Amhrán Na Craoibhe

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Amhrán Na Craoibhe (in englishThe Garland Song)  is the processional song in Irish Gaelic of the women who carry the May branch (May garland) in the ritual celebrations for the festival of Beltane, still widespread at the beginning of the twentieth century in Northern Ireland (Oriel region).

The song comes from Mrs. Sarah Humphreys who lived in the county of Armagh and was collected in the early twentieth century, erroneously called ‘Lá Fhéile Blinne‘ (The Feast of St Blinne) because it was singed in Killeavy for the Feast of St Moninne, affectionately called “Blinne“, a clear graft of pre-Christian traditions in the Catholic rituals.
The song is unique to the south-east Ulster area and was collected from Sarah Humphreys who lived in Lislea in the vacinity of Mullaghban in Co. Armagh. The air of the song from Cooley in Co. Louth survived in the oral tradition from my father Pádraig. It was mistakenly called ‘Lá Fhéile Blinne’ (The Feast of St Blinne) by one collector. Though it was sung as part of the celebrations of Killeavy Pattern it had no connection with Blinne or Moninne, a native saint of South Armagh, but rather the old surviving pre-Christian traditions had been incorporated into Christian celebrations. The district of ‘Bealtaine’ is to be found within a few miles of Killeavy where this song was traditionally sung, though the placename has been forgotten since Irish ceased to be the vernacular of the community within this last century. Other place names nearby associated with May festivities are: Gróbh na Carraibhe; The Grove of the Branch/Garland (now Carrive Grove) Cnoc a’ Damhsa; The Hill of Dancing (now Crockadownsa).” (Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, 2002, A Hidden Ulster)
St Moninna of Killeavy died in 517-518, follower of St Brigid of Kildare, her names “Blinne” or “Moblinne” mean “little” or “sister” (“Mo-ninne” could be a version of Niniane, the “Lady of the Lake” of the Arthurian cycle); according to scholars her name was Darerca and her (alleged) tomb is located in the cemetery of Killeavy on the slopes of Slieve Gullion where it was originally located her monastery of nuns, become a place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages along with her sacred well, St Bline’s Well.

ST DARERCA (MONENNA) OF KILLEAVY

It seems that the name of Baptism of this virgin, commemorated in the Irish martyrologists on July 6th, was Darerca, and that Moninna is instead a term of endearment of obscure origin. We have her Acta, but her life was confused with the English saint Modwenna, venerated at Burton-on-Trent. Darerca was the foundress and first abbess of one of Ireland’s oldest and most important female monasteries, built in Killeavy (county of Armagh), where the ruins of a church dedicated to her are still visible. He died in 517. Killeavy remained an important center of religious life, until it was destroyed by the Scandinavian marauders in 923; Darerca continued to be widely revered especially in the northern region of Ireland (translated from  here)

AN ANCIENT GODDESS

The Slieve Gullion Cairns

Slieve Gullion ( Sliabh gCuillinn ) is a place of worship in prehistoric times on the top of which a chamber tomb was built with the sunlit entrance at the winter solstice. (see).
According to legend, the “Old Witch” lives on its top, the Cailleach Biorar (‘Old woman of the waters’) and the ‘South Cairn’ is her home also called ‘Cailleach Beara’s House‘.
the site with virtual reality
On the top of the mountain a small lake and the second smaller burial mound built in the Bronze Age. In the lake, according to local evidence, lives a kelpie or a sea monster and it’s hid the passage to the King’s Stables. (Navan, Co. Armagh)

Cailleach Beara by Cheryl Rose-Hall

The Hunt of Slieve Cuilinn

The goddess, a Great Mother of Ireland, Cailleach Biorar (Bhearra) -the Veiled is called Milucradh / Miluchradh, described as the sister of the goddess Aine in the story of “Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Old Witch“, we discover that the nickname of Fionn (Finn MacColl) “the blond”, “the white” comes from a tale of the cycle of the Fianna: everything begins with a bet between two sisters Aine (the goddess of love) and Moninne (the old goddess), Aine boasted that he would never have slept with a gray-haired man, so the first sister brought Fionn to the Slieve Gullion (in the form of a gray fawn she made Fionn pursue her in the heat of hunting by separating himself from the rest of his warriors), then turned into a beautiful girl in tears sitting by the lake to convince Fionn to dive and retrieve her ring. But the waters of the lake had been enchanted by the goddess to bring old age to those who immersed themselves (working in reverse of the sacred wells), so Fionn came out of the lake old and decrepit,and obviously with white hair. His companions, after having reached and recognized him, succeed in getting Cailleach to give him a magic potion that restores vigor to Fionn but leaves him with white hair! (see)

The Cailleach and Bride are probably the same goddess or the different manifestations of the same goddess, the old woman of the Winter and the Spring Maid in the cycle of death-rebirth-life of the ancient religion.

The ancient path to St Bline’s Well.

On the occasion of the patronal feast (pattern celebrations) of the Holy Moninna (July 6) a procession was held in Killeavy that started from St Blinne grave, headed to the sacred well along an ancient path, and then returned to the cemetery. A competition was held between teams of young people from various villages to make the most beautiful effigy of the Goddess, a faded memory of Beltane’s festivities to elect their own May Queen. During the procession the young people sang Amhrán Na Craoibhe accompanied by a dance, whose choreography was lost, each sentence is sung by the soloist to whom the choir responds. The melody is a variant of Cuacha Lán de Bhuí on the structure of an ancient carola (see)

One of the most spectacular high-level views in Ireland.
On a clear day, it’s possible to see from the peak (573 mt) as far as Lough Neagh, west of Belfast, and the Wicklow Mountains, south of Dublin.

