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Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!

GUEST,Sandy McLean 23 Dec 02 - 07:55 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Dec 02 - 06:45 PM
Aodh 23 Dec 02 - 03:05 PM
Teribus 16 Sep 02 - 08:33 AM
Maurice Mann 16 Sep 02 - 08:24 AM
Teribus 16 Sep 02 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 13 Sep 02 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Boab 13 Sep 02 - 02:25 PM
Airto 13 Sep 02 - 02:19 PM
ard mhacha 13 Sep 02 - 01:53 PM
Jim McLean 13 Sep 02 - 04:28 AM
Teribus 13 Sep 02 - 04:20 AM
Haruo 13 Sep 02 - 12:03 AM
Chanteyranger 12 Sep 02 - 11:54 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Sep 02 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 12 Sep 02 - 05:45 PM
Mudlark 11 Sep 02 - 02:51 AM
Teribus 11 Sep 02 - 02:46 AM
mack/misophist 10 Sep 02 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 10 Sep 02 - 09:26 PM
Jim McLean 10 Sep 02 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Diva 10 Sep 02 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Boab 10 Sep 02 - 03:08 AM
Peg 09 Sep 02 - 01:33 PM
Jim McLean 09 Sep 02 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Ceejay 09 Sep 02 - 11:42 AM
ard mhacha 09 Sep 02 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,heinrich 09 Sep 02 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,heinrich 09 Sep 02 - 04:52 AM
sian, west wales 04 Jul 02 - 05:42 AM
PeteBoom 02 Jul 02 - 09:26 AM
Fiolar 02 Jul 02 - 09:19 AM
John MacKenzie 01 Jul 02 - 05:43 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 02 - 01:50 PM
Aodh 30 Jun 02 - 06:22 PM
sheila 29 Jun 02 - 09:36 PM
weepiper 29 Jun 02 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Philippa 28 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM
Big John 25 Jun 02 - 08:26 PM
Big John 25 Jun 02 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 25 Jun 02 - 07:56 PM
Celtic Soul 25 Jun 02 - 07:40 PM
sheila 25 Jun 02 - 02:21 PM
sheila 25 Jun 02 - 02:20 PM
Leeder 25 Jun 02 - 12:19 PM
greg stephens 25 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Philippa 25 Jun 02 - 11:54 AM
Teribus 25 Jun 02 - 11:43 AM
Orac 25 Jun 02 - 10:59 AM
greg stephens 25 Jun 02 - 10:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Sandy McLean
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 07:55 PM

It is more important that we do not see ourselves in the stereotype of others!
Nollaig Mhath Dhuibh!
             Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 06:45 PM

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur dhuit-sa!

Enjoy yourself.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Aodh
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 03:05 PM

Tighearna naomha!?! what have I started, A big thank you to all of you for shearing your views. It has been very interesting ti read through them all, and given the time of year I'll just say:
Nollaig Cridheil agus bliadhna mhath ur! (But only to the parts of Scotland where Gaelic was spoken!)


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 08:33 AM

Guest sorefingers:

You advise me to look at the facts but offer none - your references to irrelevant Masonic claptrap do not constitute facts by any stretch of the imagination.

In my postings above I have offered reasonable observation based on historical fact.

"...in Australia there are two kinds of subject, Irish Convict or Scottish Screw" Please, please do some research - any would help - still why I should be surprised when I predicted that you would not bother to check any of your supposed "facts". So there were no English convicts sent to Australia?? (If you do ever look into it you will find that they comprised 75-80% of those sent to Australia).

Please by all means get on the Americas - the extent of your singular lack of knowledge and "chip on the shoulder" bigotry would be interesting to determine - If it wasn't so lamentable.

I mean honestly!!!

"I am what the ancestors and sais law made us - outlaws in our own country and willing warriors for any who raised the blade to the mighty British ever since."

Just what century are you living in??? No doubt a student of the Mel Gibson faculty of Scottish History. "outlaws", "willing warriors" - you wouldn't know either if they lept up and bit your arse. I have not read such absolute rubbish in my entire life.

You started your last post with - "Lets be realistic, you have an opinion that is all." - at least my opinion (FREELY FORMED) is based on historical fact, research and reasoned arguement.

I somehow have this mental picture of you, face daubed blue and white, staring into the mirror of your bathroom cabinet screaming the word "FREEEEEEEEEDOM!!!!" Can't imagine what the neighbours must think - I know what I do.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Maurice Mann
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 08:24 AM

All very interesting, but as usual prejudice often replaces reason and historical fact. Hollywood has a lot to answer for, I suspect (especially Braveheart and Brigadoon)

Try to find an album called 'Craobh nan Ubhal' by Flora MacNeill. Beautiful, traditional, Hebridean Gaelic songs.

