When I feel blue, all I have to do, is listen to some mournful noble fun proud sweet Irish or Scottish music!

Via on May 6, 2010

scottish songs irish clancy brothersloch lomondclancy brothers

The importance of “celebrating and honoring ancestral roots”—even when they aren’t yours.

It may seem funny, I’m really only 1/12 Scottish or something—Clan McLeod, thank you—but the music kills me in the same way a good blues song gets into your heart and opens it up and melts it. It’s cathartic.

Perhaps it’s in my “blood” because I was raised and trained up in the Mukpo Clan, the extended family of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Even stranger, I know—this Tibetan exile, monk and then pioneering teacher of Buddhism had a soft spot just the size of his heart for the dignity, openness, and occasional corny-ness that bagpipes and tartans and these songs so easily inspire:

trungpa scottish

Some excerpts from the Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa that may help all of us, whether we care a whit for Scottish or Irish traditions or no, relate to the heart behind the below songs:

During the 1979 Kalapa Assembly in Big Sky, Montana, Trungpa Rinpoche talked about the importance of connecting with one’s cultural heritage, that regardless of our origins there is something to be gained by celebrating and honoring our ancestral roots. Taking him seriously, a group of Rinpoche’s Scottish and Scottish-American students formed the New Caledonia Society later that year and hosted their first Robert Burns supper in January 1980 at Marpa House.

It was a great success. Trungpa Rinpoche, who was an official member of the Elliot Clan by marriage, and who lived in Scotland for several years in the late 1960s, presided over the feast in his Elliot tartan. Poems were read, songs sung, single malt consumed, and all-in-all it was a night to remember.

Twenty-six years later, the New Caledonia Society is alive and well, celebrating Burns supper without fail each year at the end of January at the Cambridge Military Library in downtown Halifax. This year was no exception. The “clan,” including sangha and non-sangha friends of Scottish, French, English, Polish, Jewish, Greek, and Tibetan descent, gathered to celebrate — once again — Burns, poetry, music, and anything else that one might raise one’s glass to…

…Trungpa Rinpoche loved the songs of Robert Burns, especially as sung by Jean Redpath, a Scottish folk singer who recorded several albums of Burns songs in the 1970s. Many of the songs sung on Burns night come from these albums, including The Winter it is Past, a sad sweet song of lost love, which is always a highlight of the evening…

Listen to Jane Condon sing The Winter it is Past.

For much more, click over to Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa

One of my all-time favorites, Oh Flower of Scotland, via the Corries:

A really old version:

Me and my true love will never meet again…Loch Lomond. Been singing this in the shower since I was a young Kasung, maybe 1990.

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

O you’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will ne-er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

‘Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep sides o’ Ben Lomond
Where deep in purple hue, the hieland hills we view
And the moon comin’ out in the gloamin’.

Amazing Grace, of course:

The classic version (with random photos that are nevertheless fascinating):

Auld Lang Syne, the New Years’ Favorite:

Another version, also with bagpipes:

Scotland the brave!

A more “human” version, gives you the feeling:

Farewell to Nova Scotia:
Refrain:
Farewell to Nova Scotia, the sea-bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the briny ocean tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

The sun was setting in the west
The birds were singing on every tree
All nature seemed to be at rest
But still there was no rest for me.

Refrain:
Farewell to Nova Scotia, the sea-bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the briny ocean tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

I grieve to leave my native home
I grieve to leave my comrades all
And my parents whom I held so dear
And the bonnie, bonnie lassie that I do adore.

Refrain:
Farewell to Nova Scotia, you sea-bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the briny ocean tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

The drums they do beat and the wars to alarm
The captain calls, we must obey
So farewell, farewell to Nova Scotia’s charms
For it’s early in the morning I am bound, far away.

Refrain:
Farewell to Nova Scotia, you sea-bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the briny ocean tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

I have two brothers and they are at rest
Their arms are folded on their chest
But a poor simple sailor just like me
Must be tossed and turned on the big dark sea.

Refrain:
Farewell to Nova Scotia, you sea-bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the briny ocean tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

Barrett’s Privateers:

A happy one:

Couldn’t find a fave, Scottish Highland Orchestra, playing Highland Barn Dance.

Natalie McMaster’s got some good stuff:

Can’t forget Ashley MacIsaac, the crazy charismatic gay fiddler whom Allen Ginsberg raved about:

Minstrel Boy, which I learned at the 1998 Encampment:

One of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s favorites!

Not an old one, but brilllliant:

Clancy Brothers! Wild Colonial Boy!

What shall we do with a Drunken Sailor!?

Can’t forget Danny Boy!

Finally, Jean Redpath:

What did I leave out?

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6 Responses to “When I feel blue, all I have to do, is listen to some mournful noble fun proud sweet Irish or Scottish music!”

  1. I got chills just reading the words of Loch Lomond! My Scottish grandmother used to hum that when she pushed me on the swing.

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  5. Robin says:

    Hi- So many great Scottish songs gathered in one place! Thank you. This one is good too: The Skye Boat Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHCCa3NY7ME&fe

  6. [...] Shambhala, I would be suffering immensely and of little use to anyone. It taught and trained me to be human. [...]

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