In one of her comments on an earlier post I’d made, River Devora made the excellent suggestion that I post my Gaulish translation of her chant to the Matronæ to Youtube. I apologize for not having made that happen earlier; however, it set off a chain reaction of a variety of things I’d been meaning to do for some time (like create a Youtube channel, upgrade/install various kinds of software, etc.), and as of now the pieces are in place. I present to her, and to you readers, the following Gaulish translation of her chant:
Apologies and disclaimers: This is my first Youtube video, I made it with a really pretty bogus and low-functionality program I downloaded for free, and, yes, I know, I can’t really sing! My nephew (who’s 2) calmly remarked to me the other day, “Uncle Owen, you don’t sing really well.” On the other hand, my nephew (who’s 2) is a prodigy and probably has perfect pitch, so there’s that as well. As I warned the attendees at my Kalends of August ritual, “I might sing in a key. I might not.” So there’s that.
Anyway, points I want to point out: I think the ou diphthong would have been pronounced a bit like the long o in Received Pronunciation (Queen’s English). The ei diphthong sounds pretty much as in ‘neighbour’. My theory is also that Gaulish b, d, g, and possibly m would have been allophonically lenited in intervocal position, which is linguistics-speak for saying that they’d have sounded sort of like a v, hard th (as in ‘the’), gargle, and maybe a nasalized v sound, respectively. I don’t really do the nasalized v sound for m in the recording; if I did, it would have appeared in both m’s in nemnalíúmí.
The version of the lyrics I currently use are these:
Boudeis máteres, Mátronás
Toutiás ríganás, Mátronás
“Mothers of victory/gain, Matronæ
“Queens of the tribe, Matronæ
“I celebrate the Matronæ
“I celebrate the Matronæ”
Other variations of course are possible. I also wouldn’t be too surprised if the melody had diverged from its original a bit in the intervening couple of months.
I would be truly ecstatic if anybody used this chant in their rituals. I use it pretty regularly while tying and untying string before my statuette of Aveta—a hypostasis of the Matronæ who appears as the second image in the slideshow.