Gaelic Psalm Singers in Béal Feirste Cois Cuain

Next Saturday, 28th November there will be two concerts of traditional Gaelic psalm singing to be heard in Belfast.

“Psalm singers from the Isle of Lewis will travel to Belfast on the 28 November 2009. They bring with them a unique sound and singing
tradition. The psalms are at the heart of worship in the Free Church and other Presbyterian Churches in the Western Isles. However, in
the Hebrides they are sung in Gaelic as they have been for centuries.”

The first will be held 11 – 11.45 am at Tullycarnet Library (Admission free but booking advisable, t. 028 90485079, tullycarnetlibrary@librariesni.org.uk).

The second will be held from 7.30 – 9.00pm in the 174 Trust, Duncairn Avenue, Antrim Road.

These events, outwith their natural beauty and artistic value of the singing itself which is quite haunting, you have to let yourself go it it to get it but the skill is undeniable, have a huge role to play in challenging stereotypes and bigotry that we often see here on Slugger for example whenever any mention of Gaelic culture is made.

Here will will have Free Prespiterians singing Pslams in Gaelic. Just let it sink in folks.

The Free Prespiterian church as a social institution plays a vital role in keeping the language language and culture alive in Scotland. That could not obviously be said about its equivalent here.

The event has been organised by Colmcille, who work to strengthen the bonds between Gaelic Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, once one and the same but have become strained by language loss, loss of vital dialects, cultural shifts and politics. It is interesting that for all the publicity given the the Ulster-Scots – Lowland Scotland link, Colmcille who work quite quietly in the background, plugging away, have in my view done as much as the Ulster Scots agency to promote ties and cultural bonds with Scotland – though obviously with a very different remmit. I would appreciate an Ulster-Scots assesment of the situation.

I do note that for many of our young people who have been on the end of a Scottish Camàn (they laminate them, thon’s chaetin!) they may not see this work as positively as I do.

Freelance journalist, working mostly in Irish.

Have my own independent news website – antuairisceoir.com – which is in constant need of material.

I am the former editor of the newspaper Gaelscéal, www.gaelsceal.ie