So today it’s finally time for me to share that song by Ruth Keggin and Rachel Hair that I was talking about in this post that it contains the word mish which so far is my favourite word in the Manx language because it looks almost like Misha, although I’m not really familiar with many Manx words at all. It comes from their collaborative album called Lossan (Light), which as I’ve already mentioned I really love because this album has been my closest encounter with Manx music and language so far, and I love how prominent the harp obviously is on this album, and I love Ruth Keggin’s vocals. Like the previous song by this Manx-Scottish duo that I’ve shared on here – the lullaby Arrane Saveenagh – this song also has to do with the sea. It is originally a poem written by Manx poet Annie Kissack. And as you can see from the title of this post, its title translates to Myself and the Sea from what I’ve read, which means that now I already know what mish exactly means in Manx, as I thought it means “I” but it seems to mean myself.
Recently I shared with you a song by Ruth Keggin, and in that post I mentioned her brand new album recorded with the Scottish harpist Rachel Hair, the album is called Lossan (Light) and I said I’d probably be sharing something from it, namely another song with “mish” in the title. Well, I’ve had very few encounters with Manx music, so I was very excited when I found out that this album came out, , and that also there’s so much harp on it which is obviously my favourite instrument, and I’ve already listened to it several times, and I really really like it. So I decided that I’ll actually share a few songs from it rather than just one, and the one I’m sharing today isn’t the “mish” one yet. Instead, for today I decided to share with you a beautiful little lullaby sung by Ruth a capella. It was collected by Manx folklorist Mona Douglas from one Mrs. Shimmin of Foxdale. The song was apparently originally in English and then later translated to Manx, and while I don’t know what it’s lyrics are exactly and haven’t been able to find a translation, I’ve read that they’re similar to the English Rock a Bye Baby. The sea is a big part of these lyrics which makes me like this lullaby even more.
And finally, the day has come for me to share a song in Manx with you on here. Manx is one of the languages that I plan to and would really love to learn at some point, and in case you’re not aware, it’s a Celtic language of the Goidelic/Gaelic branch which is spoken on the Isle of Man, which is an isle belonging to the United Kingdom which has been influenced both by Celtic as well as Norse culture. It is quite problematic with all of the Celtic languages that there aren’t really very many resources available to learn these languages from, especially if you live outside of the UK, and even more so if you’re blind and thus also have to take their accessibility into account. But with Manx, it seems to be the most tricky of all the languages. I have an impression that even Cornish resources are slightly easier to come across. Another thing that I think is quite a great pity about the Manx language is that, unlike with the Irish, Scottish and Welsh language, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of music in Manx out there. I know literally only about a few Manx musicians, and I wonder whether it is because I am so ignorant (inn which case Manx music definitely needs more promotion and recognition because I’ve really been digging for it) or if there really is so little interest in making music in this language, but, yeah, it’s a real pity either way.
Ruth Keggin is the first Manx folk singer I’ve ever come across, and I instantly liked her music. I believe I found her through Last.fm which I was using for music discoveries back then, and there was one song that particularly got my attention because it had the word mish in it, as in my little Misha, obviously, and I was like “Wow, if this language has the word mish in it, it must be an even cooler language than I’d thought”. 😀 Well, Welsh theoretically does too, because the word mis, meaning month, is pronounced as mish in the south, and even though I’m learning North Welsh, that’s how I always say this word as well. But this one is ACTUALLy spelt mish, yay! 😀 But then I stopped using Last.fm, and I think I forgot about Ruth Keggin a bit, and then when I was trying to look for that song, I didn’t remember anything more about it other than that it had “mish” in it, but for some reason couldn’t find it anywhere with just searching for “Ruth Keggin mish”. Even now it’s still not on Spotify which is my main place for listening to music outside of my SD cards collection, which is a bit of an inconvenience but I’m used to that with obscure/underpromoted folk music.
Well, but just very recently I found out that Ruth Keggin and the Scottish harpist Rachel Hair, several of whose pieces I’ve shared on here in the past, have released an album together called Lossan. And there’s another piece on there with Mish in its title, which I like even more then this one and will perhaps share at some point as well, or if not that one then some other piece from Lossan. Anyway, seeing this made me want to look once again for that older “mish” song, and this time round, I found it right away, and here it is. I have absolutely no idea what its title means as a whole or what this song is about, but mish is supposed to mean “me/I” in Manx from what I read. If that’s true, I like it even more, especially if this word is used as much as “I” is in English. 😀