Aird Uí Chuain

This song was one of my first introductions to the sean-nós tradition. It was from the singing of the fabulous Lillis Ó Laoire on the amazing album Celtic Tales and Tongues. If you don’t own the recording, do yourself a favor and pick it up – tradition songs in Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Breton. I’d also recommend the version by Mary Dillon on her 2013 release North.  The song is another of the thousands of sorrowful emigrant songs. Here’s a new take on it from Ciara McCrickard of At First Light.

*Aird Uí Chuain/Ardicoan is County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Aird Uí Chuain

Dá mbeinn féin in Aird Uí Chuain
In aice an tsléibhe atá i bhfad uaim
B’annamh liom gan dul ar cuairt
Go gleann na gcuach Dé Domhnaigh

Is iomaí Nollaig a bhí mé féin
I mBun Abhann Doinne is mé gan chéill
Ag iomáin ar an trá bháin
‘Is mo chamán bán ins mo dhorn liom

Agus och och Éire ‘lig is ó,
Éire lionn dubh (melancholy) agus ó,
‘Sé mo chroí ‘tá trom ‘s bronach.

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A Stór Mo Chroí

Lillis Ó Laoire‘s skill and knowledge of sean-nós speak for themselves, so I’ll just let this video do the talking.

A Stór Mo Chroí

A stór mo chroí when you’re far away
From the home you will soon be leaving
It’s many’s the time by night and by day
When your heart will be sorely grieving
For the stranger’s land may b bright and fair
Rich in its treasures golden
But you’ll pine I know for days long long ago
And the one that is never olden

A stór mo chroí in the stranger’s land
There is plenty of wealth and wailing
Where gems adorn the great and the grand
Where the faces with hunger paling
When the road it is tiresome and hard to tread
And the lights of their cities blind you
Oh turn a stor to Erin’s shore
And the one that you leave behind you

A stór mo chroí when the evening mist
Over mountain and sea is falling
Oh turn a stor and then you list
And maybe you will hear me calling
For the sound of a voice you will surely miss
Somebody speedily returning
A run a run won’t you come back soon
To the one that will always love you

I’d also recommend Brian Hart’s version.