Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tonight's music

This is another video from the Cambridge Folk Festival. This is Julie Fowlis doing Puirt a beul.

Puirt a beul (mouth music) is not the name of a song, but a style of singing. It is meant to be danced to and the rhythm of the song takes precedence over the correct usage of the Gaelic. Most of the lyrics are meaningless or nonsensical and so are not generally translated.

Puirt a beul is accompanied by musical instruments today (especially the fiddle) but was originally intended as a substitute for musical instruments. Some believe that the origin of Puirt a beul came in the banning of the pipes after the 1745 uprising while others think it came out of religious opposition to musical instruments.

Either way the Scots and the Irish are going to dance and for that you need music, puirt is the plural of the word port which means "dance tune".