Oran nan Car | Oran nan Car

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World: Celtic Folk: Scottish Traditional Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Oran nan Car

by Oran nan Car

Traditional music and songs of Scotland in Gaelic and Scots featuring rich vocal harmonies and toe-tapping tune sets. Imagine the King\'s Singers and the Chieftains mixing it up over Robert Burn\'s bar bill.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Far Am Bi Mi Fhìn / Chuirinn air a’ Phìob E
3:24 album only
2. The Standard on the Braes of Mar / Haughs of Cromdale
4:06 album only
3. Dùrachd Chatrìona / O Thoir a-Nall am Botul
6:54 album only
4. The Dark Island / Foxhunter’s Jig / Nead na Lach às an Luachair
4:52 album only
5. Éiridh Bileag Ùr-Ghorm
2:52 album only
6. Trooper and the Maid
2:37 album only
7. Blue Bonnets/’Illean Bithibh Sunndach/A Chur nan Gobhar/Dòmhnall
6:28 album only
8. Eilean a’ Cheò
2:56 album only
9. Green Grow the Rashes, O
3:43 album only
10. Me Clootch Is Awee/Long Island Jig/Kelsey’s Wee Reel/Rocking the
3:55 album only
11. Sìne Bhàn
3:59 album only
12. Moladh na Pìoba/Cró Chinn t-Sàile/Luinneag Mhic Leòid/Brae Riach
4:29 album only
13. Stoiceannan Daoimean/Làrach do Thacaidean/M’Eudail Air Do Shùile
4:22 album only
14. Athchuinge
1:43 album only
15. hidden track
2:34 album only


Album Notes
Oran nan Car sounds like:
a) a Celtic folk group
b) a Scottish Gaelic choir
c) a pub pick-up band
d) all of the above

If you answered d) all of the above, you're absolutely correct!

Stirring and harmonically rich traditional Scottish folk music is the creative passion of this seven-member Seattle-area band. In addition to playing timeless instrumental-driven tunes, Oran nan Car prides itself on being one of a precious few U.S. groups performing primarily in the endangered Scottish Gaelic language.

Whether it be ‘puirt-a-beul’ (mouth music) for dancing jigs, strathspeys, and reels, work songs, Scots ballads, pipe tunes, Robert Burns songs, ancient Gaelic poetry, or new compositions, the group provides audiences with a full portrait of Scottish folk music.

Why ‘Oran nan Car’ (pronounced OH-run nun CAR)? Yes, it’s a hybrid pun name combining Gaelic and English! ‘Òran-nan-car’ means cantata and ‘òran nan càr’ means songs of the car. Since the group began as four friends singing while carpooling to Gaelic choir rehearsals, the name stuck. Like a cantata, the interwoven melodies of all seven members comprises a rich musical tale appealing to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Founded in 1998, Oran nan Car was initially comprised of four members from Seirm, Seattle’s Gaelic choir. They began performing and competing as a vocal quartet for the 1999 Vancouver Gaelic Mòd. Over time, new members and numerous instruments have been added to the mix.

Oran nan Car is:
Ginny Byrnes-McKnight, Soprano
Penny McLeod DeGraff, Alto, Piano, Vocal Arranger
Kent Jewell, Tenor, Narrator
Corby Ingold, Bass, Bodhran, Concertina, Narrator
Jenny McLaughlin, Fiddle, Viola, Vocals
Jim McKnight, Bagpipes, Whistles, Vocals, Instrumental Arranger
Scott Buchanan, Guitar, Mandola, Vocals, Instrumental Arranger

All members bring a wealth of influences and expertise to the ensemble from across the musical spectrum – jazz, classical, rhythm and blues, marching bands, rock, as well as complementary folk traditions of other cultures. A majority are learners of Gaelic.

Answers to the initial quiz:

d) all of the above Track 13
a) a Celtic folk group Track 2
b) a Scottish Gaelic choir Track 5
c) a pub pickup band Track 10



to write a review


Oran nan Car
Òran nan Car’s album showcases a variety of tradtional songs of Scotland with emphasis on Gaelic. There is even a brief prose poem recited in Gaelic. The liner notes are bi-lingual in English and Gaelic and even the lyrics written in Scots have notations to explain what certain words in American English. Also they have gone to more trouble than most to translate and spell the words as accurately as possible.

My personal favorite is Sìne Bhàn, a beautiful love song that deserves wider appreciation; they sang it in Gaelic while a narrator gave a sense of the lyrics in English. Other lovely tracks include Eilean a’ Cheò and Athchuinge. There is also an unlisted bonus track, a bagpipe solo of Òran na Maighdeann-Mhara which is set against a nice background of breaking ocean waves. I also relished their versions of O Thoir a-nall am Botul, Dark Island and Far am bi Mi-fhìn. They also infused the album with a nice sense of mischief and fun which is better heard than told.

Seumas Gagne

Gaidheal Ur
In their debut album, Seattle Scottish band Oran nan Car makes a strong showing on both the vocal and instrumental sides of the house. The Gaelic is deftly pronounced, and on par with much of the non-native speaker song recordings coming out of Scotland today. The band takes the scholarship aspect of their work very seriously, and despite the fact that not all members are fluent speakers, you feel that they all know what each word means. Some of the Gaelic song tracks have a distinct choir feeling with complex multi-part arrangements and peppery harmonies, whereas others have a more folksy personality.

The instrumental arrangements also have a range of presentations, from some which are distinctly like chamber music and others that would be right at home in the Park Bar in Glasgow.

Overall, there is something to please everyone on this recording, and only folks with very specific tastes will find anything they can't appreciate.

Winter Wren

Great listening!
Phenomenal people making phenomenal music. Their opening concert was a highlight of my Seattle music jaunts, and their CD has been spinning regularly at my house since then. An inspiration to learn the language and keep these tunes alive and rocking. CD pamphlet has lyrics with translations, a big help to get the most out of the cultural aspects of the music. Highly recommended.