Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2016: Celebrating 30 Years of sending Scottish Music Worldwide.

cover image for Bannal - Waulking Songs
February 1995
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19 tracks: Bhean Ud Thall * Gu De Th’ Orr’ Aire * S Muladach Mi’s Air Aineol * S I Tir Mo Ruin Sa Ghaidheallacha * He Mandu * Latha Dhomh’s Mi ‘M Beinn A’ Cheathaich * Dh’eirich Moch Maduinn Cheitein * Beir Soiridh Soiridh Bhuam * Thug Mi ‘N Oidhche Ge B’fhad I * Chan Eil Mi Gun Mhulad Orm * Clo Mhiclllemhicheil * Gura Mi Tha Trom Duilich * Chunnaic Mise ‘N T Og Uasal * Mile Marbhphaisg Air A’ Ghaol * Mhurchaidh Bhig * He Mo Leannan Ho Mo Leannan * Mo Nighean Donn Ho Gu * Chaidh Mi ‘Na Ghleannan As T Foghar * An Long Eireannach.

A waulking song group comprising well-known Gaelic singers Kenna Campbell, Catherine Fletcher, Christine Grant, Wilma Kennedy, Mairi MacArthur, Chrissie MacInnes, Maeve MacKinnon and Mary C MacLean.

In the islands off Scotland where wool clothing was traditionally made for many centuries, the process of working the wool into an airtight weave was a communal event, done by women.

When tweed is made, it needs to be fulled to increase its ability to keep out the wind. The word ‘waulking’ is a Scots word from the 14th century meaning the same as ‘full’ in English. The waulking process not only fulls the tweed but also shrinks it slightly. Waulking is a process of repeatedly beating the cloth to full it and prepare it for use.

The music - ‘orain luaidh’ - associated with this labour contains vivid and intimate personal poetry, mostly the composition of women. It is a system of rhythmic choral responses intertwined with Gaelic verses, pounded to the time of the wool being moved around the waulking board, where these women sat for hours working the tweed.

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