For historical accuracy, a good start is 'The age of Arthur: a history of the British Isles from 350 to 650' by John Morris

Mo


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 07:27 AM

Ard Mhacha you advise to:

"Ask your local Scots Nat` how free you are, "

Why?? My freedom I have exercised and enjoyed for as long as I can remember. I don't have to ask anyone about it - If you feel you have to consult someone as to whether or not you are free - Then more fool you.

As to the bit that went before.

"I was well into middle-age when I had to run the gauntlet on more than one occasion, when confronted by uniformed football thugs from the Highlands to the Lowlands. It was in your best interest to avoid your "free" Scots in Britsh Army uniform on the streets of the unfree six north eastern counties of Ireland. "

If memory, plus a belated recent apology, are anything to go by. It wasn't "uniformed football thugs from the Highlands to the Lowlands", in, "British Army uniform" who were responsible for the indiscriminate planting of explosives specifically aimed at causing the maximum number of civilian casualties "on the streets of the unfree six north eastern counties of Ireland". As I've stated previously if any unrepresentative and unelected body ever told me that they were protecting me and fighting for my freedom by indiscriminently planting bombs in areas where my wife or family might have just cause to be - I'd tell them in no uncetain terms to bugger off and protect somebody else.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 06:25 PM

Teribus - lets be realistic, you have an opinion that is all. Look at the facts - see the marks of dissapointment of Scotsmen where ever the English promised and did not deliver. See the Scottish Rite for example ..what a bloody joke. Like the Scotnat fellow said SCREWED again!

Se how they pass the dirt onto Scotland - all the bullies whare ever they are needed are SCOTISH names, heck in Australia there are two kinds of subject, Irish Convict or Scottish Screw, and the sais - oh they keep real Australian or is it Anglosaxon.

Don't get me started on the Americas or I will be sorry.

I am what the ancestors and sais law made us - outlaws in our own country and willing warriors for any who raised the blade to the mighty British ever since.

Scotland free ... not yet but soon ..


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 02:25 PM

Thanks, Giok, for "Nancy Nicholson " ---a gem!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Airto
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 02:19 PM

The main consumer attractions at British Trade Fairs are smoked salmon, shortcake, whisky, oat biscuits, Angus beef (a few years ago,alas), Dundee cakes and marmalade, etc.

These products are, of course, all Scottish and have an international reputation for high quality. They are marketed much more successfully than their Irish equivalents, which are only recently starting to raise their profile.

Commercially the Scots have benefited from membership of the UK. The Irish are only catching up since joining the EU.

Culturally speaking, I have the impression we Irish are running out of steam. The creative wave of the 80s and early 90s seems to have petered out.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: ard mhacha
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 01:53 PM

Teribus, You don`t have to go back to the dark ages to prove your point, I was well into middle-age when I had to run the gauntlet on more than one occasion, when confronted by uniformed football thugs from the Highlands to the Lowlands. It was in your best interest to avoid your "free" Scots in Britsh Army uniform on the streets of the unfree six north eastern counties of Ireland. Ask your local Scots Nat` how free you are, oil be seeing you as they say in Aberdeen. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 04:28 AM

Dear Liland, Scotch is an adjective describing whisky, tomatoes, 'Old Scotch Mithers' and men and women and any noun you may care to use. Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Teribus
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 04:20 AM

Guest sorefingers,

I would venture to suggest you go and do a bit of reading. I would suggest for a start "Warrior Race", "Safeguard of the Seas", "Steel Bonnet" and "Scotlands Story".

Malcolm Douglas post above is right on the mark. The late Roy Williamson also put it perfectly in one of the lines of his song "Scotland will Flourish".

"And let us be rid of those bigots and fools
Who will not let Scotland live and let live."

The bigots and fools he was talking about are the Scots who pass the blame and fault for all their ills onto others - they themselves of course are perfect.

Now to get back to your post:

"Teribus - the English have ye bamboozeled, first to do the dirty work - Australia - Canada and the Colonies while yet captive, but to add salt to the sore - taking the Shortcake!; convince us that none of it ever happened and freedom is what this was all along!"

What dirty work did the Scots do for the English in Australia, Canada and the Colonies? Taking them in their correct chronological order.

The colonies:
Nova Scotia, Scottish settlement to the north of the English colonies on the eastern seaboard of America, from which they were barred from trading prior to the Act of Union of 1707.