Páidraigín Ní Uallacháin from“An Dealg  Óir” 2010

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin & Sylvia Crawford live 2016 

AMHRÁN NA CRAOIBHE

English translation P.Ní Uallacháin*
My branch is the branch
of the fairy women,
Hey to him who takes her home,
hey to her;

The branch of the lasses
and the branch of the lads;
Hey to him who takes her home,
hey to her;

The branch of the maidens
made with pride;
Hey, young girls,
where will we get her a spouse?
We will get a lad
in the town for the bride (1),
A dauntless, swift, strong lad,
Who will bring this branch (2)
through the three nations,
From town to town
and back home to this place?
Two hundred horses
with gold bridles on their foreheads,
And two hundred cattle
on the side of each mountain,
And an equal amount
of sheep and of herds (3),
O, young girls, silver
and dowry for her,
We will carry her with us,
up to the roadway,
Where we will meet
two hundred young men,
They will meet us with their
caps in their fists,
Where we will have pleasure,
drink and sport (4),
Your branch is like
a pig in her sack (5),
Or like an old broken ship
would come into Carlingford (6),
We can return now
and the branch with us,
We can return since
we have joyfully won the day,
We won it last year
and we won it this year,
And as far as I hear
we have always won it.
Irish gaelic
‘S í mo chraobhsa
craobh na mban uasal
(Haigh dó a bheir i’ bhaile í
‘s a haigh di)

Craobh na gcailín is
craobh na mbuachaill;
(Haigh dó a bheir i’ bhaile í
‘s a haigh di).

Craobh na ngirseach
a rinneadh le huabhar,
Maise hóigh, a chaillíní,
cá bhfaigh’ muinn di nuachar?
Gheobh’ muinn buachaill
sa mbaile don bhanóig;
Buachaill urrúnta , lúdasach, láidir
A bhéarfas a ‘ghéag
seo di na trí náisiún,
Ó bhaile go baile è ar
ais go dtí an áit seo
Dhá chéad eachaí
è sriantaí óir ‘na n-éadan,
Is dhá chéad eallaigh
ar thaobh gach sléibhe,
È un oiread sin eile
de mholtaí de thréadtaí,
Óró, a chailíní, airgead
is spré di,
Tógfa ‘muinn linn í suas’
un a ‘bhóthair,
An áit a gcasfaidh
dúinn dhá chéad ógfhear,
Casfa ‘siad orainn’ sa gcuid
hataí ‘na ndorn leo,
An áit a mbeidh aiteas,
ól is spóirse,
È cosúil mbur gcraobh-na
le muc ina mála,
Nó le seanlong bhriste thiocfadh ‘steach i mBaile Chairlinn,
Féada ‘muinn tilleadh anois
è un’ chraobh linn,
Féada ‘muinn tilleadh,
tá an lá bainte go haoibhinn,
Bhain muinn anuraidh é
è bhain muinn i mbliana é,
è mar chluinimse bhain
muinn ariamh é.
May Garland

Notes
1) it is the May doll, but also the Queen of May personification of the female principle of fertility
2) the may garland made by women
3) heads of cattle in dowry that is the animals of the village that will be smashed by the fires of Beltane
4) after the procession the feast ended with a dance
5) derogatory sentences against other garlands carried by rival teams “a pig in a poke” is a careless purchase, instead of a pig in the bag could be a cat!
6) Lough Carlingford The name is derived from the Old Norse and in irsih is “Lough Cailleach”

7005638-albero-di-biancospino-sulla-strada-rurale-contro-il-cielo-bluThe hawthorn is the tree of Beltane, beloved to Belisama, grows as a shrub or as a tree of small size (only reaches 7 meters in height) widening the branches in all the directions, in search of the light upwards.
The branch of hawthorn and its flowers were used in the Celtic wedding rituals and in the ancient Greece and also for the ancient Romans it was the flower of marriage, a wish for happiness and prosperity.
The healing virtues of hawthorn were known since the Middle Ages: it is called the “valerian of the heart” because it acts on the blood flow improving its circulation and it is also used to counteract insomnia and states of anguish. see

HAWTHORN OR BLACKTHORN?

The flowers are small, white and with delicate pinkish hues, sweetly scented. In areas with late blooms for Beltane the “mayers” use the branch of blackthorn,same family as the Rosaceae but with flowering already in March-April.

 

Amhrad Na Beltaine

LINK
https://www.catholicireland.net/saintoftheday/st-moninne-of-killeavy-d-c-518-virgin-and-foundress/
http://www.killeavy.com/stmon.htm
http://www.megalithicireland.com/St%20Moninna’s%20Holy%20Well.html
http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=28400
http://irishantiquities.bravehost.com/armagh/killevy/killevy.html
http://www.nicsramblers.co.uk/p240213.html
http://irelandsholywells.blogspot.it/2012/06/saint-monninas-well-killeavy-county.html
http://www.megalithicireland.com/Killeavy%20Churches.html
http://omniumsanctorumhiberniae.blogspot.it/2015/07/saint-moninne-july-6.html
https://atlanticreligion.com/tag/moninne/
http://www.newgrange.com/slieve-gullion.htm
https://voicesfromthedawn.com/slieve-gullion/

https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/ireland/walk-of-the-week-slieve-gullion-co-armagh-26543944.html
http://geographical.co.uk/uk/aonb/item/559-the-ring-of-gullion

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=59221
https://www.orielarts.com/songs/amhran-na-craoibhe/
http://journalofmusic.com/focus/breathing-embers

Irish May Day (Beltane)

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May day is called in Ireland the “na Beal tina” or “the day of the fire of Beal” consecrated to Bel or Belenos. On the eve large fires are lit and the cattle are passed between them – as was the ancient custom of the Celts – custom still conserved in the Irish countryside with the belief that this preserves cows from diseases and from Good People (wee folk).

All hearths were extinguished at sunset and rekindled with the embers of the collective bonfire only the next day (and still today in Ballymenone county of Fermanagh).
The cattle were then taken to the summer pastures, where they remained until Samahin, watching by a buachaill.

FAIRIE

Fee74aBeltane is a crucial day in the season (Winter ends and Summer begins) and fairie can more easily make contact with the world of humans. The eve is a day in which you have to pay the most attention, because the fairy people (Good People for the Irish) can be very spiteful and even the malefics are more effective. So no Irish woman would ever taking her newborn for a walk outside so as not to risk finding a challenger in return. In particular, youth and beauty can arouse the envy of fairies and therefore even the beautiful girls are indoors.
In general it is popular belief that illnesses or injuries occurring on the May Eve are the most difficult to cure. So it is a good idea to always leave the house with an iron amulet around your neck or in your pocket and leave an offer of food to the fairies!

