Once thought to be extinct, the Manx language has been making a striking comeback. In fact, a new music album has just been released in the language. The album, Sheear, comes from Manx folk singer Ruth Keggin.
As she explained to IOMToday,
“The 12 songs on the album are both traditional and contemporary Manx songs. There are a couple in English, but most are in the Manx language. Songs like Fin As Oshin, Oikan anys Bethlehem, Tree Eeasteyryn Boghtey, Arrane ny Skeddan, and Graih Folsey – I’d say they are classed as very traditional. But there are contemporary songs in the Manx idiom, by Annie Kissack and Bob Carswell, so its a nice mixture.”
The album was released on 15 February, and is available for sale on her website. Want to learn a few words in Manx? Hover your cursor over the page headings to see them in translation.
Manx language advocates consider the album’s release to be a milestone for the efforts to revive the language. For example, Julie Matthews, head teacher at the island’s Bunscoill (Manx language school) told the BBC:
“The Isle of Man language is having something of a renaissance. It is going from strength to strength and having young and exciting musicians like Ruth can only help to inspire future generations. We want to make Manx relevant in the future, not something we are simply preserving from the past. A great deal has been done over the past 30 years to resurrect the language and Ruth’s music is certainly going to help keep it vibrant and alive.”
Here’s a video of one of the Manx language songs on the album. What do you think of it?