Bannal: Bho Dòrn gu Dòrn
Bho Dòrn gu Dòrn features newly-recorded traditional waulking songs with a CD on one side, and a DVD on the other
A DualDisc is a revolutionary new product which is a CD on one side, and a DVD on the other. The CD side of this Bannal release - Bho Dòrn gu Dòrn - features newly-recorded traditional waulking songs, but since the art is a very visual one, we have included a 30-minute DVD on the flip side, featuring a documentary, originally made by MacTV, and Mòr Media and Frato Productions for the BBC, with funding from Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig. So now you can listen to the waulking songs as usual on CD, and if you want to see how it is done, load the DualDsc into your computer or DVD player and enjoy the spectacle that is a real waulking.
In her introduction to the DualDisc, Morag Macleod, formerly of the School of Scottish Studies, says: "The popularity of waulking songs has increased tremendously since the genre came to attention through the singing of Flora MacNeil and the publications of the School of Scottish Studies. Although it is hard to believe, it is nearly ten years since the first CD of waulking songs by Bannal appeared from Greentrax. A second is very welcome. Catherine Fletcher and the much younger Chrissie Martin are much missed, of course, but the personnel has not changed fundamentally otherwise, and for a disparate group of busy women to have worked together like this for teens of years is no mean achievement. Kenna Campbell, who has been deeply involved in so many campaigns in Glasgow - successful campaigns for the promotion of Gaelic in the city - must take some credit for inspiring the group, even though singers find the rhythms and melodies of the songs themselves singularly attractive. A number of young singers may be heard singing waulking songs now, but Bannal presented a unique concentration on the genre in their first album. With three of the soloists formally studying Gaelic songs and/or teaching them, and the others continuing to take an enthusiastic interest in the songs they are learning, the high standard of singing is well maintained in this new production. Enjoyment of more examples of waulking songs is guaranteed with Bannal's second CD.
Bannal are Kenna Campbell, Chrissie MacInnes, Mary C. MacLean, Christine Grant, Margaret Callan, Margaret Ann Campbell, Wilma Kennedy, Beathag Mhoireasdan, Morag Law
Bannal is a Glasgow-based group dedicated to singing traditional Gaelic waulking songs. They take the songs back to their original context, producing a sound close to the original archive recordings. Eight of the women take turns in the role of leader, keeping the sound of the vocals varied and interesting. The rest of the women form the chorus for the response, sometimes adding in sounds of excitement in response to the lyrics of the songs. The rhythmic beating is prominent, as is required for authenticity, but not so overbearing as to cover any of the wonderful vocals.
Bannal has many well known singers. They are: Kenna Campbell, Catherine Fletcher, Christine Grant, Wilma Kennedy, Mairi MacArthur, Chrissie MacInnes, Maeve MacKinnon and Mary C MacLean.
When tweed is made, it needs to be 'fulled' or waulked to increase its ability to keep out the wind. Waulking is a process of repeatedly beating the cloth to full it and prepare it for use. Waulking songs are a musical form unknown elsewhere in Western Europe and often sound African. They are very rhythmic and were composed to keep the beat when the cloth was being waulked. This task was only done by women in Scotland.
The women were usually seated around a table and the tweed would be placed on the table, or perhaps a door which had been taken off its hinges. There might be one woman at each end and maybe about 4-5 down each side. One person would sing out the verse and then everyone would join in the chorus. During the waulking, the cloth would be pulled towards you, then passed slightly to your left before pushing it back. This way, the cloth turned round the table in a clockwise manner as it was being waulked. The Gaels are superstitious and believe anti-clockwise to be unlucky. It was important to turn the cloth to ensure the cloth was evenly processed. Often waulking songs were adapted from other songs.
Bannal: Bho Dòrn gu Dòrn
- O 's fhada bhuainn Anna[3.22]
- Tha Fadachd Orm Fhìn[3.13]
- Air a leabaidh 's mi m' ònar[3.32]
- Dheanainn sùgradh ris an nighinn duibh[2.21]
- Gur e mo ghille dùbh dhonn[2.52]
- Oich ù is hiùraibh èile[3.19]
- Ged is grianach an latha[2.56]
- Latha Dhomh 's Mi Siubhal Mòintich[2.11]
- Hù ra bho ho[3.39]
- A Mhic Iain 'ic Sheumais[4.12]
- Mairead nan Cuiread[3.48]
- An Cùl Bachalach[3.17]
- Turas Dhòmhsa chon na Galldachd[2.59]
- Cha bhi mi buan[2.29]
- Dh' fhalbh mo rùn 's dh'fhàg e'n cala[3.40]
- Seinn o horò seinn[3.19]
- Chì mi fada bhuam[2.31]