Myths Of Righnach


Conner and the Druid

Righnach is full of legendary warriors. One of the most famous was Conner, a mighty swordsman. Conner spent the early years of his life mastering the art of the blade. By the time he was twenty, he had defeated trolls and giants, even slain a hydra. He was twenty one the day he suffered his first defeat. While walking through the forest, he came upon a young man headed in the opposite direction. As the path was narrow, Conner arrogantly demanded the other man step out of the way of the hero. The young man simply laughed, and stepped aside. The laugh infuriated Conner, and he called the young man a coward and a fool. As Conner ranted and challenged, the young man lazily gestured with one hand and Conner found himself unable to move. The young man smiled and said, ‘there is more to the world than swords’, and walked on. When Conner could move again, he followed the path the young man had taken, and found him in a small clearing, tending to the wound on the side of a great bear. Conner marveled at the sight, and said ‘I could slay a bear, and have, but never could I make one kneel before me. Who are you?’. Thus did Conner make the acquaintance of the druid Ferya, and from Ferya learned the wisdom that enabled Conner to become among the finest of Righnach’s kings.

Connell and the Trickster

Long ago, in Righnach, there lived a man called Connell. Connell was a poor man, with a large family to feed. One day, he took his last two pigs, a white one and a black one, to the bazaar. A buyer asked him how much he wanted for the white pig, but gestured also at the black one. Connell thought the buyer wanted only the white pig, and that was the price he named. The buyer immediately marked both pigs and gave Connell a coinpurse containing only the gold for the white pig.
‘What do you mean?’ Connell asked. ‘You inquired only about the white pig!’
‘That’s a lie,’ swore the buyer. “Didn’t you see me gesture at both pigs?’
Poor Connell could do nothing but give him the two pigs for the price of one. He returned to his home and told his family and his friends the sad tale. A bard playing at the local tavern heard the story, and grew sympathetic. He went to Connell and said, ‘I’ll help you get your own back on that trickster.’
‘What do I have to do?’ asked Connell.
‘Are ye willing to cut off your right ear lobe?’ asked the bard.
‘I am,’ said Connell, and cut the ear lobe off, putting it into an envelope that he then gave to his wife.
The next day Connell and the bard went back to the bazaar, where they found the buyer at the cloth store he owned. The bard told the buyer that he wished to purchase a length of cloth that measured from Connell’s toe to the lobe of his right ear, and for that, the bard would pay 20 gold. Believing he was getting the better end of the bargain, the buyer quickly agreed. But when he went to measure the distance, he found no earlobe on Connell.
‘We’ve caught you,’ laughed the bard. ‘The earlobe is back in my village!.’
The buyer could only stare at the bard in shock. After laughing a few moments, Connell and the bard agreed that they would not hold the buyer to the deal, if the buyer paid fair price for the black pig. The buyer agreed, and justice was done.

The Salmon of Knowledge

Finegas was a poet and seer who lived by the side of the river Boyne. He had been given a prophecy that he would catch the magical fish called the Salmon of Knowledge but that a man called Fionn would eat of it's flesh and gain all the wisdom and knowledge that the salmon contained because it in turn had eaten a nut from one of the nine hazel trees of wisdom which grew by the Well of Wonders beneath the sea. A man who called himself Deimne came to Finegas and asked that he be trained in the ways of poetry and druidic lore and Finegas agreed to this as the young man was pleasant and agreeable and could make himself useful about the place. So Finegas set to imparting all his knowledge and learning to this young man. Each day Finegas went to sit by the river to see if he could catch the Salmon of Knowledge when one day after Deimne had been serving with him for five years he finally caught it. Now Finegas was hoping to somehow avert what had been prophesied and eat of the fish himself and deeming it to be safe and there being no-one in the region by the name of Fionn about, he gave the fish to his apprentice Deimne to prepare warning him not to eat the flesh of the fish or there would be dire consequences! Now as the boy prepared the fish over the pan he went to turn it with his hand and as he did so he burnt his thumb and the pain of it made him put his thumb quickly into his mouth to cool the burning. At once he was filled with all manner of wise thoughts and knowledge and knew the answers to all the questions that he harboured. So he brought the cooked fish to Finegas but Finegas knew that something had changed about the youth and looking at him and using his gift of clairvoyance he at once said 'Your name is not Deimne but Fionn! and the prophecy has been fulfilled now, you have been chosen to have all the knowledge contained in the fish you may eat it all as it would be no use whatsoever to me anymore' and the boy revealed himself as Fionn the son of Cumhail who was captain of the Fianna the fighting band of Ireland before he was murdered by the sons of Morna. Finegas held no ill will against his student Fionn who was destined for greatness, and he continued teaching him for a further two years until the boy had learnt all that he could teach him.

Shaun Kiley and the White Stag

Shaun Kiley lived in a small cottage in Righnach with his wife, his father, and his blind mother.
One year, there was a very long and a very hard winter, and the Kileys were beginning to run out of food. So every day Shaun Kiley went out hunting for something to put in the stew pot. One day, when he was walking over a harvested field, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something white flash by at the edge of the woods. So he turned and started walking toward that bit of white. When he got close enough, he realized that it was a white stag grazing on the stubble on the edge of the field.
It was a magnificent creature, and its beauty filled Shaun Kiley's soul. But then he remembered his family's hunger, and he raised his gun.
Then the stag looked up and its amber eyes looked straight into Shaun Kiley's green eyes. Again the beauty of the creature filled Shaun Kiley's soul. But again he remembered his family's hunger and he put his finger on the trigger.
Suddenly, the white stag spoke in a rich, deep voice, "Shaun Kiley, if you spare my life, I will grant you one wish."
Well, this greatly surprised Shaun Kiley. He thought, "White stags are very rare, and even rarer those who can speak and who know my name. Why this must indeed be a magic creature who could grant me a wish!"
"Why yes, YES, I will be glad to spare your life. And I'm certainly a man whose family needs at least one wish. I wish, I wish … It's so hard to decide on just one wish."
"Shaun Kiley, you do not have to decide now. Meet me here at dawn tomorrow, and tell me your one wish then." The white stag turned and strode into the woods.
All the way back to the cottage, thoughts flew around Shaun Kiley's brain as he tried to figure out what his one wish should be.
When he got home, everyone was glad to see him, even though he had brought nothing for the stew pot. Then Shaun Kiley told them about the white stage. Turning to his father by the fire, he asked, "Father, what would you wish for?"
"Well, Shaun, you know I'm growing old. I'm no longer as steady on my feet as I used to be, and I can't work very hard. That's one of the reasons that we're running out of food. If I had one wish, why, why I'd wish for a lot of gold. With a lot of gold, we'd never be hungry again."
Then Shaun Kiley asked his mother on the other side of the fire, "Mother, what would you wish for?"
"Well, Shaun, hmm… You know I've been blind all my life. I would dearly loved to see the faces of all my family. If I had one wish, I would wish for my sight."
Then Shaun Kiley turned to his wife, mending by the only window. "Wife, what would you wish for?"
"Oh Shaun, that is so easy for me to decide. You know we've been married these 10 years but I've only been pregnant twice. It still hurts me so to think of those two babes, part of me and part of you, who died before their first birthdays. Two little ones whom we barely got to know. If I had one wish, I would wish for a healthy child."
It was very quiet at supper that night as the Kileys ate their watered down stew. But every once in a while, Shaun would smile to himself. He went to bed at his regular time, just as if he were a man with absolutely nothing on his mind. But he was up in plenty of time to be at the edge of the woods at dawn the next day.
As the stag strode out of the woods, he asked, "Have you decided on your wish, Shaun Kiley?"
Shaun Kiley looked straight into the stag's eyes and answered, "Yes, I have. I wish that my mother could see my healthy child rocking in its cradle made of gold."

