A capital suggestion!

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
Nemnalíúmí Matronás
Nemnalíúmí Matronás

“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.

About DeoMercurio

I’m a Gaulish polytheist, now back living in lands ceded by the Council of Three Fires after several years’ sojourn in Anatolia and in the land of the Senecas, with frequent travels to Gaul along the way. My grandfather’s family came from the area around Trier, and I identify closely with the Treveri in my religious practice.
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16 Responses to A capital suggestion!

  1. Fair play to you for doing it despite the disclaimers and reservations…it felt to me like an early field recording of a traditional singer, in any case. 😉

  2. Filipa says:

    Reblogged this on Journey to the stars and commented:
    I don’t know gaulish language at all so this post is really great! I could sing something in gaulish! yeah

    • DeoMercurio says:

      That’s awesome! 🙂 Incidentally, the band Eluveitie often sings in Gaulish. Their album Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion sets almost the whole corpus of substantial Gaulish texts to music. Not music to everybody’s taste, possibly, but I really love them.

  3. Pingback: Mediogiamos | Journey to the stars

  4. Heather Awen says:

    I really am excited about multimedia in general , but this is amazing! I think that your voice sounds like the voice of someone who is praising the mothers . You sound good but you’re not intimidating the good if that makes sense . I can’t find the link on YouTube . I would like to post the video on my blog with links to your blog and the big website , to explain and show examples of what I’m talking about with using multimedia . If that’s okay could you please post the YouTube address ? This seems like something a lot of people should know about !

  5. Lee says:


    I am one of the folks involved with Brython Heather mentioned above – the page on Rosmerta originally led me here the other day funnily enough. Anyhow, would you be open to the idea of us linking to the Matronae video above on the Brython website? (dunbrython.org) At the moment it would be part of the Matrona page.



    • DeoMercurio says:

      Absolutely, please do! 🙂 River Devora and Rynn Fox deserve the credit for composing the chant and performing it at their Matronæ ritual last August.
      Also, I wanted to say thank you for the work you folks are doing at Dun Brython. I’ve been poking around the site, and I really like the perspective you bring. Blessings of Rosmerta and all our other shared deities be upon you.

      • Lee says:

        That’s very kind of you to say 🙂

        As an aside, have you read ‘Lady with a mead cup’? Just done so and I am slightly blown away by the work on Rosmerta and the implications. She has a lot of striking similarities to Epona-Rigantona. I will probably be linking to the Rosmerta page from your main website when I get around to writing a longer piece on her for our site.

        The chant is up at: http://www.dunbrython.org/matrona.html


      • DeoMercurio says:

        Excellent — thank you! You know, I have not yet read Lady with a Mead Cup, but you’re not the first person to mention it to me. That’s a strong endorsement; I’ll have to start sniffing around on Abebooks for it. 🙂

  6. I’ve been listening to this song on repeat in the car, and I’m going to incorporate it into my morning devotions as well. Thank you! 🙂

    • DeoMercurio says:

      Oh, that makes me so happy. 🙂 Blessings of the Matronæ upon you.

      • And upon you! 🙂

        I recall a slightly different melody for the English version (with lines 1 and 3 repeating, and then lines 2 and 4 using the same melody), so I’ve been using that tune in Latin:

        Matres victoriae, Matronae
        Tribum reginae, Matronae
        Matres victoriae, Matronae
        Vobis canimus, Matronae

  7. Pingback: To Drown in Significance, Drown Insignificance… | Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous

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