Yesterday Gaelic learners gathered at O’Flynn’s in Baltimore City for our autumn cèilidh. Given the time of year, the theme was Oidhche Shamhna – Halloween, the end of summer, the eve of November, the eve of winter.
Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir teacher, Scott Morrison, led a fascinating discussion around the Gaelic Fairy tradition. Do you know your Fairy lore?
Two participants recited the first two verses of the poem Air Oidhche na Samhna bidh ann, after which Scott recited many more verses with everyone chanting the chorus. Originally a wauking song, probably from the late 19th century, The poem is filled with Scottish Oidhche Shamhna traditions.
If you want to take a crack at it, here is the poem: Air Oidhche na Samhna bidh ann.docx
Or, for something simpler, this fun book, Oidhche Shamhna, that one of our classes is reading. It was written and illustrated by young school children in the Hebrides in the 1980s: Oidhche Shamhna
Everyone shared stories of their ancestors, funny and serious, and we learned a lot of new things about each others while honoring those who walked those long roads of our heritage.
We were in a bar, so why not play cards? For instance, this group below in a game of Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) Uno.
And then the sharing of songs and poetry. Below you can hear one of the participants, Duncan, singing Cànan nan Gàidheal, written by Murchadh MacPharlain. It’s only a portion of the song, the quality isn’t great, and music from another part of the pub was coming through, but you can still hear what a beautiful voice this young man has.
We need to thank Liam Flynn for creating such an ideal Irish pub as O’Flynn’s, his hospitality in making the pub a home to many Celtic groups, and his commitment to Gaelic.