Green Grow the Rushes

I great tune for a great Robert Burns text.  Mary Black joins Altan in this performance.

Green Grow the Rushes

There’s naught but care on every hand
In every hour that passes O
What signifies the life of man
If it were not for the lassies O

Chorus (after each verse):
Green grow the rushes O
Green grow the rushes O
The sweetest hours that e’er I spent
Are spent among the lassies O

The worldly race may riches chase
And riches still may fly them O
And though at last they catch them fast
Their hearts can ne’er enjoy them O

Give me a cannie hour at e’en
My arms around my dearie O
The wisest man the world e’er saw
He dearly loved the lassies O

Old nature swears the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes O
Her apprentice hand she tried on man
Then she made the lassies O

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Tá mo Chleamhnas Déanta

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan sings the Irish song Tá mo Chleamhnas Déanta.

Tá mo chleamhnas ‘a dhéanamh inniu agus inné
‘S ní mó ná go dtaitníonn an bhean udaí liom féin
Ach fuigfidh mé mo dhiaidh í, ‘s rachaidh mé leat féin
Síos fána coillte craobhaigh.

‘Mo chodladh go h-eadarshuth b’aite liom féin
Leabaí luachair a bheith faoi mo thaobh
Buideal brandaí a bheith faoi mo cheann
‘S mo chailín deas óg ‘bheith I mo lámh liom.

Shiúil mise thoir agus shiúil mise thiar
Shiúil mise Corcaigh ‘gus sráideanna Bhaile ‘ Cliath.
Macasamhail mo chailín ní fhaca mise riamh
‘Sí ‘n bhean í a d’fhág mo chroí cráite.

English

A match was a-making here last night
And it isn’t with the girl that I love the best
I’ll leave her behind and I’ll go along with you
Down by the banks of the ocean.

Sleeping to milking-time is my delight
A bed of green rushes underneath my side
A bottle of brandy underneath my head
And a charming young maid in my arms.

I walked east and I walked west
I walked Cork and Dublin’s streets
An equal to my love I didn’t meet
She’s the wee lass that’s left my heart broken.

Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna

Altan performs Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna. “Moll Dubh” can also be understood as another name for poteen.

Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna

Tá ba agam ar shliabh s níl duine gam na ndiadh
Ach mé do mo bhuaidhreadh leofa
Bíodh idir mise is Dia más orthu tá mo thriall
Is bhain siad mo chiall go mór uaim

‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna í
‘Sí Moll Dubh an Earraigh í
‘Sí Moll Dubh is deirge ná’n rósa
‘S dá bhfaighinnse féin mo roghainn
De mhná óga deasa ‘n domhain
‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna ab fhearr liom

Mise bheith gan mhaoi
Feasta choíche ní bhim
Is Moll dubh bheith i dtús a h-óige
Och, is fann guth an éin
A labhras leis féin
Ar thulaigh nó ar thaobh na mónadh

‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna í
‘Sí Moll Dubh an Earraigh í
‘Sí Moll Dubh is deirge ná’n rósa
‘S dá bhfaighinnse féin mo roghainn
De mhná óga deasa ‘n domhain
‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna ab fhearr liom

Is ag Moll dubh a’ ghleanna
Tá mo chroí-se i dtaiscí
‘S í nach bhfuair guth na náire
Is go céillí, múinte, cneasta
A dúirt sí liom ar maidin
“Ó imigh uaim ‘s nach pill go brách orm”

‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna í
‘Sí Moll Dubh an Earraigh í
‘Sí Moll Dubh is deirge ná’n rósa
‘S dá bhfaighinnse féin mo roghainn
De mhná óga deasa ‘n domhain
‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna ab fhearr liom

Níl’n óganach geanúil
Ó Bhaile Átha Cliath go Gaillimh
Is timpeall go h-Umhaill Uí Mháinnle
Nach bhfuil a dtriall uilig ‘na ghleanna
Ar eacraidh slime sleamhainne
I ndúil leis an bhean dubh a b ‘áille

‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna í
‘Sí Moll Dubh an Earraigh í
‘Sí Moll Dubh is deirge ná’n rósa
‘S dá bhfaighinnse féin mo roghainn
De mhná óga deasa ‘n domhain
‘Sí Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna ab fhearr liom

English translation:

I hear cattle on the hill with no one there to tend them
And for them I am deeply worried
Between myself and God, to them I take the trail
For they have taken my senses from me

She’s Moll Dubh of the valley
She’s Moll Dubh of Spring
She’s Moll Dubh, more ruddy than the red rose
And if I had to choose
From the young maids of the world
Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna would be my fancy

Me without a wife
I won’t be all my life
And Moll Dubh in youth just blooming
Lifeless the song of the bird
That sings alone
On a mound by the edge of the moorland

She’s Moll Dubh of the valley
She’s Moll Dubh of spring
She’s Moll Dubh, more ruddy than the red rose
And if I had to choose
From the young maids of the world
Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna would be my fancy

The Dark Molly of the glen
Has my heart in her keeping
She never had reproach or shame
So mannerly and honestly
She said to me this morning
“Depart from me and do not come again”

She’s Moll Dubh of the valley
She’s Moll Dubh of spring
She’s Moll Dubh, more ruddy than the red rose
And if I had to choose
From the young maids of the world
Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna would be my fancy

There’s not a handsome youth
From Dublin down to Galway
And around by ‘Umhail Uí Mháinnle’
That’s not heading for the glen
On steeds so sleek and slim
Hoping to win the dark maid’s affection

She’s Moll Dubh of the valley
She’s Moll Dubh of spring
She’s Moll Dubh, more ruddy than the red rose
And if I had to choose
From the young maids of the world
Moll Dubh a’ Ghleanna would be my fancy