Tráthann an Taoide

This song started out life as a slow air that I put together live in front of cameras during the making of a TV documentary series around 1986 “I Live Here”. At the time I was stupidly pushing around to see when whatever talent I had for composing would cease to function - searching for the boundary limit if you like. We had been filming in the mountains and mist had come down so we returned to the house to film a sequence of this eejit playing the piano. The images in my mind was of a stream passing over a small rock creating a rhythm with a kind of 5/4 pattern. The resulting piece I called Maoileann after the mountain. Some years later my good friend Diamuidín Maidhcí died in a car crash. All his compadres in the choir were devastated. He was not the first choir member to die young and tragically and we needed
some piece to sing. Another good friend and choir member, the poet Dónal Ó Liatháin took on the task of writing the poem for me and I added to his task by asking him to write for this unusual air. I feel that the mountains are fundamental to our character. To his eternal credit he proceeded without complaint and produced this poem. He was a mighty poet and has since joined Diarmuidín on the other side. Here is his text. I hope good gaelic speakers will forgive my rough translation.

You will find the score/dots/music notation here

Téacs/text Author Dónal O Liatháin

Tráthann an taoide tréan,
Imíon na sár fhir uainn.
Ar a gcúrsa uaigneach rúndiamharach,
Casann an taoide chughainn
Lascadh na dtonn cois tráth.
Le faor faille fuaire,
Scairt na bhfaoileán.
Grian is spéir,
Amharc sléibh,
Múchann ceo,
Na glaisí thar creagaibh
Le fánaigh aniar
Binneas ceoil
Ca’nad don long?
Cad é an last ar bórd?
I gcéin siar
Seolann uainn thar iarchuarach na bóchna
Torann na dtonn ag freagairt spéirling an cheoil
Tagann lá din daonaí
Tagann glaoch na threo,
Gairm ón dtaoibh clé

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The strong tide ebbs
Great men leave us
On their lonely, Godsecret journey.
The tide turns towards us
The lash of waves on beach
By cliffs cold edge
The screech of sea gull
Sun and sky
Mountain-sight,
Mist quenches,
The riverlets over craggs
Fall from the west.
Sweetness of music.
Where to the ship?
What cargo on board?
Far away west
It sails from us beyond furthest arc of ocean
Roar of wave answers harmony of music.
The day comes for the human
The call comes towards him
A command from the left side.

I recorded the tune with Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh on the Triúr album.  
Price: 15.00

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