A chailín deas na luachra - Anna Feely

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A chailín deas na luachra,
Nach trua leatsa mo bheart ar lár?
An dtiocfá liom ar uaigneas
Faoi bhruach na coilleadh ba deise bláth?
An eaglais ní bhfaigheadh scéala air,
Ná aon fhear 'á bhfuil le fáil,
Go dtigí[1] Laidin ag an gcéirsigh
Agus Gréigis ag mo lon dubh breá.

(A) uasail, ná cuir cluain orm
Ar uaigneas, ó, agus mé liom féin,
Ná scab mo bheirtín luachra
Is a mhéad a fuair mé ' dhochar uaidh,
For níl mé glic ná stuama,
Níor (umhail)[2] mé dhon eaglais go fóill,
Cuirim ort mar phersecution
Gan bualadh faom for tá mé óg.

Níl stoca agam, níl bróg agam,
Níl stól agamsa a suífinn síos,
Nach beag mo ghnaithí le pósadh
For, dar an nóinín, tá mo phluid le sníomh,
Muise, maidin chiú-... b'fhearr liomsa ag baint na luachra
Ná do bhualadh ó thom go tom,
Ná do leanbh bheith ar mo ghuala,
A dhuine uasail bhreá, is gan tú le fáil.

Maidin chiúin dhár éirigh mé,
Bhí mo thriall amach (chuig) Condae an Chláir,
Bhí mo chupla gadhar ag glafarnaigh is mo ghunna liom ar mo lámh,
Nárbh fhurasta (a ghoil) an uair sin léi,
Chomh hóg agus ' luaigheadh mé le mnaoi,
Nach ndéanfainn rath ná fónamh,
Ná (fiú spórt) san áit a mbím,
Ach teach a bhío(nns gan ch)(...).


Oh pretty girl of the rushes,
Do you not pity me that I have lost my bundle?
Will you come with me to a secluded place,
To the margin of the finest blooming wood?
The Church wouldn't hear about it,
Nor any man to be found,
Till the song-thrush is able to speak Latin
And till the lovely blackbird speaks Greek.

Sir, do not lure me
To a secluded place while I am alone,
Don't scatter my bundle of rushes
Considering how hard I worked for it (?),
For I am not clever or sensible,
I have not yet bowed to the church,
I command you (?)
Not to touch me for I am young.

I have neither sock nor shoe,
I have no stool to sit on,
How little use I would be to marry
For, indeed, my blanket is still to be spun,
I would prefer to be cutting rushes
Than to srike you from bush to bush,
Than to have your child on my shoulders,
Dear sir, when you would not be around.

One quiet morning I roved out,
My journey was to County Clare,
My two dogs were barking and my gun was in my hand,
Wouldn't it have been easy to go with her that time,
I was so young to be engaged to to a woman (?),
Wouldn't I prosper or excel,
Or even have fun where I am wont to be,
But a house without (...).


= dtigidh, dtaga. Cf. Heinrich Wagner, Linguistic atlas and survey of Irish dialects (4 vols, Dublin, 1958-69), vol. 1, 243. (Back)
= umhlaigh? (Back)


This is a version of 'An Binsín Luachra', widely known throughout Munster and Connacht. It may be regarded as a pastourelle song (see Seán Ó Tuama, An grá in amhráin na ndaoine (Dublin, 1960), 23). A young man meets a beautiful young woman gathering rushes, which were traditionally used for making bedding. He tries to seduce her with various promises, and in the final verses the young woman reproaches him for the trouble he has caused her. It was composed no later than the late eighteenth century as a version of this song is to be found in the Bunting manuscripts (see Colette Moloney, The Irish music manuscripts of Edward Bunting 1773-1843: an introduction and catalogue (Dublin, 2000), no. 202, 242). A version of the song appears in Mícheál and Tomás Ó Máille, Amhráin chlainne Gaedheal (Dublin, 1905). See new edition by William Mahon: Amhráin chlainne Gael (Indreabhán, 1991), 88-9. For a discussion of the customs relating to the collecting of rushes and this song see Máighréad Ní Annagáin and Séamus de Chlanndiolúin, Londubh an Chairn (Oxford, 1927), no. 8, 6-7. Pádraig Ó Ceallaigh of Ballinskelligs, county Kerry, sings a version of the song elsewhere in the Doegen collection. The melody entitled 'An Binsín Luachra' is used for many other songs, for example: 'Return of King Charles/Filleadh Rí Searluis' (see John Ó Riordáin, A tragic troubadour: life and collected works of folklorist, poet and translator Edward Walsh 1805-1850 (Limerick, 2005), 643); 'The New Bunch of Loughero' (see Georges Denis Zimmermann, Songs of Irish rebellion: Irish political street ballads and rebel songs 1780-1900 (Dublin, 1966), 188-9, 191-2); and Eoghan Ruadh Ó Súilleabháin's poem 'Im aonar seal ag siubhal bhíos' (see Pádraig Ua Duinnín, Amhráin Eoghan Ruaidh Uí Shúilleabháin (Dublin, 1901), 20-22). Versions of this melody appear in the following: Edward Bunting, A general collection of the ancient music of Ireland (Dublin, 1809), 39; Hugh Shields (ed.), Tunes of the Munster pipers: Irish traditional music from the James Goodman manuscripts, Vol. 1 (Dublin, 1998), 17, 201; and Arthur Darley and P.J. McCall, Feis Ceoil. Collection of Irish airs. [The Darley and McCall collection of traditional Irish music], Vol. 1 (Dublin, 1914), 24. It is popular as an instrumental air and uilleann piper Séamus Ennis plays a version of it on The bonnie bunch of roses (Ossian LP, 1970).

Title in English: O pretty girl of the rushes
Digital version published by: Doegen Records Web Project, Royal Irish Academy

Description of the Recording:

Speaker: Anna Feely from Co. Leitrim
Person who made the recording: Karl Tempel
Organizer and administrator of the recording scheme: The Royal Irish Academy
In collaboration with: Lautabteilung, Preußische Staatsbibliothek (now Lautarchiv, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Recorded on 13-09-1930 at 10:30:00 in University College, Galway. Recorded on 13-09-1930 at 10:30:00 in University College, Galway.
Archive recording (ID LA_1142d2, from a shellac disk stored at the Royal Irish Academy) is 02:08 minutes long. Archive recording (ID LA_1142d2, from a shellac disk stored at the Royal Irish Academy) is 02:08 minutes long.
User recording (ID LA_1142d2, from a shellac disk stored at the Royal Irish Academy) is 02:04 minutes long. User recording (ID LA_1142d2, from a shellac disk stored at the Royal Irish Academy) is 02:04 minutes long.