An Dàn CD Lyrics

T4: Sìth na Coille (Forest’s Peace)

Aonghas MacNeacail: Mary Ann Kennedy

“Let us be proud and certain there’s a prize in seeking good - 
though the peaks may be beyond us, see the wish itself as crown”

MA: Though I knew Aonghas from when I was young, it was as a secondary school student that I encountered his poetry first – his and Sorley Maclean’s words were my saving grace as the solitary soul studying Gaelic at school. His delight in the duality of the Dàn became mine when he gave me a book of his poems in which that particular word-game was at play. That was aboard a ferry on the Sound of Mull in 1986: we wrote ‘Aiseag’ (The Ferryboat) together, with Scott Macmillan and Nick Turner, for the first UK New Music Biennial, 28 years later. Who says destiny doesn’t exist…?

Aonghas: Peace of the forest Sitting down to let let the mind wander, or taking a ramble through forest or moor, where the impact of scene, sound or fragrance is liable to penetrate the thoughts: between the rhythm of striding feet and the presence, or absence, of the motion of a breeze on face or foliage, the memory is liable to be ready to grasp at a word or phrase that asks to be explored. And this is such a song, where reflection on life in general is woven in to a story of personal love, incorporating good humour and grief, distress and triumph. Could it be other than a love-song?

T4: Sìth na Coille

Aonghas MacNeacail: Màiri Anna NicUalraig

“Bitheamaid gu moiteil cinnteach gu bheil duais am miannach stàth -
ged nach ruig sinn cinn nam fireach, faic an dùrachd fhèin mar bhàrr”

Aonghas: Suidhe sìos gu leigeil leis an inntinn dol air chuairt, no gabhail splaoid tromh choille no raon, far a bheil buaidh nan sealladh, fuaim is boltradh buailteach drùidheadh air na smuaintean: eadar ruitheam siubhal nan cas agus làthair, no easbhaidh, gluasad oiteig air gnùis is duilleach, tha a’ chuimhne buailteach a bhi deiseil airson greim a ghabhail air facal no abairt a dh'iarras leantainn. Agus seo lethid de dh'òran, far a bheil meòrachadh mun bheatha san fharsaingeachd air fhighe staigh do sgeul gaoil pearsanta, a' gabhail a-staigh sunnd is smalan, éiginn is buaidh. Dé b'urrainn a bhi ann ach òran gaoil?

MA: Buinnidh Sìth na Coille don bhliadhna a chuir mi seachad ùine aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig mar Cheòladair air Mhuinntearas. Bu ghlic iad an sin, nach do dh’iarr iad ceann-uidhe no toradh sònraichte deireadh gnothaich, agus gun do thabhainn iad sìth gu cinnteach a bhiathaich grèis mo mhacmeanmna-sa – is maitheas nam mìosan sin ann a Slèibhte fhathast a’ tighinn fo bhlàth. Is ann air dòchas agus cothrom a tha seo a-mach – bha e na shamhla dhomh cuideachd tro mhìosan reifreann 2014. Tha duais am miannach stàth.  

 

cò nach iarradh sìth na coille
nuair a tha sinn sireadh tàmh
cha b’ ann iargailt gairm a choilich
anns a’ chomraich seo nach cnàmh
ach na seachainn ceòl is dannsa
na cuir cùl ri còmhradh tlàth
dlùthaich ris an leug a b’ annsa
leat mar chèile chaomh gach tràth

cuimhnich gu bheil brìgh nad bheatha
ged nach b’ ann gun strì no cràdh -
allt do sgeòil ro bheò ’s ro leathann -
inns’ a luach do dh’aois is àl
bitheamaid gu moiteil cinnteach 
gu bheil duais am miannach stàth -
ged nach ruig sinn cinn nam fireach  
faic an dùrachd fhèin mar bhàrr

seadh a luaidh, ’s nach gabh sinn spaisdir
mach bho thàlaidhean nan sràid
measg nan geug ’s gach sochair paisgte
seinneamaid an duan gu bràth
cò nach iarradh sìth na coille
tosd a bhiathas grèis a’ bhàird
togail chnothan cinnt le togairt
còmhla ann am buain a ghràidh

who wouldn’t wish the forest’s stillness
when we go in search of peace
the cock’s crow here brings no challenge
in this refuge that won’t decay
but don’t shun either dance or music
don’t reject gentle conversation
draw close to the gem you’d wish
to have as gracious spouse each day

remember that your life has value
though you’ll live with strife and pain -
your story’s stream’s too live and open -
tell its worth to old and young
let us be both proud and certain
there’s a prize in seeking good - 
though the peaks may be beyond us
see the wish itself as crown

so, my love, why don’t we stroll out
from the allure of the streets
among the boughs and sheltered comforts
let us sing the song for aye
who wouldn’t wish the forest’s stillness
quiet that feeds our bardic skills
picking certainty’s fruit with pleasure
together in the store of love/
(…while we garner love)