Mairead nan Cuiread

Mairead nan Cuiread, a Gaelic Waulking Song from the Isle of Lewis was arranged specially for our tour of the Outer Hebrides in August 2019. Recognised by many audience members, it became a firm favourite with the orchestra (who got the chance to flex their vocal muscles), and we thought it would be a great piece to perform ‘virtually’. We teamed up with wonderful Gaelic singer Ainsley Hamill and think the end product is quite cool!

Arrangement: Douwe Nauta
Audio: Duncan Sutherland
Video: Mauro Silva

However, as always, we want you to join in too. Waulking Songs from the Outer Hebrides were sung by women as they ‘worked’ the tweed, with the steady distinctive beat coming from the heavy cloth being thrown against a table top. The songs were sometimes improvised, with women sharing their stories, and the rest singing a repeated refrain (sung here by the orchestra).

Ainsley has put together a short tutorial for you to learn the refrain, and we want you to get your voices warmed up to join!