The Selkie

Long ago on an island at the northern edge of the world, there lived a fisherman called Neil MacCodrum. He lived all alone in a stone croft where the moorland meets the shore, with nothing but the guillemots for company and the stirring of the sand among the shingle for song.
But in the long winter evenings he would sit by the peat-fire and watch the blue smoke curling up to the roof, and his eyes looked far and far away as if he was looking into another country. And sometimes, when the wind rustled the bent-grass on the machair, he seemed to hear a soft voice sighing his name.
One spring evening, the men of the clachan were bringing their boats full of herring into shore. They swung homeward with glad hearts, and their wives lit the rushlights, so that the wide world dwindled to a warm quiet room.
Neil MacCodrum was the last to drag his boat up the shingle and hoist the creel of fish upon his back. He stood a while watching the seabirds fly low towards the headland, their wings dark against the evening sky, then turned to trudge up the shingle to the croft on the machair.
It was as he turned he saw something move in the shadows of the rocks. A glimmer of white and then - he heard it between birds’ cries - high laughter like silver. He set down the creel, and with careful steps he neared the rocks, hardly daring to breathe, and hid behind the largest one. And then he saw them - seven girls with long flowing hair, naked and white as the swans on the lake, dancing in a ring where the shoreline met the sea.
And now his eye caught something else - a shapeless pile of speckled brown skins lying heaped like seaweed on a boulder nearby. Now Neil knew that they were selkie, who are seals in the sea, but when they come to land, take off their skins and appear as human women.
Crouching low, Neil MacCodrum crept towards the pile of skins and slowly slid the top one down. But just as he rolled it up and put it under his coat, one of the selkie gave a sharp cry. The dance stopped, the bright circle broke, and the girls ran to the boulder, slipped into their skins and slithered into the rising tide, shiny brown seals that glided away into the dark night sea.
All but one.
She stood before him white as a pearl, as still as frost in starlight. She stared at him with great dark eyes that held the depths of the sea, then slowly she held out her hand, and said in a voice that trembled with silver:
"Ochone, ochone! Please give me back my skin."
He took a step towards her.
"Come with me," he said, "I will give you new clothes to wear."
The wedding of Neil MacCodrum and the selkie woman was set for the time of the waxing moon and the flowing tide. All the folk of the clachan came, six whole sheep were roasted and the whiskey ran like water. Toasts overflowed from every cup for the new bride and groom, who sat at the head of the table: McCodrum, beaming and awkward, unused to pleasure, tapped his spoon to the music of fiddle and pipe, but the woman sat quietly beside him at the bride-seat, and seemed to be listening to another music that had in it the sound of the sea.
After a while she bore him two children, a boy and a girl, who had the sandy hair of their father, but the great dark eyes of their mother, and there were little webs between their fingers and toes. Each day, when Neil was out in his boat, she and her children would wander along the machair to gather limpets or fill their creels with carrageen from the rocks at low tide. She seemed settled enough in the croft on the shore, and in May-time when the air was scented with thyme and roseroot and the children ran towards her, their arms full of wild yellow irises, she was almost happy.
But when the west wind brought rain, and strong squalls of wind that whistled through the cracks in the croft walls, she grew restless and moved about the house as if swaying to unseen tides, and when she sat at the spinning-wheel, she would hum a strange song as the fine thread streamed through her fingers. MacCodrum hated these times and would sit in the dark peat-corner glowering at her over his pipe, but unable to say a word.
Thirteen summers had passed since the selkie woman came to live with MacCodrum, and the children were almost grown. As she knelt on the warm earth one afternoon, digging up silverweed roots to roast for supper, the voice of her daughter Morag rang clear and excited through the salt-pure air and soon the girl was beside her holding something in her hands.
"O mother! Is this not the strangest thing I have found in the old barley-kist, softer than the mist to my touch?"
Her mother rose slowly to her feet, and in silence ran her hand along the speckled brown skin. It was smooth like silk. She held it to her breast, put her other arm around her daughter, and walked back with her to the croft in silence, heedless of the girl’s puzzled stares. Once inside, she called her son Donald to her, and spoke gently to her children:
"I will soon be leaving you, mo chridhe, and you will not see me again in the shape I am in now. I go not because I do not love you, but because I must become myself again."
That night, as the moon sailed white as a pearl over the western sea, the selkie woman rose, leaving the warm bed and slumbering husband. She walked alone to the silent shore and took off her clothes, one by one, and let them fall to the sand. Then she stepped lightly over the rocks and unrolled the speckled brown parcel she carried with her, and held it up before her. For one moment maybe she hesitated, her head turning back to the dark, sleeping croft on the machair; the next, she wrapped the shining skin about her and dropped into the singing water of the sea.
For a while a sleek brown head could be seen in the dip and crest of the moon-dappled waves, pointing ever towards the far horizon, and then, swiftly leaping and diving towards her, came six other seals. They formed a circle around her and then all were lost to view in the soft indigo of the night.
In the croft on the machair, Neil MacCodrum stirred, and felt for his wife, but his hand encountered a cold and empty hollow. The only sound was the rustle of bent-grass on the machair, but it did not sigh his name. He knew better than to look for her and he also knew she would never come to him again. But when the moon was young and the tide waxing, his children would not sleep at night, but ran down to the sands on silent webbed feet. There, by the rocks on the shoreline, they waited until she came - a speckled brown seal with great dark eyes. Laughing and calling her name, they splashed into the foaming water and swam with her until the break of day.

Proverbs and Blessings

Go n-eírí an bóthar leat.
May the road rise with you.

'Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís.'
May we be alive at this time next year.

'Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!'
A prosperous New Year!

'Sliocht sleachta ar shliocht bhur sleachta.'
May there be a generation of children on the children of your children.

'Sláinte go saol agat,
Bean ar do mhian agat.
Leanbh gach blian agat,
is solas na bhflaitheas tareis antsail seo agat.'

Health for life to you,
A wife of your choice to you,
Land without rent to you,
A child every year to you,
And the light of heaven after this world for you.

'Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo.'
Health to the men, and may the women live forever!

Dá fheabhas é an t-ól is é an tart a dheireadh.
Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.

Ní ólann na mná leann ach imíonn sé lena linn.
Women do not drink liquor but it disappears when they are present.

