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Metadata for text 28
No. words in text56480
Title Air Mo Chuairt
Author Chaimbeul, Ealasaid
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1982
Date Of Language 1950-1999
Publisher Acair
Place Published Stornoway
Volume N/A
Location National, academic and local libraries
Geographical Origins Barra
Register Literature, Prose and Verse
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 20.8cm x 14.5cm
Short Title Air Mo Chuairt
Reference Details EUL, Celtic Library: LI.G CHA
Number Of Pages 10 pages inc. Title Page and contents, then 89 pages
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context This book is an autobiography by Ealasaid Chaimbeul. She was born in Barra in 1913, educated in Barra and Fort William, and undertook teacher training in Glasgow. She subsequently worked as a primary school teacher in Glasgow, Glenfinnan, Barra and Vatersay and, in 1977, was awarded an MBE. She retired in 1978 and lived for a short while in Glasgow before returning to Barra. This book looks at her life and her experiences in Glasgow and in the islands, while exploring the changing way of life in Vatersay and Barra, and also in Glasgow.
Contents This volume begins with a Clàr-innse, listing the contents of the book. Opposite the contents pages is a black and white picture of the author at the school in Vatersay. The main body of the text is divided into five sections, each containing between two and seven chapters. The sections are as follows:

Tus M’Oige (pp. 1-25): This section looks at the author’s childhood on Barra, her school days at the local school and at school in Castlebay, and the emigrations to Canada in the mid-1920s. It includes a chapter on Cleachdaidhean an Aite (pp. 15-24) which touches on funeral traditions, latha nighe nam plangaidean (p. 16), and traditions relating to Oidhche Shamhna and Oidhche Challainn.

Fagail Bharraigh (pp. 26-32): In this section, the author writes about her school years in Fort William and her years at teacher training college in Glasgow.

Aig mo Chosnadh (pp. 33-42): This section looks at the author’s early years as a teacher in Glenfinnan, Vatersay, Eoligarry, and Castlebay. She then married in Glasgow and moved to Greenock where her husband worked. She taught in Bridgeton in Glasgow towards the end of the Second World War, before moving back to Barra. She taught in Castlebay in Barra for ten years before returning to Glasgow.

Air Ais a Bhatarsaigh (pp. 43-70): This section details the author’s later teaching career in Vatersay, her award of an MBE, her trip to Buckingham Palace, her retirement, and her return to Barra. There is also a chapter on Mingulay and a chapter on Vatersay, which looks at some of the developments on the island, such as the introduction of piped water in 1974.

An Deidh na Raimh a Shaoradh (pp. 71-89): After her retirement, the author spent time in Oban and in Glasgow before returning to Barra. This section also tells of a holiday in France and looks back at the changes that occurred on the island since her youth. It finishes with a look to the future in the chapter Dé Tha Romhainn? (pp. 88-89).
Sources
Language This text is an excellent example of early to late twentieth century Gaelic and is full of vocabulary and expressions prevalent in the Barra dialect of this time. A wide range of topics are covered, including life on Barra in the early twentieth century, life in Glasgow during the Second World War, Vatersay, and life on Barra during the mid-to-late twentieth century with the introduction of motor cars, electricity, modern housing, and modern conveniences.

There are a number of poems in the text, including Cumha Barrach by Vatersay bard, Dòmhnall Iain Mhóir (pp. 12-14), written about the families leaving to go to Canada in 1923, and three verses relating to Mingulay: Turas Nèill a Mhiughalaidh (pp. 46-47), Soraidh Mhic a’ Phì do Mhiughalaigh (pp. 50-51), and Urnaigh a thàinig a Eilean Mhiughalaigh (p. 52). There are also a number of short extracts of verses throughout the book, often of local songs. Page 84, for example, contains a verse of Òran an Tàibh, which was popular in the taigh-céilidh when the author was about nine years old: ‘Ma phronnas mi urchar san t-slugaig \ ’S gun éirich e chluich ann am bàrr, \ Gum bi mi fo iomagain ’s fo mhulad \ Nach toir mi le dubhan as tràth. \ Ach nam bithinn mun skimmer, \ Ged chosgainn ris iongag de shnàth, \ Gu faighinn na ’s leòr dhith sa ghlumaig \ ’S gu rachadh an dubhan dhan phàn’ (p. 84).

The author’s language is often quite descriptive, for example ‘Tha gach doras is uinneag aig gach taigh sa bhaile sraointe fosgailte, agus na h-eoin bhuchainn a’ ceilearadh gu ceòlmhor air gach taobh agus cuthag ghorm a’ sìor toirt “gug-gù” aiste los nach dèan sin dìochuimhn’ air an astar air an tàinig ise a chur flàth is fàilt’ an t-samhraidh oirnn’ (p. 86), ‘agus am fitheach a’ cur a-mach a theanga’ (p. 1), ‘Cleas an fhir a mharbhadh an coileach dha’ (p. 26), ‘Bha maighstir-sgoil againn cho seang ri easgainn, agus e mar an dealanach’ (p. 26), ‘Nach iomadh ceann a chaidh an currac bhon uair sin’ (p. 74).

