Hop-tu-naa song reinvented

Mon, 16 Oct 2017

A traditional song for hop-tu-naa has had a modern re-invention thanks to Biskee Brisht.

The new version of the ancient Manx song has been created as a new addition to the Isle of Man’s traditions around the 31st of October.

Created by Biskee Brisht, a band consisting of vocals, ukulele, guitar, accordion and trumpet, the new version of the song is likely to surprise listeners and hopefully inspire people to listen again to the traditional folksong.

“The songs for hop-tu-naa are something which people are very nostalgic about,” said Ruby Biscoe-Taylor, lead singer of BiskeeBrisht “but it is also a part of a living tradition. The Island’s songs are a part of who we are, and new generations should always put their own stamp on these sorts of traditions. This is what we’ve tried to do here.”

The new version of the song combines elements of both the ‘Jinny the witch’ song and the older Manx language song beginning: Shoh shenn oie Houney, hop-tu-naa! (This is Hollantide night, hop-tu-naa!) T’an eayst soil shean, trol-la-laa! (The moon shines bright, trol-la-laa!). Although many will recognise the words and much of the melody, some elements are entirely new, such as the trumpet and accordion solos and the quirky refrain.

The song has been released online through a short live music video. It has been made available in order to promote and celebrate Manx culture.

“Hop-tu-naa is the oldest continuously-existing tradition in the Isle of Man,” says Chloe Woolley, Manx Music Development Officer at Culture Vannin. “It is something we should be very proud of, and this re-interpretation of the song is just one way to do that. Celebrating Manx traditions in new waystakes our culture forward.”

A large number of resources relating to hop-tu-naa are available on the Culture Vannin website. The song by Biskee Brisht can be found here:

Hop-tu-naa by Biskee Brisht