MAY MUMMERS

Mummers were typical beggars during the nineteenth century, masked figures equivalent to the English Morris dance. Thomas Crofton Croker in “The Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland” (published in 1825) reports many Irish traditions of May and describes precisely the May Mummers; in short, Croker tells us that during his trip to the south of Ireland he witnessed the May festival, which is the favorite of the Mummers: a group of girls and boys from the village or neighborhood who march in procession in a row for two, the men are dressed in white with brightly colored jackets or waistcoats and carry colored ribbons on their hats and on their sleeves and even the women are dressed in white or in light colors. A pair of girls carries a holly bush for each, decorated with many colored ribbons with hanging many new hurling balls (a popular sport that begins in May), a May gift for young people in the village. The procession is preceded by musicians, bagpipes or pipes and drums. There is a clown wearing a scary mask and bearing a long pole with scraps of fabric on top (like a broom) that plunges into the water and shakes it around the crowd to keep the little ones entertained.
The masks parade through the villages or go from house to house dancing to receive money and spend the evening with a cheerful and colossal drink.

The Procession of the May Queen Herbert Wilson Foster (1846–1929)

MAY POLE

May Pole and the dances around the pole are quite common in Ireland, Holywood town in Northern Ireland is famous for its May tree erected in the middle of a crossroads: according to local tradition it dates back to 1700 (taken from the mast of a ship) and is still a place for dances to the annual May festival.

Holywood Pole

But the most typical custom is to cut a branch of hawthorn (or rowan) and plant it next to the door or put it on outside the door, making a garland with yellow flowers (primroses, marigolds and buttercups) and colored ribbons.
From this tradition was born the May basket crafted by the childrenand and filled with fresh flowers, to be left – secretly – next to the door of the neighbors or beloved one. With this auspicious token, the inhabitants are protected from fairies, because fairies cannot overcome these flowered barriers.

HERBS AND REMEDIES

The herbs harvested before sunrise in May Day have better healing properties especially to treat warts. When butter production was a homemade churning process, the first butter produced with milk from May Day was considered the best to prepare ointments.

Another custom of the eve was a good whipping with nettles and the children went around running with a bunch of nettles to hit the comrades or the unfortunate bystanders; their task was to collect the shoots of nettles to bring home to the kitchen pantry. Known as a purifying and detoxifying herb since ancient times, nettle was in fact used in the preparation of soups and the Irish rural tradition recommended eating nettles in May to treat or prevent rheumatism. Even in ancient Rome it was recommended to those who suffered from rheumatism or rheumatoid arthritis to roll in the nettle. see more

Nettles once rivaled linen and hemp as weaving fiber, for sails, clothes and household linen.

LINK
http://terreceltiche.altervista.org/ritual-chants/
http://www.honearchive.org/etexts/edb/day-pages/121-may01.html
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/Beltane.html
http://www.irishnews.com/news/2014/03/24/news/calls-for-memorial-to-holywood-s-forgotten-man-87073/
http://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2015/06/nettle-soup.html
https://pocahontastimes.com/theres-two-sides-to-every-coin/

Beltane Fire Festival of Edinburgh

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In the small park of Calton Hill in the middle of Edinburgh is held the most spectacular Beltane festival in Europe, the Beltane Fire Festival organized by the Beltane Fire Society, a community of artists founded in 1988.
On the night of 30 April the Beltane fire feast is re-acting according to ancient customs, but with a hint of theatricality and modern spectacularization that make it unique: obviously the fire is the dominant element and yet it is the contour of a ritual narration, the awakening of the Green Man, with a succession of acrobatic dance performances and choreographies full of costumed characters: hundreds of figures embody divinities and spirits of Nature that inhabit Gaelic mythology.

The particularity of this festival is that you can attend the feast as spectator but also participate as performer, after registration and attendance of some open meetings that are held a few months before the event; you can choose from a series of groups predefined by the organization (see)
The event is an happening in progress, the starting point is the National Monument of Scotland, built in the first half of the nineteenth century, known as Acropolis because inspired by the Parthenon of Athens.
Over the centuries on the hill overlooking Edinburgh, Greek-themed monuments have been erected, with the will to create a sort of a timeless space that emphasizes the sense of distance from the city. Entire Calton Hill is a succession of folly architecture buildings that are an exercise in style, such as a fake ruin or a classical temple.

From the Acropolis the parade proceeds along a pre-established path to the rhythm of the drums. At the head, the May Queen and the Green Man with their court; in parallel to the main procession there are a series of counter-performances and traveling groups that have evolved to balance the strong turnout of visitors and revive even the most dark corners of the park. As the procession approaches, the groups come to life and continue to play a part throughout the evening; the hill comes alive, reflecting the awakening of the earth at the passage of spring.

Dancers and acrobats, fires, sounds of horns and drums, men (and women) painted by blue, green, red and white, to represent the 4 natural elements (air, water, earth and fire): the heart of the spark are the White Bride and the Green Man, the feminine and male principle that with their sacred union light the Beltane fire.
And then…. dances, songs, and dances will follow throughout the night.

LINK
https://beltane.org/

Beltane Fire Festival di Edimburgo

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Nel piccolo parco di Calton Hill al centro di Edimburgo si tiene la festa di Beltane più spettacolare d’Europa, il  Beltane Fire Festival organizzato dalla  Beltane Fire Society, una comunità di artisti fondata nel 1988.
Nella notte del 30 aprile viene rievocata la festa del fuoco di Beltane secondo le antiche consuetudini, ma con un pizzico di teatralità e di moderna spettacolarizzazione che la rendono unica: ovviamente il fuoco è l’elemento dominante eppure è di contorno alla narrazione di un rito,  il risveglio dell’Uomo Verde,  con un susseguirsi danze tavolta acrobatiche e coreografie ricche di personaggi in costume : centinaia di figuranti incarnano divinità e spiriti della Natura che popolano la mitologia gaelica.

