Birken Tree

by IONA

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about

IONA is about the Celtic tradition--the WHOLE tradition: Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, Breton, Galician/Asturian, even our home grown Appalachian. We are fortunate to be New World Celts: the offspring of those nomadic tribes that continue their westward odyssey. The influences we have grown up with are those of our eclectic heritage, which is why we combine them with the vibrant variety that is the United States of America. We even keep Bernard, our token Brit, on hand to stay connected with the homelands...

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released December 18, 2000

Produced by Bernard Argent, Barbara Tresidder Ryan and Scott Shuman
Recorded and mastered at Shuman Recording, Falls Church, VA
Engineered by Scott Shuman
Art work and design: Barbara Tresidder Ryan and Bernard Argent. Front cover based on a carving on the North Cross, Duleek, Ireland.
Photography: IONA meeting by the Burke (Virginia) Birken (river birch) tree by Tom Smith; studio shots by Chris Moscatiello
Liner notes: IONA
A Barnaby Productions, Inc. enterprise

IONA: Bernard Argent: flutes, whistles, doumbek, vocals; Bob Mitchell: Highland and shuttle pipes, shakers; Barbara Tresidder Ryan: vocals, guitars, Celtic bouzouki, bodhrán, tambourine; Nick Smiley: mandolin, Celtic bouzouki, acoustic bass guitar, vocals, bowed 5-string bass, "avocado".

With undying gratitude to Frank Coleman, a dear friend without whom this recording would not have been possible; as always, to Cheryl Mitchell, Barbara's Welsh coach; to Nolwenn and Polig Monjarret for guiding us through the intricacies of Breton music; to David Fisher and Ceri Rhys Matthews who so kindly helped us with our research; and last, but certainly not least, to Susan Walmsley for her magnificent dance accompaniment to IONA's music, and for helping make it fun!

This album is dedicated to Barbara's father, Argus Tresidder, who helped us with past projects, and came faithfully to our concerts until, at 93, he is no longer able to.

All titles traditional, except where noted. All arrangements © IONA.

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about

IONA Washington, D.C.

IONA has been taking its unique brand of traditional Celtic music to festivals, arts centers, schools & house concerts all over North America and Europe since 1986, blending music from the various Celtic traditions with stories and a little humor - Barbara Ryan (vocals, bouzouki, bodhran), Bernard Argent (flute, doumbek), Chuck Lawhorn (bass), Jim Queen (fiddle, banjo) & Kathleen Larrick (dance). ... more

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Track Name: Wrth Fynd Efo Deio y Dywyn/An Culyek Hos
Mi dderbyniais bwt o lythyr
Ffa-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la
Oddi wrth Misdar Jones o'r Brithdir,
Ffa-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la
Ac yn hwnnw ‘roedd o'n gofyn,
Ffa-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la
Awn i efo Deio ‘i Dywyn
Ffa-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

Fe gychwynnwyd ar nos Wener,
Dod i Fawddwy erbyn swper.
Fe gawd yno uwd a menyn,
Wrth fynd efo Deio i Dywyn.

Dod ywmlaen ac heibio'r Ddinas,
Bara chaws a chwrw ‘Ngwanas;
Drwy Dalyllyn yr aem ni'n llinyn
Wrth fynd efo Deio i Dywyn.

Dod drwy Aberygynolwyn
Wedin haibio'r Graig y Deryn:
Pan gyrhaedd'som Ynys Maengwyn.
Gwaeddai Deio, ‘Dacw Dywyn!

Os bydda'i byw un flwyddyn eto
Mynna'n helaeth iawn gynilo,-
Mi ga'i bleser anghyffredin
Wrth fynd efo Deio i Dywyn.
Track Name: Came Ye O'er frae France/Duncan Johnson's/Butterfingers
Came ye o'er frae France, came ye doon by Lunnon,
Saw ye Geordie whelps an' his bonnie women?
Were ye at the place ca'd the Kittle Housie?
Saw ye Geordie's grace a-ridin' on a goosie?

Geordie he's a man, there is little doubt o'it,
He does a' he can, wha' can be without it?
Doon there came a blad, linkin' like me lordie,
He wad drive a trade at the loom o' Geordie.

Though the claith be bad, blithely may we niffer;
Gin we get a wab, it makes little differ.
We hae tint our plaid, bonnet, belt and swordie,
Hats and mailins braid -- but we hae a Geordie!

Jocky's gane tae France, and Montgomery's lady ;
There they'll learn to dance: Madam, are you ready?
They'll be back belyve, belted brisk and lordly;
Brawly may they thrive tae dance a jig wi' Geordie.

