…once the Celtic music’s in yer blood, it’s with yeez for life…

kilt 2

… the first time I ever wore a kilt was when I was sixteen years old… a newly arrived lad from the slums of Dockland Govan in Glasgow to the idyllic Hebridean Island of Mull, tucked in there just across from Oban in the Scottish Western Highlands… that first kilt was a helluva lot slimmer than the current version I sport nowadays, fifty years later… sum’where along the way back then, I’d been cajoled into learning how to sing in Gaelic (didn’t take much arm-twisting, truth be told), allocated a couple of LUVLY schoolteaching ma’ams, one for the Celtic music and one for the Gaelic language, in order to enter the annual local competition, singing in the tongue of the Gods, in what’s known as the Gaelic Mod Festival… I seemed to wear both the kilt and the singing of the language with relative ease, winning several of the local prizes on that virgin outing… the remarkable thing was that I had to compete against native speakers, but because I was actually studying the WURDS, the sentiment, the feelings, sum’how that came across as the winning renditions… no one was more surprised than myself, and even more shocked when told, that now, as the local flag-bearer, I had to go to the National Mod, held in Glasgow that year to compete against all the other local regional winners… it may only be understood by those who’ve been there and felt it, but the sense of occasion in what was the old St Andrew’s Hall in Glasgow was awesome… I made it to the finals and sang as one of my test pieces a beautiful song called ‘Mo Mhathair’… translated it means , ‘My Mother’...

crofter lady

…it contains all the wonderful sentiment that the Celt carries in respect for his parents… I won and can honestly say it was one of the proudest moments of my life… we were obliged to sing, without musical accompaniment, into a hall filled with over two thousand people… the walls were clad in panelled wood, and the uncanny experience of hearing yer own voice reverberate back is a never-to-be-forgotten occasion (back then my tenor delivery was obviously much stronger, truer, and clearer than it sounds today)… sadly, for reasons we need not dwell on here, it was the only time my Mam and Da ever heard me sing live… a treasured moment… I don’t have a copy of my own singing of it, but attached below is a clip of the same song, sung by the renowned Mod Gold Medallist, Calum Kennedy whose fame among Scots is legendary… I hope yeez get a wee sense of the beauty in the music, even if the language is unfamiliar to yer ears… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “…once the Celtic music’s in yer blood, it’s with yeez for life…

  1. Wonderful Seamus! Just a coincidence that I’d just been watching some dancing from across the water from you, and now I get to read and listen to this! I just love anything Celtic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aye Laddie an’ THE BROONS were there on the clip as well (no sign of OOR WULLIE though (available in Magrudys every Christmastime) 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That was truly beautiful Seumas. It touched the Celtic in my soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ken MacAulay

    Those were truly happy days, Seumas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i loved celtic music the first time i ever heard it. and there is no going back. and i’m a kennedy too )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Truly heartwarming Seamus…I don’t know the Celtic language but would love to learn. There is a music in the soul when you hear it spoken and being sung it takes me to heaven!
    If only I’d known in 2009 where you were, as I travelled on my journey of discovery through the Middle East. I could have heard you sing then after a dram or two of Laphroaig! 😊
    Blessings Susan 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a moving way to start the day. I listened to the beautiful tune while reading another blogger’s post about her mother’s final few days, and the two complemented each other perfectly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful song! It sounds quite hard to sing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful! You’ll have to give us your version one of these days…

    Liked by 1 person

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