Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair

I’ve had Altan on the brain lately, so here’s a great one by the father of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Proinsias Ó Maonaigh. The song was written for his hometown Gaoth Dobhair in Co. Donegal.  You may recognize the tune as the same as Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore. Here Altan is joined by Moya Brennan of Clannad.

Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair

Céad slán ag sléibhte maorga chontae Dhún na nGall
Agus dhá chéad slán ag an Earagal árd, ina stua(í) os cionn caor ‘s call
Nuair a ghluais mise thart le loch Dhún Lúiche, go ciún ‘s an ghleann ina luí
I mo dhiaidh bhí Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair,
is beag nár bhris mo chroí.

Ag taisteal dom amach tríd chnoic Ghleann Domhain, ‘s an Mhucais ar mo chúl
Ní miste domh ‘rá le brón ‘s le crá, ghur fhreasadh a shíl mise súil
Go ‘Meiriceá siar, a bhí mo thriall, i bhfad thar an fharraige mhór
D’fhag mé slán ar feadh seal ag Dún na nGall,
‘s ag Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair.

Níorbh é mo mhiansa imeacht ariamh ó mo thír bheag dhílis féin
Ach trom lámh Gall, le cluain ‘s le feall, a thiomáin mé i gnéill
B’é rún mo chroíse pilleadh arís, nuair a dhéanfainn beagán stór
‘S deireadh mo shaoil a chaitheamh lem ghaoil,
fá Ghleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair.

Slán, slán go fóill a Dhún na nGall, a chontae shéimh gan smál
‘S do d’fheara bréa in am an ghá, nár umhlaigh riamh roimh Ghall
Tá áit i mo chroí do gach fear a gach mnaoi, ‘s gach páiste beag agus mór
Áta beo go buan, gan bhuairt gan ghruaim,
faoi Ghleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair.

English

Farewell to the noble mountains of Donegal
And twice farewell to tall Errigal, arching over rowen and ash tree
When I passed by Dunlewey lake, lying quietly in the glen
Behind me were the little green glens of Gaoth Dobhair, and it nearly broke my heart

Travelling through Glendowan’s Hills, and Muckish behind me
I don’t mind saying with sorrow and grief, that tears fell from my eyes
Westward to America was my journey, far across the wide sea
I said farewell for a while to Donegal, and the little green glens of Gaoth Dobhair

I never wanted to leave my own beloved land
But the foreigner’s heavy-handed deceit and treachery drove me away
It would be my heart’s desire to return again, when I should get a little money
To spend the end of my life with my family, ’round the little green glens of Gaoth Dobhair

Yet farewell, farewell to Donegal, the County fine and fair
And to your brave men who in time of need, did not ever cower before the foreigner
There’s a place in my heart for each man and woman, each child big and small
Who live in peace, without sorrow or grief, in the little green glens of Gaoth Dobhair

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