Jamaica and Barbados, English colonies founded during Cromwell's Commonwealth. Became the repository for Scottish prisoners of war taken during Cromwells campaign in Scotland during the civil war. Those prisoners were sent out as slave labour to work the sugar plantations. Have you never wondered why so many people from those islands have scottish surnames? The prisoners were landed and allocated to plantation owners, their names were entered on the plantation books. Unfortunately the Scots were not best adapted for hard manual labour in those conditions and tended to die. They were replaced by African slaves, who on arrival were given the names of the dead - it made the paper-work easier. (Note: That bit of information I got from a resident of Barbados - one Ramsay Macdonald, who did not have one drop of Scots blood in him)

Canada:
When the French got interested in Canada they had no intention of developing it. They explored and laid claim to large parts of Canada and America from the Canadian border right down to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Their reason for doing this was to effectively hem in the English colonists on the coast. Hint take a look at some of the place names down that strip of the states and the dates from which they have been known as such. The British were granted Canada under the terms of the treaty that ended the Seven Years War - France was just not interested in it. Now the Seven Years War followed fairly swiftly after the conclusion of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion in Scotland - The British forces who fought the French in Canada were predominantly English regiments not Scottish - apart from regiments like the Black Watch and Kings Own Scottish Borderers the British Army had very few Scottish Regiments up until the Start of the French Revolutionary War/Napoleonic Wars, for very obvious reasons.

Australia:
Settled predominatly by convict transports - Why - because convicts could no longer be transported to the American colonies. Not one convict transport sailed to Australia from Scotland - the vast majority of those sailed from ports on the south coast of England, the remainder sailed from Dublin and Cork. What I am saying is very well documented - go and research it, but I doubt you will as it does not fit in with the myths you hold so dear. With the advent of the Highland Clearances Scots did emmigrate to Australia but the main destination tended to be Canada.

Next you said:

"Who did the Enlish need to stomp upon? First they used the Scots to stomp on the Welsh, next the Irish, some more of the same several times over including the plantation of Ulster by greedy wee Scotsmen in Kilts, next stomp all over India and several other places."

Again putting the above in correct chronological order:

Wales:
As Edward I neutralised Wales (Note he did not conquer Wales - oddly enough, no-one ever has, not even the Romans) before he took an interest in Scotland. Exactly when were the Scots ever used to "stomp on Wales"? You made the assertion - please provide details.

Ireland:
When James VIth became King of England (1603 - 15 years after the defeat of the Spanish Armada). He viewed what he called his "middle-shires" (the Anglo-Scottish border) as a nest of potential trouble-makers. The Spanish still continued to meddle in English affairs by continued dialogue with dissaffected nobles and clan chiefs in Ireland. James decided to kill two birds with one stone by "planting" border Scots and English families in the North of Ireland (O'Neill country). They didn't want to go and they certainly did not wear kilts. The one thing that James could depend on was that once granted land, these people would would fight like hell to hold it - after all that is what they'd been doing on the Anglo-Scottish border for damn near 350 years. Further more they were staunchly Protestant or Episcopalean, therefore less likely to be woed by any approach or offer from the King of Spain.

India:
Like Canada, the French were removed during the Seven Years War. The issue and driving force behind European involvement in India was trade not conquest. British, French and Portugese TRADING COMPANIES established posts in various parts of India with the connivance and agreement of the Indian rulers of those areas. The French commercial interests tried to squeeze out the British commercial interests and vice versa. India in the meantime had rulers who were expansionist in their own right - their incentive was conquest. Security for their potential targets lay in even closer ties with the British, French and Portugese. When the Seven Years War broke out in Europe, advantage was taken by both the French and the British to create a monopoly in India by trying to oust the other. By alliance and military action using privately raised armies the British came out on top (Clive of India worked for the honourable East India Company - He was not a professional soldier and he did not act on behalf of the British Crown)"

Finally you come out with:

"That would be fine if Scotland benefited from the booty but you know far better than I, no a farthing of it ever came hame to the wee hooose in da glen!"

Sorefingers, have a good look at the state of Scotland in the period 1700 to 1707, the year of the Act of Union. Seven years of successive crop failures and the collapse of the Darien Scheme - the population of Scotland were starving and the country was bankrupt. Take a look into the size and prosperity of the following cities in Scotland during this same period - Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen. Then compare that to what followed subsequent to the signing of the Act of Union. You assert that "...na a farthing of it ever came hame to the wee hoose in da glen!". With the English colonies and markets opened to the Scots by the signing of the Act of Union a damn sight more than a farthing came home. The trading opportunities opened up built Glasgow, built Dundee, built Paisley, made it possible for the complete redevelopment of Edinburgh. Of the patents that exist in the world 57% of them are held by British companies a serious percentage of those patents are the work and inventions of Scots engineers and scientists. Sorefingers name one that predates the year 1707.

