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.

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Cití na gCumann

Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Altan have long been favorites of mine with their ability to remain largely in the tradition while still bringing something new to the picture. Here Máire sings a song that has been in her repertoire for many, many years.

Cití na gCumann

Is a Chití na gcumann, ná séan mé
Siúil feasta ‘gus éalaigh liom
I ngleanntáin coilleadh nó sliabh’ amuigh
Nó sealad faoi bhláth na gcrann
Do phósfainn i gan fhios don tsaol thú
‘S don tsagart dá mh’fhéidir liom
‘S muna bhfaighfear sinn cangailt’ in Éirinn
Ó racham araon anon

Is do thángas an baile seo ‘réir
Is bhí se ‘gam déanach go leor
Smé ar intinn an margadh a dhéanamh
‘S nach scarfainn léi féin go deo
Níor tháinig a Daidí chun réitigh
Cár mhiste domh é na dhóibh?
Bheirim slán is beannacht as mo ghaolta
‘S ní chasfaidh mé fhéin go deo

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Dúlamán

I’ve always loved this Irish courting song.  A user over at Mudcat café give a great description of the action.

The mother telling the daughter that the men are coming and the girl wanting to look like she’s good housewife material, i.e., showing them she can spin.In the second verse, the mother and daughter are talking about how unattractive the fellow is (the dulaman gaelach); however, in the third and fourth verse they’ve decided that he looks like he could afford to spend some money on them, as he can dress himself fairly well. In the fifth verse, the fellow promises the girl a present as an enticement to marriage. However, in the sixth verse the girl’s daddy (who is also a ‘dulaman gaelach’ – the names change in this verse) demands to know the fellow’s (the ‘dulaman maorach’ now) intentions; and, the daddy declares in the last verse that he’ll not let the fellow take his daughter away. However, the upstart says that he’ll just kidnap her!

Here’s a version from the group Altan.

Dúlamán

A ‘níon mhín ó, sin anall na fir shúirí
A mháithair mhín ó, cuir na roithléan go dtí mé

Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, ‘s é b’fhearr a bhí in Éirinn

Tá cosa dubha dubailte ar an dúlamán gaelach
Tá dhá chluais mhaol ar an dúlamán gaelach

Rachaimid go Doire leis an dúlamán gaelach
Is ceannóimid bróga daora ar an dúlamán gaelach

Bróga breaca dubha ar an dúlamán gaelach
Tá bearéad agus triús ar an dúlamán gaelach

Ó chuir mé scéala chuici, go gceannóinn cíor dí
‘S é’n scéal a chuir sí chugam, go raibh a ceann cíortha

Góide a thug na tíre thú? arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Ag súirí le do níon, arsa an dúlamán maorach

Ó cha bhfaigheann tú mo ‘níon, arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Bheul, fuadóidh mé liom í, arsa an dúlamán maorach

English Translation

Dear daughter, here come the courtin’ men,
Dear mother, oh bring me my spinning wheel.

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed,
Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Ireland.

Two black thick feet are on the Irish seaweed,
Two narrow ears on are the Irish seaweed.

We’ll go to Derry with the Irish seaweed,
And we’ll buy expensive shoes on the Irish seaweed.

Black spotted shoes on the Irish seaweed,
There’s a cap and trousers on the Irish seaweed.

O I told her the news, that a comb would be bought for her,
That’s the story she told me, that it was a fine one.

What did you bring from the land? said the Irish seaweed,
Courting with your daughter, said the upstart seaweed.

O you’re not taking my daughter, said the Irish seaweed,
Well, I’ll take her away with me, said the upstart seaweed.