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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Gabhaim molta Bríde

Today we honor one of the three patron saints of Ireland, St. Brigid of Kildaire. Her feast day is held on the ancient Gaelic day of Imbolc – February 1st.  Among other things, she is the patron saint of scholars, poets, printing presses, midwives, and sailors. Here Claire Roche performs a haunting version of Praise to Brigid reminiscent of the days when Gaelic nobility held the harpers in the highest esteem.

Gabhaim molta Bríde

Gabhaim molta Bríghde, iníon í le hÉireann
Iníon le gach tír í, molaimís go léir í.
Lóchrann geal na Laighneach, soils’ ar feadh na tíre
Ceann ar óigheacht Éireann, ceann na mban ar míne.

Tig an Geimhreadh dian dubh, gearra lena géire
Ach ar lá le Bríghde, gar dúinn Earrach Éireann.
Iníon le gach tír í, molaimís go léir í.
Gabhaim molta Bríghde, iníon í le hÉireann

Praise to Brigid

I give praise to Brigid, daughter of Ireland
Daughter of all lands, let us praise her.
The bright torch of Leinster, shining across the country
The leader of Ireland’s youth, leader of gentle women.

The house of Winter is dark, cutting with its sharpness
But on Brigid’s Day, Spring in Ireland draws near to us.
I give praise to Brigid, daughter of Ireland
Daughter of all lands, let us praise her.

Bruach Na Carraige Báine

Duets are few and far between in music of traditional music, but this performance by Séamus Begley and Mary Black proves they are well worth it. The air of this song is partially responsible for the music of the well-known song A Stór mo Chroí

Bruach Na Carraige Báine

Is thiar cois abhainn gan bhréag gan dabht
Ta an ainnir chiúin tais mhánla
Is gur ghile a cam ná an eala ar an dtonn
Ó bhaitheas go bonn a bróige
‘Sí an stáidbhean í a chráigh mo chroí
Is d’fhág sí i m’intinn brónach
Is leigheas le fáil níl agam go brách
Ó dhiúltaigh mo ghrá gheal domsa

Ó b’fhearr liom fhéin ná Éire mhóir
Ná saibhres Rí na Spáinne
Go mbéinnse ‘gus tusa i lúb na finne
I gcoilltibh i bhfad ón ár gcáirde
Ó mise ‘gus tusa bheith pósta a ghrá
Le haontoil athar is máthair
A mhaighdean óig is milse póg
Tú grian na Carraige Báine

‘S a stuaire an chinn cailce, más dual dom go mbeir agam
Beidh cóir ort a thaithneodh led’ cháirde
Idir shíoda ‘gus hata ó bhonn go bathas
‘S gach ní sa chathair dá bhfeabhas
Beidh do bhólacht á gcasadh gach neoin chun baile
Is ceol binn ag beacha ar bhánta
Go bruach na Carraige Báine

Translation

And west by the river, without a doubt or lie
There is a quiet gentle beauty
And her waist is a bright as any swan on the wave
From the crown of her head to the soles of her feet
She is the woman that tormented my heart
And left me heartbroken
There is nothing that will cure me
Since my true love rejected me

I would prefer, than all of Ireland
Or the wealth of the king of Spain
That you and I could be together in a quiet spot
In a wood far from our friends
Oh you and I to be married, my love
With the permission of father and mother
Oh young maiden of the sweet kisses
You’re the sun of the White Rocks

Oh beauty of the white hair, if you would be mine
You would have everything your friends would like
From silk to hats, from head to toe
And the best of everything in the city
Your cows would be driven every noon to the town
And the bees in the meadow would sing sweetly for you
You would have your fill of drink and have coaches to take you
All around the edge of the White Rocks