Hey for Sandy Don! Hey for Cockolorum!
Hey for Bobbing John and his Hieland quorum!
Mony a sword an' lance swing at Hieland hurdie;
How they'll skip an' dance o'er the bum o' Geordie!
Track Name: Fare You Well/Santón de Camadu
Oh fare you well my darlin', oh fare you well my dear.
Don't grieve for my long absence while I am present here.
Since it is my misfortune a soldier for to be,
Oh try to live contented, and do not grieve for me.

She wrung her lily white hands, and so mournful she did cry,
You've enlisted as a soldier, and in the war you'll die.
In the battle you'll lie wounded, and in the center be slain.
It'll burst my heart a-sunder if I never see you again.

I'm going away tomorrow to tarry for a while,
So far from my dear darlin', it's about 500 miles.
I hope the time is coming that I and you shall meet,
With words and looks and kisses we shall each other greet.

Where cannons are loudly roaring, and the bullets by showers fall,
And the drums and fifes are beating to drown a wounded man's call,
Stand steady by your captain, let bombs and grapeshot fly,
Trust in God your saviour, but keep the powder dry.
Track Name: Quand j'étais jeune à dix-huit ans/Hanter dros
Quand j'étais jeune à dix-huit ans
J'étais belle et galante o-gué.
Quand j'étais jeune à dix-huit ans
J'étais belle et galante. [3 times]

Les amoureux venaient me voir
Le soir dedans ma chambre o-gué,
Les amoureux venaient me voir
Le soir dedans ma chambre. [3 times]

Le plus jeuneux des amoureux
M'apporta une orange o-gué,
Le plus jeuneux des amoureux
M'apporta une orange. [3 times]

L'orange est tombé sur mon pied,
Elle a cassé ma jambe o-gué,
L'orange est tombé sur mon pied,
Elle a cassé ma jambe. [3 times]

On fit venir un medécin
De Paris ou de Nantes o-gué,
On fit venir un medécin
De Paris ou de Nantes. [3 times]

Le medécin qui me soigna
Voulut couper ma jambe o-gué,
Le medécin qui me soigna
Voulut couper ma jambe. [3 times]

Non ma jambe ne sera pas coupée
Car je vis de mes rents o-gué,
Non ma jambe ne sera pas coupée
Car je vis de mes rents. [3 times]
Track Name: Donald MacGillavry/Paddy's Leather Britches
Donald's gane up the hill, hard and hungry,
Donald's gane doon the hill, wild and angry,
Donald will clear the gauk's nest cleverly,
Here's tae the king an' tae Donald MacGillavry.

Come like a weighbauk, Donald MacGillavry,
Come like a weighbauk, Donald MacGillavry,
Balance them fair, and balance them cleverly,
Off wi' the counterfeit, Donald MacGillavry.

Donald's ran o'er the hill, but his tether, man,
As he were wud, or stang'd wi' an adder, man,
When he's come back, there's mony'll look merrily,
Here's tae King James an' tae Donald MacGillavry.

Come like a weaver, Donald MacGillavry,
Come like a weaver, Donald MacGillavry,
Pack on your back, an' elwand sae cleverly,
Here's tae the king an' tae Donald MacGillavry.

Donald has foughten wi' rief an' roguery,
Donald has dinner'd wi' banes an' beggary,
Better it were for Whigs an' Whiggery,
Meetin' the de'il than Donald MacGillavry.

Come like a tailor, Donald MacGillavry,
Come like a tailor, Donald MacGillavry,
Push aboot, in an' oot, an' thimble them cleverly,
Here's tae King James an' tae Donald MacGillavry.

Donald's the callan that brooks nae tangleness,
Whiggin' an' priggin' an' a' newfangleness,
They maun be gane, he winna' be baukit, man,
He maun ha'e justice or faith, he'll take it man!

Come like a cobbler, Donald MacGillavry,
Come like a cobbler, Donald MacGillavry,
Beat them an' bore them an' lingel them cleverly,
Up wi' King James an' wi' Donald MacGillavry.

Donald was mumpit wi' mirds o' mockery,
Donald was blinded wi' blads o' property,
Arles ran high, but makins were naething, man,
Lord, how Donald is flytin' an' frettin', man'

Come like the de'il, Donald MacGillavry,
Come like the de'il, Donald MacGillavry,
Skelp them an' scaud them that proved sae unbritherly,
Up wi' King James an' wi' Donald MacGillavry!
Track Name: Wellington's Advance/A Ei D'ir 'Deryn Du?/Nyth y Gog/The Tarbolton
A ei di'r 'deryn du
To my dearest love?
O cais fy ngha-ngen gu,
For I'm so deep in love.

