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Ny Kirree Fo Niaghtey [The Sheep Under the Snow]

Date(s): 1983

Transcript: (Scroll down for English translation)

Raby Skyll Lonan - shenn ghowaltys Illiam y Qualteragh. Va Illiam y Qualteragh ny wooinney berchagh as v'eh baghey aynshoh mysh tree keead blein er dy henney. Va ram sthock as sthoyr echey - kirree, goair, muihlt, as dy chooilley horçh dy red myr Shen.

Agh eisht, tammylt beg roish my dooar eh baase, ren eh
coayl ram kirree, myr tamain credjal, ayns tuittym mooar dy niaghtey.

Va Illiam y Qualteragh ny vac le Donald y Qualteragh Raby as Isabel Skillicorn ass Lonan, as v’eh ruggit mysh y vlein shey keead jeig as tree feed (1660). V'eh ny ghuilley myneashagh tra hooar e yishig baase ayns Mean Fouyr shey keead jeig tree feed as shiaght jeig (1677), as haghyr eh dy row eh ny 'er s'jerree jeh lhinney Lught-thie Qualteragh ayns Raby.

Mysh y vlein shey keead jeig kiare feed as queig (1685) ren eh poosey ben enmyssit Dorothy Shimmin, agh "boggey ayns paitchyn cha row ad oc rieau".

Rere yn Liber Assedationis son y vlein shiaght keead jeigas tree (1703) chum Illiam y Qualteragh, chammah's Raby, ny gowaltyssyn Baljean as Granane, thallooyn va nyn lhie ry cheilley. Jeusyn shoh cha nee agh Baljean to foast er-mayrn.

Tra hooar Illiam baase mysh toshiaght y vlein shiaght keead jeig as hoght (1708), huitt lieh yn stayd er e ven-heshey Dorothy as lieh er mac e huyr Niglas y Kelly.

Va Niglas y Kelly ny vac le Illiam Kelly ass Balley Lah as Aalish, yn shuyr shinney da Illiam y Qualteragh. V'eh ruggit mysh y vlein shey keead jeig kiare feed as queig jeig (1695), as dy cronnal ny ynrican vac er-mayrn ass queig pohnaryn.

Ayns Mee Jerrey Fouyr sy vlein shiaght keead jeig (1700) hooar Aalish baase. Shey meeghyn geiyrt er shen ren Illiam y Kelly poosey reesht, as phoose eh Eleanor inney Karagher ass Skylley Stondane. As myr shen hug eh seose yn slane cair eiraght echey ayns stayd e chied ven-heshey Aalish, er-y-fa nagh row echey agh cair dooinney-treoghe sy stayd. Shen yn aght, tra haink baase er Illiam y Qualteragh ayns shiaght jeig as hoght (1708), dy row Niglas y Kelly, yn mooinjer sniessey da, abyl çheet ny yei myr eirey rish lieh jeh'n stayd echey, as ayns slane shelloo jeh lurg aa-phoosey e vaunt Dorothy ayns Mee Houney yn vlein er-giyn.

Ren Niglas hene poosey Mary Harrison ass Skyll Malew mysh shiaght jeig queig jeig (1715), as hooar eh baase ny henn wooinney Laa Nollick shiaght jeig kiare feed as tree (1783).Va gowaltys Raby er ny chummal ayns shelloo Lught-thie Kelly dys v'eh creckit ec Jamys, oe Niglas, daeed blein ny s'anmey.

Coan ny Kishtey – glion coon er çheu hwoaie thalloo Raby. Rere beeal-arrish t'eh enmyssit veih clagh ayn jeh va jeeaghyn gollrish kishtey.

Ta'n glion shoh dowin dy liooar, as my dy beagh kirree goit fo niaghtey aynshoh, yinnagh eh cummal ad ayn nagh darragh ad dy bragh veih.

As foddee dy voddagh shin gra yn un red mysh Laggan Varool neeshtagh.

T'an arrane Ny Kirree fo Niaghtey ry feddyn scruit sheese er y chooid sloo ayns tree lauescreeuynyn as ayns clou ayns paart dy lioaryn as pamphlaidyn ta er nyn gummal sy Thie-Tashtee ayns Doolish.

Ayndaue fodmain cronnaghey daa vershoon yn arrane: yn vershoon cadjin ta goit aynshoh, as fer elley ta ry akin ayns lauescreeuyn MD.900 va scruit erskyn shiaght feed blein er dy henney

Aynshoh ta'n co-chiaull jeant seose lesh fockleyn dyn keeayll. Chammah's shen tamain gynsaghey dy row kirree as goair Illiam y Qualteragh scarrit ny sodjey as ny s'lheaney er ny sleityn as ayns ny glionteenyn na tamain toiggal veih'n vershoon cadjin - ayns Dreeym y Close faggys da Glion Crammag, as ayns Glion Skylley Chreest.

