Laoidh nam Ban
(Hymn of the Women)
Lyrics by Rachel Walker and Marcas Mac an Tuairneir
Music & arrangement by Rachel Walker
Strings arranged by Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker (Vocals, Piano)
Aaron Jones (Cittern)
Katrina Lee (Violin)
Patsy Reid (Violin)
Rhoslyn Lawton (Viola)
Alice Allen (Cello)
Isobel Wylie Hutchison (1889-1982) was from Carlowrie in West Lothian and was a solo traveller and explorer of the Arctic and far North. As a botanist she collected hundreds of Arctic flowers and sent them back to Scotland and the UK. There is still a collection of her flowers at the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh today. In 1934, she became the first woman to receive the Mungo Park Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. She documented her travels though letters, poetry and film, conveying her love of travel, nature and culture at a time when women were expected to stay at home and find a husband.
Nan Shepherd (1893 – 1981) was a writer and mountain walker from Cults Aberdeenshire. She wrote novels inspired by Scotland, and towards the end of the second world war, wrote ‘The Living Mountain’, inspired by her experiences of walking in the Cairngorms. It is beautiful, sensual, expressive writing, which has changed the way many people experience the mountains today.
This song was inspired by the observations and writings of both these amazing women, who took great pleasure from the land and being in and around nature.
An cluinn thu òran na tìr
a’ bualadh mar bhuille do chrìdh’?
An cluinn thu bàrdachd nan sliabh
a’ dìreadh gun bhealach gun fhiamh?
An cluinn thu mànran san àil’
gad chaidreamh, gad suaineadh le gràdh?
An cluinn thu èibhleag ri las
a’ dùsgadh do spiorad le gràs?
Ùrnaigh an fhlùir, ùrnaigh na h-ùir:
Guidheam dhut bòrcadh a’ bhlàith.
Ùrnaigh na tìr’, ùrnaigh an fhrìth:
Beannachd na beinn anns gach ràith.
An cluinn thu luinneag nan tonn
gad shlaodadh gun acair gu fonn?
An cluinn thu binneas na deigh’
a’ leaghadh ìsle do mhèin?
An cluinn thu tàladh na h-aibhn’
a h-uisge ri sruth is ri seinn?
Sàmhchair a’ ghlinn, sàmhchair na linn’:
Guidheam dhut uisgeachan rèidh.
Ciùineas na coill’, ciùineas na h-oidhch’:
Beannachd na duibhre fo reul.
An seinn thu duanag na fàir
gad shorchar aig uair-òir le àgh?
An seinn thu cagar na gaoith
a bheir ort co-sheirm a laoidh?
Seinn ò hò rò èile
Seinn ò hòireann ò
Do you hear the song of the land
its percussion like your heartbeat
Do you hear the poetry of the peaks
Climbing fearlessly, without a path?
Do you hear the melody in the ether
Embracing, caressing you with care
Do you hear the burning embers
Awakening your spirit with grace
Prayer of the flower, prayer of the soil
I pray for you the bloom of the blossom
Prayer of the land, prayer of the forest
Blessing of the mountain’s every season
Do you hear the song of the waves
Drawing you anchorless to land
Do you hear the chime of the ice
As melancholy melts away
Do you hear the lullaby of the river
It’s waters a-flow and singing
Silence of the glen, silence of the strait
I pray for you calm waters
Tranquility of the wood, tranquility of the nigh
Blessing of starlight in darkness
Will you sing the song of the horizon
Illuminating you at dawn with joy
Will you sing the Whisper of the wind
It’s hymn inspiring you to harmony
Sing ò hò rò èile
Sing ò hòireann ò