Behind the music of the new eir tv ad

When it came to choosing the right soundtrack for our rebranding campaign; to coincide with our change, we thought it would be fitting to reinvent an iconic piece of traditional music. The song ‘Fionnghuala’ proved the perfect choice given its power and deep roots in our culture and heritage.



The song originates from Scotland and was originally sung in ‘Scots Gaelic’. We commissioned the renowned Irish composer John Walsh to produce a new and modern arrangement that would be the first version to be performed in the Irish language.

The musical approach is called mouth music (Puirt a Beul), a style of music characteristic of Ireland. Typically these early songs were constructed around the sounds of the words rather than their meanings and were sung in old times by workers in order to motivate and raise their spirits.

The process of finding the right vocal performers then began and singers were handpicked, chosen for their unique vocal talents. This resulted in the formation, especially for this project, of a new ensemble of vocalists whose collective performance credits include Riverdance, Celtic Women, Feet of Flames, The Key Notes and Anúna.

Fionnghuala – Irish


Dúirt an gabha fanfaidh mé
‘S dúirt an gabha fágfaidh mé
‘S dúirt an gabha leis an mearbhall
A bhí air ag doras an sciobóíl
Go rachadh sé ag cúirtéireacht

‘S’é oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
‘Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
An bothán a bhí ag Fionnghuala
‘S’é oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
‘Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
An bothán a bhí ag Fionnghuala

Bhéarfainn preab as éin mara
Bhéarfainn preab as éisc mara
Ainmhithe beaga na mara
Thabharfadh sé tamall an tarraing
Má mhaireann na línte dúinn

‘S’é oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
‘Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
An bothán a bhí ag Fionnghuala
‘S’é oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
‘Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
An bothán a bhí ag Fionnghuala

Cha tada againne anseo
Cha tada againne anseo
Cha tada againne anseo
Thabharfadh sé tamall an tarraing
Má mhaireann na línte dúinn

‘S’é oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
‘Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
An bothán a bhí ag Fionnghuala
‘S’é oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
‘Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
Oileán na mbotháin, na mbotháin
An bothán a bhí ag Fionnghuala

Fionnghuala – English translation


The blacksmith said, "I'll wait"
The blacksmith said, "I'll go"
The blacksmith said, in his confusion
Standing at the door of the barn
That he was going to go courting
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Fingal's bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Fingal's bothies

I'd knock spots off the birds
I'd knock spots off the hakes
Little lythes of the sea
We would take a while hauling them in
If our hand lines last

Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Fingal's bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Fingal's bothies

We got nothing here
We got nothing here
We got nothing here
We would take a while hauling them in
If our hand lines last

Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Fingal's bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Island of bothies, of bothies
Fingal's bothies

View our new website at www.eir.ie

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17 comments on this article

cianronayne
cianronayne

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Newbie 1 year ago
Release the full song please. Soundcloud maybe.
ANUNA
ANUNA

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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
...or simply purchase Anúna's version of this. All the groups you list above have one thing in common - ANÚNA. The song was recorded first by us in 1993 and the most recent version is 2014. Here it is on YouTube - enjoy.
vinby
vinby

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Occasional Poster 1 year ago
And The Bothy Band recorded a great version back in the 70s
anithing
anithing

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Newbie 1 year ago
It is composed by John Walsh. It's not there but here is his Sound cloud. https://soundcloud.com/john-walsh-composer/tracks
His website is http://johnwalshmusic.com
ANUNA
ANUNA

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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
Its not composed by John Walsh.

The popularised version of this piece in Ireland was created and performed many decades ago by The Bothy Band. Anúna took this and popularised it again in the 1990s with a new version broadcast across the USA in 2007. In 2014 this was released on their album "Illuminations".
Moo92
Moo92

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Newbie 1 year ago
Here a version by the young Irish band Mo Hat Mo Gheansaí
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC1_UgnPr-U
Moo92
Moo92

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Newbie 1 year ago
Mo Hat Mo Gheansaí - Fionnghuala
sueno
sueno

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Newbie 1 year ago
I emailed John Walsh asking if this version was going to be released publicly and he confirmed it was this Friday 2nd, also seen it on late late show however can not find it on itunes. Anyone else have any luck?
rathminer
rathminer

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Newbie 1 year ago
Here's a remixed version suitable for Copper's... https://soundcloud.com/superceili/super-ceilis-eir-ad-remix-2015
Doireann
Doireann

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Newbie 1 year ago
Here's a recording of Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, who collected the original Scots Gaelic song, explaining and then performing the song. It's the definitive recording, I think! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLyXLjs6cqo
Doireann
Doireann

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Newbie 1 year ago
Here it is!
Symphonic
Symphonic

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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
Friends, thanks so much for your interest in my recording of Fionnghuala featuring Inis which forms the soundtrack to the eir launch campaign.
It is now available on iTunes and all other online stores - https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/fionnghuala-music-from-eir/id1044677600?i=1044677609
If you missed the performance on the Late Late Show recently, here it is: https://youtu.be/MZw4E5kuBDY
Best wishes
John Walsh (Symphonic)
Symphonic
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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
cianronayne wrote:

Release the full song please. Soundcloud maybe.



Here ya go Cian and thanks for your interest!
https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/fionnghuala-music-from-eir/id1044677600?i=1044677609

John Walsh
Daveyhan
Daveyhan

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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
Great song, just got it on itunes. Is there an extended version John?

Can anyone tell me where they're cycling in tge screencap of the video above?
Symphonic
Symphonic

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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
Daveyhan wrote:

Great song, just got it on itunes. Is there an extended version John?

Can anyone tell me where they're cycling in the screencap of the video above?



Thanks Davey. That's very kind. There's no extended version at present but watch this space!

Kind Regards

John Walsh (Symphonic)
emmet_eir
emmet_eir

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Visitor 1 year ago
Love it. My childer know it word for word. :)
Daveyhan
Daveyhan

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Occasional Visitor 1 year ago
Its Connor Pass in Kerry.

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