Indie-Pop Music as Gaeilge

By on April 17, 2013

Raidió Rí-Rá presenter Síne Nic an Ailí talks about her involvement with the music initiative that is churning out songs by the hottest Irish artists – in Irish.

I got involved in the Irish-language chartstation Raidió Rí-Rá when I started working with Conradh na Gaeilge back in 2007 and began presenting a weekly PopNuacht segment of celebrity gossip in Irish. When the time came for Seachtain na Gaeilge to release its annual Irish-language CD, I helped out with the translations of the songs and the whole process was an eye-opener – the inner rhythms of a song, the easiest words to rhyme in Irish, and the way you definitely can’t translate a song word for word from one language to another if you plan on keeping its melody musical!

Mundy – Cailín na Gaillimhe

D’fhorbair sé sin bliain i ndiaidh bliana go dtí gur ghlac Raidió Rí-Rá cúram na n-albam Gaeilge i 2011 agus d’eisíomar Albam Rí-Rá den chéad uair le ceol ó leithéidí Delorentos, Ham Sandwich, The Riptide Movement, agus Republic of Loose – togha agus rogha na mbannaí Éireannacha iontacha úra. Bhí orainn cabhrú le cuid de na ceoltóirí nach raibh Gaeilge líofa acu trí leagan foghraíochta den amhrán a sholáthar dóibh as Gaeilge don taifead sa stiúideo, ach bhí ealaíontóirí eile le Gaeilge den scoth acu; ní raibh gá againn aistriúchán an amhráin a chur ar fáil dóibh fiú. Ina measc siúd, bhí Heathers agus The Rubberbandits a labhair Gaeilge líofa, agus rinne Blindboy Boat Club agus Mr. Chrome físeán ar leith le dul leis an leagan Gaeilge den amhrán Róisín, I Wanna Fight Your Father:
Grian Geal Lonrach – The Walls (To the Bright and Shining Sun as Gaeilge)

Even if they don’t all speak fluent Irish, it’s a testament to the huge interest that Irish musicians have in the language that there have been eight album released so far – from the first SnaG ’05 album to last year’s Rí-Rá Le Hector 2012. This year’s Rí-Rá Le Hector 2013 is due for release today, Wednesday, 17 April 2013. One of my favourite Irish bands – The Coronas – have sung in Irish on the Seachtain na Gaeilge CDs almost every year since they first got involved with the Ceol ’08 project five years ago. The band loved the translation of Heroes or Ghosts to Taibhsí nó Laochra, and began singing it as Gaeilge at gigs. The response from the fans was so phenomenal that they still play the song half in Irish, half in English at The Coronas’ concerts everywhere, from intimate gigs in the Olympia Theatre to huge outdoor gigs in Marley Park or the Aviva Stadium supporting The Script:

Taibhsí nó Laochra – The Coronas (Heroes or Ghosts as Gaeilge)

Ní hamháin sin ach ba é Éist A Ghrá an leagan Gaeilge a rinne siad den amhrán Listen Dear don albam Ceol ’10 nuair a bhí Danny O’Reilly, príomhamhránaí an bhanna, mar dhuine de Phearsan Sheachain na Gaeilge 2010. Chan siad Chomh Saor nó Far From Here as Gaeilge ar Albam Rí-Rá 2011 freisin, agus d’aistríomar Blind Will Lead The Blind go Meallta Ar Strae dóibh don albam Rí-Rá Le Hector 2012 anuraidh. Is é Dreaming Again an singil is déanaí atá eisithe acu ón albam Closer To You i mbliana agus beidh an leagan Gaeilge – Ag Brionglóid Arís – le cloisteáil ar an raidió agus ar an albam nua Rí-Rá Le Hector 2013 inniu.

As part of my job, I *had* to help translate the Dreaming Again single to Irish and was in the studio for the recording to go through any issues with pronunciation or grammar. Danny speaks fluent Irish though, so I didn’t have a whole lot to do until a female vocal was apparently needed for the backing track – and that is how I progressed from Development Executive with Conradh na Gaeilge to a singer on a Coronas track! It’s a tough life, this grá don Ghaeilge business…

Ba dheas liom freisin go raibh deis agam dul i mbun oibre le Zoe agus Maud Reardon ar albam na bliana seo, beirt sheanchairde scoile atá ina gceoltóirí cumasacha anois ó d’fhágamar Coláiste Íosagáin. Feictear dom go bhfuil líon na gceoltóirí go mbíonn muid ag plé leo trí mheán na Gaeilge – ó Maud in Cahoots agus Aoife Scott go dtí The Kanyu Tree agus The Dirty 9s – ag dul i méid bliain ar bhliain. Cé gur aistriúchán ar amhráin choitianta Bhéarla atá ar na halbaim den chuid is mó go fóill, cá bhfios ach go spreagfar cuid de na bannaí seo chun ceol úrnua as Gaeilge a chumadh amach anseo. Táim ag tnúth leis an lá go mbeidh amhrán nua Gaeilge ag barr na gcairteacha popcheoil in Éirinn!

Maud in Cahoots – Ag Leanúint Inniu

It’s also fantastic to see the positive impact the Irish-language albums are having on music fans across Ireland in recent years, and I’m certain this year’s Rí-Rá Le Hector 2013 album will inspire even more people to use the Irish language in new and innovative ways. It certainly gets young people thinking about Irish with a more positive attitude; the songs from all the Seachtain na Gaeilge albums so far are really popular in schools, in universities and in Gaeltacht summer colleges across the country, and people are doing some amazing Irish-language covers of songs and posting them online in recent years. There’s nothing like a singsong to get people going as Gaeilge!

Mar sin bain sult as an gceol ar fad atá ar fáil as Gaeilge agus ar albam nua Rí-Rá Le Hector 2013. Buíochas le gach duine a chabhraigh leis an albam i mbliana, agus leatsa as cóip den nuachtán a cheannach chun an t-albam a fháil – thanks to all involved and to you for buying the paper to get your free copy of the Rí-Rá Le Hector 2013 album!

The latest Rí-Rá Le Hector 2013 album will be available for free with Foinse in The Irish Independent in Centra and SuperValu shops in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, 17 April 2013, while fans in the 6 Counties can order a free copy by emailing eolas@rrr.ie. Tá amhráin ar albam na bliana seo ó The Coronas, Keywest, This Club, Bitches With Wolves, Walking On Cars, Maud In Cahoots, Republic of Loose, Robb Murphy, The Shoos, Senakah, Aslan, The Spikes, The Pale, Traic Ó Braonáin agus Colm Ó Snodaigh. Tá an t-albam á eisiúint ag Raidió Rí-Rá agus Seachtain na Gaeilge i gcomhar leis an gclár Breakfast With Hector on RTÉ 2fm agus le Foinse san Irish Independent tríd na siopaí Centra agus SuperValu Dé Céadaoin, 17 Aibreán 2013.



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  1. Pingback: This Club as Gaeilge for Radió Rí-Rá - TWO TUBE

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