She veih'n vershoon ayns MD.900 dy doigmain nagh re daa housane mohlt va ec Illiam y Qualteragh, agh jeeragh possan beg jeu. As ta shoh tuittym stiagh ny smoo keeayllagh lesh yn fys ain mysh earrooyn dy chirree va ayns Mannin ec y traa shen - mysh hoght thousane jeig as shey keead (18,600) fud yn slane Ellan.

Ga dy row Illiam y Qualteragh ny eirinagh heose er y clieau, cha row agh mysh tree keead keyrrey as beiyn myr shen echey er y chooid smoo.

Cha row Illiam y Qualteragh agh mysh lieh-cheead blein dy eash tra hooar eh baase. Dy lickly daag eh yn seihll shoh kyndagh rish doghan ennagh, myr tamain toiggal veih'n arrane.

Agh shen shennaghys ny shenn-ayraghyn ain. Dooinyn yn laa jiu ta arrane ayn mysh yn drogh-haghyrt shen. T’eh er jeet neose hooin harrish tree keead blein bunnys dy ye myr nane jeh ny arraneyn smoo ard-ghooghyssagh ayns Mannin, as myr sampleyr mie jeh arrane tradishoonagh ny shenn Vanninee.


Raby, Kirk Lonan – the old farm of William Qualtrough. William Qualtrough was a rich man and he lived here approximately three hundred years ago. He had plenty of provisions, sheep, goats, wethers and all such things.
However a short time before he died he lost many sheep, we believe, in a large snowfall.

William Qualtrough was the son of Donald Qualtrough from Raby and Isabel Skillicorn from Lonan and he was born around the year 1660. He was a young boy when his father died in September 1677 and he was the last of the Raby Qualtrough line.

Around the year 1685 he married a woman named Dorothy Shimmin but they had no children.

According to the Liber Assedationis [Rent Books] for the year 1703 William Qualtrough held Raby as well as the adjacent Baljean and Granane Farms. Of these, only Baljean still remains.
When William died around the beginning of the year 1708 half of the estate went to his wife Dorothy and half to his nephew Nicholas Kelly.
Nicolas Kelly was the son of William Kelly from Ballaugh and Alice, William Qualtrough’s older sister. He was born around 1695 and was apparently the only remaining son from five boys.

In October 1700 Alice died. Six months later William Kelly remarried. He married Eleanor Faragher from Santon. And with that he gave up his rights to inherit his first wife Alice’s estate, because he was only the widow of the estate.

That is how, when William Qualtrough died in 1708, that Nicholas Kelly, his closest relative, became the inheritor of half of his estate. He also inherited the whole flock, after the remarriage of his Aunt Dorothy, in November the following year.

Nicholas married Mary Harrison from Malew around 1715 and he died an old man at Christmas 1783. The Raby farm and flock was held by the Kelly family until it was sold by Nicholas’s grandson, James, forty years later.

Coan ny Kishtey – a narrow glen on the north side of the Raby land. According to legend it is named after a rock there that looks like a box.
The glen is deep and if sheep were caught under snow here they would never get out.
And we can probably say the same for the slopes of Barrule too.

The Song ‘Ny Kirree fo Niaghtey’ is found written down in three manuscripts and printed in some books and pamphlets that are held at the Manx Museum in Douglas
In them we can study the two versions of the song. The usual version is found here, and another in manuscript MD 900, written more than 140 years ago.

Here the chorus is made up with nonsensical words. As well as that we learn that William Qualtrough’s sheep were divided further and wider on the mountains and in the glens than we understood from the usual version – in Dreeym-y-Close near to Glen Crammag and in Lezayre Glen.

It is from the version in MD900 that we learn that not all of the 2000 lost animals belonged to William but really a small group of them. This better correlates to our knowledge of flock numbers from this time, approximately 18,600 throughout the entire island.
Although William Qualtrough was a hill farmer he had three hundred sheep and animals at the most.

William was only around 50 years old when he died. It is likely he died of a disease of some kind as we learn from the song.

So, that is the history of our forefathers. Today we have a song about the tragedy. It has come to us over almost three hundred years to become one of the most traditional songs in the Isle of Man and a good example of the song tradition of the old Manx people.

Scope & Content: The film is entirely in the Manx language and is thought to be the first ever film made in Manx.

'Ny Kirree Fo Niaghtey' (The Sheep Under the Snow) is based upon the traditional Manx folk song 'Kirree Fo Niaghtey' about the loss of sheep after a heavy snowfall. The film examines the places and people mentioned in the song and gives biographical information about the Qualtrough family.

The film was shot in the Lonan area over Easter 1983 and features footage of the places mentioned in the song. It is narrated by Douglas Faragher and also features Brian Stowell singing Kirree Fo Niaghtey.

The film also references versions of the song that are found in manuscripts in the Manx Museum Archive, (MS 08307/MD 900)

There are a full set of credits at the end of the film.

Language: Manx

Collection: Film Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: FA 0133/1


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