Courtesy A’ Seinn Còmhla, the blog of the U.S. National Mòd, we have news of this summer's festivals of Gaelic language and culture: The Mòd Season Begins. The local and national mòds feature performances and friendly competitions, and are a great opportunity for learners and native speakers alike to experience the traditional songs and stories that maintain so much of our lore.
Here's a video from last year's Mòd in Canada. I particularly like the waulking song by the second singer.
Waulking and other òrain luaidh (work songs) are traditionally sung in Gaelic by groups of women, with a lead singer improvising verses to tell a story, and the other women singing a chorus. Some were never sung in the presence of men. They are very rhythmic as they accompany otherwise boring work, and are an opportunity to share news and remember the history of the community. At times the content is humorous and even suggestive, and some of the songs carry the beliefs and customs that are crucial to our understanding of the earth-based Gaelic spiritual traditions. Whether spiritual or social, the music is one of our strongest bearers of tradition and an important part of a modern Gaelic spiritual practice.
gleidheadh, ùrnaigh, cleachdadh