Episode 3 – Irish (Gaeilge)

This episode is about the Irish language, or Gaeilge, as it’s known in Irish. I talk about my own Irish learning journey and adventures. Then look at the history of the language and its current state, and talk a bit about the language itself, with examples to illustrate its structure.

It features some Irish tunes, played by me, on the tin whistle, mandolin, low whistle and harp, and one of my own compositions, played on the melodica. It is mostly in English, with some bits of Irish.

You can find music for Sackow’s / Tripping Up The Stairs, the jig I play on the whistle at the beginning of this episode, here.

The slow air I play on the low whistle, Amhrán na Leabhar (The Song of the Books), was written by Tomás Rua Ó Súilleabháín (1785-1848), a school teacher and poet who lost all his possessions, including his books, in a storm when they were being ferried between Derrynane Bay to Valentia Harbour. He wasn’t in the boat at the time, and wrote this song afterwards. It is also known as Cuan Bhéil Inse [source]. You can hear it, with words, at:

The tune I play on the harp is John O’Conner / Seán ó Conchubhair, which was written by Turlough O’Carolan. It is also known as the Belfast Almanac or Plaxty O’Conner.

There is another, rather faster, version here:

You can music for it here.

The tune I play on the melodica is at end of the podcast, The Saturday Hornpipe / Cornbib Ddydd Sadwrn, is one I wrote a few years ago. You can hear a longer version at:

Information about Irish

Here are some videos in and about Irish:

This is a silly little video I made in Irish based on songs:

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