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Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???

DigiTrad:
SONG TO THE SEALS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Sealwoman/Yundah celtic version (6)
Lyr Add: song of the seals -- discussion (35)
Lyr Add: The Great Sealing Disaster of 1914 (27)
(origins) ADD/Origins: Beachcomber - origin please? (37)
Seal Songs (23)
Lyr/Chords Req: Celia of the Seals (Donovan) (6)
Tune Req: Song of the Seals (from Jean Redpath) (13)
Lyr Req: Ferryland Sealer (2)
Tune Req: A Fisherman's Song for Attracting Seals (13)


AllisonA(Animaterra) 19 Aug 99 - 01:05 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Aug 99 - 02:07 PM
Philippa 19 Aug 99 - 02:42 PM
MMario 19 Aug 99 - 02:52 PM
Susan-Marie 19 Aug 99 - 05:27 PM
alison 20 Aug 99 - 03:31 AM
Ewan McVicar 20 Aug 99 - 05:39 AM
alison 21 Aug 99 - 01:48 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Aug 99 - 06:51 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 23 Aug 99 - 09:28 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Aug 99 - 04:15 AM
MMario 13 Mar 03 - 08:38 AM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Mar 03 - 09:30 AM
MMario 13 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Julia 13 Mar 03 - 11:31 AM
Nigel Parsons 13 Mar 03 - 12:14 PM
Willie-O 13 Mar 03 - 12:16 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Mar 03 - 01:04 PM
MMario 13 Mar 03 - 01:14 PM
MMario 14 Mar 03 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Philippa 14 Mar 03 - 08:42 AM
Felipa 09 Apr 03 - 02:53 PM
MMario 09 Apr 03 - 03:35 PM
MMario 09 Apr 03 - 03:36 PM
Felipa 09 Apr 03 - 05:26 PM
Felipa 09 Apr 03 - 05:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Apr 03 - 04:45 PM
GUEST 07 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM
Suegorgeous 07 Mar 10 - 04:07 PM
Jack Campin 07 Mar 10 - 05:30 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 11 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,^&* 10 Jan 11 - 05:29 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jan 11 - 05:30 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jan 11 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Martin Kearney 10 Jan 11 - 06:30 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 10 Jan 11 - 06:39 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jan 11 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,^&* 11 Jan 11 - 03:19 AM
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Subject: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 01:05 PM

Now, I know she's more "celtoid" than a Celtic scholar, but Mary McLaughlin has a stunningly beautiful chant, "Yundah", on her cd "Daughter of Lir", as a background harmony for a song she wrote. I saw her at Old Songs and asked her the source, and all she could say was that it's a Hebridean selkie song. Does anyone know the chant, the source, etc.?
Allison


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 02:07 PM

Hi Alison. My friend Bonnie is visiting and said "what's a "selkie"? Rather than go back to other threads I thought I might just prevail upon you. She's brand new to folk music and her heart's in the right place, so better she hear it from someone like you than a blues-ragtime fingerpicker. (although I DO of course sing the "famous song"!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Philippa
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 02:42 PM

I know nothing about Yundah. a brief answer to Rick's query; the selkie is a seal who temporarily adopts a human form (and intermarries)


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 02:52 PM

well, to be honest, a selkie (or silkie - or selky- depending on where you see it) doesn't HAVE to intermarry...

but the traditional tales usually involve a selkie who DOES marry a mere human mortal and eventually the human discovers that their spouse is a selkie, the selkie departs forever and the human spouse then dies of heartbreak....which of course makes it a true love song.

MMario


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 05:27 PM

There have been some great threads on selkie songs, one of the best-known being the Selkie from Sulskery (as MMArio points out, you need to try a lot of alternate spellings, including selchie).

Animaterra, I'm jealous you met Mary McLaughlin, Yunda is one of my favorite tracks off a celtic women compilation CD. You might try searching some of the celtic language sites for clues to the source.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: alison
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 03:31 AM

hi,

Yes it is a wonderful song.. the reason why I bought the Celtic Voices women of song CD... heard it as background in a shop and HAD to have it......

