Leilía: O Verdegaio

December 16, 2017

I don’t think there are many groups of Galician singers even more amazing than the Oxford Pandeireteiras, but here’s one I just discovered.  I think I heard them doing an a cappella version of this song (which is also in the regular repertoire of our session) on Son Galicia but can’t find that version online (STOP PRESS, I found it, see below!!!). This video with subtle instrumentation is also spectacular though, something to aspire to:



PS  rummaging around in Leilia’s youtube back catalogue, I found a live recording of the a cappella version (song starts after ~ 1 min worth of talking):


PPS They also have a lot of stuff on soundcloud, see here.




con un sombreiro de palla

December 15, 2017

a seasonal song for the special xmas session – tune and lyrics are here.

O merlo

December 13, 2017

David Carril and his lovely dancers have recorded a couple of videos, here’s the first:



We’re hoping to see them in Oxford soon, watch this space !

PS  Dots for the tune are in the Folkoteca Galega under the title “Foliada“. On that page you can transpose it to any key at the touch of a button. I have created a PDF of the version in D and will add it to the repertoire. There are also words for it (eg here, but a bit different from what we’re singing), so we might sing it at one of the next sessions.

December session

December 11, 2017

The December session will take place on the last Wednesday of the month as usual, specifically:

Galician Session Oxford – new series, no. 6

Wednesday 27.12.2017, 8:30pm-11:30pm

James Street Tavern, 47 James Street, Oxford OX4 1EU

Obviously, a few of us will be away at that time,  but on the other hand there is the chance that people who were too busy all year may now have time in the holidays, or people fed up with the whole xmas thing are looking for something more fun to do.

So I am sure that some kind of music making will happen. If we have instruments, we will play tunes, and if we have singers we will sing songs, and if all else fails we’ll just drink beer and have a chat. Your call. As the French expression goes, it will be an “auberge espagnole” (a Spanish hostel), where you get what you bring.

As usual, sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in. A bag of miscellaneous percussion instruments is also available if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

NB:  An additional special session will be happening at the James Street Tavern on Wed  20th, usual times, for those who can’t make the 27th – and for those like me who like to play Galician music every week 🙂 


(The picture is from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, see wikipedia:  https://gl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantigas_de_Santa_María )




December 10, 2017

book delivery arrived yesterday – have already finished the little book which is aimed at young readers and very easy. Might be suitable for the Galician Studies Centre to throw at their students. Now for the bigger one, a new historic novel about the time of the troubadours …


btw, it amuses me every time that Amazon Spain lists Galician books under “foreign languages”. Looks like they didn’t get the memo about Spain’s co-official languages …


December 8, 2017

Love love love this song, here’s the version from the November session …


misa campesina 2018

December 6, 2017

Musicians and singers wanted for the Misa Campesina Nicaraguense 2018. This folk mass is sung every year in celebration of Oxford’s partnership with Leon, Nicaragua.

The date for 2018 is now confirmed, it is the Sunday 22 April, i.e. Sunday morning during the Folk Weekend. The idea behind this scheduling is that the Oxford Leon Association and Trust is going to invite a musician from Nicaragua to take part in the misa and in other events during the Folk Weekend.

There will be around three rehearsals in the weeks before the event, so probably starting from late March.  Further info, links, and my ravings on this year’s misa (which was the first time I took part) are here.

Misa Campesina 2018


Luar na Lubre on tour

December 2, 2017

Luar na Lubre will be in the UK at the end of January on their way to the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow (which clashes with our session, sadly).  A gig at London has now been confirmed,  further dates may still emerge.



Ponthus et sidoine

December 1, 2017

I heard this tune on Son Galicia radio and was intrigued because I knew it as an old German song, so had to do some investigating.  Turns out that Carlos Núñez picked it up in Brittany, believing it to be Breton, but as so often, the real origins are lost in the mist of time …


The song version I knew is called Warum and sung by Triskilian, who give as the source the song book of the Duchess Sophie-Erdmuthe von Nassau-Saarbrücken from 1750. It is contained in this longer video at 22:18 mins (with luck the link should directly jump to that spot):


Faun use the same text with a somewhat tweaked melody under the title Vom Truge.  Although I don’t like this version quite as much, this title makes it easier to find the lyrics which are here.

Por que non hei de cantare

November 30, 2017

A somewhat experimental version of this song was heard quite late last night near the tail end of the November session. David didn’t want me to share the video I recorded, so I found a very similar version on youtube. Practically identical to our version, except that we don’t have a txalaparta (yet).