"Howdo freedom." - Yeah damn right!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Haruo
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 12:03 AM

I will persist in insisting on "Lallans" in preference to "Scots" (or "Scotch", which is not a language but a class of whiskies).

Lìolaind


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 11:54 PM

I find Scottish gaelic songs to be more melodically accessible than Irish language songs. To my ear, the melodies seem more flowing. This is not to judge one superior to the other - just a different way of singing, but my personal preference is Scottish gaelic songs.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 08:35 PM

Oh, right, blame everything on the Wicked English. It's time to grow up, take personal responsibility, and move beyond that sad, self-destructive attitude. It's particularly common among those whose ancestors left the Motherland long, long ago, and who prefer old wives' tales to objective history; but unfortunately is also used as an all-purpose excuse for personal failure by a good few who still live there. Scotland is a great nation; it doesn't need imaginary enemies to give it a sense of purpose.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 05:45 PM

Teribus - the English have ye bamboozeled, first to do the dirty work - Australia - Canada and the Colonies while yet captive, but to add salt to the sore - taking the Shortcake!; convince us that none of it ever happened and freedom is what this was all along!

Who did the Enlish need to stomp upon? First they used the Scots to stomp on the Welsh, next the Irish, some more of the same several times over including the plantation of Ulster by greedy wee Scotsmen in Kilts, next stomp all over India and several other places.

That would be fine if Scotland benefited from the booty but you know far better than I, no a farthing of it ever came hame to the wee hooose in da glen!

Howdo freedom.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Mudlark
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:51 AM

Fascinating thread. I think one thing that has been overlooked regarding the accessibility of Irish, as opposed to Scots, culture (as perceived by the multitude), is the fact that Hollywood fell in love with Irish romanticism.
Irish are perceived as having the gift of gab, and all that gab about fairies, little people, leprechans, etc. and black-haired, blue eyed boy-os charming the girls was for many years the stuff of Hollywood cinema fluff. Especially in the 40's and 50's, when the movies had greater impact than they have today, the "no Irish need apply" scenario was replaced by actors happily spouting "Sure and yer that lovely, ma cushla." Often musical numbers were thrown in with a race horse and a plucky short jockey, with a brogue you could cut with a knife, in the background.

In the 60's this was taken past absurdity right into the rank marketplace with the adverts for Irish Spring, a hand/body soap. 75 minutes worth of stereotypical movie making reduced to a 90 second commercial.

I'm half Irish, and I well remember the cache this gave me when I was a teenage folk singer. Now I'm all Scots, by marriage, a Ross...with no cache at all, Mel Gibson notwithstanding.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Teribus
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:46 AM

Guest heinrich, as a Scot I have never felt oppressed by anyone at any time.

"A free Scotland is what is needed and then your culture will get the recognition it deserves. Ard Mhacha. "

A free Scotland? - From the time of Robert the Bruce (Norman Knight) to my knowledge Scotland has always been free. It was a Scottish King that ascended the throne of England on the death of Elizabeth the First, and a Scotish Parliament that voted for the Act of Union with the English Parliament in 1707.

As for Scottish culture being recognized throughout the world - I think the Highland Gatherings (imitated widely in other countries where Scots settled) and the international festivals held each year in Scotland do a pretty good job of displaying different aspects of Scottish culture.

Guest Boab above has it right on the mark. Gaelic was not, and never has been the language of all Scots. If the personal interest is there by all means learn it, but to force it into the school curriculum in Scotland would be a retrograde step that would hinder the education of children in Scotland - they would derive greater benefit from learning Latin (key to many other languages).


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: mack/misophist
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 11:13 PM

I suspect the most aggressively Scottish songs are passed over for a reason. As much as I love Killiecrankie, Prestonpans, and their ilk, one needs a lexicon to guess what they're about. Most Irish songs lack this quality.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 09:26 PM

1) How does the world preceive Scotland and its Gaelic culture?

2) Is there something about Scots Gaelic that makes it less accesible, or acceptable than Irish?

I don't think the World knows a thing about it.

The Isles are remote, the Highlands are hard to reach. I think Gaelic like a lot of regional languages - Euskera Welsh etc - is having a rough ride these days, TV, Radio, the Internet, Globalism.

To those fighting the trend I wish good luck - they will need it.

I also think that far far more important to Scotland is her autonomy, now that is a Global ball game!


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 05:13 PM

We have a glorified Parish council, not a parliament, and 'Scots' is the plural of 'Scot'. The adjective as in language is 'Scotch', i.e, I am a Scotchman. Cheers, jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Diva
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:13 PM

Very interesting thread. As you all know, we have our own parliament and it has been announced that the new notices in said parliament will be in English, Gaelic and Braille but not in Scots. Now what does that say about us as a Nation and about the preservation of Scots culture?

