Spollagyn son tey / Chips for tea

This is a macaronic song in Manx (Gaelic) and English that I wrote in 2013. I was inspired by seeing young herring gulls squawking away at their mothers. I wondered what they might be saying if they could speak, and this is what I came up with. On the short promenade near where I live many people eat chips from the nearby chip shop, and the seagulls will eat any leftovers.

Words and music by Simon Ager, with corrections to the Manx words by John Shimmin.


Spollagyn son tey / Chips for tea

O vumming, o vummig, o vummig, o vummig
Nodmayd geddyn spollagyn son tey?
o mama, o mama, o mama, o mama
Can we have chips for tea today?

O vac, o vac, o vac, o vac
Cha vodmayd geddyn spollagyn son tey.
My son, my son, my son, my son
We can't have chips for tea today.

Cre'n fa, o vummig? Ta ny foillanyn elley
gee spollagyn fein'n laa.
But why, o mama? The other seagulls
all eat chips throughout the day.

My eeys oo spollagyn nee oo roauyrey
wheesh nagh nod oo ettyl er chor erbee.
If you eat all the chips you'll get very fat
and then you won't be able to fly at all.

Ach vumming, o vummig, o vummig, o vummig
By vie lhiam spollagyn son tey!
but mama, o mama, o mama, o mama
I want some chips for tea today!

Bee dty host, as ee dty veishteigyn
as bee booisal er nyn son!
Be quiet, and eat your worms all up
and you'll be grateful for them, my son!

Ach vumming, o vummig, o vummig, o vummig
By vie lhiam spollagyn son tey!
but mama, o mama, o mama, o mama
I want some chips for tea today!

Here's a recording:

Here's a PDF of the words for this song with chords. I usually play it on the ukulele, but it should work on other instruments.


Songs I've written

The Elephant Song | When you get to jiggit | Chaos | Winter | Everyday adventures | Hints of Blossom | A Panda in a Poncho | Plinkin Plookplooks | Spollagyn son tey | How many? | A Gnu in My Shoe | The Ballad of the Wug and the Cra | A Hen in My Hat | La Plume de ma Tante | Ukuleles On The Shore | Echoes on the Tongue | Dardledumdue

Other songs


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