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A2 - Beginners : Learn a Gaelic song - Teann a-nall

Teann a-nall

Some of the most popular songs in Gaelic are love songs. Though there are lots of Gaelic songs which are tinged with sadness, there are many happy songs too. One of these is Teann a-nall, a favourite cèilidh song composed by Gilleasbaig MacDhòmhnaill, in which he invites his sweetheart to accompany him to Uist. This performance is by Sìneag MacIntyre. Why not listen to the complete song first to get a feel for the tune?

Like many Gaelic songs, this one has a good, simple chorus. Let’s learn some vocabulary first:

a-nall

here

teann

come

thoir

give

dhomh

to me

làmh

hand

bheir

will give

sgrìob

trip

Uibhist

Uist

The first two lines of the chorus have the same words: only the tune alters:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh

Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,

The third line of the chorus is the same as the first two, the singer is imploring his sweetheart to go to Uist with him:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat

Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me

Now that you are comfortable with the lines individually, let’s sing the chorus:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat

Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me

We’ll now crack on with the first verse. Vocabulary first:

Ciùin

calm

siantan

weather

blàth

warm

iar

west

meall

rounded lump

cuan

ocean

sgàthan

mirror

sgleò

mist

miann

longing

grian

sun

feasgar

afternoon

òr

gold

The first two lines of the verse describe the beautiful weather in Uist!

Tha 'm feasgar ciùin 's na siantan blàth,
Tha ghrian san iar mar mheall den òr

The evening's calm, the weather warm,
The western sun is an orb of gold

In the second part of the verse, he turns his attention to the sea and he repeats his longing to be in Uist with his sweetheart:

Tha 'n cuan mar sgàthan gorm gun sgleò,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n dh' Uibhist leat

The sea is a mirror, clear and blue,
I long to be in Uist with you

Once you have mastered these lines separately, we can put them together to complete the whole verse:

Tha 'm feasgar ciùin 's na siantan blàth,
Tha ghrian san iar mar mheall den òr,
Tha 'n cuan mar sgàthan gorm gun sgleò,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n dh' Uibhist leat

The evening's calm, the weather warm,
The western sun is an orb of gold,
The sea is a mirror, clear and blue,
I long to be in Uist with you

Teann a-nall - the second verse

In the second verse, the singer’s attention turns away from the sea and sky and to the landscapes of Uist:

beinn

mountain

raon

moor

fàileadh

scent

cùbhraidh

fragrant

neòinein

daisies

bòidheach

pretty

sìth

peace

Let’s start with the first two lines of this verse:

Tha sìth air aghaidh beinn is raon,
Tha fàileadh cùbhraidh thar am fhraoich

There's peace across the mountains and moors,
And fragrant scent across the heather

The verse continues:

Tha neòinean bhòidheach fàs gach taobh,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n Uibhist leat

Beautiful daisies grow everywhere,
I long to be in Uist with you

We can now put the four lines of the verse together:

Tha sìth air aghaidh beinn is raon,
Tha fàileadh cùbhraidh thar an fhraoich,
Tha neòinean bhòidheach fàs gach taobh,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n Uibhist leat

There's peace across the mountain and moor,
And fragrant scent across the heather,
Beautiful daisies grow everywhere,
I long to be in Uist with you

Teann a-nall - Let's sing!

Now you have learnt the whole song. Let’s put the chorus and the three verses together:

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat

Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me

Tha 'm feasgar ciùin 's na siantan blàth,
Tha ghrian san iar mar mheall den òr,
Tha 'n cuan mar sgàthan gorm gun sgleò,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n dh' Uibhist leat

The evening's calm, the weather warm,
The western sun is an orb of gold,
The sea is a mirror, clear and blue,
I long to be in Uist with you

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat

Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me

Tha sìth air aghaidh beinn is raon,
Tha fàileadh cùbhraidh thar am fhraoich,
Tha neòinean bhòidheach fàs gach taobh,
'S bu mhòr mo mhiann bhith 'n Uibhist leat

There's peace across the mountains and moors,
And fragrant scent across the heather,
Beautiful daisies grow everywhere,
I long to be in Uist with you

Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Teann a-nall 's thoir dhomh do làmh,
Is bheir mi sgrìob do dh' Uibhist leat

Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
Come, let's wander hand in hand,
And take a trip to Uist with me