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Better Times Will Come - Màiri Anna NicUalraig (Mary Ann Kennedy) Scottish Gaelic

Better Times Will Come - Màiri Anna NicUalraig (Mary Ann Kennedy) Scottish Gaelic


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Màiri Anna NicUalraig: FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD
Watch the video on Youtube
Mary Ann Kennedy – Vocals, Piano
Nick Turner – Bass, Audio engineer
Rycote – Videobomber
Image by Seán-Purser

Visit Mary Ann's website, the studio she and Nick run in the Highlands, and her Facebook and Youtube channels. She's also on Instagram and Twitter

Màiri Anna NicUalraig, or Mary Ann Kennedy, describes herself as "a Glasgow Gael now living in the Scottish Highlands with her musician/producer husband. She is a passionate exponent of new Gaelic songwriting, and is the Scots Trad Music Awards 2019 Gaelic Singer of the Year. "

From Janis: The circular logic of this project never ceases to amaze me. Here is The "Better Times" Gaelic saga... 
My grandmother used to tell me that if I ever had to flee my country, I should go to Ireland, because she believed the Irish were one of the lost tribes of Israel. No matter how many times I explained that the majority of Irish people I'd met were Christian, she was firmly convinced they were really Jewish, and would protect me as a fellow Jew. So you might say that before I'd ever set foot in Ireland, I alrady felt at home there. And just as in my own family, where I used to long for a flow chart to tell me who I called "aunt" or "cousin" because we were related by birth, and who I called "aunt" or "cousin" because we were related by heart, the Irish and Scots appear to be related by everything from language to music. There are huge differences, of course, but the relationship is there. 
And from that point on, just like with any family, it gets complicated.
I wanted the "Better Times Project" to have as many different forms as possible, from languages to music and dance styles and on. I've always loved Ireland, my wife's heritage is largely Irish, and I'm lucky enough to be friends with Mary Black. So I asked her if she knew anyone who could adapt the song to the Irish language (which I will now refer to as Irish Gaelic, or Gaelige).
Mary Black contacted Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & her brother, Gearóid Ó Maonaigh to ask if they'd "translate".
Somewhere along the line, Mary also mentioned that her niece, Aoife Scott, would love to sing the Irish version, to which I heartily agreed. Of course, by now I was frantically scrolling through Forvo and other pronunciation sites in the hope that I'd be able to say everyone's name correctly if I ran into them. Unlikely, but just in case. I'd just managed to master "Aoife" (EEE-fuh) when things became a bit more complicated.
Aoife's mother is the singer Frances Black, sister to my friend Mary Black. A decade earlier, Frances had asked whether my song "At Seventeen" could be used for a charitable album Aoife was putting together to benefit the RISE Foundation. So I'd already been corresponding with Frances, but I hadn't put any of it together with this project.
But wait. There's more! A Scotsman called Ian Young and his wife Annie had already contributed their own version to the project. So, with nothing to lose, I asked if he might know anyone who could adapt the song to Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). Ian contacted Mary Ann Kennedy (Màiri Anna NicUalraig), a Scots Gaelic singer, clarsach player (a type of harp), and BBC broadcaster. Ian and Mary Ann's mother, Kenna Campbell, used to sing together in the 1970's in the folk group Na H’eilthirich (The Exiles). 
Mairéad and Gearóid had just finished creating the Irish Gaelige version Aoife will be singing. Mary Ann asked for a copy, saying "I wanted to see what was there to be able to chime with that where it worked for rhythm, assonance etc. So my Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is inspired by Mairéad and her brother’s but doesn’t follow it, hence the big diversions!"
So here you have the first finished "Gaelic" version, by Mary Ann Kennedy/ Màiri Anna NicUalraig, with her thanks to Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Gearóid Ó Maonaigh for giving her a leaping off point!

Là Nas Fheàrr ("Better Times Will Come" by Janis Ian)
(translated to Scottish Gaelic by Màiri Anna NicUalraig/Mary Ann Kennedy)
"le aing do Mhairéad is do Ghearóid  

Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
An sìochaint buan gum biodh ar duan,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr.

Mol gach là gun ghèilleadh mar fhiù,
Is ar càirdean gaolach dhuinn dlùth,
Nuair thig fèath an àite gailleann a’ bhlàir,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr

Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
An sìochaint buan gum biodh ar duan,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr.

Ged as maireann ar saoghal fo sgàil, 
Biodh ann dòchas ri dùil briseadh-là,
Nì sinn danns, ceilear binn, 
Ann an Earrach gun chrìch,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr

Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
An sìochaint buan gum biodh ar duan,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr.

Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr, 
Là nas fheàrr, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
An sìochaint buan gum biodh ar duan,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr,
O, gun tig là nas fheàrr.

Literal translation:

A better day, o, that a better day will come,
A better day, o that a better day will come,
In everlasting peace let our song be,
O, that a better day will come. 

Expect to greet each day without yielding,
and our beloved friends-family close to us,
When the calm follows the storm of war,
O, that a better day will come. 

A better day, o, that a better day will come,
A better day, o that a better day will come,
In everlasting peace let our song be,
O, that a better day will come. 

Though our world continues under a shadow,
Let there be hope in the expectation of daybreak,
We will dance, sing sweetly in a never-ending Spring
O, that a better day will come. 

A better day, o, that a better day will come,
A better day, o that a better day will come,
In everlasting peace let our song be,
O, that a better day will come.  

 

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