Diva


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:08 AM

Gaelic never was the language of ALL Scots. I speak, by the way, as one who truly regrets the fact that I do not personally "have the Gaelic". My maternal ancestry [ recent] were Gaelic speakers from the Hebrides. One unfortunate consequence of the decline of gaelic in west and north Scotland has been a "bastardisation' of the SCOTS language. This is most noticable in those areas which were most affected by the Jacobite rebellions and their aftermath. One of the results of the destruction of the clan system was a sudden increase in the teaching of English as a second language. The results of this can be plainly heard in the excellent English spoken daily by the residents of Inverness and surrounds, and the English spoken by the Hebrideans--almost a musical experience, and pleasant to listen to. The so-called "Glasgow patter" [and I may have to dodge some fire here!] sounds, to us "chiels frae the fields' to be a mix of pure English, Glesca slang and a smattering of Scots . I strongly believe that the Glasgow tongue owes its style to the same circumstance as the Hebrides and Inverness----an influx of Gaelic speakers after the clearances, and as a result of the Irish potato famine, and their learning of ENGLISH as a necessity in their new abode prompted the development of the Glasgow speech we know today. I do feel that Gaelic should be made available as a subject in schools. But a VOLUNTARY subject. I would have jumped at the chance to "have the Gaelic"---but would always have respected the wishes of those who wanted only English ---or, indeed,Scots--to be the language of their choice.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Peg
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 01:33 PM

to go somewhat off-topic. I am trying to organize an outdoor festival in western NY for next summer or fall. At a foklore center/campground that hosts many pagan gatherings. "Nine Woods: A Pan-Celtic Arts Festival" If any Mudcatters might be interested in attending and performing or giving workshops, please PM me. I envision workshops on all sorts of arts and music and folklore topics (I am preparing one on performing Robert Burns' songs and one on adapting traditional lyrics), nightly bardic circles round the bonfire, etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Jim McLean
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 12:07 PM

Read Hugh MacDiarmid's 'A Drunk Man Looks at a Thistle'. Lots of the above questions are addressed. Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Ceejay
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 11:42 AM

I think its quite true that Scottish people themselves tended to undervalue the Gaelic side of their heritage up until recent years. I don't know why. The Irish too, undervalued their Gaelic heritage for many years to the point that the traditional music was hardly acknowledged by the great majority of the younger generation of the 1950s. It was thanks to a relative few people like Sean O Riada and the early Comhaltas Cheolteoiri that the great turn-around in fortune for the traditional music and singing began. Now the living tradition is once again strong enough for today's younger generation to rebel against its strictures, which has always been the task for younger generations everywhere in all eras and in all facets of public life. Now it is a broad field and it is possible for young musicians to 'hate' it while mining it assiduously for inspiration. This is how a tradition lives, not as a museum-piece. The best stands up to criticism and is constantly re-interpreted, the rest may be neglected until perhaps some new genius 'discovers' its heretofore hidden merits. It is surely no co-incidence that Scotland's new autonomy and the resurgence of its Gaelic culture make Scotland the media's 'the new Ireland'. I confidently predict a revival of her football fortunes within the next 5 years.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: ard mhacha
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:14 AM

So many diverse opinions, mine for what it`s worth is for Scotland to grasp the bloody nettle and get of England`s coat-tails, A free Scotland is what is needed and then your culture will get the recognition it deserves. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,heinrich
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 05:10 AM

I forgot a point...

Wasnt it because of the English that the gaelic culture was pushed back ? I would see the revival of the caelic culture as a step to put back the English oppression.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,heinrich
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 04:52 AM

Hey all,

thats a good point lads,

I'm 19 and from germany and I've been several times to the outer hebbrides(harris), edinburgh and glasgow... The opinion I got of Scotland is that the people there should be more aware of their culture and language which is gaelic... as some lad said on this page here gaelic is more spoken by the older people and the old celtic culture gets lost. The Gaelic culture is one of the last celtic cultures in europe and hopefully it will live on in you Scots as it did the last centuries. So I'd suggest to teach gaelic in school again...or to do anything else to keep the scottish gaelic alive.. like one guy here who is starting to make an overview of gaelic music.

but anyway scotland and its people is one of the worlds most beautiful places...


