An Lacha Bacach

I just adore Nell Ní Chróiní‘s singing with it’s crystalline definition and simplicity. Here she is again on SOTI with a song about a lame duck.

An Lacha Bacach

A chréatúirín leointe is brón liom do dhreach
Im’ choinnibh sa phóirse is tú breoite tinn salach,
Do sciathán ba ró-dheas ag sileadh sa lóib leat,
Is do lapa beag gleoite dar ndóigh ina dhá leath.
Didery aighle dam dodle di am the dam dam…

An t-asal is dócha a thóg tú le speach
Is greadadh go deo air ba mhór é a theaspach
Cuirfead bata fuinseoige ag rince sa tóin air
Is ceangal naoi ló air cois teorann le staic.

Tar anseo im’ dhóid chun go dtomhaisead do chneá
Is ná bí chomh glórach ní ceol do bhác-bhác
Idir bhriseadh ‘gus leonadh tá ainnise mhór ort
‘S is céasadh san domhsa mo lacha bhacach

Cad a dhéanfad amáireach is cás liom é mheas
Gan an t-ubh gorm breá mar ba ghnath don bricfeast
Is easnamh don shláinte an bascadh seo ‘tá ort
Ach foighne sé ‘s fearr ar mo lacha bhacach

Stopfad lochán duit go snámhfair amach
Sé an t-íocluibh is fearr é do lacha bhacach
Beirse i gcionn spáis bhig ag croitheadh sciathán ann
Is roimh tosach an Mharta ag ardú bhác-bhác

English Translation

O poor wounded creature, your countenance does hurt me,
sick and dirty before me on the porch
Your wing, once so lovely, drooping in the mud
and your pretty wee foot, [parted in two, of course?!]

The donkey ’twas that lifted you up with a kick,
and a thrashing upon him, the gadder,
I’ll set an ash rod dancing on his behind
and I’ll tie him up for nine days to a post out back (lit. ‘out by the limit [of the property]’)

Come here in my hand that I may gauge your damage
and don’t be calling out so, your quack-quack is no music
Between the fractures and wounds, you’ve quite a misery on you
and my lame little duck is pained in the [dance?!]

What’ll I do tomorrow, that’s a great concern of mine,
without my usual lovely blue egg for breakfast?
This mangling of yours is a great stopper in my health,
but I’ll have to be patient for/with my lame duck

I’ll stem a wee pond for you to swim out into,
that’s the best healer for a lame duck
Take a little time there, flapping your wings in it,
and before March comes along, you’ll be quack-quacking again


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