Is milis dá ól é ach is searbh dá íoc é.
It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.

Nuair a bhíos an braon istigh bíonn an chiall amuigh.
When the drop is inside the sense is outside.

An rud nach leigheasann im ná uisce beatha níl aon leigheas air.
What butter or whiskey does not cure cannot be cured.

Seachain teach an tabhairne nó is bairnigh is beatha duit.
Beware of the public house or limpets will be your food.

Is túisce deoch ná scéal.
A drink precedes a story.

Mura gcuirfidh tú san earrach ní bhainfidh tú san fhómhar.
If you do not sow in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn.

Cé gur beag díol dreoilín caithfidh sé a sholáthar.
Little as a wren needs, it must gather it.

An té a dtéann cáil na mochéirí amach dó ní miste dó codladh go méanlae.
He who gets a name for early rising can stay in bed until midday.

Is olc an chearc nach scríobann di féin.
It is a bad hen that does not scratch for itself.

Obair ó chrích obair bean tí.
Work without end is housewife's work.

Dhá thrian den obair í an chosúlacht.
Two thirds of the work is the semblance.

Is fearr lán doirn de cheird ná lán mála d’ór.
A handful of skill is better than a bagful of gold.

Ní thuirsítear fear na héadála.
One does not tire of a profitable occupation.

Is crua a cheannaíonn an droim an bolg.
The back must slave to feed the belly.

Snathán fada, táilliur falsa.
A long stitch, a lazy tailor.

Mac antsaoir ábhar an tuata.
A craftsman’s son may grow up in ignorance of his father’s skills.

Molann an obair an fear.
The work praises the man.

Bí go maith leis an ngarlach agus tiocfaidh sé amárach.
Be good to the child and he will come to you tomorrow.

Is cuma leis an óige cá leagann sí a cos.
Youth does not mind where it sets its foot.

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.
Praise the young and they will blossom.

Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach.
Many a ragged colt made a noble horse.

Bionn ceann caol ar an óige.
You cannot put an old head on the young.

Níl a fhios ag aon duine cá bhfuil fód a bháis.
Nobody knows where his sod of death is.

Is folamh, fuar teach gan bean.
Empty and cold is the house without a woman.

Ón lá a bpósfaidh tú beidh do chroí i do bhéal agus do lámh i do phóca.
From the day you marry your heart will be in your mouth and your hand in your pocket.

Níl aon leigheas ar an ngrá ach pósadh.
The only cure for love is marriage.

Is uaigneach an níochán nach mbíonn léine ann.
It is a lonely washing that has no man's shirt in it.

Is é do mhac do mhac go bpósann sé ach is í d'iníon go bhfaighidh tú bás.
Your son is your son until he marries, but your daughter is your daughter until you die.

Drochubh, drochéan.
A bad egg, a bad bird.

Is onórai poll ná paiste.
A hole is more honourable than a patch.

An beagán, go minic, a fhágas rioc sa sparán.
A little, often, leaves wrinkles in the purse.

Ní thuigeann an sách an seang.
The well-fed does not understand the lean.

Is fearr bothán biamhar ná caisleán gortach.
A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle.

Is buaine port ná glór na n-éan,
Is buaine focal ná toice an tsaoil.

A tune is more lasting than the song of the birds,
And a word more lasting than the wealth of the world.

De réir a chéile a thógtar na caisleáin.
It takes time to build castles.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another's shelter.

Bíonn chuile dhuine lách go dtéann bó ina gharraí.
Everyone is sociable until a cow invades his garden.

An áit a bhuil do chroí is ann a thabharfas do chosa thú.
Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.

Is maith an scáthán súil charad.
A friend's eye is a good mirror.

Maireann croí éadrom i bhfad.
A light heart lives long.

Ag duine féin is fearr a fhios cá luíonn an bhróg air.
The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.

Cuir síoda ar ghabhar agus is gabhar i gcónaí é.
Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.

Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin.
There is no fireside like your own fireside.

Is fada an bóthar nach mbíonn casadh ann.
It is a long road that has no turning.

Níl aon suáilce gan a duáilce féin.
There are no unmixed blessings in life.

Is gaire cabhair Dé ná an doras.
God's help is nearer than the door.

Mair, a chapaill, agus gheobhaidh tú féar.
Live, horse, and you will get grass.

Is ceirín do gach créacht an fhoighne.
Patience is a poultice for all wounds.

An nì chì na big, ‘s e nì na big.
What the little ones see, the little ones do.

Cha deoch-slàint, i gun a tràghadh.
It’s no health if the glass is not emptied.

Cha bhi fios aire math an tobair gus an tràigh e.
The value of the well is not known until it goes dry.

Cha dèan ‘Tapadh leis an fhìdhlear’ am fìdhlear a phàigheadh.
A ‘thank you’ doesn’t pay the fiddler.

Cha b’e là na gaoithe là nan sgolb.
The windy day is not the day for thatch-wattles.

Bidh an t-ubhal as fheàrr air a’mheangan as àirde.
The best apple is on the highest bough.

Ge milis am fìon, tha e searbh ri dhìol.
The wine is sweet, the paying bitter.

Fear sam bith a loisgeas a mhàs, ‘s e fhèin a dh’fheumas suidhe air.
Whoever burns his backside must himself sit upon it.

Gluais faicilleach le cupan làn.
Go carefully with a full cup.

Is e ‘n t-ionnsachadh òg an t-ionnsachadh bòidheach.
The learning in youth is the pretty learning.

An làmb a bheir, ‘s i a gheibh.
The hand that gives is the hand that gets.

Chan ann leis a’chiad bhuille thuiteas a’chraobh.
It is not with the first stroke that the tree falls.

Bidh mìr a’ ghill’ èasgaidh air gach mèis.
The smart fellow’s share is on every dish.

Cha bhi fios aire math an tobair gus an tràigh e.
The value of the well is not known until it goes dry.

Chan fhiach cuirm gun a còmhradh.
A feast is no use without good talk.

Cha tuit caoran à cliabh falamh.
Peats don’t fall from empty creels.

Cha toir a’bhòidhchead goil air a’ phoit.
Beauty won’t boil the pot.

Far an taine ‘n abhainn, ‘s ann as mò a fuaim.
Where the stream is shallowest, it is noisiest.

Na toilich do mhiann gus am feuch thu do sporan.
Check your purse before you please yourself.

Is uaisle am breid na toll.
A patch is better than a hole.

Tachraidh na daoine, ach cha tachair na cnuic.
Men will meet, but the hills will not.

Dùnan math innearach, màthair na ciste-mine.
A good dungheap is mother to the meal chest.

Am feur a thig a-mach sa Mhàrt, thèid e staigh sa Ghiblean.
The grass that grows in March disappears in April.

Bàthaidh uisge teth teine.
Hot water will quench fire.

Cha robh dithis riamh a’ fadadh teine nach do las eatarra.
Two never kindled a fire but it lit between them.

Chan eil deathach an taigh na h-uiseig.
There is no smoke in a lark’s house.