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: sian, west wales
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 05:42 AM

This thread reminded me of a book I had 'round the house, so I had a rummage and found it. "Scotch Reels: Scotland in Cinema and Television" (reels - get it?) is out of print, but an interesting collection of essays, kicked off by "Myths Against History: Tartanry and Kailyard in 19th-Century Scottish Literature" by Cairns Craig (where is he these days?) Other essays:

"From Scott-land to Disneyland", Murray Grigor
"Scotland and Cinema: The Iniquity of the Fathers", Colin McArthur
"Scottish Film Culture: A Chronicle", Jim Hickey "An Interview with Forsyth Hardy"
"Workers' Films: Scotland's Hidden Film Culture", Douglas Allen
"Scotland doesna mean much tae Glesca: Some Notes on The Gorbals Story", John Hill
"Scottish Television: What Would It Look Like?", John Caughie

All in all an interesting book and, considering how film and TV shape conceptions, relevant to this discussion. It was published in 1982 by the British Film Institute ISBN 0 85170 121 3. Perhaps available second-hand? It would also probably be in national libraries, and possibly outposts of BFI (and perhaps British Council?)

sian


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: PeteBoom
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 09:26 AM

True, Fiolar. However, I'd rather have them get their sense of history from that fellow from Avon than from Mickey Mouse. There is a difference between "spin" and "rubbish" (not much, but a difference.)

Pete


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Fiolar
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 09:19 AM

It never ceases to amaze me how many folks whose grasp of history is poor or in some cases based on the "dramas" penned by the Bard of Avon, are prepared to make their prejudices known. For example last year in our local evening newspaper, one of the regular columnists had an item about Macbeth. In it he was described (and I quote) as a "power-crazed megalomanic nutter" and consumed by his own ambition and comparable to Adolf Hitler in those aspects. I dropped a letter explaining the true facts and I fully expected a host of replies from Scottish folks in support. Mine was the only one published. Not surprising I suppose as many people have no time for such things as history and I have met some who think "Bannockburn" was some thing one did with a cake; the "Yellow Ford" was the latest model car and "Hastings" a character in an Agatha Christie novel.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 05:43 PM

Perhaps this song fits into this thread Nancy Nicholson
Failte.....Giok


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 01:50 PM

Rant mode on.

The way Celtic Americans view Gaelic Scotland, Ireland, etc is no more or less realistic than the way that Italian Americans view Italy, German Americans view Germany, and African Americans view Africa.

To be as vicious about these sorts of idealized impressions people have of their ancestral homelands they never have seen just strikes me as the worst sort of begrudgery and ill temperedness.

People will never come to learn about the genuine article when their attempts to do so are viciously disparaged by people like Malcolm Douglas.

And just so you know Malcolm, you look every bit as foolish projecting your stereotypes about Americans and others with an affection for Celtic lands and peoples as any Oirish American I've ever seen.

As to the fashionability issue, I do believe it is true to a limited extent. But it also isn't true. This music has been kept alive by descendants of immigrants for generations in North America. There were many people involved in their Celtic American ancestral music communities performing and listening to Irish and Scots music long before it became fashionable. To suggest otherwise is pretty ignorant.

For the life of me, I will never understand the begrudgery natives have towards their exiles and emigres. It really is an ugly human trait.

Rant mode off.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Aodh
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 06:22 PM

Hi folks, and a big thank you all for taking the time to ponder and give your thoughts on the matter. It has given me a lot to think about, and I hope it has you as well.

Mile moran taing.

Aodh


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: sheila
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 09:36 PM

weepiper - Now that James Thins has collapsed, we have to hope that the new owners will continue to stock those books.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: weepiper
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 02:50 PM

Yes, very much pot luck finding Gaelic books. In Edinburgh the best place is James Thin's on South Bridge - it has a large academic section which has several shelves of Gaelic books because of the Celtic Department at the university. But most bookshops wouldn't have much.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM

Séamus, who teaches geography and French at an Irish-medium secondary school (all subjects except English & French are taught through the medium of Irish) in Northern Ireland, told me of difficulty in finding Gaelic books in Edinburgh. Séamus went into Waterstones, a very large book shop centrally located in the capital city of Scotland. He asked the assistant where the Scottish Gaelic books were kept. She brought him to a section of Scottish literature and picked out a book of Robert Burns and asked him if that was the sort of thing he was looking for. Séamus explained again that he was looking for books in the Gaelic language. She said he should look upstairs in the "Foreign Language" section.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Big John
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:26 PM

Sorry. I have just read the previous entries and realised the thread is mainly to do with language. I was a product of a christian brothers school where they told us about how the English had beaten the english language into the Irish and they then proceeded to beat the Irish language into us. I, for one, have NO INTEREST in the Irish language and I prefer to communicate with people in the language I know best which happens to be English.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Big John
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:08 PM

I am probably schitsophrenic (who cares about the spelling) in that I play the guitar and sing Irish ballads and folk music but my chosen sport is Lawn Bowls which is a very British sport. Through that sport I have visited bowling clubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as several Welsh and English locations. (I will be visiting Glasgow next June for a week of Bowls). Music is my life but hospitality has an equal ranking. The hospitality and sharing of musical culture that I have experienced in Scotland leaves no doubt in my mind that the Scots are equal to the Irish in their love of music and tradition and their hospitality is second to none. I only skimmed through the previous entries. To those of you who feel that Scotland is lagging behind, don't worry, all the right things are alive and well and living throughout your brilliant country.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 07:56 PM

Well, as the thread title says, " Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!" The perception by others of the scot and his culture is the heart of the matter.