Il bello di questo festival è che si può assistere alla festa come spettatori ma anche parteciparvi come performers, previa iscrizione e frequentazione di serie di open meeting che si tengono qualche mese prima dell’evento; si possono scegliere tra una serie di gruppi predefiniti dall’organizzazione (vedi)
L’evento è un happening in progress, il luogo di partenza è il National Monument of Scotland, costruito nella prima metà dell’Ottocento, noto come Acropoli  perchè ispirato al Partenone di Atene.
Nel corso dei secoli  sulla collinetta che domina Edimburgo sono stati eretti monumenti a tema greco, con la volontà di creare una sorta di sorta di spazio atemporale che enfatizzasse il senso di lontananza rispetto alla città. Tutta Calton Hill è un susseguirsi di folly architecture  edifici che sono un esercizio di stile, come una finta rovina o un tempio classico.

Dall’Acropoli il corteo procede in senso antiorario lungo un percorso prestabilito a ritmo di tamburo. Alla testa, la Regina di Maggio (May Queen) e l’Uomo Verde (Green Man) e la loro corte, parallelamente al corteo principale si svolgono tutta una serie di  contro-esibizioni e gruppi itineranti che si sono evoluti per bilanciare la forte affluenza dei visitatori e ravvivare anche gli angoli più in ombra del parco. Man mano che la processione si avvicina  i gruppi prendono vita e continuando a recitare una parte per tutta la sera; la collina si anima, rispecchiando il risveglio della terra al passaggio della primavera.

Ballerini e acrobati, fuochi, suoni di corni e di tamburi, uomini dipinti di blu, verde, rosso e bianco, per rappresentare i 4 elementi naturali (aria, acqua, terra e fuoco), e il cuore della scintilla sono la bianca dea della Primavera e l’Uomo Verde, il principio femminile e quello maschile che con la loro unione sacra accendono il fuoco di Beltane.
E poi…. danze, canti, e balli seguiranno per tutta la notte.

FONTI
https://beltane.org/

Amhrán Na Bealtaine

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TITLES: Amhran Na Bealtaine, Samhradh, Summertime, Thugamur Fein An Samhradh Linn (We Brought The Summer With Us, We Have Brought The Summer In) or Beltane Song
It is a traditional Irish tune sung on May Day (Lá Bealtaine).

Charles Daniel Ward: Processing of Spring -1905
Charles Daniel Ward: Processing of Spring -1905

AMHRAN NA BEALTAINE

A Gaelic Summer song that could date back to the late Middle Ages played in the feast for the landing of James Butler Duke of Ormonde in 1662, the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It is a traditional song in the southeastern part of Ulster (Northern Ireland) and it was sung by young men and women on May Eve, while they carried around the Garland of May.
Most likely this was a begging song to get food or drink in exchange for the May branch, tabranch of hawthorn or blackthorn to be left in front of the door. With this auspicious gesture, the inhabitants are protected from fairies because fairies could not overcome these flowered barriers (see more).

The song is still very popular in Ireland, Oriel area (t included parts of Louth, Monaghan and Armagh) and is performed both in instrumental version and sung.
Edward Bunting states that the song had been played in the Dublin area since 1633.
 TUNE noted by EDWARD BUNTING
The Chieftains (a instrumental version that is a hymn to joy, a song of birds awakening to the call of spring: the Irish flute starts imitating a lark followed in musical canon by some
wind instruments (the Irish flute, the whistle and the uillean pipes) and the violin, great!)

Gloaming  live Samhradh Samhradh (Martin Hayes fiddle)

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin from A Stór Is A Stóirín 1994 

English translation*
I
Mayday doll(1),
maiden of Summer
Up every hill
and down every glen,
Beautiful girls,
radiant and shining,
We have brought the Summer in.
CHORUS
Summer, Summer,
milk of the calves(2),
We have brought the Summer in.
Yellow(3) summer
of clear bright daisies,
We have brought the Summer in.
II
We brought it in
from the leafy woods(4),
We have brought the Summer in.
Yellow(3) Summer
from the time of the sunset(5),
We have brought the Summer in.
III
The lark(6) is singing
and swinging around in the skies,
Joy for the day
and the flower on the trees.
The cuckoo and the lark
are singing with pleasure,
We have brought the Summer in.
Irish gaelic
I
Bábóg na Bealtaine,
maighdean an tSamhraidh,
Suas gach cnoc
is síos gach gleann,
Cailíní maiseacha
bán-gheala gléasta,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn
Sèist
Samhradh, samhradh,
bainne na ngamhna,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn.
Samhradh buí
na nóinín glégeal,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn.

II
Thugamar linn
é ón gcoill chraobhaigh,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn.
Samhradh buí
ó luí na gréine,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn
III
Tá an fhuiseog ag seinm
‘sag luascadh sna spéartha,
Áthas do lá
is bláth ar chrann.
Tá an chuach is an fhuiseog
ag seinm le pléisiúr,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn.

NOTES
* from here
garlan-may-day1) the Bábóg is the spring doll, Brídeóg, the “little Bride”, (Brigit, or Brigantia in Britannia, a trine goddess -Virgin, Mother, Crona) among the most important of the Celtic pantheon, the maiden of wheat made by women in Imbolc (February 1) with the last sheaf of harvest; the young Goddess of Spring, a strong symbol of rebirth in the cycle of death-life in which Nature is perpetuated: in the doll still lives the spirit of the wheat. Brigid’s dolls were also dressed in a white dress, decorated with stones, ribbons and flowers and carried in procession throughout the village.
The doll will reappear in the Victorian celebrations of May in her white-robed, placed between a wreath of flowers and ribbons hanging on a rod and carryed by mayers (see more)
2) milk from cows for calves. The May Day is called na Beal tina or the day of the fire of Beal, then consecrated to the god Bel or Belenos. On the eve large fires were lit and the cattle were passed among them, this celtic custom is still remained in the Irish countryside with the belief that this prevented the Wee Folk to make bad jokes like braiding the tails of the cows or stealing the milk
3) the May flowers were mostly yellow to recall the color and the warmth of the sun. Flowers and green branches were placed on the threshold of the house and window sills to protect the inhabitants from the fairies and as a sign of good fortune. Fairies could not overcome these flowered barriers. This tradition was typical of Northern Ireland. The children mostly went to pick wild flowers to make garlands, especially with yellow flowers.4) the greenwood, the most inviolate and sacred forest of the ancient Celtic rituals

Bringing Home the May, 1862, Henry Peach Robinson
Bringing Home the May, 1862, Henry Peach Robinson

5) the youth go into the woods at night of the eve till the morn  (see more)
6) the lark is a sacred bird with solar symbolism (see more)
7) the song of the cuckoo is a harbinger of Spring, also because once the season of love is over (end of May), the cuckoo (male) no longer sings  (see more)

Extra verses 

English translation (*)
Holly and hazel
and elder and rowan,(1)
We have brought the Summer in.
And brightly shining ash
from Bhéal an Átha,(2)
We have brought the Summer in
Irish Gaelic
Cuileann is coll
is trom is cárthain,
Thugamar féin
an samhradh linn
Is fuinseog ghléigeal Bhéal an Átha,
Thugamar féin an samhradh linn.