Cha chinn feur air an rathad mhòr.
Grass does not grow on the high road.

Cha d’dhùin doras nach d’fhosgail doras.
No door ever closed, but another opened.

Cùm do chù ri leigeadh.
Hold back your dog till the deer falls.

Cha dèan cas làidir nach ith brù mhòr.
The strong foot will not find more than the big belly will devour.

Cha d’fhuair sùil ghionach riamh cunnradh math.
A covetous eye never got a good bargain.

Cha do bhrist fear riamh a bhogha nach d’fheum fear eile ‘n t-sreang.
No man ever broke his bow but another man found a use for the string.

Chan iongnadh boladh nan sgadan a bhith den t-soitheach sam bi iad.
No wonder the cast smells of the herrings that it holds.

Cha tèid nì sam bith san dòrn dùinte.
Nothing can get into a closed fist.

Ge milis a’ mhil, cò dh’imlicheadh o bhàrr dri i?
Honey may be sweet, but no-one licks it off a briar.

Gabhaidh an connadh fliuch, ach cha ghabh a’ chlach.
Wet fuel may kindle, but a stone never will.

Is sleamhainn leac doras an taigh mhòir.
The chief’s house has a slippery doorstep.

Ge b’e thig gun chuireadh, suidhidh e gun iarraidh.
Who comes uninvited will sit down unbidden.

Is truagh a’bhantrach a’ phiob.
Poor is the bagpipe when widowed.

Is fheàrr teine beag a gharas na teine mòr a loisgeas.
The little fire that warms is better than the big fire that burns.

Is àrd ceann an fhèidh sa chreachann.
Lofty is the deer’s head on the top of the mountain.

Is luath fear doimeig air fàire, latha fuar Earraich.
Swift is the slut’s husband over the hill, on a bleak day in Spring.

Bàthaidh toll beag long mhòr.
A little hole will sink a big ship.

Eiridh tonn air uisge balbh.
A wave will rise on quiet water.

Dèan maorach fhad ‘s a bhios an tràigh ann.
Dig your bait while the tide is out.

An nì a thig leis a’ghaoith, falbhaidh e leis an uisge.
What comes with the wind will go with the water.

Cha sgeul-rùin e ‘s fios aig triùir air.
It’s no secret if three know it.

Is ann den aon chlò an cathdath.
The tartan is all of the one stuff.

Socraichidh am pòsadh an gaol.
Marriage takes the heat out of love.

Is math an sgàthan sùil caraide.
A friend’s eye is a good looking-glass.

Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à fìreach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
A fish from the river, a staff from the wood and a deer from the mountain - thefts no Gael was ever ashamed of.

Suirghe fada bhon taigh, ‘s pòsadh am bun an dorais.
Go courting afar, but marry next door.

Teine chaoran is gaol ghiullan - cha do mhair iad fada riamh.
A fire of broken peat, and a boy’s love, do not last.

Furain an t-aoigh a thig, greas an t-aoigh tha falbh.
Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.

Nì òigear leisg bodach brisg.
A lazy youth will make an active old man.

Cha dèan aon smeòrach Samhradh.
One mavis doesn’t make summer.

Cha dèan cat miotagach sealg.
A cat in mittens won’t catch mice.

Cha chòir an t-each glan a chur uige.
The willing horse should not be spurred.

Chan i bhò ‘s àirde geum as mò bainne.
The loudest cow is not the best milker.

Cha shoirbh triubhas a chur air cat.
It’s not easy to put trews on a cat.

Is ladarna gach cù air a shitig fhèin.
Every dog is bold on his own midden.

The iongantas air a chat earball a bhith air.
The cat wonders at its own tail.

Cha sgal cù roimh chnàimh.
A dog yells not when hit with a bone.

Is bean-taighe ‘n luchag air a taigh fhèin.
The mouse is mistress in her own house.

Gach madadh air a’ mhadadh choimheach.
Every dog sets upon the stranger dog.

Cha mhisd’ a’ ghealach na coin a bhith comhartaich rithe.
The moon is none the worse for the dogs’ barking at her.

Bu gheur an cù a bheireadh an t-earball uaithe.
Sharp would the dog be that could snatch his tail from him.

Cha tàinig eun glan riamh à nead a’chlamhainn.
A clean bird never came out of a kite’s nest.

Gheibh cearc an sgrìobain rudeigin, is chan fhaigh cearc a’ chrùbain dad idir.
The scraping hen will find something, but the creeping hen will find nothing.

Am fear a bhios a’ riarachadh na maraig, bidh an ceann reamhar eige fhèin.
The man that divides the pudding will have the thick end to himself.

Am fear dan dàn a’chroich, cha tèid gu bràth a bhàthadh.
Who is born to be hanged will never be drowned.

Cha dèanar sagart gun fhoghlam, ‘s cha dèan foghlam sagart.
A priest should be learned, but learning won’t make a priest.

Chan eil saoi air nach laigh leòn.
No hero is proof against injury.

Fear gu aois, is bean gu bàs.
A son is a son until he comes of age; a daughter is a daughter all her life.

Is i mhàthair bhrisg a nì ‘n nighean leisg.
The active mother makes the lazy daughter.

Seachnaidh duin’ a bhràthair, ach cha sheachain e choimh-earsnach.
A man may do without a brother, but not without a neighbour.

Is fad’ an oidhche gu latha do dh’fhear na droch mhnatha.
The night is long for the husband of a bad wife.

Saoilidh an duin’ air mhisg gum bi a h-uile duin’ air mhisg ach e fhèin.
The drunk man thinks himself the only one sober.

Is treasa dithis a’ dol thar àn àtha na fad’ o chèile.
Two should stay together when crossing a ford.

An uair a thèid na mèirlich a throd, thig daoin‘ ionraic gu ‘n cuid fhèin.
When thieves dispute, honest men will get their own.

Am fear nach dèan cur sa Mhàrt, cha bhuain e san Fhoghar.
He who will not sow in March will not reap in autumn.

Am fear nach cuir a shnaidhm, caillidh e chiad ghrèim.
The man who puts not a knot on his thread loses the first stitch.

Am fear a thèid a ghnàth a-mach le lìon, gheibh e eòin air uairibh.
The man who always goes out with his net will catch birds sometimes.

Gabhaidh fear na sròine mòire a h-uile rud ga ionnsaigh fhèin.
The man with a big nose thinks everyone talks of it.

Bidh cron duine cho mòr ri beinn mun lèir dha fhèin e.
A man’s fault will be as big as a mountain before he sees it.

Ged bheir thu bean o Ifrinn, bheir i dhachaigh thu.
Though you should take a wife from Hell, yet she will bring you home.

Is ioma nì a chailleas fear na h-imrich.
Many a thing drops from the man who often flits.

Is fheàrr teicheadh math na droch fhuireach.
Better a good retreat than a bad stand.

Is ann an ceann bliadhna a dh’innseas iasgair a thuiteamas.
It is at the year’s end that the fisher can tell his luck.

