1. I have heard this song with different melodies and some very creative arrangements. Cathy Ryan does her version with English bits. Altan does a version with a completely different melody. I've always loved this song. Years ago, I was thrilled to find it written out for a beginner Irish language learner. I have since performed this song with bodhran player, Jeff Moore and completely a cappella many many times. I added my octave mandolin, some creative chords and rhythms and twisted the melody to suit me. I hope you like it!
Beidh aonach amárach i gContae an Chláir, Cén mhaith dom é, ní bheidh mé ann!
Curfá: A mháthairín, a’ ligfidh tú chun aonaigh mé? A mhuirnín ó, ná héiligh é!
Níl tú a deich ná a haon déag fós. Nuair a bheas tú trí déag beidh tú mór.
Táimse i ngrá le gréasaí bróg, Mur’ bhfaigh’ me é ní bheidh mé beo!
B’fhearr liom féin mo ghréasaí bróg, Ná oif’geach airm le lásaí óir!
There is a fair tomorrow in County Clair. What good is it, I won't be there!
Chorus: Mother, will you let me go alone? Darling, don't complain about it.
You're not ten or eleven yet. When you're thirteen, you will be big enough.
I’m in love with a shoemaker. If I can’t have him, I won’t live.
I prefer my shoemaker To an army captain with gold laces.
2. The first time I heard this song was on EJ Jones' solo album, The Willow. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful melody and thought, "This song HAS to have words." I consulted the interwebs and found that, indeed, the song did have words. Finally, six years later, I am singing that song. As a special treat, EJ has added his musical touch to this track.
October winds lament around the castle of Dromore
Yet peace is in her lofty halls, a pháiste bán a stor
Though autumn leaves may droop and die, a bud of spring are you
Hushabye loo, low loo, low lan, hushabye loo, low loo
Dread spirits all of black water, Clan Owen's wild banshee
Bring no ill wind to him nor us, my helpless babe and me
Holy Mary pity us to Heaven for grace doth 'sue
Take time to thrive, my ray of hope, in the garden of Dromore
Take heed, young eaglet, till thy wings are feathered fit to soar
A little rest and then the world is full of work to do
3. What Irish based CD could be called truly Irish without some sort of song about a girl with Sunday drinking routine? The Great Highland Bagpipes make their appearance on this song with a traditional Scottish tune (if you know the name of the tune, let me know :-)).
In Scartaglenn there lived a lass and every Sunday after mass
She would go and take a glass before going home to Bearna
We won’t go home along the road for fear that you might act the rogue
We won’t go home along the road, but we’ll go home to Bearna
We won’t go home across the fields the big thornines could stick in your heels
We won’t go home across the fields, but we’ll go home to Bearna
We won’t go home around the glen for fear your blood might rise again
We won’t go home around the glen, but we’ll go home to Bearna
We won’t go down the milk boreen the night is bright we might be seen
We won’t go down the milk boreen, but we’ll go home to Bearna
We won’t go home across the bog for fear we might meet Kearney’s dog
We won’t go home across the bog, but we’ll go home to Bearna
4. This is the first song in Irish Gaelic that I learned. It is the beautiful lullaby you might recognize if you saw the movie The Secret of Roan Inish. The song lists all the birds that go to sleep. I am a bird watcher. With this song, I learned 8 bird names in Irish!
I have been honored to sing this live with fellow singer, Ceridwyn Mizera and amazing fiddler, Michelle Levy. On the CD, you will hear EJ Jones on flute.
My greatest hope is that this track will do what a lullaby is meant to do - put you to sleep!
Éiníní, éiníní, codalaígí, codalaígí.
Curfá: Codalaígí, codalaígí, cois an chlaí amuigh.
An londubh is an fiach dubh, téigí a chodladh, an chéirseach is an préachan, téigí a chodladh.
An spideog is an fhuiseog, téigí a chodladh, an dreoilín is an smóilín, téigí a chodladh.
Little birds, little birds, all sleep, all sleep.
Chorus: All sleep, all sleep, by the wall outside.
The blackbird and the raven, go to sleep, the female blackbird and the crow, go to sleep.
The robin and the lark, go to sleep, the wren and the thrush, go to sleep.
5. Which one of these is not like the other???? OK, so this is the only song on the CD that isn't Irish, or even Scottish, or even Celtic in any way. I hope you enjoy it anyway!
I got my true start in folk style performance with Istanpitta. The music we perform is Medieval. There are elements that I draw from my classical training but there is also a very earthy quality that I think attracts a wide audience into an otherwise undiscovered genre. This song is one of my all time favorite songs that I learned working with Istanpitta. It is a medieval French song by Guillaume de Machaut. If you have any interest in medieval music, you won't go wrong exploring his body of work. He was a man ahead of his time in my opinion.
An amazing recorder player, Annette Bauer, brought the song to full glory one weekend when she added to the vocal line in a way I really can't explain except to say that it drew me into a place to perform the song with a full and completely open heart. I always return to that experience when I sing this song. I wish I could have had Annette play on this recording, but I did my best to capture the feeling in a solo setting.
Quant je sui mis au retour, De veoir ma dame, Il n’est peinne ne dolour, Que j’aie par m’ame.
Dieus! C’est drois Que je l’aim sans blame De loial amour.
Sa biauté, sa grant doucour, D’amoureuse flame, Par souvenir nuit et jour, M’esprent et enflame.
Et quant sa haute valour, Mon fin cuer entame, Servir la weil sans folour, Penser ne diffame.
When I return to see my lady, I feel neither pain nor sorrow, by my soul.
Heavens, it’s only right, That I should adore her without blame, And with faithful love.
