An Cailín Deas Cruite na mBó

This song has been recorded many, many times. I particularly love this arrangement with harp from Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Michael Rooney. Good stuff.

An Cailín Deas Cruite na mBó

Tá blian nó níos mó ‘gam ag éisteacht
Le cogar doilíosach mo mheoin,
Ó casadh liom grá geal mo chléibhe
Tráthnóna brea gréine san fhómhar.
Bhí an bhó bhainne chumhra ag géimneach
Is na h-éanlaith go meidhreach ag ceol,
Is ar bhruach an tsruthán ar leathaobh dhom
Bhí cailín deas crúite na mbó.

Tá a súile mar lonradh na gréine,
Ag scaipeadh trí spéartha gan cheo,
‘s is deirge a grua ná na caora
Ar lasadh measc craobha na gcnó,
Tá a béilin níos dílse na sméara,
‘s is gile ná leamhnacht a snó,
Níl ógbhean níos deise san saol seo
Ná cailín deas crúite na mbó.

Dá bhfaighinnse árd Tiarnas na hÉireann
Éadacha, síoda is sróil
Dá bhfaighinnse an bhanríon is airde
Dá bhfuil ar an dtalamh so beo
Dá bhfaighinnse céad loingis mar spré dhom
Píoláidi, caisleáin is ór
Bfhearr liom bheith fán ar na sléibhte
Lem chailín deas crúite na mbó

Muna bhfuil sé i ndán dom bheith in éineacht
Leis an spéirbhean ró-dhílis úd fós
Is daoirseach, dubhrónach mo shaolsa
Gan suaimhneas, gan éifeacht, gan treo
Ní bheidh sólás im chroí ná im intinn
Ná suaimhneas orm oíche ná ló
Nó bhfeice mé taobh liom óna muintir
Mo cailín deas crúite na mbó

English version

It was on a fine summers morning,
The birds sweetly tuned on each bough,
And as I walked out for my pleasure,
I saw a pretty girl milking her cow;
Her voice so enchanting, melodious,
Left me quite unable to go,
My heart it was loaded with sorrow,
For cailín deas crúite na mbó.

Then to her I made my advances;
“Good morrow, most beautiful maid,
Your beauty my heart so entrances!–”
“Pray sir, do not banter,” she said;
“I’m not such a rare precious jewel,
That I should enamour you so,
I am but a poor little milk girl,”
Says cailín deas crúite na mbó.

“The Indies afford no such jewels,
So precious and transparently fair,
Oh ! do not to my flame add fuel,
But consent for to love me my dear,
Take pity and grant my desire,
And leave me no longer in woe,
Oh ! love me or else I’ll expire,
Sweet cailín deas crúite na mbó.

“Or had I the wealth of great Damer,
Or all on the African shore,
Or had I great Devonshire treasure,
Or had I ten thousand times more,
Or had I the lamp of Alladin,
Or had I his genie also,
I’d rather live poor on a mountain,
With cailín deas crúite na mbó.”

“I’ll beg you’ll withdraw and don’t tease me
I cannot consent unto thee,
I like to live single and airy,
Till more of the world I do see,
New cares they would me embarrass
Besides, sir, my fortune is low,
Until I get rich I’ll not marry,”
Says cailín deas crúite na mbó.

“An old maid is like an old almanack,
Quite useless when once out of date,
If her ware is not sold in the morning,
At noon it must fall to low rate,
The fragrance of May is soon over,
The rose loses its beauty you know,
All bloom is consumed in October,
Sweet cailín deas crúite na mbó.

“A young maid is like a ship sailing,
There’s no knowing how long she may steer,
For with every blast she’s in danger,
Oh consent love and banish all care,
For riches I care not a farthing,
Your affection I want and no more,
In comfort I’d wish to enjoy you,
My cailín deas crúite na mbó.”

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