A great slow air from the san nos style
Beautiful song air ; have heard it on Martin McCormack’s CD - Uilleann Pipes and Whistles. Martin calls it ‘Aisling Gheal’ with the following description: This song-air derives from the vision poem tradition of Ireland where poets wrote deferentially about their vision of the country, often in the imagery of a beautiful woman. He first heard it sung by Iarla O’Lionard and it is believed to have originated in the West-Cork Gaeltacht area of Baile Bhuirne.
Aisling Geal recording
Liam O’Flynn has recorded this on ‘The Poet and the Piper’ album with Seamus Heaney. It is exquisite. If the hairs on the back of your neck are not standing to attention on hearing this, you may need medical help!
Mary bergin plays a superb version of this on Feadóg Stáin 2
Mary Bergin’s version is played beautifully as an air. However, I find it difficult to follow her interpretation to the music provided here. Are there any other dots compatable to Mary’s version?
Tony McMahons matches conceptually
But his expression is well beyond what is in those spots
It’s futile trying to put it into dots - well, I could probably capture the timing in Sibelius, but not ABC. You can’t use phrase markings. All said, here’s Tomás Ó Canainn’s version, from his slow airs book - he uses phrase markings, and explains that you hold the long notes at the end of the phrase. ABC can’t convey this - but dots can’t convey it well anyway.
FG|B A2 A d3 d|e f2 e d2 (3dcA|F>F A3 F (3GFE|D>D D3 D FG|
B A2 A d3 d|e f2 ef z/ D/ FG|A3 F (3GFE D>D|D3 A cd e>f|
g>f (3ded d3 e|f3 A A>A d>e|f>e dc d2 (3ABA|d3 d E>G FE|
D2 D3 D F>G|A3 F (3GFE D>D|D4 z2||
Mary Bergin’s version is quite different - here’s an attempt at the skeleton:
D|F>G B>A A d- d-d/ z/|d>e f<e d<d-d-d/ z/|
d>c A2 F-F/ z/ AF|G>F E>D D3 A|c>d e>f g2 .f/ z/ c|
e>d d>e f2 z A |A>A d>e fe- e z/ d/ |
e>A B>A A<d-d2|A2-AE GF E>D|
D3 D F>G A2 F2|\
G>F E>D D3||
Take the barlines away - and the long notes at the end of each phrase (the phrases that cannot be marked) should be held for longer.
I’m only hoping these settings don’t get picked up by the auto-whizzer.
If you haven’t heard Iarla Ó Lionáird’s version - recorded when he was about 14 - then it’s here:
This would be the way to go about learning the tune. Dots cannot get near.
You’ll find the lyrics with a translation on that page. First verse:
Aisling gheal do shlad trím néal mé
Is go rabhas-sa tréithlag seal im luí
Is go rabhas i ngleann cois abhann im aonar,
Is go rabhas ag aeraíocht le grá mo chroí.
Go raibh na camthaí Gall agus Gaelach
Is claimhte géara ag uaisle an tsaol,
Ag breith barr áidh is á rá le chéile
Go raibh clann an fhaoit anois le fáil gan mhoill.
A vision bright beguiled in sleep me
As I lay feebly bereft of cheer;
In a river valley I wandered gaily
In conversation with my true love dear.
The host of foreigners and host of Gaeldom
In battle baring their sword and spear;
And the word went out in loud lamentation
That the day of saints was now drawing near.
Sorry, the YouTube clip hasn’t got all the early recording - though the lyrics are on that page. Here is a clip with the early recording:
Found this one in the abc notation, and chiff and fipple website. Seems another approach. Have to say this work isn’t mine.
Re: Aisling Gheal
sean o riada resurrected aisling gheal, which was a song from cork. his piano version is on the latest sean o riada album…he died in 1971 and the piano version, live, is not too long before that….he resurrected many pieces, like port na bpucai, carolan`s concerto, tabhair dom do laimh, marcshlua ui neill, carrickfergus etc.
Aisling Gheal, X:3
I love this Mary Bergin version of this air. I’ve scratched it out on paper before because I have a hard time remembering it but I never really knew how to properly represent it. I took it up as a personal challenge and I think it turned out OK - not great - but these free airs are simply difficult. I used Finale and exported the file as an XML and then converted that with EasyABC to paste the song here (thanks goes to slaint for that knowledge). The one thing I still haven’t figured out is how to place breath marks properly - they should all be moved to the right of the notes they appear over and they are vital as they inform the phrasing. This transcription has shifting time signatures as an effort to instruct the phrasing. I hid them all because they were confusing and unnecessary. I also used dotted measure lines but they did not convert over.