NOTES
1) The hawthorn is a fairy plant like holly, hazel, elderberry and rowan, protective and auspicious (probably due to the very sharp thorns). The May tradition places the branch of hawthorn outside the house (hanging on the windows and next to the entrance) because if it is brought into home, especially when it is flowered, brings bad luck. This negative meaning dates back to the Middle Ages when the branches of hawthorn were used as amulets against the evil eye, witches and demons; it might be traced back to the vague rotting smell of the branches, but it is certainly linked to the Church’s attempt to assimilate pre-Christian rites to satanic practices.
2) Bhéal an Átha literally the mouth of the ford is also a place known today as Ballina a city on the river Moy in the Mayo counts. However, the settlement is relatively recent (late 15th century). Na Bealtaine is more likely to refer to a toponym Beulteine as it was called the place of the Beltane festival on the border between the county of Armagh and that of Louth, in Kilcurry, today there are only a small mound with the ruins of an old church. All versions collected in the area describe a radius around this location of about twenty miles

Bábóg na Bealtaine, Other Tunes

La Lugh (Eithne Ní Uallacháin & Gerry O’Connor) from Brighid’s Kiss 1995. Tune composed by Eithne Ní Uallacháin (I, III,IV, V, VI)

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin has reinterpreted the song, previously published on the tune transcribed by Edward Bunting, on the tune and text as transcribed by Séamus Ennis from the testimony of Mick McKeown, Lough Ross recorded on a wax cylinder (I, II, III, IV, V , VII)

English translation*
I (CHORUS)
Golden Summer of the white daisies,
we bring the Summer with us,
from village to village
and home again,
and we bring the Summer with us.
I Mick McKeown version
Golden summer, lying in the meadows,
we brought the summer with us;
Golden summer, spring and winter,
and we brought the summer with us.

II
Young maidens, gentle and lovely,
we brought the summer with us;
Lads who are clever, sturdy and agile,
and we brought the summer with us.
III
Beltaine dolls,
Summer maidens
Up hill and down glens
Girls adorned
in pure white,
and we bring the Summer with us.
IV
The lark making music
and sky dancing
the blossomed trees laden with bees
the cuckoo and the birds
singing with joy
and we bring the Summer with us.
V
The hare nests on the edge of the cliff
the heron nests
in the branches
the doves are cooing,
honey on stems
and we bring the Summer with us.
VI
The shining sun is lighting the darkness
the silvery sea shines like a mirror
the dogs are barking,
the cattle lowing
and we bring the Summer with us.
VII
Golden summer, lying in the meadow,
we brought the summer with us;
From home to home and to Lisdoonan of pleasure,
and we brought the summer with us.
Irish Gaelic
I
Samhradh buí na nóiníní gléigeal,
thugamar fhéin an samhradh linn,
Ó bhaile go baile is chun ár mbaile ’na dhiaidh sin,/’s thugamar fhéin an samhradh linn
(Mick McKeown version
Samhradh buí ’na luí ins na léanaí,
thugamar féin a’ samhradh linn;
Samhradh buí, earrach is geimhreadh
is thugamar féin a’ samhradh linn.)
II
Cailíní óga, mómhar sciamhach,
thugamar féin a’ samhradh linn;
Buachaillí glice, teann is lúfar,
is thugamar féin a’ samhradh linn.
III
Bábóg na Bealtaine,
maighdean an tsamhraidh
suas gach cnoc is síos gach gleann
cailíní maiseacha, bángheala gléasta,/’s thugamar fhéin an samhradh linn
IV
Tá an fhuiseog ag seinm is ag luasadh sna spéartha,
beacha is cuileoga is bláth ar na crainn,
tá’n chuach’s na héanlaith ag seinm le pléisiúr,/’s thugamar fhéin an samhradh linn
V
Tá nead ag an ghiorria ar imeall na haille,
is nead ag an chorr éisc i ngéaga an chrainn,
tá mil ar na cuiseoga is na coilm ag béiceadh,/’s thugamar fhéin an samhradh linn.
VI
Tá an ghrian ag loinnriú`s ag lasadh na dtabhartas,
tá an fharraige mar scathán ag gháirí don ghlinn,
tá na madaí ag peithreadh is an t-eallach ag géimni
’s thugamar fhéin an samhradh linn
VII
Samhradh buí ’na luí ins a’ léana,
thugamar féin a’ samhradh linn;
Ó bhaile go baile is go Lios Dúnáin a’ phléisiúir,
is thugamar féin a’ samhradh linn.

* from here and here

 

Amhrán na Craoibhe (The Garland Song)

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/beltane-la-festa-celtica-del-maggio.html
http://songsinirish.com/samhradh-samhradh-lyrics/
http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Irish/ThugamarFeinAnSamhradhLinn.html

https://thesession.org/tunes/10447

https://www.orielarts.com/songs/thugamar-fein-an-samhradh-linn/

May day in Piedmont (Italy)

Leggi in italiano

In the Spring rituals of the rural world, groups of begging musicians went from house to house to sing May, stopping in the farmyard: the inhabitants of the house offered to drink, while the group sang the verses dedicated to the landlord, his wife and their daughters for an happy marriage.

