Cungaidhean Leighis

by Corvid, K-Rec

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about

This EP is the result of a long and painful process...
By this I don't mean learning Gaelic of course, as this was, is, and will always be one of the great and untarnished joys of my life. I am talking about the painful process of abdominal hernia, which I received while defending my wife and dog from a pit bull,which I lifted and threw bodily about ten feet away from us (to no harm whatsoever to the dog...).
During the first two weeks of bedridden boredom I wrote the first draft of Cù Uladh, which I sent to my friend and mentor Padraig MacAoidh for proofreading (ceud taing airson do chuideachadh a charaid!). The other tracks and translations slowly emerged over the next six months, and the recording process was interspersed with hernia surgery, family tragedy, and general life stresses, all of which inspired the title of the project. ''Cungaidhean Leighis'' roughly translates to English as ''medication'', but is perhaps better rendered by the Latin equivalent ''materia medica'', as in the ''materials of healing''. I firmly believe that the Gaelic language is imbued with healing - just as the act of learning a new language has benefits to cognitive function, the learning of one's ancestors' language has been show to have real health benefits in other endangered language communities.

I had the idea of writing Gaelic rap tracks about specific characters and events in history and mythology as a way to express the richness of seanchas, a source of lore to rival any tradition on earth, a wellspring of hope and inspiration to the children of the Gael and to all of the human family equally. The Gaelic language has always been a vehicle for transmitting deep cultural knowledge, hard won through generations of bitter experience, so why not use Hip Hop as a medium to bring this wisdom into the present? I have practiced the art of MCing for some time now, and the challenge of writing in Gaelic has preoccupied me for the last 5 years. It has been pleasantly met with the realization that Gaelic is ideally suited to the Bardic art, of course, and that complex rhyme schemes and brilliant runs of alliteration are actually easier than in English. To that end, the English translations came much later, and while faithful to the cadence and content of the original Gaelic, are also poetic works in their own right...with a few easter eggs that only the Gaels will get! I figured it would be easier for people to hear the same track in both tongues rather than read a dry translation. Sin mar a tha e.

I will say right now that I am not and will never be a native speaker, that I am only a diligent learner. There are mistakes galore in my words and my blas. I admit that I have warped Gaelic to my own ends, and my only excuse is that I am constantly learning and open to feedback. That being said, please hear this work as art first and foremost. Do not send me a detailed list of my errors and expect me to re-record. As a student of all Celtic languages I am the master of none.

I draw great inspiration from the life and work of the Irish poet Seán O'Riordáin - also an adult learner, whose bold experiments in Modern Irish were censured by many, but which earned him the moniker of ''the Gaelic James Joyce'', Joyce himself being another great hero of mine. And by the way, have you heard what rap actually sounds like now? English is mangled and twisted a million different ways every day. As distant as any form of Common Gaelic may be to the many and diverse communities of native speakers, I hold to the essential unity of all the Gaelic languages, and the deeper unity of all Celtic tongues. In future I hope to re-record some of these tracks in Irish and Welsh too, but all in good time. Hopefully my work is at least as interesting as the spirals on a Pictish stone, the gravelly obscurity of a distant and lost cousin, whose dialect is only as unintelligible as the journey of many thousands of miles would make it...

Tha mi 'n dòchas gun còrdaidh e ruibh,
Mar sin leibh an-dràsda,
Corvid.

credits

released June 12, 2017

CORVID AKA Dàibhidh MacGhilleChaluim - faclan, guth, giotar/
words, voice, guitar

DJ K-REC AKA Kent Stephany - beats, scratches, production/
gach rud eile

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Corvid Vancouver, British Columbia

An avid student of Celtic music and culture since birth, David James McCallum has hitch-hiked coast to coast and to the Yukon and back (twice). The son of a long line of gifted singers, poets, preachers and scholars, Corvid has honed his lyrical craft over two decades of travel and study. A proud father, and medicinal cannabis provider, Corvid currently resides in East Van. ... more

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Track Name: Seathrún Céiteann
Tha mi cha mhòr a caill mo ghuth
ach 'sa Ghàidhlig àmhain
tha mi nam aonaranach 'san uaimh
le m' thaic faisg air làimh

