Thig Am Bata with Cara Wildman

Please enjoy my collaboration with internationally known bodhran player, Cara Wildman.  This song proved to be a lyrical and rhythmic beast, but I'm proud of our final result.  

To quote from Cara's description:  

 

I first heard this tune in a bodhrán masterclass with 

Martin O'Neill 

in 2016 when I was studying in Limerick. He and Julie Fowlis got the tune from Mairi Smith, who is from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides. The lyrics are ultra creepy (see below): a woman is happily married with small children. Her sister is envious of the woman's happiness, so murders the married sister and steals her husband and children. The husband later finds his dead wife drowned in the sea with her hair floating among the seaweed. The time signature is as scary as the lyrics, with four bars phrases in 13/8, 12/8, 11/8, and 12/8. The most challenging part for me wasn't the time signature as much as getting really clean tones with left hand, especially in bar three. 

A note from Martin: "When I was notating it originally to record it with Julie, I wrote it as one bar of 13/8 and 3 bars of 12/8, essentially forcing Julie to take a breath/pause on the 3rd line. Only five minutes before we recorded it we got Mairi Smith, from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, on the phone to check we had it right. Julie passed the phone to me and I quickly realised I had an extra beat in there somewhere. A little moment of panic, but we figured it out and hit record a few minutes later and the result was the version you now know, 13/8, 12/8, 11/8, 12/8." 

The boat will come, early tomorrow. 

My father will be on board and my three brothers. 

My brown-haired husband at the breast-oar. 

They'll find me drowned. 

They will lift me up on the oars. 

My brown cloak swimming in the sea. 

My brown locks among the carageen. 

My silver broch among the sand. 

It wasn't hunger that sent me to the shore 

or a craving for dulse or limpets. 

Another farewell to my little ones, 

one a year old, one a two year old. 

The year old, who is not strong, 

I left him in the back room. 

Tonight he will ask for his mother's breast. 

If he does he will get only sea-water. 

Oh my curses on the jealous woman 

She left me on the rock of drowning 

The boat will come early tomorrow, 

They'll find me drowned. 

#tuneoftheweek #thigambata #carawildmanmusic #tradmusic #Scottishmusic #folkmusic #Scotland #music #folk #celticmusic #trad #livemusic #celtic #tunes #ScottishGaelic #bodhran #singer

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