THA E coltach gur ann againne a tha a’ chànan as snasail air an domhainn. Sin co-dhiù a tha fiosrachadh bho chòmhlan-ciùil ùr Aimearaganach a tha a’ seinn ann an Gàidhlig.
Tha cel-dthchasach againn, tha seann-ns againn, tha roc cruaidh againn. Agus fhuair sinn be troimh’n linn sgriosail sin nuair a bhathas a’ smaoineachadh gun fheumadh giotr Hawaii a dhol cmhla ris a h-uile.
Tha a nis ‘Mill a h-Uile Rud’ ‘son cel punc Gidhlig a sgaoileadh anns na Stitean Aonaichte agus tighinn a dh’Alba uair-eigin cuideachd.
Tha mu 10 bliadhna bho nochd sgioba de luchd-ionnsachaidh na Gidhlig timchioll air Seattle, a’ mhr-chuid aca gun buntanas neo ceangal ris a’ Ghaidhealtachd. ‘Sann ann am Bhancbhar ann an Canada a bha a’ choimhearsnachd Gidhlig mhr a b’fhaisge.
Troimh ne bliadhnaichean 1990, dh’fhs am baile is an sgre cudthromach mar aon de phromh ionadan na Gidhlig anns na Stitean Aonaichte, dreach mar a bha am baile cudthromach ann an iomadh seadh. B’e Seattle baile Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, is Frasier. Bha iad aig cridhe a h-uile cil.
Dreach mar tha a dh’fhs Seattle cudthromach mar promh-bhaile grunge is punc, tha a nis cel punc Gidhlig air iridh a mach as an sgire.
Tha iad mran nas coltaiche ri cmhlain punca na tha iad idir ri Calum Ceannadach neo a shamhail. Tha an ainm, briathran nan ran, agus an cuspairean a’ tighinn a mach a saoghal nam punc, far nach eil cil a’ cunntadh son rud sam bith, far nach eileas ag iarraidh air str an aghaidh rduigh, an aghaigh nan companaidhean mra, agus an aghaidh cleachdaidhean na coimhearsnachd.
Tha iad fhin ag aideachadh gun do thisich cisean dhaibh le gnothaichean a’ tuiteam as a’ chile - chaidh a h-uile cil cerr a’ cheud treub a chluich iad. Ach tha dil aca cluich air turas air saobh Siar nan Stitean anns an t-Earrach.
Chan eil cil a dh’fhios cuin a thig iad a dh’Alba.
Ach eadar Mill a h-Uile Rud agus Armachdan Lir Sgriosal, an cmhlan roc cruaidh Gidhlig a tha a’ tighinn a mach a Alba, abair gu bheil roghainn gu bhi againn de chel.
Gu pearsanta, saoilidh mise gu bheil roc iarrainn nas tlachdmhor dha’n anam Ghaidhealach agamsa. ‘S dcha gu bheil ann a tha ceangailte ri seinn nan eaglais clireach Gidhlig. Nuair a bhiodh tu anns an t-searmon le ln-chiomhthional mu’n cuairt ort, bha an togalach a’ crith. Bha a’ fuaim a’ dol tromhad agus gad chrathadh fhin. ‘S maith dh’fhaoidte gur e sin a th’ann, chan eil fhios agam.
Ach tha an rud ann am punc a tha a’ dol nas fhaisge air cridhe nam for-Ghaidheal. Anns an 250 bliadhna a chaidh seachad, tha sinne air a bhi nar trioblaid dha stiostam a bha ag iarraidh cur as dhuinn. Bha sinne a’ cur an aghaidh rduigh a bha ag rdh gun fheumadh sinn a’ bruidhinn an aon digh, a’ creidsinn an aon digh, agus smaoineachadh an aon digh. Tha a nis linn r digheil againn far am faod sinn a bhi eadar-dhealaichte ma thoileas sinn, ach tha iadsan ann an ghdarras m-chomhfhurtail gu bheil sinn ann ge b’oil leo.
’Se fearg a bh’air cl mran de’n chel punc, agus chan eil cil a dhth fearg air Ghaidhealtachd, eadar Fuadaichean, dth oibrichean, seasamh nan eaglais, agus suidheachadh na cnan, tha gu ler ann a chumas a’ dol iad.
Tha lrach a’ chmhlan a’ toirt seachad eachdraidh sgiobalta de’n Ghidhig. Thathas air a sgrobhadh bho aon shealladh, canaidh feadhainn, ach mar eachdraidh sgiobalta, tha iad obair mhath a dheanamh a thaobh innse mu’n Ghidhlig ann an digh a thuigeas daoine.
Thathas cuideachd ag innse dha’n luchd-leughaidh gur e a th’againn a’ chnain as snasail neo ‘cool’ air uachdar na talmhainn.
Tha iad fis ag aideachadh gun fheum daoine cuideachadh a thaobh Gidhlig a leughadh agus fhuamneachadh. Dha’n fheadhainn aig am bheil trioblaidean mra leis an fhuaim, tha iad ag rdh gu bheil an t-ainm Mill a h-Uile Rud a’ comhardadh le na briathran Beurla Steal a Hula Hoop.