(and yes send me emails or phone numbers and I'll mediaring it to you....)

all it says on the CD cover is that it is a traditional Hebridean chant...... I just assumed it was like a waulking song (songs that are used to establish a rhythm while working... very popular in Scotland)... although it would have to be for slow heavy work...

All they seem to be saying is

Yundah,yundo,Yundah, ol-dah,
Yundah,yundo,Yundah, ol-dah,
ee-yo-nan-diuh, ee-yo-nan-diuh
ee-yo-nan-diuh, ol-dah

and then they put the english lyrics of the song over the top..... (I assume you have the english ones? or do you need them?)

I have no idea if it means anything in gaelic, (the CD quotes the source for the chant as Frankie Armstrong/ Joan Mills).

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 05:39 AM

Lyrics are
Ionn da ionn do
Ionn da odar da
Hi-o-dan dao x3
odar da.

The song is called The Seal-Woman's Sea-Joy.

A traditional seal song, collected at least 70 years ago in the Hebrides and given by Kenneth MacLeod in Songs of the Hebrides, Vol 1.

Margaret Kenndy-Fraser used this song to attract the attention of the seals. I prefer to use the Tigh nurru nigh nura nigh roe song (I don't have the Gaelic spelling for it) which Jean Redpath sings.
For more wonderful tales, songs and information see the book The People of the Sea by David Thomson.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: alison
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 01:48 AM

Thanks for the info and the correct spelling Ewan. i tried it phonectically as I heard it..... Does it mean anything?

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 06:51 AM

They look like a series of vocables, Alison.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 09:28 PM

Ewan, that's wonderful; exactly what I wanted to know. I went In Cognito for 4 days to a county fair (with sheep, not seals) and couldn't wait to get back to find out what became of my post. Ain't this the greatest place???
Allison


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 04:15 AM

Yep.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 08:38 AM

Philippa has sent me a tif of this as presented in a workshop she attended. there's a problem with the graphic tho, and I will be checking with her to see if I can get a complete tune.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 09:30 AM

I posted text and tune (abc format) last year: ADD: Seal-Woman's Sea-Joy


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM

This appears to be a variant - tune appears to be quite different at least.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 11:31 AM

Folks should be aware that Marjorie Kennedy Fraser and her pals (Kenneth McLeod etc) tended to edit, revise and otherwise alter stuff for the purposes of the romantic and the fantastic- also for "delicacy".I asked a Gaelic- speaking friend to confirm one of her "translations" once and he had a great howl over it
So- grain of salt, people
Cheers- Julia


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 12:14 PM

See also Beachcomber

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Willie-O
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 12:16 PM

Julia's right. Did they ever.
Kenneth McLeod wrote the lyrics to "The Road To The Isles", which are, at best, goofy. Also a companion piece, the faux-mystical "The Peat Fire Flame", which I actually recorded. Well, it's a better lyric than "Road to the Isles".

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 01:04 PM

I've mentioned in the past that the MacLeod/Kennedy-Fraser songs are not as a rule translations, but English-language singing versions, made for a specific "parlour" market; they shouldn't be expected to be accurate, literal translations. This is pointed out in the books they produced, but people often don't read the notes (as witness the number of times folk here have insisted that all manner of fairly modern songs "must" have been taken from tradition by their composers), so misunderstandings do occur.

If Philippa's tune is different, I'd be interested to know where it came from; I don't think I've seen another set, though Kennedy-Fraser did imply that it was well-known.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 01:14 PM

same key as your ABC - but common time rather then 3/4

first three bars would be: (G C)|C6(G F)|F6(G C)|

agains your first three of (A6 | D6)| A6

but the scan she sent *appears* to be missing a measure on each line


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:31 AM

X:1
T:Yun Day
C:Hebrides
N:noted "yun" pronounced 'h'yon
N:per Philippa -"got the sheet at a singing workshop run by Ms. Henry"
I:abc2nwc
L:1/8
K:C
z6(G C)|C6(G F)|F6(G C)|C6(_B, C)|C C z2z2G2|
w:yun_ day yun_ doh yun_ day yun_ da da yun
C6(G F)|F6(G C)|C6(_B, C)|C C z2z4|
w:day yun_ doh yun_ day yun_ da da
G2_E F G4|G2_E F G4|G2_E F G4|(_B, C) C C z2z2|
w:hey yun jun jeu hey yun jun jeu hey yun hun jeu yun_ da da
G2_E F G4|G2_E F G4|G2_E F G4|(_B, C) C C z2z2
w:hey yun jun jeu hey yun jun jeu hey yun hun jeu yun_ da da


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:42 AM

I sent the above to MMario as I was curious about the origin of the above song which has been passed on in a garbled form. I wondered if it was the same as 'Yundah'. I will be grateful for any further information.