Time ago in the whole Asti area, the Monferrato and the Langhe there was the female home visiting of the Cantè Magg, when groups of young girls carried in a procession the erburin (the small tree) and / or a little doll adorned with flowers: they singed the return of May and in exchange for gifts (mostly eggs) thanked with the verses auspicious. With Queen of May also joined a King of May and the couple of children was called the “Sposini” (the little spouses): the Bride and the Green Man gathered to renew the life and fertility of the Earth. ( see more )

The tradition is also consolidated in a more distinctly Easter rite called Cantè J’ov (J’euv) (Sing the eggs).
It is a spring quest that has its roots in the Piedmont area and in particular that land historically belonged to the domain of the Marquis of Monferrato.
At one time it was only the young people of the village, who wandered around the farms at night asking for food, wine and even money with which to organize Easter Monday lunch. It was an opportunity to feast on eggs (symbol of fertility) and spree, but also to sing and play lots of music!
Many communities still keep these traditions alive, especially in the Monferrato (geographical), in the Langhe and in the Roero. 
see more

victorian-art-artist-painting-print-by-myles-birket-foster-first-of-may-garland-day

A-MAYING

It was the women who went a-maying in the morning (or early afternoon) of the first of May: the May Bride with her maids walked around the town asking for eggs and money. The custom was interrupted in many countries between the first and second world war and was revived around the years 60-70 by some local groups and folklorists.
In Casal Cermelli (province of Alessandria) in the years 40-50 to the girls were joined also the boys to bring the flowered branch decorated with ribbons and bows, a little bird and a rag doll.

Tre Martelli from Giacu Trus 1985: Ben vena magg


I
Guardé cula fijeta(1)
cl’è an cima al arburen
Ca l’ha il scarpötti biònchi
ei cauzete a canaren(2)
Ben vena magg
e poi turna al meis ad Mağ
II
Guardé sur caminet
cha jie di carùzen(3)
da fej la riverenza
a sijura madamin
III
Padrouna padrouna
padrouna dir pulè
oh dami j ovi freschi
e i lendi ai lasa sté
English translation Cattia Salto
I
Look at that girl
on top of the branch,
she has white shoes
and canary socks
Welcome May
and then returns the month of May,
II
Look on the fireplace
that there is soot
to congratulate
to the mistress.
III
Mistress, mistress
mistress of the chicken coop,
give me fresh eggs
and the old ones leave them there.

NOTES
garlan-may-day1) it’s a green garland with a doll with a white wedding dressin the middle, helded up by a rod.
It is the “little Bride” the Celtic triple goddess, the wheat girl made by women in Imbolc (February 1st), that is the Spring Bride, a strong symbol of rebirth in the cycle of death-life in which Nature is perpetuated: spirit of the wheat lives in the doll .
Brigid’s dolls were also dressed in a white dress or decorated with stones, ribbons and flowers and carried in procession throughout the country passing from door to door for each to leave a gift. see more
2) canarin = canary to indicate the typical canary-yellow color
3) the term is found in the Venetian dialect

Ariondassa live


I
Entroma ant’ is palasi
che l’ è csi bel antrè
Ai dioma a la padrouna
c’ am lasa ‘n po’ canté
Magg, Magg, Magg,
turnirà la fin di Magg
Io sono Maggio
e sono il più bello
Fiorellin d’amor
che canta sul cappello
Uccellin d’amor
che canta sulla rama
Siura padrouna
padrouna dir pulé
c’ am daga j ovi freschi
e i lendi ai lasa sté
II
Chi cl’ é ‘sta bela fija(1)
c’ansima dl’ arburii
E cl’ à la vesta bianca
e ‘l scarpi d’ maruchii
III
E s’in voi nènt cröddi
che Mağ a l’è rivà
Sfacév da cùla fnèstra
ch’l’alber l’è piantà
English translation Cattia Salto
I
We go into that building
that’s so good to enter
And we ask to the mistress
leaving us to sing a while
May, May, May,
the end of May will come back.
I am May
And I’m the most beautiful,
little flower of love
singing on the hat.
Little bird of love
singing on the branch.
Mrs. Mistress,
mistress of the chicken coop
give us fresh eggs
and the old ones leave them there.
II
Who is this pretty girl
on top of the tree
with white dress
and the fine leather shoes?
III
And if you do not want to believe
that May has arrived
look out of that window
that the tree is planted

CARLIN DI MAGGIO

The “Carlin” of May (personification of May Day) passes from house to house with her group of singers and musicians to announce the coming of Spring and bring the best wishes of happiness / prosperity with a quest.

The area in which this tradition is spread is that of the Four Provinces – homogeneous area for landscape and culture (Alessandria – Pavia – Piacenza – Genoa) where it tries to preserve the great heritage of folk songs.
The ritual is still alive on the Apennines of Pavia and Piacenza: in Marsaglia a town in the municipality of Corte Brugnatella (Pc) in the Trebbia Valley it begins on the evening of 30 April, or rather late in the afternoon, until late at night (three or four in the morning)! People gather in the main square forming the procession of singers and musicians, followed closely by the inhabitants of the village and neighbours, and passes from house to house, scattered hamlets and farms more isolated. The merry brigade was composed exclusively of men, while young women were in the houses waiting for the arrival of the .. suitors.

The symbolic tree of the Carlin is not the hawthorn (not yet bloomed) but the laburnum with its characteristic yellow flowers cluster-like, so yellow and green have become the dominant colors of the feast.

La Ciapa Rusa from  “Faruaji” (1988) and valzer “J’è semp temp par l’amur” written by Maurizio Martinotti

Tendachent from Ori Pari 2000 ♪ Carlin di Maggio (in medlay track 5)

The Carlin announces carrier of May and with the noise produced, wake up the landlady who goes to get eggs and also to drink good wine to the players.


Gh’ê chì Carlin di maggio(1)
con l’erba e con la foglia,
la rosa e la viola.
Belo venga oi maggio
Belo venga oi maggio
Belo venga oi maggio

O sentì a tramescà:
la padrona la s’ê levà
O sentì a mov a mov:
la padrona la pôrta i ov
Vi saluto padron di casa
v’ò purtà ‘na nova.
Di dentro di questa casa
gh’è fiorì le rose.
E di dentro di questa casa
gh’è la mè morosa
e se lè la sarà brava
la mi darà le ova.
E di dentro di questa casa
c’è una brava sposa
E se lè la sarà brava
la mi darà le ova
E la luna la pssa i monti
e non si vede andare.
In pace vi troviamo,
in pace vi lasciamo,
vi do la buona sera
e vi ringraziamo
English translation Cattia Salto
The Carlin of May has arrived
with the grass and the leaf,
the rose and the violet.
Welcome today is May
Welcome today is May
Welcome today is May
I heard the bustle:
the missus got up.
I heard her steps:
the missus carries the eggs.
I greet you master
I brought the news.
In this house
roses have bloomed.
And in this house
there is my sweetheart.
And if she will be good
she will give me some eggs.
And in this house
there is a good bride.
And if she will be good
she will give me some eggs.
The moon is behind the mountains
and you can not see where to go.
In peace we find you,
in peace we leave you,
I’ll give you a good evening
and we thank you.

