Hands Up for Trad in partnership with Creative Scotland are very pleased to announce the two winners of songwriting competition Nòs Ùr 2017. The competition asked songwriters to compose new and original songs in Scots and Gaelic languages. We had lots of great entries and the winners are:
Cionran by Ross Whyte and Alasdair Whyte.
The Gaelic term ‘cionran’ has fallen out of use but it is defined as “melancholy music”. The song’s ‘ciarag’, a Gaelic term literally defined as ‘little female dark one’, is an allegory for melancholia. Melancholia ultimately derives from an Ancient Greek word applied to the condition of having black bile. Jackie Bowring has recently cogently argued that melancholia, or melancholy is not a negative emotion, for which much of history it wasn’t, it is, rather, “a desirable condition, sought for its ‘sweetness’ and intensity” (A Field Guide to Melancholy, Harpenden Oldcastle Books, 2008). This song explores this theme. Read the lyrics.
Kettle Bilers by Emma Martin
This is the first song that I’ve composed from a collection that I’m writing about the time of Jute Mills in Dundee from the late 18th through the 19th century. The Kettle Bilers refer to the men of Dundee who were unable to work as it was the women who were employed in the mills for various reasons such as wage, rights and smaller hands for machines. This was very hard for the men to feel like men and generally they felt weak and idle. This song is told from the view point of a couple of bairns talking about their dads. One feeling useless and one very bitter about their situation.
Each winner will receive £500 each and mentoring sessions with experienced song writers. Read the lyrics.
Read more about Hands Up for Trad and our projects at www.handsupfortrad.scot