Mol an latha math mu oidhche.
Praise the good day at the close of it.

Brìgh gach cluiche gu dheireadh.
The essence of a game is at its end.

Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh
Remember the people whom you come from.


A Day in Eirinn

Michael Scanlan
Four gleaming scythes in the sunshine swaying,
Through the deep hush of a summer´s day,
Before their edges four stout men sweeping
In tuneful measure the fragrant hay.
Myself the fourth of them, strong and happy,
My keen blue steel moving fast and free.
Ah! Little then was the broadest meadow
And light the heaviest scythe to me!

O King of Glory! What a change is o´er me
Since the young blood thrilled me long, long ago,
And each day found me with the sunshine round me
And the tall grass falling to my every blow.
O´er the dewy meadows came the cailín´s voices,
Ringing glad and merry as they raked the hay.
Oh! The hours pass quickly as a beam of sunshine
When the years are rosy and the heart is gay.

Like fairy minstrels, the bees a-humming
Went honey-seeking from flower to flower;
Like golden berries in the distance gleaming,
I´ve watched and listened to them hour by hour.
And the butterflies on the sunbeams riding,
With wings surpassing e´en the blush of dawn,
Or like fairy jewels, full of light and splendour
On the golden crown of the buachalán.

The blackbird´s lay in the woods rang clearly,
The thrush´s notes echoed far and high,
While the lark´s full song, like a bell´s vibration
Comes floating down from the midmost sky.
From his leafy station the linnet lifted
His little voice in the hazel glen,
And O God of Grace, was not life a pleasure,
In our green and beautiful Eirinn then!

A Man's a Man

Is there for honest poverty
That hings his heed and a' that
The coward slave we pass him by
We dare be poor for a' that
For a' that and a' that
Our toils obscure and a' that
The rank is but the guinea's stamp
The mands the gowd for a' that

What tho' on hamely fare we dine
Wear hoddin-gray and a' that
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine
A mands a man for a' that
For a' that and a' that
Their tinsel show and a' that
The honest man tho' e'er sae poor
Is king o' men for a' that

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord
Wha struts and stares and a' that
Tho' hundreds worship at his word
He's but a coof for a' that
For a' that and a' that
His riband, star and a' that
The man o' independent mind
He looks and laughs at a' that

A prince can mak a belted knight
A marquis, duke and a' that
But an honest mands aboon his might
Guid faith he mauna fa' that
For a' that and a' that
Their dignities and a' that
The pith o' sense and pride o' worth
Are higher rank than a' that

Then let us pray that come it may
As come it will and a' that
That sense and worth o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree and a' that
For a' that and a' that
It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man the warld o'er
Shall brothers be for a' that
For a' that and a' that
It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man the warld o'er
Shall brothers be for a' that

Abide with me

Abide with me fast falls the evening tide
The darkness deepens lord with me abide
When others helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless o abide with me

Swift to its close ebbs out of life’s little day
Earths joys grow dim its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
O thou who changes not abide with me

I need thy presence every passing hour
What but thy grace can foil the tempters power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be
Thru cloud and sunshine o abide with me

I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless
An ill have no weight and tears no bitterness
Where is deaths sting where grave thy victory
I triumph still in thou abide with me

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine thru the gloom and point me to the skies
Heav’ns mourning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death o lord abide with me

Acushla Mine

(Tune- London Derry Air)
Acushla mine, the singing birds are calling
The call of love that meant for lovers true
Tis autumn time and where the leaves are falling
Alone I wait to beg a word with you.
Tis of my love, my I would be pleading
Around my heart your fingers you entwine
The birds above they know how much I’m needing
One little word to bid me hope, Acushla Mine

Acushla mine, your lips are ever sailing
They smile their way into my longing heart
Your roguish eyes to me are so beguiling
I pray the saints that never we may part
When winter comes and all the world in dreary
The sun and stars no longer seem to shine
The world is dark and I am sad and weary
Tis then I need you most of all, Acushla Mine

Acushla mine when birds again are singing
Their mating song and all the land is gay
When at the church the wedding bells are ringing
Mayoureen dear, twill be a happy day
And thru the years no matter what the weather
Around my heart your love will entwine
We’ll wander on, as long as we’re together
And wander into paradise, Acushla Mine.

All song is sung

Stefan Arndt
The fire is out, we lost our name
But the ghost of our friends to us remain
Pale in the dark
Here was never a god
But we smile with a bleeding heart

Discoloured leaves are falling down
The deadly seeds are sawn
The clay is vile beneath our feed
Hope and love is all we need

The day is done
All song is sung
The hour of lead has just begun
Why should the world be overwise
In counting all our tears and sighs

All the leaves have fallen down
Now, the deadly seeds are grown
Pale in the dark
Here was never a god
But we smile with a bleeding heart

The day is done
All song is sung
The hour of lead has just begun
Why should the world be overwise
In counting all our tears and sighs

Aulde Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup of kindness, yes
For auld lang syne

We twa ha’e run a bout the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wandered mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne

We twa ha’e paidl’t in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine
But seas between us braid ha’e roar’d
Sin auld lang syne

And here’s a hand my trusty freen’
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
And we’ll take a right gude willy waight
For auld lang syne

An surely ye’ll be your pint stoup
As surely I’ll be mine
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne

The Ballad of the Sea

I walked alone in foggy dew
Just me and my memories
A voice out seaward beckons thru
A whistle of love for me, for me
A whistle of love for me.

T'was two moons 'go her father stole
My love away from me
Arranged to wed a soldier red
My love's gone 'cross the sea, the sea
My love's gone 'cross the sea.

For ten days long our love grew strong
She swore her "love to thee"
Each night up high on mountainside
She'd whistle her love for me, for me
She'd whistle her love for me.

Late one night, my fire alight
Awaiting for her to see
My wait was long, o' what could be wrong
Where could my true love be, love be
Where could my true love be

A light 'cross waters latern glow
Was all mine eyes could see
And from below noise drifted slow
Like a 'gull come back from sea, from sea
Like a 'gull come back from sea.

Her song it haunts me still this day
Notes of uncertainty
If heaven laughs at prayers of mine
Then it never was to be, to be
Then it never was to be.

