Teann a-nall

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Some of the most popular songs in Gaelic are love songs. Though there are lots of Gaelic songs which are tinged with sadness, there are many happy songs too. One of these is Teann a-nall, a favourite cèilidh song composed by Gilleasbaig MacDhòmhnaill, in which he invites his sweetheart to accompany him to Uist. This performance is by Sìneag MacIntyre why not listen to the complete song first to get a feel for the tune?

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Like many Gaelic songs, this one has a good, simple chorus. Let’s learn some vocabulary first:

a-nallhere
teanncome
thoirgive
dhomhto me
làmhhand
bheirwill give
sgrìobtrip
UibhistUist

The first two lines of the chorus have the same words: only the tune alters:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand

The third line of the chorus is the same as the first two, the singer is imploring his sweetheart to go to Uist with him:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me

Now that you are comfortable with the lines individually, let’s sing the chorus:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me

We’ll now crack on with the first verse. Vocabulary first:

ciùincalm
siantanweather
blàthwarm
iarwest
meallrounded lump
cuanocean
sgàthanmirror
sgleòmist
miannlonging
griansun
feasgarafternoon
òrgold

The first two lines of the verse describe the beautiful weather in Uist!

Tha 'm feasgar ciùin 's na siantan blàth,
Tha ghrian san iar mar mheall den òr
The evening's calm, the weather warm,
The western sun is an orb of gold

In the second part of the verse, he turns his attention to the sea and he repeats his longing to be in Uist with his sweetheart:

Tha 'n cuan mar sgàthan gorm gun sgleò,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n dh' Uibhist leat
The sea is a mirror, clear and blue,
I long to be in Uist with you

Once you have mastered these lines separately, we can put them together to complete the whole verse:

Tha 'm feasgar ciùin 's na siantan blàth,
Tha ghrian san iar mar mheall den òr,
Tha 'n cuan mar sgàthan gorm gun sgleò,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n dh' Uibhist leat
The evening's calm, the weather warm,
The western sun is an orb of gold,
The sea is a mirror, clear and blue,
I long to be in Uist with you

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