Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sometimes They Say, Go Ahead

since you're the one who's made a living playing music. Play something Mike would enjoy. I remembered playing this with Liam Clancey many long years ago. It's called "Mo Ghile Mear" which in Gaelic means "My Hero" or "My Dashing Darling." It's a Jacobite lament for Bonny Prince Charlie. Heartbreaking sad, like most Irish love songs (only the Irish songs about war are jolly). If I can't find a singer up to singing in Gaelic I'll have to do it myself. I'm nobody's best singer. My voice has had too many nights in smoky bars, too much booze, and a lot of general wear and tear. It's not pretty, but with phrasing and emotion I can make my not very good voice an effective instrument.

  • paying attention litbrit?

  • Here are the lyrics, in Gaelic with a phonetic assist. There's a fairly literal translation also, but I don't intend to do any of the English lyric. It just doesn't scan well with the tune. Nothing political about it. (confession: if i sing in gaelic in a rural town in Arizona and blow the words no one there will know)

    The others songs I've been asked to play are "Amazing Grace" (you can't miss with that one)
    "True Colors" (Mike was a HUGE Lauper fan and I think it will be lovely on the harp)
    "The Navy Hymn" (also known as "Eternal Father, Strong to Save")

    Sé mo laoch mo Ghile Mear‘
    Sé mo Chaesar, Ghile Mear,
    Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
    Ó chuaigh i gcéin mo Ghile Mear.

    Seal da rabhas im’ mhaighdean shéimh,
    ‘S anois im’ bhaintreach chaite thréith,
    Mo chéile ag treabhadh na dtonn go tréan
    De bharr na gcnoc is imigéin.


    Bímse buan ar buairt gach ló,
    Ag caoi go cruaidh ‘s ag tuar na ndeór
    Mar scaoileadh uaim an buachaill beó
    ‘S ná ríomhtar tuairisc uaidh, mo bhrón.


    Ní labhrann cuach go suairc ar nóin
    Is níl guth gadhair i gcoillte cnó,
    Ná maidin shamhraidh i gcleanntaibh ceoigh
    Ó d’imthigh sé uaim an buachaill beó.

    * Níl curfa anseo...

    Ghile Mear ‘sa seal faoi chumha,
    ‘S Eire go léir faoi chlócaibh dubha;
    Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
    Ó cuaigh i gcéin mo Ghile Mear.

    [1 and Chorus]
    Shay muh lay moe Gil-ah Mar
    Shay moe Hay-suh, Gil-ah Mar,
    Soon nawh shayn nee voor-ahs hayn
    Oh coo-ig EE-gayne moe Gil-ah Mar.

    Shall dah ross im wy-gem hay-v,
    Sa-nEEsh im vahn-trock caw-cha tray,
    Moe kayl egg trav-ah nah gun guh train
    Deh var nah ng-ic iss im-ee-gayn.

    Beem-sha boo-in air boo-urch gawk low,
    Egg key guh crew-eh seg toor nah nyoar
    Mar squeal-ah oo-im aun boo-cull b-yo
    Snah riv-tar toorisk oo-ig, muh v-roan.
    Nee lauw-ron cooirk guh sooirk air no-n
    Iss neel guh gah-air ee key-olteh kno,
    Nah mah-jen how-ree ee glan-tehv keo
    Oh dimmy shay whim aun boo-cul byo.

    * No Chorus Here...
    Gil-ah Mar sah shall fwee coov(a),
    Iss Air guh lair fwee cloak-ev doov(a);
    Soon nah shayne nee voor-ahs hayne
    Oh coo-ig e gayne muh Gil-ah Mar.

    My gentle Darling
    He's my champion my Gallant Darling,
    he's my Caesar, a Gallant Darling,
    I've found neither rest nor fortune
    since my Gallant Darling went far away.

    Once i was gentle maiden,
    but now I'm a spent, worn-out widow,
    my consort strongly plowing the waves,
    over the hills and far away.


    Every day I'm constantly enduring grief,
    weeping bitterly and shedding tears,
    because my lively lad has left me
    and no news is told of him - alas.


    The cuckoo doesn't sing cheerfully after noon,
    And the sound of hounds isn't heard in the nut-tree woods,
    Nor a summer morning in a misty glen
    Since my my lively boy went away from me.


    Gallant Darling for a while under sorrow,
    And Ireland completely under black cloaks;
    I have found neither rest nor fortune
    Since my Gallant Darling went far away.

    I've tried to upload the melody line but without success. It's a stately, mournful ballad. You can listen to it here: http://www.irishpage.com/songs/fly-song.htm just click on the speaker.


    Blogger maurinsky said...

    Thanks for that link, Stephen - it has one of my all time favorite hymns, Be Thou My Vision, in Gaelic!

    I really need to learn to sing in Gaelic.

    4:40 AM  
    Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

    it's a great language for music. the consonants and gutterals keep rythym flowing, almost percussive, and it's expressive. I've seen songs in Gaelic move an audience to tears when none of them understood the words, they got the meaning.

    Gort na Sailean (The Salley Gardens) is another beautiful piece, it's hard to go wrong with Yeats.

    9:31 AM  
    Blogger litbrit said...

    My great grandmother was Irish (all Brits are total mutts, actually).

    I will visit that site in the daytime when the boys are awake. And yes, MB, I was told that my lullabyes were superb and honest (though I might have criticized the voice as being a bit too croaky from exhaustion); I didn't know Dear Husband was listening on the other side of the door, the sneaky bastard.

    11:11 PM  
    Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

    i'm normally a john wayne era stoic kinda guy. it's that whole way out west thing. but one time that made me misty as hell was right after i assumed custody of my three young ones. it was bedtime, i announced, renee' (the one now in pre-med studies), went over and picked up the pictured harp. she looked at me with total honesty and said "here dad, bring this, i sleep better when you play for me." renee's favorite night time song - bob dylan's - "girl of the north country." an especially cool thing happened last spring. i was playing with aaron neville, in tucson, renee was there in the audience. that angel aaron, with his exquisite voice, sang it to her. i had tears streaming down my face, right over that big ass smile.

    11:52 PM  
    Blogger Tata said...

    Love Aaron Neville. The Neville Brothers' version of "Bird On A Wire" is as close as I've ever been to feeling God.

    9:48 AM  
    Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

    aaron is a very special guy, all the brothers, cyril is a dear friend and great saxophonist (he really honed his craft while in prison, he'd start a fight, and take a sax to solitary). aaron's voice is like mozart's music, it's what god would do if he was a singer.

    10:21 AM  

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