Ni welaf yn yn man
Such a damsel in my sight
Â'r ferch mor lân o liw--
She is a beauty bright.

Mae'i gwallt yn felyn aur,
Just like a ring of gold,
A'i phryd fel eira gwyn--
The truth it must be told.
Track Name: The Mermaid's Song/Seoladh na nGamhna
Lá dá rabhas ar (a) thaobh a'ghleanna
Ag seoladh na ngamhn' fé bhfásach
Casadh orm spéirbhean mhaorga mhaisiúil
Chiúintais bhanúil náireach;
D'fhiosraíos féin den spéirbhean chailce
"A' dtiocfá seal im' pháirtíocht?
'S le fáinne an lae beam araon 'nár seasamh
Ag seoladh na ngamhn' fé'n bhfásach".

"Ag seoladh na ngamhn' sea d'fhág mé an baile
'Gus ceann ní bhfaighidh mé go lá dhíobh
Tá m'athair gan chéill im' dhiadh sa bhaile
'S mo mháithrín buartha cráite".
"Gheobham cead saor ó mhaor na coille
Fér a thabhairt go lá dhóibh
'S le fáinne an lae beam araon 'nár seasamh
Ag seoladh na ngamhn' fé'n bhfásach".

"Tá crainnín cumhra i lúb na coille
'Gus raghaimid araon go lá ann,
Beidh ceol na n-éan dár síorchur a chodladh
'S tuilleadh' s tortha a' fás air".
"A rún mo chléibh, ná bíodh ort ort aon mhairg
Ní baol, dúinn maor ná páiste
Seo dhuit póigín ar bharra mo bhaise
'Sa stóirín, mo chúig céad slán leat".
Track Name: Where are you Going/Aberdulais
Where are you going, my pretty maid,
With your rosy red cheeks and your curling black hair?
I'm going milking, kind sir she said,
Roving in the dew makes the milkmaids fair.

Shall I go with you?
Oh yes you may.

What if I lay with you?
With that I do agree.

What if a child should then be yours?
Why then that child shall also be yours.

"What should we do for a cradle?" he said.
My brother's a carpenter by his trade.

What shall we clothe him in?
Sir I can weave and also can spin.
Track Name: Birken Tree/Devil in the Kitchen/The Curlew
O lass, gin ye wud think it right tae gang wi' me this very night,
An' cuddle tae the mornin' light by a' th' lave unseen-o?
An' ye will be my dearie, my ain my dearest dearie,
An ye will be my dearie, gin ye meet me at e'en-o.

I canna for me mammy gae. She locks the door an' keeps the key.
An' in the mornin' charges me, an' aye about the men-o.
She says they're a' deceivers, deceivers, deceivers,
She says they're a' deceivers, ye canna trust in ane-o.

O never mind your mammy's yell, nae doubt she met your dad hersel',
And should she flyte ye can her tell she's oft times done the same-o.
So lassie gi'e your han' on't, your bonnie, milk white han' on't,
O lassie gi'e your han' on't, an' scorn tae lie alane-o.

O lad my han' I canna gie, but aiblins I maun steal the key,
An' meet ye at yon birken tree that grows doon in the glen-o.
So dinna lippin laddie, I canna promise laddie,
O dinna lippin laddie, in case I canna win-o.

O he's gane tae yon birken tree in hopes his ane true love tae see,
When fa' come trippin' o'er the lee, but just his bonnie Jean-o.
An' she's clinkit doon beside him, beside him, beside him,
She's clinkit doon beside him, amangst the grass sae green-o.

"I'm overjoyed wi' rapture noo", quo' he an' preed his cherry mou,
An' Jeannie n'er had cause to rue that night all on the green-o.
For she has got her Johnny, her ane, her dearest Johnny,
For she has got her Johnny, an' Johnny's got his Jean-o.
Track Name: An Dros/Te Traa Goll Thie/Arrane Oie Vie
Te traa goll thie, as goll dy lhie
Ta'n stoyll ta foym griennagh mee roym
She cowrey dooin dy ghleashagh
Te tayrn dys traa ny liabbagh

My Ghuillyn vie, shegin dooin goll thie
Ta'n dooid cheet er y chiollagh
Te geignagh shin dy gholl dy lhie
Te bunnys traa dy ghraa, Oie-vie