Songs in Manx Gaelic

Jul 10, 2014 by

The last native speaker of Manx, the language of the Isle of Man, was Ned Maddrell, a fisherman born in 1877 who died in 1974. This unique Gaelic ( Gailck, in Manx) language is not extinct, and a small portion of the island’s inhabitants do speak it, with an even greater number having at least a basic familiarity with Manx. As with many of the Celtic languages, there has been a strong effort to revive Manx, an undertaking aided by the fact there is both written and audio documentation of the language.

Manx is a beautiful language, as you’ll hear in the following videos, lyrical and unique, with hints of Ulster Irish and northern Scots Gaelic, all flowing together to give voice to the ancient Celtic culture of the Isle of Man.


This is a traditional Manx folk song,  a woman’s invocation to the sea gods to bring her fisherman home safely. The English and Manx lyrics are contained in the comments section of the video.



Ushag Veg Ruy( Little Red Bird) is a Manx lullaby, sung here in Manx and English. Click HERE to see the full lyrics in both languages.



This lovely track, Fin as Oshin, is from Ruth Keggin’s debut album of Manx Gaelic songs, Sheear (“Westward”).  Click HERE to go to Ruth’s website and HERE to to preview/purchase  the album.



 My Caillin Veg Dhone (My Little Brown Girl) is performed here by Caarjyn Cooidjagh (“Friends Together”), a group of singers based on the Isle of Man.  Click HERE to see the lyrics in English and Manx and HERE to preview another track from the group.


Sources and more information on Manx Gaelic:

A Wooden Crate Preserved the Manx Language, BBC

Audio recording of Ned Maddrell, last native speaker of Manx

Basic Manx Phrases, Manx National Heritage

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Nollick Ghennal–A Manx Christmas Greeting

Dec 24, 2013 by

Happy Christmas and A Good New Year from beautiful Ellan Vannin, the Isle of Man

Nollick Ghennal

Nollick Ghennal

Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa is Manx Gaelic for Happy Christmas and A Good New Year.

This little castle is known as the Tower of Refuge and is in Douglas Bay, off the coast of the Isle of Man.  Completed in 1832, the tower sits atop Conister Rock (also known as St Mary’s Isle) at the far end of Douglas Bay.  Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, moved to Man in 1808.  He  realized that waters of the Irish Sea were too treacherous for any sailor washed overboard to swim safely to shore.  Hillary paid for the small granite tower to be built on Conister Rock, as refuge for sailors waiting to be rescued.   He made sure it provided shelter for  sailors, and also kept it stocked with fresh water and bread.

It’s possible to walk to the The Tower of Refuge when the tide is out, but it is not advised, as the tide comes in quickly  and could leave you stranded.  Locals recommend you view it from a distance, just to be safe.



Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel, Mona aground on St Mary’s Isle, July 2nd, 1930.

The Tower of Refuge, Isle of Man

The Tower of Refuge, Isle of Man


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Jan 27, 2013 by

L-R: Alba, Cymru, Kernow, Ellan Vannin, Gallaécia, Breizh, Eire

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