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


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

The Cat She Went a Hunting

This song by Sonny Condell and “Scullion” was first recorded in the 70s. A great fun song, newly written but definitely in the Irish tradition. It’s sung by Cathy Jordan of Dervish with Sonny Condell himself.

The cat she went a-hunting and found the barn a-blazing
In fact she’s come a-calling, a-calling, a-calling
Wake up farm boys! The barn is burning down!

And the cat she’s got to hide herself behind the rat she’s eating
So as not to show a smirk and maybe get a beating
The farmer slips on his dungarees and he falls down the stairs
The rats came out in their hundreds and the cat she caught a-plenty
She’s got the artful dodger, the dodger, the dodger
She spied him in the burning hay the barn is burning down!

The fire brigade is coming and frying chicken singing
And we’ll be sitting on boiled eggs, on boiled eggs, on boiled eggs
So open the cage and hose us down we may get a dozen a day

The roof is starting to crumble, sparks fly up in the night sky
The dogs are wearing their tails down, their tails down, their tails down
The boys have made a chain in the yard and they’re passing the pails along

The cat she went a-hunting and found the barn a-blazing
In fact she’s come a-calling, a-calling, a-calling
Wake up farm boys! The barn is burning down!

Come by the Hills

These lyrics by Gordon Smith were paired with the great Irish air Buachaill On Eirne.  It’s a good example of a traditional tune being given new life with some carefully composed words. It also gives non-Gaeilge speakers an opportunity to sing this air! Here’s a live performance by The McCalmans.


Come by the hills to the land where fancy is free
And stand where the peaks meet the sky and the lochs meet the sea
Where the rivers run clear and the bracken is gold in the sun
Ah, the cares of to-morrow can wait ’til this day is done

Oh, come by the hills to the land where life is a song
And sing while the birds fill the air with their joy all day long
Where the trees sway in time and even the wind sings in tune
Ah, the cares of to-morrow can wait ’til this day is done

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