Saturday, April 07, 2012

G: Give Up Yer Aul Sins

So there! Wha'?

Some years ago we were in Kansas City, MO, as we normally are for Christmas. And, as we do at Christmas, we were listening to the Christmas playlist on one of the iPods (an eclectic collection ranging from Medieval Christmas songs to A Winter Solstice - volumes I, II, III, IV, V and VI - we liked the first and...it happens).

I was listening, with half an ear, to a track on Loreena McKennitt's "Parallel Dreams" album, Dicken's Dublin. A sad tale of a young person, out on the streets on a cold Winter's eve. Interspersed with the lyrics is a recording of a young girl, clearly from Dublin given her accent, narrating the Christmas story.

My full attention was drawn when I heard her say "an' an angel disappeared to them..."

Dublin is a town of malapropisms - there's a history of them there, going back a long time. I went back over that part of the track time and time again. Sure enough, "...an angel disappeared to them..."

Some years later, my father sent us a DVD - "Give Up Yer Aul Sins". Recordings, with wonderful animation, of schoolchildren in the '60s in Ireland, narrating Bible stories. The recordings were made by a teacher, but had been lost. They were discovered in a rubbish bin. Two enterprising young men made an animation short - "Give Up Yer Aul Sins" (The story of John the Baptist) and this tiny film was nominated for an Academy Award.

The DVD contains seven of the stories and a documentary.

The funny thing was, my father hadn't heard the Loreena McKennitt song.

12 comments:

  1. Malapropisms can be hilarious, to say the least. My son used to say "misappeared" and my mother once told a doctor she'd had a vasectomy. Language is such a beautiful thing!

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    1. Hi Laura,

      Those are *wonderful* - yes, language is beautiful.

      The initial short animation that inspired a series (including the Birth of Jesus on I initially heard) can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfOqQmsBNf8

      Enjoy

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  2. I suppose some of this can be attributed to regional dialect if it is widely repeated. In the Southeastern U.S. many people will use words and phrases that are not actually correct, but it makes sense when you hear the usage. What a great find in a rubbish bin--talk about turning trash into treasure.


    Lee
    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Arlee. Yes, some of it is dialect, and the rest of it inspired misuse.

      The find was pure luck. According to the documentary, the teacher persuaded the children to allow her to record them by telling them they'd be on the "wireless" (as radio was known when I grew up). Forty years later a CD of the recordings was made (prior to the animation.)

      The CD went double-platinum - so, delayed a bit, but no real lie. :)

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  3. I love malprops, am known to day one or two myself somtimes not on purpose! Oh see now you have me confessing here ^_^

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  4. Oh bother i have a cat on my lap which makes typing difficlt , know to day should read to do ^_^

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    1. Having a cat on your lap is the best excuse for anything - I know this as our household numbers two cats.

      Thanks for the comment(s), Helen.

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  5. That is an amazing post ....specially the last line :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it and, thank you for stopping by.

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  6. My six year old is famous for these... they always put a smile on my face.

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    1. They are wonderful, aren't they ~2?

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  7. Great post. I'm curious now and I'll have to see if I can track this CD down.

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