Blood all on the grass

Stefan Arndt, Sue Neaves
There´s a thunder on the wind my friend
Today this tale begun
You here the shouts of fightin´ men
And the beatin´ of the drum
We hear a prayer on every breath
Oh lord, let this all pass
There´re shadows on the far hillside
There´s blood all on the grass

The battle shouts are silent now
In the mud these young men lie
The name of their own dear sweetheart
Their last breath as they die
The pike, the sword, the musket all
Performed the deadly task
A lark sings in the clear blue sky
There´s blood all on the grass

There´s mist all on the quiet field
Where the fox and rabbit run
The glowing sky is growing red
With the setting of the sun
And the blood-red river´s running by
Neath the bridge as it does pass
With the lives and the loves of all young men
There´s blood all on the grass

Cad é sin do'n té sin

Chuaigh mé chun aonaigh is dhíol mé mo bhó
Ar chúig phunta airgid is ar ghiní bhuí óir
Má ólaim an t-airgead is má bhronnaim an t-ór
Ó cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Má théim 'na choille chraobhaigh cruinniú smeara nó cró
A bhaint úllaí de ghéaga nó a bhuachailleacht bó
Má shíním seal uaire faoi chrann a dhéanamh só
Ó cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Má théimse chuig airnéal is rince is spórt
Chuig aonach is rásaí 's gach cruinniú den tsórt
Má chím daoine súgach is má bhím súgach leo
Ó cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Deir daoine go bhfuil mé gan rath 's gan dóigh
Gan earra gan éadach gan bólacht ná stór
Má tá mise sásta mó chónaí i gcró
Ó cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Chuaigh mé chun aonaigh is dhíol mé mo bhó
Ar chúig phunta airgid is ar ghiní bhuí óir
Má ólaim an t-airgead is má bhronnaim an t-ór
Ó cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó


What's It To Anyone?

I went to the fair and I sold my cow
For five pounds of silver and a golden guinnea
If I drink the money and if I spend the gold
Oh what does it matter to those it doesn't concern

If I go to the thick woods to gather berries or nuts
Take apples from the branches or become a cowherd
If I stretch out under a tree for an hour to do it
Oh what does it matter to those it doesn't concern

If I go to night-visiting and dance and have fun
To a fair and races and everything like that
If I see tipsy people and if I'm tipsy with them
Oh what does it matter to those it doesn't concern

People say that I'm good for nothing and a wastrel
Without goods without clothes without kith or kine
If I'm happy with living in a shack
Oh what does it matter to those it doesn't concern

I went to the fair and I sold my cow
For five pounds of silver and a golden guinnea
If I drink the money and if I spend the gold
Oh what does it matter to those it doesn't concern

Come By the Hills

Come by the hills, to a land where fancy is free
And stand where the hill meet the sky and the lochs greet the sea
Where the heather is fair, and the bracken is gold in the sun
And the cares of tomorrow must wait till this day is done

Come by the hills, to a 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
And the cares of tomorrow must wait till this day is done

Come by the hills, to a land where legends remain
Where stories of old fill the heart, and may yet come again
Where the past has been lost, but the future is still to be won
And the cares of tomorrow must wait till this day is done

Come by the hills, to a land where legends remain
Where the glories of old fill our hearts, and may yet live again
Where the past has been lost, but the future is ours to be won
And the cares of tomorrow must wait till this day is done

So, come by the hills, to a land where fancy is free
And stand where the hill meet the sky and the lochs greet the sea
Where the heather is fair and the bracken is gold in the sun
And the cares of tomorrow must wait till this day is done
Yes, the cares of tomorrow must wait till this day is done


Cé hé siúd thíos atá ag leagadh na gclathacha? (3x)
"Mise mé féin," a deir Cúnla.

Chúnla chaoin ná tara níos giorra dhom (3x)
"Maise mur' dtaga," a deir Cúnla.

Cé hé siúd thíos atá ag bualadh na bhfuinneoga? (3x)
"Mise mé féin," a deir Cúnla.

Chúnla chaoin…
Cé hé siúd thíos atá ag tochas mo bhonnacha? (3x)
"Mise mé féin," a deir Cúnla.
Chúnla chaoin…

Cé hé siúd thíos ag tarraingt na pluide dhíom? (3x)
"Mise mé féin," a deir Cúnla.
Chúnla chaoin…


Who is that there that's rapping the door to me? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Who is that there that's tapping the windowpane? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Who is that there that's climbing the stairs to me? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Who is that there that's pulling the blankets down? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Who is that there that's tickling the toes of me? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Who is that there that's tickling the thighs of me? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Who is that there that's raking the fire for me? (x3)
Only meself, says Cúnla

Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me (x3)
Yea ra maybe I shouldn't, says Cúnla

Danny Boy

Oh Danny boy the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountain side
The summers gone and all the roses falling
Tis you tis you must go and I must bide
But come you back when summers on the meadow
Or when the valleys hushed and white with snow
Tis I’ll be there in sunlight or in shadow
Oh Danny boy oh Danny boy I love you so

And if you come when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead as dead I well may be
You’ll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an ave for me
And I shall hear tho soft you tread above me
And all my grave shall be warmer sweeter be
And you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall rest in peace until you come to me

Dark Iniseoghain

The maidens of beauty and swains so forlorn
That carelessly wander away from your home
I am off by the moonlight and break of the morning
I'll be found in the mountains of dark Iniseoghain

I strayed to a place they call sweet Clonmany
In search of a fair one that I might adore
But a maiden to love me I couldn't find any
From Meendoran Bridge to the Gap of Mamore

Many's the colleen I cast my eye over
From Mary of Malin to the rose of Moville
All sweet were their smiles and eyes filled with laughter
But sure in the end was myself waiting still

At the Bay of Culdaff where the wild waves are breaking
Carndonagh with forest clad mountains and hills
I sat but in vain with a heart that was aching
For one who my dreams of a bride would fulfil

But then in the shades of old Barnan I found you
That valley o'ershadowed by mountains so grand
And I prayed that god's angels would ever protect you
And I placed a keepsake in your little white hand

And now I am stationed in County Fermanagh
Far from the fair one that I do adore
But when I return it will be to my dear one
That I left in the mountains of dark Iniseoghain

Eileen Aroon

I know a valley fair Eileen Aroon
I know a cottage there Eileen Aroon
Far in the valley shade I know a tender maid
Flow’r of the hazel glade Eileen Aroon

Who in the song so sweet Eileen Aroon
Who in the dance so fleet Eileen Aroon
Dear are her charms to me dearer her laughter free
Dearest her constancy Eileen Aroon

Where she no longer true Eileen Aroon
What would her lover do Eileen Aroon
Fly with a broken chair far o’er the sounding main
Never to love again Eileen Aroon

Youth will in time decay Eileen Aroon
Beauty must fade away Eileen Aroon
Castles are sacked in war Chieftain are scattered far
Truth in a fixed star Eileen Aroon

Fear a Bhata

I climb the hilltop, I search the ocean
To see my boatman, my heart´s devotion
When will I see him, today, tomorrow
Wil´t ever come, love, to comfort me?

Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
So fare thee well love, where´er ye be

From passing boatmen I´d soon discover
If they had seen him, my only lover
They never answer, I´m always chided
´Tis foolish here to wait for thee

Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
So fare thee well love, where´er ye be

What of the promise to bring his lady
A silken gown and a tartan plaidie
A ring of gold that would show his portrait
That gown and ring I will never see

Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
So fare thee well love, where´er ye be

I cannot hide it my heart´s devotion
Is not a season´s brief emotion
His love since girlhood enthralled has held me
And ne´er shall fade ´til my dying day

Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
Fear a bhata na horo eile
So fare thee well love, where´er ye be

Four Green Fields

What did I have, said the fine old woman
What did I have, this proud old woman did say
I had four green fields, each one was a jewel
But strangers came and tried to take them from me
I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels
They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she

Long time ago, said a fine old woman
Long time ago, this proud old woman did say
There was war and death, plundering and pillage
My children starved, by mountain, valley and sea
And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens
My four green fields ran red with their blood, said she

What have I now, said the fine old woman
What have I now, this proud old woman did say
I have four green fields, on of them in bondage
N strangers hands, that tried to take it from me
But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers
My fourth green field shall be fu once again, said she

Father's Blessing

Children's laughter children tears
Childish joys of childhood years
Are just memories of our once happy home
Its not death that brings the pain
I would face it all again
But it grieves me so to leave you all along

Do the wee ones still sigh when they hear their daddy's name
Do they sadly ask you why I won't be home again
How hard it is to know I'll never see them grow
Let my dying bring for them a better land

May they never know the fears
That blighted my young years
Of the shackles that have bound my native land
May they see the joy of life
And not cruel civil strife
Foreign laws imposed by brutal strangers hands

Let them grow in love and truth
Let them blossom into youth
Guided by their mother's loving hand
Let them cherish Righnach's pride
For this Joe McDonnell died
Let them know their father loved them and his land

I Never Will Marry

One morning I rambled down by the seashore
The wind it did whistle and the waters did roar

I heard some fair maiden give a pitiful cry
It sounded so lonesome in the water nearby

I never will marry, I’ll be no man’s wife
I expect to stay single the rest of my life

My love’s gone and left me, he’s the one I adore
I never will see him, no never, no more

The shells in the ocean shall be my deathbed
While the fish in deep water swim over my head

She cast her fair body in the water so deep
And closed her sweet blue eyes forever to sleep

I’ll take you home again Kathleen

I’ll take you home again Kathleen
Across the ocean wild and wide
To where your heart has ever been
Since first you were my bonny bride

The roses all have left you cheek
I’ve watched them fade away and die
Your voice is sad when’er you speak
And tears bedim your loving eyes

Oh I will take you back Kathleen
To where you hear will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I will take you to your home again

Journey of Dreams and Memories

There’s never a path that’s so friendly
Never a journey so warm
Never a star that’s so guiding
As the one that brings you home

They say you can never go home again
They tell you that when you leave
But I will return to my heart again
Within my dreams and memories

Never a journey so happy
Never the steps so light
Never a voice so compelling
As the one that leads you home

As the wave and the wind goes out and comes in
So I will journey to come home again
To the arms of my family
The home of dreams and memories

Never a path that’s so friendly
Never a journey so light
Never a star so guiding
As the one that brings you home

Lads O’ the Fair

Come bonnie lass lie near me
And let the brandy cheer ye
For the road from Fife to Falkirks (Faw-kirk)
Lang an’ cold an’ weary
My trade it t’is the weavin
A the bonnie toon o’ leven
An’ I’ll drink to the health o the farmers dames
Wha’ll buy my cloth the morn

For ye can see them a’ the lads o’ the fair
Lads or the forth an’ the Carron water
Workin’ lads and lads w’ gear
Lads wha’ll see ye the Provost’s daughter
Soldiers back frae the English wars
Pedlars up frae the borders
An’ lassies wi’ an eye for mair then the kyne
At the Trystin Fair at Falkirk

O Geordie lead the pony
For the path is steep and and stony
An’ we’re 3 long weeks frae the Isle of Skye
An’ the beasts are thin an’ bony
We’ll take the last o’ the siller
An’ we’ll buy oursel’s a gill or two
An’ we’ll drink tae the lads
Wha’ll buy our kyne in Falkirk toon the morn

O Stan here an’ I’ll show ye
There’s a toon below ye
But ye’d best bide here in the barn
The nicht for the nicht watch dinna know ye
My brother he’s a ploughman
And I’m for the feain now man
An’ we’ll drink tae the price
O’ the harvest corn
In Falkirk toon the morn

The work o’ the weavers over
Likewise the day o’ the drover
An’ the ploughboy sits on a wagon (tractor)
Now too high to see the clover
The workin’s no sae steady
But the lads are a’ still ready
To drink to the health o’ the workin’ man
In Falkirk toon the morn

Loch Lomond

By yon bonnie banks, By yon bonnie brae
The sun it shines on Loch Lomond
Where me and my true love will never meet again
on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

'Twas there we parted by yon bonnie brae
On the steep side of Ben Lomond
For a broken heart know no second Spring
Resigned we must be while we're parted

You take the high road
And I'll take the low road
And I'll be in Scotland before you
For me and my true love will never meet again
on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

On my bonnie banks
On my bonnie banks

March of Cambreadth

Axes flash, broadsword swing,
Shining armour's piercing ring
Horses run with polished shield,
Fight Those Bastards till They Yield
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Follow orders as you're told,
Make Their Yellow Blood Run Cold
Fight until you die or drop,
A Force Like Ours is Hard to Stop
Close your mind to stress and pain,
Fight till You're No Longer Sane
Let not one damn cur pass by,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Guard your women and children well,
Send These Bastards Back to Hell
We'll teach them the ways of war,
They Won't Come Here Any More
Use your shield and use your head,
Fight till Every One is Dead
Raise the flag up to the sky,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Dawn has broke, the time has come,
Move Your Feet to a Marching Drum
We'll win the war and pay the toll,
We'll Fight as One in Heart and Soul
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Minstrel Boy, The

Thomas Moore
The minstrel boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him
His father's sword he hath girded on
And his wild harp slung behind him

"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard
"Though all the world betrays thee
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder

And said "No chains shall sully thee
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!"

O’ Donnell Abu

Proudly the note of the trumpet is sounding
Loudly the war cries arise on the gale
Fleetly the steed by Lough Swilley is bounding
To join the thick squadrons on Saimlers green vale
Oh every mountaineer strangers to flight or fear
Rush to the standard of dauntless red Hugh
Bonn aught and gallowglass throng from each
Mountain pass. Onward for Erin O’Donnell Abu

Princely Oniell to our aid is advancing
With many a chieftain and warrior clan
A thousand proud steeds in his vanguard are prancing
‘Neath the borders brave from the banks of the Bann
Many a heart shall quail under its coat of mail
Deeply the merciless foemen shall rue
When on his ear shall ring bounne on the breeze’s wing
Tir Connell’s dread war cry O’Donnell Abu

Wildly o’er Desmond the war wolf is howling
Fearless the eagle sweeps over the plain
The fox in the streets of the city is prowling
And all who would scare them are banished or slain
On with O’Donnell then fight the old fight again
Sons of Tir Connell are valiant and true
Make the proud Saxon feel Erin’s avenging steel
Strike for your country O’Donnell Abu

Only Our Rivers Run Free

Michael McConnell
When apples still grow in November
When Blossoms still bloom from each tree
When leaves are still green in December
It's then that our land will be free
I wander her hills and her valleys
And still through my sorrow I see
A land that has never known freedom
And only her rivers run free

I drink to the death of her manhood
Those men who'd rather have died
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage
To bring back their rights were denied
Oh where are you now when we need you
What burns where the flame used to be
Are ye gone like the snows of last winter
And will only our rivers run free?