I'm now taking the liberty to copy and paste the abc which Malcolm Douglas has helpfully provided, so that you can have both tunes in close proximity.

"As quoted in Songs of the Hebrides, Kenneth MacLeod and Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser, vol.II. (But here re-quoted from David Thomson, The People of the Sea, 1954)."

X:1
T:The Seal-Woman's Sea-Joy.
B:Songs of the Hebrides vol.II
Z:Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser
L:1/8
Q:1/4=120
M:3/4
K:C
|: (A6 | D6)| A6 | G6 | {d}A6 | D6 |
w:Ionn da ionn do Ionn da
C2 C4 | D6 :| {A}(G2 F2) G2 | A6 || C2 C4 | C6 |]
w:od-ar da. Hi-o-dan dao od-ar da.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 02:53 PM

I found David Thomson's The People of the Sea in the fiction section of my local library. This is the 1989 Arena edition based on the revised 1965 edition. The book was first published in Britain by Turnstile Press in 1954.

"Seal-woman's joy" isn't among the tunes given in the copy I'm looking at. There is a tune given as "The Fisherman's Song for Attracting the Seals" and it is apparently from Patrick MacDonald's 1784 collection. I've sent a scan of the tune to Malcolm and to MMario for posting here.

The tune from appears to be different from either of the Ionn Da tunes posted so far, and from the description in the text, it should have proper Gaelic words rather than just vocables. But it is relevant to the thread because it is also supposed to be a song for attracting the seals.

It's interesting that it was in Ireland that Thompson heard about the song, but in Scotland that he got the tune.

"There was an old belief in Scotland and Ireland that seals were attracted by certain tunes. Tadgh Murphy (Ó Murchú) of Waterville, County Kerry, told me that his great-uncle, the poet Seán óg Ó Murchú, who had a very sweet voice, was walking by the shore one day when he saw a seal sunning herself on the top of the water about fifty yards out. He began to sing to her as one might sing to put a child to sleep: "Come ashore, come ashore, O seal!"

"Tadhg said that the song pleased the seal so much that she fell 'dead
asleep on th top of the water'. The waves were rocking her and, although the tide was ebbing, she kept on coming in and coming in until she was lying high and dry, and asleep, on the sand.

"Tadhg was unable to remember the tune to which the words were sung, but Francis Collinson, of Edinburgh University, showed me some music used for the same purpose in Scotland. It is Number 46 in Patrick MacDonald's 'Collection of Highland Vocal Airs hitherto unpublished' (Edinburgh 1784)."


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 03:35 PM

This is a musical phrase transcibed by Francis Collinson from a recording made by Ludwig Koch of a grey seal.

X:1
T:Ludwig Koch's Seal
I:abc2nwc
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:G
B4A G|A2E4|]


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 03:36 PM

X:1
T:Fisherman's Song for Attracting the Seals
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
B d d d B A|d B A d B A|B d d d B A|
e2d e3|B d d d B A|d B A d B A|B d d d B A|
e2d e3|g2f g2a|e2d e3|g2f g2a|e2d e3|
a2e g2d|e2d B A G|(B d) d (d B) A|
(d B) A (d B) A|B d d d B A|e2d e3|
g2f g2a|e2d e3|g2f g2a|e2d e3|a2e g2d|e2d B A G|
(B d) d (d B) A|(d B) A (d B) A|B d d d B A|e2d e3|]


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 05:26 PM

mòran taing
source for the above tune,Fisherman's Song for Attracting the Seals,
is Patrick MacDonald's "Collection of Highland Vocal Airs hitherto unpublished" (Edinburgh 1784), as re-printed in Thomson,People of the Sea
further details are in my last message, earlier today


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 05:58 PM

which of these tunes is sung aas "Yundah" by Mary McLaughlin, a tune she learned from Frankie Armstrong?

