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Suarachan
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Author:  Whelp [ Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Suarachan

I'd certainly appreciate help in pronouncing this Scots Gaelic nickname for Duncan MacRae, also known as Big Duncan of the Axe. MacRae distinguished himself (after a rough start) at the battle of Blar na Pairc in 1491, and was thereafter known affectionately as Suarachan to the Mackenzies and MacRaes.
A march called "Suarachan" was favored by early Seaforth Highlander pipers. I believe it is also better known to pipers nowadays as "MacRae's March."
This same Suarachan was, I believe, the subject of the piobaireachd titled "The Lament for Duncan MacRae of Kintail," whose ground constitutes the same basic tune as the Irish "March of the King of Laoise."
By the by, I could also use help in pronouncing Laoise. If I ever master our band's current competition set, I intend to learn these tunes, and therefore would be well advised to know how to say their names with the least amount of butchery.
Thanks in advance for any help from Irish and Scots Gaelic speakers.
Colin MacKenzie

Author:  Redwolf [ Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suarachan

Whelp wrote:
I'd certainly appreciate help in pronouncing this Scots Gaelic nickname for Duncan MacRae, also known as Big Duncan of the Axe. MacRae distinguished himself (after a rough start) at the battle of Blar na Pairc in 1491, and was thereafter known affectionately as Suarachan to the Mackenzies and MacRaes.
A march called "Suarachan" was favored by early Seaforth Highlander pipers. I believe it is also better known to pipers nowadays as "MacRae's March."
This same Suarachan was, I believe, the subject of the piobaireachd titled "The Lament for Duncan MacRae of Kintail," whose ground constitutes the same basic tune as the Irish "March of the King of Laoise."
By the by, I could also use help in pronouncing Laoise. If I ever master our band's current competition set, I intend to learn these tunes, and therefore would be well advised to know how to say their names with the least amount of butchery.
Thanks in advance for any help from Irish and Scots Gaelic speakers.
Colin MacKenzie


"Laoise" is Irish, and is pronounced LEE-sheh. It's to be the genitive case of "Laois," but apparently was left as is when the title was translated.

If the Scottish title is pronounced at all like Donegal Irish, it would be SOOR-uh-khawn (I believe there should be an accent mark over the third "a"). That "kh" represents a gutteral sound, like the "ch" in "loch." But definitely wait for the GĂ idhlig speakers to weigh in on that one...I only have Irish.

Redwolf

Author:  Whelp [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suarachan

Many thanks from the whelp to the wolf.
From your own notes posted above in the forum, I guessed that the ao equalled ee in "Laoise," but had no idea what to do with the s.
As for Suarachan, until I hear differently, I'm going with your interpretatation.
Thanks again.
Colin

Author:  Seonachan [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suarachan

The Scottish pronunciation is very close to the Irish that Redwolf provided, with just a couple of minor differences. The [ua] in the first part of the word should come out as almost-but-not-quite separate syllables - more like "sewer" than "soor", like a slightly elongated diphthong, like your mouth is easing up after making the "oo" sound. If my description doesn't make sense, don't worry about it, it's a very minor difference.

The [a] at the end of the word is not accented and thus is not emphasized; it's more or less a schwa vowel.

So: "soo-ar--ah--khan" (or "soo-ur--uh--khun")

The [ao] in Scottish Gaelic is also pronounced differently - but that's a story for another day!

Author:  Whelp [ Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suarachan

Thanks again, Seanachan and Redwolf.
One of the tunes in question. I don't know if you like piping, but these folks are some of the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNL7hFhpEBw

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