Say "Irish" and the popular image a few years ago would be the drunken unwashed illiterate labourer, singing Danny Boy, and ready to punch out anybody who seemed to insult Guinness, Ould Ireland, the Pope, or the IRA. Thankfully that image has changed, due in no small part to the popularisation of irish music and pseudo-irish culture. This has also brought about some awareness of celt-icity, and all that entails, with mystic faerie and arthurian legend mixed up in the brew. However, there has been a revival of interest in "real" folk music and song as heard and sung by some geniuses and a lot of ordinary people in ordinary life, and about some extra-ordinary situations in the history of Ireland.

Now, a few years ago, if somebody said "scot" the popular image abroad would have been the dour hypocritic wowser, clad in a tweed jacket and kilt of dubious authenticity, playing the pipes while bemoaning the loss of a baw-bee, hunting a haggis, and getting maudlin-drunk on whisky on a Saturday night. This image is just as false as was that of the irishman, but in many cases it is still firmly held. I feel that in many cases we have actively encouraged it, partly because we ourselves can find it amusing, but also as a kind of defence derived from a sense of inferiority instilled into us... my, but we're a fine bundle of neurotic paranoia when we're abroad. My point about the scene here in Oz twenty-odd years ago was that ordinary scots in Scotland didn't have the same pressure to "tartanise" as they did overseas. Out here they did, and still do. The gaelic language is just one aspect of the whole thing. Because it was not being spoken much in Scotland for various reasons, scots abroad tended to lose it completely. For many years it was seen as an inferior language. You'd go a long way here to find many who speak gaelic, except for a very few. It is the other scots tongues that are heard, and instantly recogniseable - if not always comprehensible. The ordinary scot abroad is always immediately identified. Very few people mistake us for irish, and are usually gently corrected...... But the use of any distinctive language, and especially with the poetic potential of the scots dialects, is to be encouraged.

Teribus made the point that in his days in Scotland, entertainment was what the ordinary people made for themselves, and that today, this has largely disappeared. I agree completely. That was what gave us our "real" folk music over the centuries. The tendency to give that up in exchange for ready-made popular insta-stuff is lamentable, but surely our task is to try to put "good" "real" "folk" music before the public so that they get to see what it's like, and hopefully enjoy it. Educate the audiences, as many of the best names in folk music have always done. There was a lot of good stuff among the pseudo-irish material, and it made people aware. That's really what we need for scots material, but it isn't going to work if the majority still believe in the image of the laird in his argyle jacket, hairy sporran and kilt, jumping up and down on somebody's sword half way up a heather-clad hillside as depicted from the time of Victoria.

We have had a long and chequered history and there are any number of excellent writers of it, as well as brilliant musicians and singers who can provide the real stories from it. Let's emphasise that aspect and the dross will be sifted from the whole body of material which the music and tourism industries produces in their drive to make money.

I've just read what I've written.... Damn, but it sounds pompous. Doon aff ra box again........


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 07:40 PM

I'd have to second what Malcom said. Irish music and dance are the "fashionable" folk...for the moment. I had heard that Cuban music was making a play for that spot, however.

As for Scots Gaelic culture, music, and dance, from where I sit, I see quite a lot of recognition of it. There are more Scottish heritage festivals that I am aware of than Irish. I have never seen the Irish equivalent to Highland Games here in the States. And, Bagpipes are immediately recognizable as being Scottish, but how many people know what an uillean pipe is?


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: sheila
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 02:21 PM

Hmm.. the link I meant to send disappeared. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,652992,00.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: sheila
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 02:20 PM

Orac - check for the background on Orkney passing from Danish control to Scottish.

The language there was Norn, derived from old Norse.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Leeder
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 12:19 PM

The treatment of Scots Gaelic speakers in schools has resonance in Canada, in the treatment of First Nations children who were sent to residential schools, where their own language was forbidden, likely for roughly the same reasons as those of the teachers in Scotland. The fact that much physical and sexual abuse went on as well has raised this to a high-profile issue here, with massive lawsuits that threaten to bankrupt some of the churches which operated the schools. The cultural genocide issue tends to get shunted into the background.