NOTES
1) laburnum branch

In the “Four provinces” May song is a polyphonic one
Carlin di Maggio in Marsaglia  (Trebbia Valley)


O sentì a tramescà:
la padrona la s’ê levà
Belo venga oi maggio
Belo venga oi maggio
Belo venga oi maggio

O sentì a mov a mov:
la padrona la pôrta i ov.
[I prati verdeggianti
per consolar gli amanti,
per consolar gli amanti.]
Tira fora u pisadù,
dà da beive  ai sunadù.
In pace vi troviamo,
in pace vi lasciamo.
vi diam  la buona sera
e ce ne andiamo via.
English translation Cattia Salto
I heard the bustle:
the missus got up.

Welcome today is May
Welcome today is May
Welcome today is May

I heard her steps:
the missus carries the eggs.

[The verdant meadows
to rejoice lovers,
to rejoice lovers.]
Take out the jug
and give us to drink.
In peace we find you,
in peace we leave you.
weill give you a good evening
and we go away.

Among the traditional stanzas also this auspicious one


campa la ciossa
con tutti i pulastrin,
crepa la volpe
con tutti i suoi vulpin!
English translation Cattia Salto
Long live the hen
with all her chicks,
let the fox die
with all her little foxes

LINK
http://www.prolococasalcermelli.it/plcc/cantar-maggio
http://www.sebastianus.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Etnografia-5.pdf
http://www.appennino4p.it/marsaglia

Nord Italia
Italia centrale
Italia del Sud

The Good Ship Kangaroo

Leggi in italiano
A sea shanty from the music hall composed by Harry Clifton (1824-1872) and published in 1856 as On Board Of The Kangaroo; Stan Hugill in his “Shanties of the Seven Seas” gives two versions and ranks as capstan shanty, one from Stanley Slade of Bristol, and one from Elizabeth Cronin of Macroom, County Cork.

THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO

Apparently the song was not so popular in the sea shanty and its diffusion in the folk circuit is part of the revival of the 70s.
Planxty from After the Break 1979 (Elizabeth Cronin version)

THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO
I
Once I was a waitin’ man that lived at home at ease
Now I am a mariner that ploughs the angry seas
I always loved sea-faring life I bid my love adieu
I shipped as steward and cook, my boys, on board the ‘Kangaroo’ (1)
Chorus
I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away through the Milford bay on board the kangaroo

II
“Think of me oh think of me”,
she mournfully did say
“When you are in a foreign land
and I am far away
And take this lucky threepenny bit
it’ll make you bear in mind
That lovin’ trustin’ faithful heart you left in tears behind”
“Cheer up cheer up my own true love don’t weep so bitterly”
She sobbed she sighed she choked
she cried and could not say goodbye
“I won’t be gone for very long ‘tis
but a month or two.
When I will return again
of course I’ll visit you”
III
Our ship was homeward bound
from many’s the foreign shore
And many’s the foreign presents
unto my love I bore
I brought tortoises from Tenerife
and toys from Timbuktoo
A china rat and a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo
Paid off I sought her dwelling on a street above the town
Where an ancient dame upon the line was hanging out her gown
“Where is my love? “”She’s vanished sir about six months ago
With a smart young man that drives the van for Chaplin Son & Co (2)”
IV
Here’s a health to dreams of married life to soap suds and blue (3)
Heart’s true love and patent starch (4) and washing soda too,
I’ll go unto some foreign shore
no longer can I stay
On some China Hottentot(5) I’ll throw myself away
My love she is no foolish girl
her age it is two score
My love she is no spinster
she’s been married twice before
I cannot say it was her wealth that stole my heart away
She’s a washer in a laundry for one and nine a day

NOTES
1) t
here have been several ships to take the name of Kangaroo, probably it is from the SS Kangaroo a British passenger and merchant transport ship, whose navigation period coincides with the era of the song
2) Chaplin, Horne and Co was the largest transport company in the United Kingdom
3) Reckitt’s Blue:  before the modern optical brighteners, there was a mysterious blue sachet that was dissolved in the last rinse water and raised the yellowish color from the cotton
4)  Harry Clifton writes: Farewell to dreams of married life! to soap, to suds, and blue, To “Glenfield starch” and “Harper Twelvetrees’ washing powder” too.
A claim to two products for the laundry of the perfect housewife! The music hall writers received financial compensation from producers for advertising their goods; Glenfield starch was so popular that another company put a production in Glenfield to give the same name to their starch, but lost the legal battle.
5) ‘hottentot’ is the derogatory term with which a tribe of the southern African Khoikhoi was called, in the nineteenth century Africans were taken as exotic curiosities and the missing link of Darwinian eviction, the koi were the most popular because of their short stature, women had the peculiarity of accumulating large amounts of fat in the thighs and buttocks: it’s going to fat-ass

Stanley Slade: Where we sail away from Bristol Quay

Among the last shantyman to sail on sailing vessels, with a powerful voice, the sailor Stanley Slade was hired on the first steam ships as a singer to entertain passengers with the most obscene versions of his repertoire.