The text contains many examples of Gaelic terms and idioms, some of which may be representative of the Barra dialect. Examples include ’S coma dé cho math ’s a chòrdadh seo rinn (p. 16), an impis a dhol a cochall a’ chridhe (p. 1), a’ toirt sùrd air (p. 1), am Freasdal (p. 4), an Sealbh (p. 6), bha ceannach agamsa air a’ chùis (p. 4), bheireadh i duiseal air an aon iorram (p. 5), thuit mo ghudan ’s mo ghadan orm (p. 5), ged nach robh fhios agam bho thalamh ge dé bu chiall dhaibh (p. 5), san treasdaidh (p. 9), iomair (p. 9), le iris air na h-eich (p. 9), a thuiteadh a chridhe am bonn a chasan (p. 9), deannan cuibheasach (p. 9), a’ dubh-fhairtleachadh orra (p. 9), duibh-leam (p. 9), leis na dubhla-bhreugan (p. 14), an dubhla-fhìrinn (p. 40), do thaigh na h-airc (p. 15), cachaileith (p. 15), ri chur air aghaidh (p. 15), Air uairean (p. 16), siud an gnothach a rachadh gu ceòl do mhuinntir a’ bhaile (p. 16), a’ dol thar a chéile (p. 16), a làmhan an tacsa a cruachain (p. 16), Bhitheamaid sinne an sgairte falaich (p. 16), a bhòcadaich (p. 17), caran ùine (p. 18), Tròbhasaich (p. 24), na h-iasgairean a’ dol a-mach dhan a thabh (p. 27), mun canadh tu “A h-aon” (p. 27), bha smàig ro mhòr oirnn (p. 31), cha do dhùraig mise riamh a dhol faisg a’ mhìle air (p. 31), ullamh-ionnsaichte (p. 31), a bhlàth ’s a bhuil (p. 31), Bheil sibh math gu màirnealachadh? (p. 33), Mo nàire is mo leaghadh (p. 35), ach a dh’aindeoin sin ’s ’na dhà dhéidh (p. 38), Taghaidh bò a h-ath-bhuaile (p. 39), an cuid taighean air a dhol bho dhòigh (p. 43), os ìosal (p. 43), chaidh mo dhùbhlanachadh gu m’ fhiaclan (p. 43), Eigeanntach (p. 43), aiceid (p. 43), is geobadh gealaich ann (p. 61), chum sin air aghaidh (p. 63), chàirich mi orm a-null dhan bhaile (p. 63), B’ olc an airidh (p. 64), a dhlùth is a dh’uachdar (p. 65), cha bu ruith ach leum siud leamsa (p. 67), Cha robh latha gun dà latha! (p. 67), air mo mhùgan ’s air mo mhàgan (p. 70), gur ann a bha sinn as ar beachd (p. 74), amaiseach (p. 74), eagal mo ghonaidh orm (p. 75), ach co-dhiubh bha ’s gu nach robh (p. 75), tha thu buailteach air a dhol am mullach an torra (p. 77), chan ann den t-seann cholmadh (p. 77), a’ gabhail iolla ris (p, 80), gu beagnaich (p. 80), a’ toirt barr-urraim air (p. 82), and theid mi fhìn an urras (p. 86).

The following words and phrases may also be of interest: a’ tulgadh na creathlach (p. 1), bu bhuidhe cridhe leat a bhith air an aon réir ri … (p. 5), gan cur air thodhar (p. 16), cho còrdte ri dà cheann eich (p. 16), a’ cur fàilte is furan oirnn (p. 16), an luidhear for the hole above the central hearth in a thatched house (p. 17), a ghabhail ‘fuaraig’ (p. 17), Mo bheannachd ort (p. 17), roimhn (p. 17), chan urrainn nach robh e a’ dèanamh a-mach (p. 24), each iarainn (p. 26), aimlisg (p. 26), gu sìorraidh (p. 26), teileagram (p. 29), ’s dall gach aineolach (p. 31), cailin (p. 34), teis-meadhon (p. 42), air an làn-dòigh (p. 42), soitheach-adhair (p. 61), am pufair guail (p. 62), Fóghnaidh na dh’fhóghnas (p. 62), taigh-eiridinn (p. 63), suas nam (= ann am) bliadhnaichean (p. 64), Bha a-nis an seachd leòr aca (p. 65), eadar a h-uile ulla-thruis a bh’ ann (p. 67), feuch an robh … (p. 68), sìneadas (p. 69), togail a’ pheinnsein (p. 73), Cairt na seann fheadhainn (p. 73), Ochoin! Ochoin! (p. 73), B’ e fhéin am balach (p. 79), mo ghoistidh (p. 85), caol (p. 86) meaning a television channel, neo-ar-thaing (p. 86), and ag adbhansadh (p. 86).
Orthography The Barra usage may be reflected in the use of gu instead of gus (e.g. ‘Bhitheamaid ri céilidhean gu airgead a chruinneachadh’, p. 42), the use of mu instead of mus (e.g. ‘mu robh móran ùine air a dhol seachad’, p. 43), the use of los gu rather than gus am (e.g. p. 5), thar leam rather than ar leam (e.g. p. 5), latha rather than  (e.g. p. 12), the frequent use of first person plural conditional form of the verb followed by the first person plural emphatic pronoun (e.g. ‘mar a theireamaid sinne’, p. 16), and the use of cleas rather than mar (e.g. ‘cleas nan coineanach’, p. 38).

The orthography is generally that of the late twentieth century. Both the acute and the grave accents are used in this text. The copula is generally written ’sann and ’se, and, at least in one instance, the author prefers gu ar to gur, e.g. ‘gu ar faicinn is gu ar n-éisdeachd fhéin’ (p. 67).
Edition First edition. Re-printed by Acair in 1987.
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