5 Endangered Language Songs to Listen to This Week

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Eijõ by Tuļļi Lum

This slow and soothing folk song is sung in Livonian, a language spoken near the Black Sea in Latvia. Livonian is critically endangered and there may not be any fluent speakers left. Still, young Livonians have reconnected with their culture and many are now learning the language.

Immaqaali by Nunariik

Beware – listen to this song a few times, and it will get stuck in your head! It’s a cheerful tune in Inuktitut and English about the inuksuk, a traditional type of landmark.
Immaqaali is also featured on the “Singuistics” app by Pinnguaq. If you have an iPad, you can download the app to learn the Inuktitut lyrics and sing along!

Nada Sō Sō

Natsukawa, a folk singer from Okinawa, sings the first half of this song in Japanese, then switches to Uchināguchi (Okinawan language) at 1:28. Can you tell the languages apart? Whether in Japanese or Uchināguchi, this is a heartfelt song and Natsukawa performs it beautifully.

Da Bhfaigheann Mo Rogha De Thriur Acu / Dhannsamaid Le Ailean / Cairistion’ Nigh’n Eoghainn

The album Dual is a collaboration between traditional Irish and Scots Gaelic performers, and this is my favorite track. Just like the album, it’s a mix of songs from both languages. Da Bhfaigheann Mo Rogha De Thriur Acu (English: If I Had My Choice) is a traditional love song. Dhannsamaid Le Ailean (English: Dance with Allan) and Cairistion’ Nigh’n Eoghainn (English: Cairistiona Ewen’s Daughter) are both celebratory tunes about dancing.
The lyrics and translations are quite difficult to find, so I’m including them (with sources) in the comments.

Pate Pate by Te Vaka
http://www.tevaka.com/listen/s/pate_pate
Pacific group Te Vaka just recorded songs for Disney’s Moana, but they’ve been performing for decades. This upbeat song is written in the Tokelau language, spoken by about 1,500 people in the South Pacific. It’s sure to get you dancing!

What’s your favorite song in an endangered language? Share your recommendations in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook!

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3 thoughts on “5 Endangered Language Songs to Listen to This Week

  1. Avatar for Alexa Little
    alexa Post authorReply

    Here are the lyrics to Da Bhfaigheann Mo Rogha De Thriur Acu / Dhannsamaid Le Ailean / Cairistion’ Nigh’n Eoghainn!

    LYRICS:
    Dá bhfaighinn mo rogha de thriúr acu,
    de thriúr acu, de thriúr acu,
    Dá bhfaighinn mo rogha de thriúr acu,
    Cé acu súd dob fhearr liom?

    CHORUS:
    O mo mhíle gile tu,
    Grá mo chroí is fiche tu,
    O mo mhíle gile tu,
    Is tu peata geal do mháthar.

    Ní phósfainn féin an táilliúirín,
    an táilliúirín, an táilliúirín,
    Ní phósfainn féin an táilliúirín,
    [Mar] bíonn codladh grífín ón gclár air.

    [Chorus]

    Ní phósfainn féin an gabha dubh,
    an gabha dubh, an gabha dubh,
    Ní phósfainn féin an gabha dubh,
    Mar bíonn sé dubh sa cheartain.

    [Chorus]

    Ní phósfainn féin an t-iascaire,
    an t-iascaire, an t-iascaire,
    Ní phósfainn féin an t-iascaire,
    Mar bíonn sé fliuch go bhásta.

    [Chorus]

    Sé mo rogha an veidhleadóir,
    an veidhleadóir, an veidhleadóir,
    Sé mo rogha an veidhleadóir,
    Sé an veidhleadóir is fearr liom.

    [Chorus]

    ======

    CHORUS:
    Dhannsadh, gun dannsadh
    Dhannsamaid le Ailean
    Dhannsadh, gun dannsadh
    Dhannsadh Ailean leinn
    Dhannsadh, gun dannsadh
    Dhannsamaid le Ailean
    Dhannsadh, gun dannsadh
    Dhannsadh Ailean leinn

    Ruidhleadh Màiri Tàillear
    Dhannsadh Màiri Tàillear
    Ruidhleadh Màiri Tàillear
    Gus na dh’fàs i tinn
    Ruidhleadh Màiri Tàillear
    Dhannsadh Màiri Tàillear
    Ruidhleadh Màiri Tàillear
    Gus na dh’fàs i tinn

    [Chorus]

    Ged bha Màiri crùbach
    Agus car ‘na glùinean
    Dhannsadh i gu sunndach
    Air an ùrlar ghrinn
    Ged bha Màiri crùbach
    Agus car ‘na glùinean
    Dhannsadh i gu sunndach
    Air an ùrlar ghrinn

    [Chorus]

    ======

    ‘S a hao hil o hó il
    ‘Se Cairistion’ Nigh’n Eóghainn
    O hao hil a hó il
    Cha mhór nach do chailleadh i
    ‘S a hao hil o hó il
    ‘Se Cairistion’ Nigh’n Eóghainn
    O hao hil a hó il
    Cha mhór nach do chailleadh i

    U bhìl ù bhì
    Seinnidh Cas Odhar a’ phìob
    U bhìl ù bhì
    Ni sinn ruidhl’ aighearach
    U bhìl ù bhì
    Seinnidh Cas Odhar a’ phìob
    U bhìl ù bhì
    Ni sinn ruidhl’ aighearach

    [Repeat x3]

    Cairistion ‘Nighean Eoghainn lyrics
    http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/matheson/puirt.htm
    Dhannsamaid Le Ailean lyrics
    http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/puirt/dhannsainn.htm
    Dá Bhfaighean Mo Rogha lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5zeNG1ZeVE

    • Avatar for Alexa Little
      Alexa Little Post authorReply

      You’re very welcome! They took a while to find, so I’m glad they’re useful. 🙂

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