'S cho falaichte nan dorchadas
gun choinneal gun t-sòlais
ach pàipear, ite nan fhithich
's m' eòlas ,

tha droch-shluagh nan Chrombail,
air m' ionnsaidh fad an t-saoghal
ach bidh tuaithean nan ard-Ghàidheil
nam thaiceil mar is dual

mar is còir leis na h-Èireannaich
bho rìgh-chathair gu chumhail
eisgear gu tuathanaich
pèiste gu mhanaich mhaoil

chan eil geas orm no piseòg
ach feumaidh mi greasad orm
a' sgrìobhadh fad na h-oidhche
litreach beag, duilleag làn

bhon thùs, mus tig ar slànuighear
bha daoine ann cho dàna
nach robh iad nan Crìosdaidhean
ach bha iad fhathast airidh

's luachmhor 'son aithne air
cliùiteach's ainmeil
ar sinnsirean glòrmhor,
brosnachail coibhneil

air a' thoiseach gu grinnmhor
a' sàbaid cho fuilteach
a’ caill cho brònach
no 'g buadhach gu buileach

SÈIST
FORAS FEASA NA H-ÈIREANN
STÉIDH EÒLAIS ÈIREANNAICH
AIR A SGRÌOBHADH LE CLÈIRICH
SAN UAIMH FHALAICHTE
NUAIR A BHA AN CROMAILAICH
A LORG A H-UILE SAOI
AIRSON A MHARBHADH
AIR SGÀTH'S AN EUDACHD AIR AR SLIGHE

Bho shìol Eireamhain,
gu ard-shlighe Bhriain an Rìgh
a' cur fògradh air an Gallaibh
leis a shabaid 's strì

air am marbhadh as deidh CluanTarbh
bho làimh a' nàmhaid
's Tuirgeis, a' cuir a' bhean
na suidhe air an altair

eaglais mhòr Ard Mhacha
airson faidheadaireachd,
a thoirt ri na Lochlannaich
's Èirinn fo smachd

ach fo Dhia cuideachd
brònach 's tuirseach
le toll gort nar cridhean
ach dòchasach

airson ar saoirse bhuannachadh
Gàidheil 's Cruithnich
bho pàiste beag gu saoi
cailleag gu laochan cruaidh

mallachdan air an t-sluaigh
a bhios nar n-aghaidh, cho luaithe
leis a bhrèith mar aingeal Dhè
a' cuir dìol air an t-saoghal

Maelseachlainn, a cheann mhaol
a' milleadh bho Chuige Uladh
gu Laighin san taobh dheas
a' dòrtadh mòran fhuil

a dhroch-sgeul cho truaighe
chan fhaca a' choltas riamh
ach bidh e buileach nas miosa
ann an àm sa tighinn!

SÈIST
Ogigia, Èireamhain
Partholon, Nèimheadh
Fenius Farsaidh, gu àm
a' Chlann Mìleadh

Labhraidh Loingseach
leis a' chluasan mar asail
Daithí, Rìgh Chonnacht
air a dhàn fhèin thaisgeal

air a losgadh san Eilbheis
air a' chladach Loch Ghenève
fhaighinn a dhroch-bhrèith
bho fìor dhealain Dhè

agus os cionn cach
Naomh Calum Cille caomh
a' seasamh mar laochan
no mar fitheach air a' chraobh

a' chomhairle ri Bruide
àrd Rìgh nan Cruithneach
's Brochan bochd a' dhraoidh
leis a thràilleag Ultach

cha robh faobhar stàilinn a chaoidh
cho geur mar inntinn naomh
am fir neartach maol
ainm bàisteach Criomthann O'Cúinn

an t-soisgeul air a ghiùlan
beannachd air na truaillean
fad 's farsaing Cruithean-Tuaith
am manach craicte ruadh

a' chànan cho luath
cha b' urrainn dhan t-sluagh
a bhi gu buileach ga thuigsinn
ach bha iad fhathast air am buainn
Track Name: Cù Uladh
Mar a thuirt iad: "A Chù Chulainn,
chan eil feusag air d' aodann
Dè tha thu a' smaointinn
a bhi cho dàna ri laochain?

Tha thu saoitheamh, a ghille chaoimh
'S tha do namhaid air do chùlaibh
A' Mhorrigan 's a' Bhadhbh
'S thusa cho fhada bho naomh"

(Cù Chulainn)
"Dè tharraing thusa às do bheul?
A bheil thu as do chiall?
Cha robh sinn roimhe fo smachd,
'S cha bhi sinn gu bràth nar triall!

'S e bràthair mo mhàthair
An Rìgh, ainm Conchobhar,
'S 's e athair an draoidh Cathbhadh
'S tha e air mo bheannachadh

Tha Banrìghinn bòstach a' tighinn
airson ar creachadh 's toradh
An Donn Cuailgne a ghòid
'S ar dream a mharbhadh

Tha mi air mo sharachadh,
leis an amaideachd seo,
ma tha tha sibh eòlach orm-sa
thallaibh a-mach às mo rathad!

