmair a' bhṛin
Taigh-aire e seann chànain a' Ghàidheil,"
I prefer the original. Why do you think this rather odd construction is
more like Irish?
'G iathadh nan Eileanan Siar
'G iathadh? Eating??? what on earth is that supposed to mean?