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Frank Maher Lyr Req: Songs about Romans or Ancient Britons (38) RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Romans or Ancient Britons 07 Sep 05


Sensational new discoveries have been made at an archaeological dig at the site of a Roman army camp near Hadrian's Wall. When the legions were evacuated, orders were sent out to destroy all valuable military records. However, in the far-flung camps, lazy army bureaucrats simply pitched all the files into the nearest bog. Now archaeologists are recovering all the records, preserved in the highly tannic bog water.


Among the latest discoveries is what appears to be a Latin translation of a Pictish folk-song. No doubt the lonely legionaries on sentry duty on the wall heard the melodic strains drifting on the wind from the Pictish encampments to the north. Roman soldiers must have learned this traditional Pictish melody, which is the earliest folksong recorded in the British Isles.


Of particular interest is the chorus of syllabic vocables, remarkably similar to the Gaelic walking song which is not found in written records until almost 1000 years later. In fact, a remarkable similar chorus of vocables: I\ aigh i\ aigh o\ can be found in a walking song from Skye, "Tha baile aig sean-Mhac a' Domhnuill", in the Frances Tolmie collection.


Following is a transcription of the original manuscript:


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat porces, EIEIO
Cum oink oink hic, oink oink hoc
Oink hic, oink hoc, ubique oink oink
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat boves, EIEIO
Cum moo moo hic, moo moo hoc
Moo hic, moo hoc, ubique moo moo
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat oves, EIEIO
Cum baa baa hic, baa baa hoc
Baa hic, baa hoc, ubique baa baa
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat anates, EIEIO
Cum quack quack hic, quack quack hoc
Quack hic, quack hoc, ubique quack quack
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


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