(arsa Laoch) "A thighearna chaoimh,
air do shocair 's na gabh dragh
tha do charbadan deiseil
airson ar nàimhdean a mhilleadh

's an cinn a bhuain
am mionnaich a sprùilleadh
eanchainn a phronnadh
ann am beagan bhuille

Feuch! Tha creachadh's toradh
a' feitheamh airson ar teachd
's leam-sa, gad fhrithealadh,
cha chreid mi nach cuir sinn ri làimh,

'S nuair am faigh sinn làimh an uachdar,
air an sluagh seo cho lùthmhor
bidh duais ort cho luachmhor...
Eimher Bhàn 's a gràdh ort. "

(Cù Chulainn)
('s ars am fear...) Na can còrr!
's cum sùil air an rathad
tha sinn 'g itealaich thar a' mhachair
's bidh sinn ann.. Thoir an aire!

bha e faisg! O, a ghaisgich òig
sin e am fìor bheatha
ag ionnsachadh ar buaidhean
's ar nàimh ag faobhar a' chlaidheamh

tha ar nàbaidhean nar nàimhdean
cho fhad's a bhi iad gràineil
's bidh mì-rùn mòr nan Gall
mar dìleab air an cloinne

'S e Cruithnich a th' annainn
Fireannaich nam fìor-Ulaidh
Boireannaich bòidhche's cruaidhe
pàistean dàna's luaithe

laochain cho biorach 's geur
mar inntinn nan draoidh
ar sinnsirean caomh
a' toirt seanchas ris na saoidhean

co-dhiù cha chreid mi nach eil sinn
air beulaibh chinn armailt Mhedhbh
tha an t-àm ann an-dràsta
ma bhios ruadh 'sa chraoibh!

SÈIST
Dè tharraing thusa às do bheul?
A bheil thu as do chiall?
Cha robh sinn roimhe fo smachd,
'S cha bhi sinn gu bràth nar tràill!

'S e bràthair mo mhàthair
An Rìgh, ainm Conchobhar,
'S 's e athair an draoidh Cathbhadh
'S tha e air mo bheannachadh

(Luchd-Chàinidhean)
"A Mhac Shualdaim tha thu ann
airson a thoirt seachad
a' bhlàr, chogadh, shabaid
an aghaidh ar tàin 's creachadh

ach, cò thusa san fhìrinn?
nach eil thu nad dhìlleachdan?
air daltadh le Sualdaim
airson onair a' bhanrìghinn?

tha beul-aithris a' tighinn
bho gach clachan fo ghrian
gu bheil do mhàthair ro chridheil
air gach coigrich 's dìlleach..."

(Cù Chulainn)
"Ach, feuch a-nis, tha mi an seo
's rinn mi an gnothach ort
do cheann air a chailleadh
's mo shleagh tro do chorp!

'S, ma tha uidh agad fhathast
a bhi eòlach air mo dhream
tha m' athair na sheanndhia
's e Lugh Saimhildànach ainm!

SÈIST

(Luchd-Chàinidhean)
"Carson a tha do shluagh
ri fois a ghabhail, tùrsach
's brònach leis a' chràdh
cho goirt ann am muineal?

nach robh sibh cho cruaidh
a bhi an aghaidh ar sluaigh
ach a-nis, a' chràdh thruaighe
am bidh sibh a' gluiseachd?
cha bhi!

chuala sinn, bho beul-aithris
gu bheil sibh fo mhallachd
as-dèidh fharpais charbadan
far an do chaill sibh

ris a' bhan-dia Mhacha
air sgàth's gun robh 'n duine aice
ag ràdh, gu bheil a' bhean
nas luaithe a casan chleachdadh

nan sgioba mòr eachaibh
na Rìgh Conchobhar creachadh
nuair a bha Cruinniuc na mhisg,
bha teanga'n amadain theachd!

's mar a bha e a' gàireachdainn
cha robh 'n Rìgh a' faireachdainn
tròcair sam bith air
a' dhearg amadan

(Conchobhar)
' s thuirt e "thallaibh a-mach
's rannsachaibh a' ghleann
's thoir dhomh am boirionnach"
(Cruinniuc)
"ach tha i trom le leanaibh!

guidheam ort a thighearna mhòr
tha an droch-nàire orm
faodaidh sibh mi 'cur gu bàs
ach leigeabh mo bhean a bhith saor

tha dà phàiste na bronn
's iad fo gheasa cho trom
bidh do shlighe a' cromadh
leis a' phiann cho brònach

nuair a bhios sibh nur n-èiginn
bidh cràdh oirbh gun teagamh
bidh ur cloinne gur faicinn
gun neart sam bith agaibh

bidh ur creach sa thàinig
aig an t-àm as miosa
nuair am bidh sibh air ruighinn
an àite fo gheasa

Ars a' rìgh:
(Conchobhar)
"Dùn do dhroch-bheul an-dràsta
agus thall amach!
Cuiridh mi thusa gu bàs,
a bheil thu craicte?!