There's a sound sample atsound sample http://www.ceolas.org/reviews/Narada/Voices.html, but I don't have speakers on the computer so I haven't listened to it.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Apr 03 - 04:45 PM

They are the same tune really; but Mary McLaughlin, or Frankie Armstrong, or Joan Mills, from whom Frankie apparently learned it, (or indeed a combination of them) has varied the rhythm and added some decoration. Ms Henry appears to have made a transcription of that; or she may have attended one of Frankie's workshops, perhaps. I'd be surprised, though, if the Mills set didn't derive from Kennedy-Fraser.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM

You know what, all three vols. of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser are downloadable as PDFs from the U of Rochester. they are in the public domain.

https://urresearch.rochester.edu/institutionalPublicationPublicView.action;jsessionid=97813994FF28259778DFB23EBB433AF7?institutionalItemVersionId=9126

beware, it's hundreds of pages.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:07 PM

Ossian recorded "A fisherman's song for attracting seals" some years back.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 05:30 PM

That tune was republished around 1800, I haven't traced all the copies. Here's a manuscript copy of one of those reprints (presumably not very different from Macdonald, which I don't have):


X:1
T:Seal Fishers Song
S:NLS MS.10381 (Ann Dundas, Lausanne 1818)
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:Emin
Bdd (dB).A|(dB).A (dB).A | Bdd   (dB)T.A|e2d e3:|
g2f g2a | e2d    e3    | g2f    g2a   |e2d e3 |
a2e g2d | e2d   TBAG   |(Bd).d (dB).A |
dBA (dB).A| Bdd   (dB)T.A| e2d    e3 |]


And no, I don't know what the bizarre articulation markings mean either. (I think it was intended for the piano).


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 05:18 PM

Came upon this fascinating thread while researching a song titled "The Seal Woman's Song" given to D.H. Lawrence in 1916 by a scholar of Celtic myth. The words are completely different and, too, seem to be vocative. From a Hebridean folk song, they are:

    Ver mi hiu - ravo na la vo -
    Ver mi hiu - ravo hovo i -
    Ver mi hiu - ravo na la vo - an catal -
    Traum - san jechar -

Could it be Gaelic? On a humorous note, British police, who suspected Lawrence to a German spy, confiscated the song, thinking that it was a coded message! Has anyone come across this version?

Slan,

Martin Kearney


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 05:29 PM

GUEST Martin Kearney

Is THIS the one you're thinking of?


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 05:30 PM

Thst song is reprinted in "People of the Sea" as "The Seal-Woman's Croon". In Thomson's more normal Gaelic spelling:

Bheir mi hiù ra bho nail-e bho
Bheir mi hiù bho ho ro i
Bheir mi hiù ra bho nail-e bho
An cadal trom 's an deachaidh mi.

Thomson says the only words that mean anything are in the last line, "the deep sleep into which I went".


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 05:45 PM

The tune from Thomson:

X:1
T:The Seal-Woman's Croon
S:Thomson, The People of the Sea
M:3/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=100
K:GMix
   G>G|(G<F)   G<G g>e|(e<d-) d2
   B>B|(B/A/G) B<B d>B|(B<A-) A2
   G>G|(G<F)   G<G c<c| d2-   d3/
d/ d<D| F4-         F>A|A/G/   G2|]


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST,Martin Kearney
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 06:30 PM

Many, many thanks, Jack and "Guest"! You've made my day.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 06:39 PM

It's so fun to see one of my early queries revived! And to see Rick Fielding's instant reply, and how it unfolded- one of the reasons I love this place!


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 08:28 PM

GUEST,^&* - no. That's a completely different (and much better known) song.


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Subject: RE: Yundah: Hebridean Selkie chant???
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 03:19 AM

Jack

Yes, I see that - the original "vocables" just sounded rather familiar!


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