Another interesting point in Canada is the success of Mary Jane Lamond, a singer who has made a career of popularizing songs in Cape Breton Scots Gaelic, despite the fact that she is not a native speaker, and learned the language in university. Apparently her pronunciation isn't all that good, in fact sometimes being incomprehensible to native speakers of the language in Scotland. (This from a review of one of her recordings, by Margaret Bennett in the Canadian Folk Music Bulletin.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM

It is perhaps worth noting at this point that not all high-profile Irish Gaelic songs are quite what they seem. check out the Eriscay Love Lilt on many internet sites and you will find it is "Irish".


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 11:54 AM

Teribus wrote "Hogmanay in Scotland now is a party on Princess Street, with laid on entertainment." But in the Western Isles the season still is celebrated with oidhche callan and first footing. Aodh started this thread in response to my comments in the Oran na Politician thread that there is a very strong song tradition in Gaelic Scotland but that outside their homeland the Irish Gaelic songs have a much higher profile.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Teribus
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 11:43 AM

One thing that tends to get overlooked when making comparisons between the Scots and the Irish and the carry over of culture is the outlook of those who emmigrated.

George Macdonald Fraser, in his book "The Steel Bonnets" says that it does not surprise him one jot, that the first human being to set foot on land outwith planet Earth was an Armstrong, or that the man who sent him there was a Nixon. He also points out that for the percentage make up of the peoples of the United States of America, there are a disproportionate number of Scots, or people of Scottish descent, in America's Hall of Fame.

The Reformation in Scotland in 1560 brought, among other things, access to education for all. The languages used in Scottish schools were Latin and English. By the time emmigration started on any sort of scale, the general population of Scotland was one of the most literate in Europe. Within that system, men of science, medicine, engineers and men of commerce were the most highly valued. Poets, musicians and artists were well regarded but few in number. Where and when they travelled, the emmigrant Scots tended to be forward looking, fully intent on making the best of the opportunities presented.

Starting during the reign of William IV and continuing through the reign of Queen Victoria, Scotland and things Scottish became increasingly "fashionable". The style adopted was firmly based on what was acceptable then. There were no "mock jocks" then - only in the continuation of that style are they viewed so now - and that is wrong, because they were the ones who built for Scotland and it's people, a reputation for honesty, hard-work and excellence.

So with regard to what is the "real thing" for the Scots, why shouldn't it be in pipe music, or in fiddle and accordian bands playing music to accompany traditional scottish dancing - just because it wasn't cool to city dwelling Scots while they were growing up does not necessarily make it pretentious or governed by class or position.

Ozmacca was surprised that;
"I had never seen so much tartan in one place ever before! But these were all ordinary people, the plumbers and carpenters and bricklayers, not the classes with which we had associated this kind of activity back home."

Well the case exactly as you saw it used to be the norm where I hailed from in Scotland Oz, dances and functions attended by plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers and mill workers - ordinary people.

Hogmanay in Scotland now is a party on Princess Street, with laid on entertainment. When I lived in Scotland the only entertainment laid on was laid on by ourselves. You entered houses first footing on the understanding that at one point you would have to entertain the company, either by song, dance, recitation or story - that's how a hell of a lot of the songs have survived and been carried forward - real traditional 'folk' songs, tunes and tales. Try to get that sort of evening going now and you'd be doomed to failure without microphones, amplifiers, backing tracks and a drum kit. Even if all those are available don't expect anyone to know any words - they don't matter any more, all that is required is mumbled moaning that is roughly in tune with the accomplished stuff they are thumping out on whatever bit of wood or plastic they are holding in their hands.

Aye, Laddie!! - The "Real Thing" !!!!! If that's it you are welcome to it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: Orac
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 10:59 AM

Very true Greg. The Irish also choose to forget the miserable lives the poor had in England (in larger numbers) as if it was just they that suffered under greedy landowners. The folk songs may talk about "merry ploughboys" etc .. but how many were?


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Subject: RE: Help: Gaelic Scotland, As others see us!
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 10:41 AM

Fiolra quotes the anti-minstrel legislation of 1534 as evidence of some English hostility to Ireland. You can deduce that if you wish to see it in that light, but I would point out that theTudor monarchy was just as vigorous (if not more?) in extirpating the huge body of English minstrels, who were going full power in 1500 andreduced to aa few more-or-less beggars/buskers in 1600. I would regard both campaigns as part of the efforts of the monarchsof the time to establish (successfully).Just as the Planatagent monarchs of England moved against the Welsh bards in the 1400's, so did the Welsh Tudors move against the English minstrels in the 1500's. I don't seeit as some anti-Gaelic phenomenon....I doubt if the fat git Henry VIII gave a shit what language the peasants spoke, as long as noone rode around with a harp stirring them up to "disease and mischief"(I quote from an old edict).


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