This is a nice vocal imitation of a fiddle:

Audrey Saint-Coeur, Diddlage

From Ubuweb:

Puirt-a-beul (= mouth music) are lyrics written primarily for dancing to. Consequently the lyrics are only of secondary importance – the rhythm in the song is the most important aspect and the rhythm takes precedence over the rhythm and stresses of the Gaelic. The lyrics in puirt (plural of the word port = dance tune) are generally meaningless or nonsensical. Many Gaelic singers therefore do not believe in publishing translations of puirt-a-beul. … The origins of puirt are unclear and may have resulted from the banning of pipes after the 1745 uprising, or the religious opposition to musical instruments (at its height in the mid-19th century). It is important to realise how interwoven is with both fiddling and various forms of dance – the song, tune and dance all go together as an entity. … In Cape Breton there is a dance and puirt about a loom weaving. In this dance, the dancers are squatted or crouched and leap up to simulate the rise and fall of the harnesses on the loom, whilst others weave in and out to indicate the shuttle flying back and forth. In Cape Breton also, people perform step dances around a row of lighted candles, which they extinguish one by one with the soles of their feet while dancing.
(Craig Cockburn, Article on Gaelic puirt-a-beul for The Adult Learning Project, Scots Music Group)

Some links:


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