Nach eil thu eòlach ormsa?
Amadain gòrach,
seo làimh an Rìgh, a cuir
mallachd ortsa!

A bhalgair bhoirb,
a chealgair uaibhrich
bidh dàn ainmeil
air do cheann cho truaillich

do mhionnaich a sprùilleadh
eanchainn a phronnadh
ann am beagan bhuille
airson cluicheadh a' bhaotharan

ach cò thusa san fhìrinn
agus do dhroch-bhean?
smaoinich thu gum b' i ban-dia a bh' innte?"
o mo chreach!"

SÈIST
Track Name: Rìgh Seumas 's an Diabhal
Tha naidheachd bho Alba
'S chan urrainn dhuinn a bhi coma
a Thighearna cho dàna
am b' urrainn dhomh a bhi calma?

le mo fhreagairt ri Phàrlamaid
mu dheidhinn ar ro-innleachdan
airson a bhi dìcheallach
's diadhach ler inntinnean

ach tha mi aindeònach
am facal a ràdh, oir
nuair a bhios sibh air an t-ainm
a' ràdh , thig e a-steach

's bidh an deamhan as miosa
am fear le mhnaoi fo smachd
a' ghabhail tlachd bho a h-aire
's a cleachdadh bhuidseachd

SÈIST
CHAN ANN DO SHÌOL ADHAMH SINN
'S CHAN E ABRAHAM AR N-ATHAIR
ACH THA SINN DE MHUINNTIR 'N ATHAIR UAIBHRICH
CHAIDH FHUADACH AS A FHLAITHEAS

Gheibh Baobh a guidhe
ged nach fhaigh a h-anam tròcair
ìobairtean loisgte
's an Riabhach air a shocair

cho creachadh, 's dòcha
Gum bi 'n t-eagal a thogail
Teine mòr nach bu chòir
Duine sam bith a rostadh

Leis an cridhean cho reòite
No mar pìos beag mòine
Air a losgadh leis an teasachadh
An eudachd a' sroiceadh

Aodainn òga lan bòidhchead
Ach a-nis grannda, dorcha
Le crannchur an t-saoghal bhochd
A' tionndadh mar cuithle rothair

'S e gairm an t-sluagh
'S cha mhòr gum bhodhradh an fhuaim
Ag iarraidh bana-bhuidsich
Airson dòrtadh a fuil

Cho doirbh a tilleadh
Ri sàbhachas as dèidh sin
Bidh sibh fiadhach le fearg
'S feargach gun thuigsinn

Tha Rìgh Seumas a' chomhairle
Ri luchd-chomhairlich droch-inntinnich
A chàirdean ri a bhrosnachadh
Gun dòighean gun tàmh no sìth

'S chan e doirbh a chì
Chan eil ar Dia le rìgh,
Cho gun nàire,
Chan eil dùbhlan sam bith, air a shlighe…

SÈIST

Tha an Rìgh air a chuir roimhe
Gum bidh èigheachd air dòighean
gus dearbhadh deimhinnte
'S i bana-bhuidseach nam boireannach

Le acfhuinn oillteach
iaruinn, sgoltadh
Geur 's spìocach
'S dìreach gun tròcair

Airson adhbhar mì-mhòiteil
Gun cead bhon t-soisgeul
An canar gum biodh sinn
Nas diadhaiche nan Abstoil?

No mar dheamhan dhamaichte
Freumhan adhbharachadh
Crìonadh sòisealta,
'S ar breugan a' brùidealachd

Am Bìoball a' tionndadh
Ri leabhar neo-shunndach
Eadar-theangachadh cliùteach
Làn buidseachd 's draoidheachd

Gann de cheartas 's dùthchas
Sa Bheurla ghrannda 's bhrùideil
Mar cuing air am muineal
Daimh ghòraich slaodaich

Dìreach as-deidh an caochladh
Sprèidh cho tursach
Bidh dàn eu-dòchasach
'S am breitheanas mhurt

An tèid sinn chùirte?
Ri taobh tuaitheil gun fheum gun bheartas
Nar aonaranaich
Chaidh fhuadach a fhlaitheas?