Hé mandu (SATB)

Music: Peter Hill. Words: Trad. Anon
performance time approx 1m 45s
traditional Gaelic words and tune
Price code: A
Complexity: **

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This piece is the last in the set Mouth music set 3
The first piece is Bodachan a-ri-a-ro
If you don't want to buy the whole set, then you can buy Hé mandu individually using the link on this page.
This piece is based on a traditional Gaelic waulking song - a highly rhythmic song that would accompany the waulking (beating and finishing, or fulling) of woollen cloth. The performance should have a heavy, steady, stamping quality.
Traditionally, waulking songs and other Gaelic puirt-a-beul (mouth music) songs would have been sung unaccompanied and in unison but they are great to arrange for chorus. Frequently they are sung in sequences of three or four, each song leading without a break into the next. Hé mandu works well as the third song in the following set of three: Bodachan ar-i-ar-o; Na'm biodh trì sgillinn agam; Hé mandu (all published by Canasg).
A recording by Rudsambee company of singers is available on their album bottled at source (RUBEECD003).

Pronunciation guide included. A version voiced for womens or children's voices is also available.


Hé mandu
'S truagh nach tigeadh
siud gam' iarraidh
gille 's litir
each is diollaid
Hé mandu hì ri oró hó ro hù o
'S mise dh'fhalbhadh
null thar sàile
le mo leannan
's cha bhiodh dàil ann
Nam biodh agam
sgiath a'ghlaisein
iteag an eòin
spòg na lachainn
Shnàmhainn na caoil
air an tarsainn
An cuan Ileach
's an caol Arcach
Rachainn a-steach
chun a' chaisteil
's bheirinn a-mach
as mo leannan

traditional Gaelic song


It's a pity that what I want isn't on its way - a lad and a letter, a horse and a saddle.
I would go across the sea with my lover, without delay.
If I had the wing of a finch, the flight of a bird, the webbed foot of a duck,
I would swim the narrows, right across the Sound of Islay and the Orkney Sound.
I would go out into the castle and bring out my lover.

Canasg editors

Purchase – 1513: Hé mandu (SATB)

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