How sweet is life but we're crying
How mellow the wine but it's dry
How fragrant the rose but it's dying
How gentle the breeze but it sighs
What good is in youth when it's aging
What joy is in eyes that can't see
When there's sorrow in sunshine and flowers
And still only our rivers run free

The Rising Of The Moon

And come tell me Sean O'Farrell tell me why you hurry so
Husha buachaill hush and listen and his cheeks were all a glow
I bear orders from the captain get you ready quick and soon
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon

At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon

And come tell me Sean O'Farrell where the gathering is to be
At the old spot by the river quite well known to you and me
One more word for signal token whistle out the marching tune
With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon

At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon

Out from many a mud wall cabin eyes were watching through the night
Many a manly heart was beating for the blessed warning light
Murmurs rang along the valley to the banshees lonely croon
And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon

By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon
And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon

All along that singing river that black mass of men was seen
High above their shining weapons flew their own beloved green
Death to every foe and traitor! Whistle out the marching tune
And hurrah, me boys, for freedom, 'tis the rising of the moon

'tis the rising of the moon, 'tis the rising of the moon
And hurrah, me boys, for freedom, 'tis the rising of the moon

She Moved Through the Fair

My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind."
And she stepped away from me and this she did say
It will not be long, love, till our wedding day."

As she stepped away from me and she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her move here and move there
And then she turned homeward with one star awake
Like the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

The people were saying, no two e'er were wed
But one had a sorrow that never was said
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me, my dead love came in
So softly she came that her feet made no din
She came close beside me and this she did say,
"It will not be long, love, 'til our wedding day."

Repeat last line ending on high note

The Bergen

Sleep, why you wake me with these dreams that you bring
Dreams came to me where I lay
Deep the melody the wild waves sing
My love is far, far away

Pity the heart, the wild waves part
My love sails the bonny barque, the Bergen

They keep their nets on the deck by the light
Dreams came to me where I lay
They creep out gentle in the dead of night
My love is far, far away

They reap their heart from the cold night sea
Dreams came to me where I lay
It reeks with herring in the hold for me
My love is far, far away

Steep waves ride above his cold fair head
Dreams came to me where I lay
Keep him safe to lie here in my bed
My love is far, far away

It weeps with rain tonight where my love lies
Dreams came to me where I lay
Oh, wipe the foreign sands from out of his eyes
My love is far, far away

The Broom of Cowdenknowes

How blyth was I each morn tae see
My lass come o’er yon hill
She tripped a burn and ran tae me
I net her wi’ good will

Oh, the broom, the bonnie, bonnie broom
The broom o the Cowdenknowes
Fain wad I be in my ain countrie
Herding my faither’s yowes

Hard fate that I should banish be
Gang wearily and mourn
Because I loo’d the fairest lass
That every yet was born

Fareweel ye Cowdenknowes fareweel
Fareweel all ye pleasures there
Tae wander by her side again
Is all I crave or care

Tóigfidh mé mo sheolta

Tóigfidh mé mo sheolta go Dúiche Sheoigheach ar maidin
Ar cuairt chuig mo mhíle stóirín is go deo deo ní chasfad
Go dtaga bláth buí ar an eorna is go dtosaí an Fómhar ag gabháil chun finne
Is nach breá deas an rud í an óige is i ndiaidh mo stóirín atá mise.

Mo dhílleachtín cráite 'sea fágadh mé gan athair
'S dá mbeadh mo chliú i ndán dom cér chás dhom a bheith folamh
Níl aon fhear in Éirinn a dhéanfadh éagóir ar mo shamhail
Nár dheacair dhó a leas a dhéanamh ná ' gabháil ar aon chor go na flaithis.

Thuas i gciumhais a' tsléibhe atá an péarla a bhíos mo mhealladh
Buachaillín na gruaige báine a bhfuil fáinne a' gháire faoina hata
Agus gheall sé dhom go bpógfadh sé mo rós-bhéilín meala
Ach ní léir dhom na bóithrí ag na deora do mo dhalladh.

Tá 'fhios ag na daoine gur iomaí smaoineamh crua deacrach
Ag imeacht thrí m'intinn gach oíche ar mo leaba
Ach más fortún é atá i ndán dom is nach bhfuil fáil a'm a dhul thairis
Bí romham ag na crosbhóithrí is beidh muid pósta roimh an mhaidin.

Tá féar fada agus fásach i ngleanntaí álainn i bhfad ó bhaile
A mbíonn úllaí agus áirní ann fásta ar bharra crannna
Is cuma liomsa céard déarfas aon neach ní hé mo chéad searc a déarfas tada
Más í do mháithrín atá 'do dhiaidh orm, fuil a croí amuigh ar leac an teallaigh.


I'll set off for Dúiche Sheoigheach in the morning,
to visit my darling and never will I return;
until the barley turns to marigold and the Autumn begins to brighten.
Youth is a fine thing, but it's after my love I am.

I was left a tormented orphan without a father
and if my honour were intact I'd not mind being poor;
any man in Ireland who'd cause harm to one like me,
would find it difficult to do well or to gain entrance to heaven.

Up at the edge of the mountain lives the pearl who charms me,
the boy with fair hair and a great smile below his hat.
He promised he'd kiss my sweet mouth,
but I cannot see the road, the tears are blinding me.

People know that it's many a difficult and bitter thought
enters my mind each night on my bed,
but if this is my fate and there is no escape from it,
meet me at the crossroads and we'll be wedded before morning.

There is long grass and rich pasture in lovely faraway glens
where apples and sloes grow on treetops;
I don't care what anyone says, my first love won't fault me.
If it's your mother who disapproves of me, may her blood flow on the hearthstone.

Wild Mountain Thyme

Oh the summer is coming and the trees are
Sweetly blooming, an the wild mountain thyme grows
Around the bloomin heather will ye go lassie go.

An we’ll all go together to pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will ye go lassie go

I will build my love a tower near yon pure crystal
Fountain an around it I will plant
All the flowers of the mountain
We’ll ye go lassie go

I will roam through the wide and the wild Glenn sae dreary
An return wi my plunder tae the tower o my dreary
Will ye go lassie go

If my true love will no ha me, I can surely find another
Where the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Will ye go lassie go

The Ash Grove

The ash grove how graceful, how plainly ‘ tis speaking
The wind through it playing has language for me
When over its branches the sunlight is breaking
A host of kind faces is gazing on me

The friends of my childhood again are before me
Fond memories waken as freely I roam
With soft whispers laden its leaves rustle o’er me
The ash grove the ash grove that shelter’d my home

My laughter is over my step loses lightness
Old country side measures steal soft on my ear
I only remember the past and its brightness
The dear ones I mourn for again gather here.

From out of the shadows their loving looks great me
And wistfully searching the leafy green dome
I find other faces fond bending to greet me
The ash grove the ash grove alone is my home

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