Her beauty and great charm arouses and inflames me night and day with passion.
And if in her great courage she should accept my sincere love, I will serve her without deceit without infamous thoughts.
6. This set of slip jigs begins with a traditional Irish tune (if you know the name, let me know). Then it jumps immediately into a song called Nead Na Lachan, or if you're a session instrumentalist, you may recognize the tune as The Foxhunter's Jig. I learned this song from a harpist and singer, Caera Aislingeach. She put together a book and CD of children's songs in Irish. I haven't actually colored any of the pictures, but I have learned several of the songs. The beautiful Scottish Smallpipes you hear are made and played by EJ Jones.
Nead na lachan sa mhúta
‘s cuirfidh mé amach ar an gcuan thú.
Béarfaidh mé currach is criú dhuit
Ceannóidh mé slat is d’rú dhuit
The duck’s nest in the moat.
And I will send you out in the bay.
I will get a canoe and crew for you.
I will buy a rod and line for you.
7. I recorded this one rhythmically free and a cappella with the harmonies I have always thought should be there. To me, it feels timeless, airy and somehow infinitely sad with some thread of hope.
Bheir mí ó-ró, bhean ó, Tá mé brón ach’s tú i m’dhith
‘Siomaí oíche fliuch is fuar,
Thug mé cuairt is m liom féin,
Nó go ráinig mé san áit
Mar a raibh grá geal mo chléibh.
I mo chláirseach ní raibh ceol,
I mo mheoraibh ní raibh brí,
Nó gur luigh tú do rún,
‘Sfuair mé eolas ar mo dhán.
O, woman, I am sad and you are lost to me.
Many a wet and cold night
I paid a visit myself
Until I arrived at the place
Where my bright love was.
In my harp there was no music,
In my fingers there was no strength
Until you declared your desire,
Did I realize my fate.
8. I like silly girl songs. Songs where the boy is obviously up to whatever boys are up to, but the silly girl just loves him anyway.... She's so sure she will just die without him. There's something very beautiful and fun in that naivety. I enjoy adding a little bit of vocal melodrama.
I know my love by his way of walking,
And I know my love by his way of talking
And I know my love by his suit of blue
And if my love leaves me, what will I do?
And still she cried:"I love him the best
But a troubled mind sure it knows no rest."
And still she cried, "Bonny boys are few,
And if my love leaves me, what will I do?"
There is a dance house in Maradyke
Where my true love goes every night
And takes a strange one upon his knee
And don't you know, now, that vexes me.
I know my love is an arrant rover
And he'll go roaming the wide world over
In foreign parts he may chance to stray
Where all the girls are as bright as May,
If my love knew I could wash and wring
If my love knew I could weave and spin
I'd make a dress all of the finest kind
But the want of money leaves me behind.
9. This is a song that is popular for a reason. Its beautiful melody sinks deep into your brain - in a good way! I am extremely honored to have EJ Jones add his beautiful smallpipes and Kevin Hartnell add drumming that bring the whole song together.
Tá mé ‘mo shuí ó d’éirigh an ghealach aréir,
A’ cur tine síos gan scíth ‘s á fadú go géar,
Tá bunadh an tí ‘na luí is tá mise liom féin,
Tá na coiligh a’ glaoch is an saol ina gcodladh ach mé.
Sheacht mh’anam déag do bhéal, do mhala, ‘s do ghrua.
Do shúil ghorm ghlé fár thréig mé aiteas is suairc.
Le cumha i do dhiaidh, ní léir dom an bealach a shiúl,
Is, a charaid mo chléibh, tá na sléibhte idir mé agus tú.
Deireann lucht léinn gur cloite an galar an grá,
Char admhaigh mé é, go raibh sé i ndiaidh mo chroí istigh a chrá,
Aicíd róghéar, faraoir, nár sheachnaigh mé í,
Chuir sí arraing is céad go géar tríd cheartlar mo chroí.
Casadh bean sí dom thíos ag Lios Bhéal an Átha,
D’fhiafraigh mé di an scaoilfeadh glas ar bith grá,
Is dúirt sí os íseal i mbriathra soineanta sámh’,
Nuair a théid sé fán chroí, cha scaoiltear as é go brach.
I have been sitting here since the moon rose last night,
Lighting a fire and tending it sharply.
The people of the house are asleep and I’m by myself
The roosters are crowing, the world is asleep but me.
My intense soul, your mouth, your brow, your cheek,
For your bright blue eyes, I’ve abandoned fun and joy,
With the loneliness of parting, the path is impercievable.
And, dear one, the mountains are between me and you.
Wise people say that love is an exhausting disease,
I didn’t admit that my heart was in anguish,
Disease, alas, I could not avoid it,
She put a hundred sharp pains in the center of my heart.
I met a wise woman down in Lissvalana,
I asked her if I could unfasten the lock of love at all,
She whispered in calm, peaceful words,
When it goes into the heart, you can never unfasten it.
10. I was drawn to record this song after falling in love with a recording by The Wailin' Jennys. Their harmonies are positively delicious. I went after this song with their sound as inspiration. I experimented with chords that changed the color of the melodic line, and I sang the song in all the spirit I felt they had.
Oh all the money that e'er I had, I spent it in good company
And all the harm that e'er I've done, alas, it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit to memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all
Oh all the comrades that e'er I've had, they are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I've had, they would wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot that I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call good night and joy be with you all
If I had money enough to spend and leisure time to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in this town, that sorely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips I own, she has my heart enthralled
So fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all
A man may drink and not be drunk, a man may fight and not be slain
A man may court a pretty girl and perhaps be welcomed back again
But since it has so ordered been by a time to rise and a time to fall
Come fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all