Cha chrd an cel ris a h-uile neach, ach cha bu chir gun crdadh. ‘S caomh leis a h-uile duine beagan Calum Ceannadach, ach nuair a dh’fhs seinneadaran coltach ris-san mra anns na bliadhnaichean 50 is 60, bha trr eile a’ seinn anns an aon digh, Andy Stewart is a leithid. Bhuineadh iad dha’n l aca fhin, dreach mar a bhuineas puncaich Seattle dha’n linn aca fhin agus iad a’ feuchainn ri ns eile de chel Ghidhlig a thoirt air adhart.
Tha daoine ga an l an diugh ag iarraidh an d chuid cel a thig bho’n dualchas aca agus cuideachd thathas ag iarraidh punc, roc, rap is hip-hop. Tha iad ann dha na cnain eile, cuin a thig rap na Gidhlig?
Cuimhnichibh cuideachd, nuair a bha na bodaich a’ deanamh rannan Gidhlig ann an trainnsichean a’ Cheud Chogaidh agus ann an coilltean Chanada, gun robh na din aca-san a’ leanntainn dighean an l sin. Ach bho’n m sin, chan eil sinn air a bhi denach gluasad is atharrachadh coltach ri cch.
Tha dighean ann atharrachadh leis an m agus an dualchas a chumail a’ dol. Feumaidh sinn a bhi faiceallach, ach mura biodh sinn air gluasad cha bhiodh guth air post-dealain, Gidhlig air an radio, neo iomadh rud eile a rinn feum dhuinn.
’Sdcha nach crd an cuid cel riumsa idir. Ach ‘s math gu bheil iad ann.
Steal a hula hoop. Gaelic music is going punk
Apparently we Gaels speak the coolest language on the planet. I know this because it is written on the website of a new American band who sing in Gaelic.
We have folk-songs, we have old style traditional songs. We even survived that excruciating period of Gaelic music when people thought that the best accompaniment to Gaelic song was the Hawaiian guitar.
Now Mill a h-Uile Rud (Destroy Everything) want to spread Gaelic punk music in the United States and come across to Scotland too.
About 10 years ago a remarkable group of Gaelic learners began to gather around Seattle, many had no connection to the traditional Gaelic areas. Their nearest real Gaelic community was Vancouver next door in Canada.
Through the late 1990s, the city became significant as one of the main Gaelic hotspots in the United States, just as the city gained significance in a host of areas.
This was the city of Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, and Frasier. They were at the heart of everything.
Just as Seattle became important as the heart of grunge and new wave of punk, now Gaelic punk has emerged from the area.
They are much more similar to other punk bands than they are to the likes of Calum Kennedy. Their name, their lyrics, and their subject matter comes from the world of punk. Nothing counts for anything, they are fighting against the conventional order, against the big corporations, against the structures of society.
They have admitted that there musical debut began with everything going wrong for them in their first gig. But now they plan a tour of the West Coast of the United States.
They do not know yet when they will come across to Scotland.
But between Mill a h-Uile Rud and Armachdan Leir Sgriosal (Weapons of Mass Destruction) the Gaelic heavy metal band which is based in Scotland, we now have a growing choice of musical styles.
For me, heavy metal works better for my Gaelic soul. It may be that this is connected to the traditional singing in the Gaelic Presbyterian churches. When you are in the main service surrounded by a full congregation, the building vibrates with the volume of the singing. The sound pierces and shakes you, just like heavy metal.
Maybe that is what it is. I do not know.
But maybe there is also something in punk which touches the soul of the Gael. In the past 250 years we have been a thorn in the side of a system which wanted to wipe us out. We were set against an order in society while ruled that we all had to speak the same, worship the same, and think the same way. Now we have a bright new age in which we are allowed to be different if we want to be, but some in authority are still unhappy that we are still here despite all the efforts.
Much of punk music was moved by anger, and there are plenty of things in the Highlands and Islands to cause anger, between the Clearances, lack of jobs, the stance of the churches, the situation of the language. Enough to keep them going.
The band's website even includes a potted history and guide to Gaelic. Some will argue it is written from one perspective, but as a quick-fire summary it is an excellent guide to the state of the Gaelic language in a way that makes sense to people.
They even admit that people need help in order to read and pronounce Gaelic. For those who have major problems with the sounds, they advice that the name Mill a h-UIle Rud rhymes with Steal a Hula Hoop.
Their music will not be to everyone's taste, but there is no reason why it should be. We all like a bit of Calum Kennedy, but when his style of music became the rage in the 50s and 60s, many others used a similar style, such as Andy Stewart. They belonged to their own day and their own contemporary style, just as the present crop of Seattle punk singers have their roots in their own musical scene as they try to develop another style of Gaelic music.
Today's younger generation wants both music which belongs to their own culture and heritage and they also want a bit of modern musical styles such as punk, rock, rap and hip-hop. Other languages have it, but when will we have Gaelic rap?
Remember too, when the old poets wrote their Gaelic verses in the trenches of the First World War and in the forests of Canada that their styles reflected the style of their day. Since those times, we have failed to move on in the same way as others.
There are ways to change and adapt and yet still keep to the old culture. We do have to be careful and pick and choose, but if we had never changed then we would have no Gaelic e-mail, Gaelic radio, or many of the other things which benefit the culture.
Maybe I shall hate their music. But it is a welcome fact that they are on the scene.