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Luminate@Home: The Bressay Lullaby (from Shetland) – song lyrics, sheet music and harp track

We have launched an online programme of creative activities called Luminate@Home.

There are lots of older people at home or in care homes right now who are isolated because of the coronavirus outbreak. We hope you will enjoy trying the activities in the films at this difficult time, and also afterwards when the outbreak is over.

The activities are designed to be done at home or in a care home. They are led by professional artists, and feature different artforms including crafts, poetry, music and dance.

You will find all the short films on Luminate’s website, Luminate’s facebook page and on our YouTube and Vimeo channels. Once we have uploaded them, we will leave them online for you to enjoy when it is convenient.

On Tuesday 31st March, we released a film of singer and harpist Corrina Hewat taking you through her own arrangement of traditional Shetland song, The Bressay Lullaby. You can watch the film on the Films page of this website. This tranquil tune is accessible for all ages and abilities, so you can enjoy learning it together with your household or online with family and friends. 

As an accompaniment to this film, we’ve provided the song lyrics and translation, and sheet music for the melody, lower and higher voice parts which you can download by clicking on the download button at the top of this page. You can also read the lyrics and translation below. There is a harp accompaniment track which you can listen to and sing along with once you’ve learned the song. This is available below and on our Vimeo or YouTube channels. If you’d like access to the sheet music for the harp/piano accompaniment, please get in touch with Luminate.

Luminate@Home is supported by Baillie Gifford and presented in partnership with Scottish Care. The films are co-produced by Graeme Roger.

The Bressay Lullaby (from Shetland) – harp accompaniment track

The Bressay Lullaby (from Shetland)

To be sung to soothe a child, a friend, a parent, or yourself

Traditional, Arrangement by Corrina Hewat  www.corrinahewat.com

Song Lyrics         

Chorus

Baloo, balilli, baloo balilli
Baloo, balilli, balooli ba.

Verse 1

Gae awa peerie fairies. (x3)  Fae oor bairn noo. 

Baloo, balilli, baloo balilli
Baloo, balilli, balooli ba.

Verse 2

Dan come da bonnie angels. (x3) Ta wir peerie bairn.

Baloo, balilli, baloo balilli
Baloo, balilli, balooli ba.

Verse 3

Dey’ll sheen ower da cradle. (x3)  O wir peerie bairn.

Baloo, balilli, baloo balilli
Baloo, balilli, balooli ba.

Baloo, balilli, baloo balilli
Baloo, balilli, balooli ba.

Translation

Chorus

Soothing sounds

Verse 1

Go away little fairies. From our baby now.

Verse 2

Then come the beautiful angels. To our little baby.

Verse 3

They’ll shine over the cradle. Of our little baby.

This appears in 101 Scottish Songs, subtitled “The Wee Red Book” – a collection of songs selected by Norman Buchan, printed in 1962.  His source is quoted as The Shetland Folk Book, Vol.1.  He adds that it was “Noted down by Mrs. E. J. Smith, Sandness, Shetland, from her mother’s singing.”

 
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