The "Better Times" Project

Janis Ian & Friends

Aoife Scott (Irish Gaelic)

Better Times Will Come by Janis Ian Performed by Aoife Scott
  1. Tiocfaidh Lá Níos Fearr (Better Times Will Come) Aoife Scott with Cathal Ó Cuiréain and Andy Meaney 3:16


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Play this on the jukebox and listen to a lot of other versions too.
You can also download all the different musical versions, in the order they went up.

Check Aoife’s website, Facebook page, Linktree page and Twitter feed for more info.

Aoife Scott with Cathal Ó Cuiréain & Andy Meaney
Translated by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Gearóid Ó Maonaigh
Camera/Sound by Colin Gillen
From Aoife: With thanks to/ Míle Buíochas : Mary Black & Joe O Reilly, Mairéad & Gearóid, and Casey Driessen

From Janis: The circular logic of this project never ceases to amaze me. Here is the continuing Gaelic saga…

My grandmother used to tell me that if I ever had to flee my country, I should go to Ireland, because she believed the Irish were one of the lost tribes of Israel. No matter how many times I explained that the majority of Irish people I’d met were Christian, she was firmly convinced they were really Jewish, and would protect me as a fellow Jew.

So you might say that before I’d ever set foot in Ireland, I already felt at home there. And just as in my own family, where I used to long for a flow chart to tell me who was “aunt” or “cousin” by birth, and who was “aunt” or “cousin” by heart, the Irish and Scots appear to be related by everything from language to music. There are huge differences, of course, but the relationship is there.

From that point on, just like with any family, it gets complicated. I wanted the “Better Times Project” to have as many different forms as possible, from languages to music and dance styles and on. I’ve always loved Ireland, my wife’s heritage is largely Irish, and I’m lucky enough to be friends with Mary Black. So I asked if she knew anyone who could adapt the song to the Irish language (which I will refer to as Irish Gaelic, or Gaelige). Mary Black contacted Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & her brother, Gearóid Ó Maonaigh, to ask if they’d “translate”. Somewhere along the line, Mary also mentioned that her niece, Aoife Scott, would love to sing the Irish version, to which I heartily agreed.

Of course, by now I was frantically scrolling through in the hope that I’d be able to say at least one person’s name correctly if I ran into them. I’d just managed to master “Aoife” (EEE-fuh) when things became a bit more complicated. Aoife’s mother is singer Frances Black, sister to my friend Mary Black. A decade earlier, Frances had asked if my song “At Seventeen” could be used for a charitable album Aoife was putting together to benefit the RISE Foundation. So I’d already corresponded with Frances, but hadn’t put it together with this project.

But wait. There’s more! A Scotsman called Ian Young and his wife Annie had contributed their own version of the song, so I asked if he might know someone who’d adapt it to Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). Ian contacted Mary Ann Kennedy (Màiri Anna NicUalraig), a Scots Gaelic singer, clarsach player (a type of harp), and BBC broadcaster. Ian and Mary Ann’s mother, Kenna Campbell, used to sing together in the 1970’s in the folk group Na H’eilthirich (The Exiles).

And still more… Mairéad and Gearóid had just finished creating the Irish Gaelige version Aoife is singing here. Mary Ann asked for a copy, saying “I wanted to see what was there to be able to chime with that where it worked for rhythm, assonance etc. So my Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is inspired by Mairéad and her brother’s but doesn’t follow it, hence the big diversions!” So now, you finally have the Irish Gaelic version, with thanks to Aoife for her patience with my poor attempts at pronunciation!

TIOCFAIDH LÁ NÍOS FEARR (Better Times Will Come)
Adapted for Irish Gaelic by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Gearóid Ó Maonaigh

Lá níos fearr, go dtiocfaidh lá níos fearr,
Lá níos fearr, go dtiocfaidh lá níos fearr,
I síochán buan, go mairfidh muid,
Go dtiocfaidh lá níos fearr.

Go mbánfaidh gach lá gan (aon) sceon,
Ár gcáirde croí lenár dtaobh,
Nuair ná gcluinfear chóich,
Aon bhruíon nó achrán,
Go dtiocfaidh lá níos fearr.


Gí go maireann muid faoi’n scáth,
Creidimid le dóchas go dtiocfaidh,
Le ceol agus spraoi,
San Earrach (gheal) shíorraí
Go dtiocfaidh lá níos fearr.

Repeat Verse 1
Chorus x 2

Direction translaton:

A better day, a better day will come
A better day, a better day will come
In everlasting peace, we will thrive
A better day will come

That every day will brighten without fear
With our close friends by our side
When you never hear of war or of hardship
A better day will come


As we live under a shadow
We believe with hope that will come
With music and fun
In that ever-lasting spring
A better day will come