Leslie Uyeda (arr​.​) - Dance to your Shadow

from ET AMOR: songs celebrating queer love by Cor Flammae

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I found Dance to your Shadow in Volume III of Songs of the Hebrides, a marvellous series of Scottish folksongs collected, edited and arranged for voice and piano by Margery Kennedy-Fraser, with English translations from the original Gaelic by Kenneth Macleod. Here’s the story behind this song, as told to Kennedy-Fraser: “But Mary Macrae heeded not, and went on in her own way, singing her songs and ballads, intoning her hymns and incantations, and chanting her own port-a-bial - mouth music, and dancing to her own shadow when nothing better was available.” Irresistible! The refrain “Ho ro haradal, Hind ye, haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye, han dan” is untranslatable.

lyrics

Dance to your shadow when it’s good to be lively, lass.
Dance to your shadow when there’s nothing better near you.
Dance to your shadow when it’s fine to be living, lad.
Dance to your shadow when there’s nothing better near you.

Ho ro haradal, Hind ye haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye han dan.
Ho ro haradal, Hind ye haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye han dan.

Dance to your shadow when it’s hard to be living, lass.
Dance to your shadow when there’s nothing better near you.
Dance to your shadow when it’s sore to be living, lad.
Dance to your shadow when there’s nothing better near you.

Ho ro haradal, Hind ye haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye han dan.
Ho ro haradal, Hind ye haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye han dan.

Dance to your shadow and let fate play your fiddle now
Dance to your shadow when there’s no one you love near you.
Dance to your shadow for it’s fine to be living now.
Dance to your shadow when there’s nothing better near you.

Ho ro haradal, Hind ye haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye han dan.
Ho ro haradal, Hind ye haradal, Ho ro haradal, Hind ye han dan.

credits

from ET AMOR: songs celebrating queer love, released August 9, 2017

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Cor Flammae Vancouver, British Columbia

Cor Flammae is Vancouver's summer chorus of classically trained, queer singers, performing queer content. Composed from the ranks of the city's top-flight choral ensembles and singers, the choir seeks to reveal the hidden queer heritage often ignored in the conservative world of classical music. ... more

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