ABOARD THE KANGAROO
Chorus

I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away from Bristol quay
on board the Kangaroo

I
I thought I’d like seafarin’ life, so I bid my love adieu,
And shipped aboard as bosun’s mate, aboard the Kangaroo…
II
My love, she was no foolish girl,
her age is was two score;
My love she was no spinister,
she’d been married twice before…
III
You would not think it was her wealth that stole me heart away;
She was starcher at a launderer’s for eighteen pence a day…
IV
Paid off, I sought her dwelling place, ‘twas high on Munjoy Hill;
Where an ancient dame upon the stoop was tossing out the swill…
V
“Where is my love?” “She’s married, sir, about six months ago,
To a smart young man who’s skipper of a bark that trades the coast in coal…”
VI
Farewell to dreams of married bliss, of soapsuds and the blue;
Farewell to all you Bristol gals, you’re fickled minded too…
VII
I’ll seek some distant foreign shore,
no longer will I stay;
An’ on some Chinese Hottentot I’ll waste my life away…

LINK
http://folktrax-archive.org/menus/cassprogs/207slade.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/kangaroo.html
https://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/good-ship-kangaroo/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/nic.jones/songs/onboardthekangaroo.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=8460
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/aboard-the-kangaroo-.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/on-board-of-the-kangaroo-.html

A bordo del Kangaroo

Read the post in English
Una sea shanty nata  per il music hall composta da Harry Clifton (1824-1872) e pubblicata nel 1856 con il titolo “On board of the Kangaroo”; Stan Hugill nella sua raccolta , “Shanties of the Seven Seas” ne riporta due versioni e le classifica come capstan shanty,  una da Stanley Slade di Bristol, e l’altra da Elizabeth Cronin di Macroom, Contea di Cork.

LA VERSIONE IRLANDESE

A quanto pare il brano non era poi così popolare nelle canzoni marinaresche e la sua diffusione nel circuito folk si colloca nel revival degli anni 70.
Planxty in After the Break 1979 dalla testimonianza di Elizabeth Cronin


I
Once I was a waitin’ man that lived at home at ease
Now I am a mariner that ploughs the angry seas
I always loved sea-faring life I bid my love adieu
I shipped as steward and cook, my boys, on board the ‘Kangaroo’ (1)
Chorus
I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away through the Milford bay on board the kangaroo

II
“Think of me oh think of me”,
she mournfully did say
“When you are in a foreign land
and I am far away
And take this lucky threepenny bit
it’ll make you bear in mind
That lovin’ trustin’ faithful heart you left in tears behind”
“Cheer up cheer up my own true love don’t weep so bitterly”
She sobbed she sighed she choked
she cried and could not say goodbye
“I won’t be gone for very long ‘tis
but a month or two.
When I will return again
of course I’ll visit you”
III
Our ship was homeward bound
from many’s the foreign shore
And many’s the foreign presents
unto my love I bore
I brought tortoises from Tenerife
and toys from Timbuktoo
A china rat and a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo
Paid off I sought her dwelling on a street above the town
Where an ancient dame upon the line was hanging out her gown
“Where is my love? “”She’s vanished sir about six months ago
With a smart young man that drives the van for Chaplin Son & Co (2)”
IV
Here’s a health to dreams of married life to soap suds and blue (3)
Heart’s true love and patent starch (4) and washing soda too,
I’ll go unto some foreign shore
no longer can I stay
On some China Hottentot(5) I’ll throw myself away
My love she is no foolish girl
her age it is two score
My love she is no spinster
she’s been married twice before
I cannot say it was her wealth that stole my heart away
She’s a washer in a laundry for one and nine a day
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Un tempo ero un uomo che viveva comodo a casa,
oggi sono un marinaio che solca i mari furiosi
ho sempre amato la vita del mare e ho detto addio al mio amore
per imbarcarmi come maggiordomo e cuoco, ragazzi, a bordo del Kangaroo
Coro
Non avrei mai immaginato che lei si rivelasse traditrice e bugiarda,
mentre si salpava da Milford bay
a bordo del Kangaroo

II
“Pensami, o pensami”
mi diceva lamentandosi
“quando sei in una terra straniera
e io sono lontana
e prendi questi tre penny portafortuna perchè ti faranno ricordare
che un cuore fedele e d’amore sincero hai lasciato in lacrime dietro di te”
“Rallegrati, rallegrati, mio vero amore non piangere così amaramente”
Singhiozzava e sospirava , soffocava e piangeva e non poteva dire addio!
“Non starò via per molto,
solo un mese o due.
Quanndo ritornerò di sicuro verrò a trovarti”
III
La nostra nave era in partenza
per più di una terra straniera
e molti regali  esotici
al mio amore ho preso
ho comprato tartarughe da Tenerife
e giocattoli da Timbuktoo
un topo dalla Cina e un gatto del Bengala e un pappagallo di Bombay
Appena pagato ho cercato la sua abitazione  in una strada  sopra la città
dove una vecchia dama stava appendendo al filo il suo vestito
“Dov’è il mio amore?”
“E’ scomparsa signore, circa sei mesi fa
con un simpatico giovanotto che guida il camioncino della Chaplin Son & Co”
IV
Addio sogni di una vita matrimoniale all’acqua saponata e sbiancante e al vero amore del cuore e anche  all’amido e alla soda da bucato,
andrò in qualche terra straniera
non posso più restare,
a qualche culona cinese
mi offrirò!
Il mio amore non è una stupida
ha una quarantina d’anni,
il mio amore non è una zitella,
è stata sposata due volte prima,
non posso dire che sia stata la sua ricchezza ad avermi rubato il cuore
è una apprettatrice in una lavanderia per uno e nove al giorno

NOTE
1) ci sono state varie navi a prendere il nome di Kangaroo, probabilmente si tratta dalla SS Kangaroo una nave di trasporto passeggeri e mercantile britannica, il cui periodo di navigazione coincide con l’epoca della canzone
2) Chaplin, Horne and Co fu descritta all’epoca come la più grande impresa di trasporti in Gran Bretagna
3) Reckitt’s Blue: la polvere blu è stata utilizzata negli ultimi trecento anni per rendere i bianchi più bianchi; prima dei moderni sbiancanti ottici, c’era una misteriosa bustina blu che veniva sciolta nell’ultima acqua di risciacquo e levava il colore giallastro dal cotone
4) nella varsione di Harry Clifton dice:
Farewell to dreams of married life! to soap, to suds, and blue, To “Glenfield starch” and “Harper Twelvetrees’ washing powder” too.
una reclame a due prodotti per il bucato della perfetta massaia, gli scrittori del music hall ricevevano un compenso economico da parte di produttori per la pubblicità alla loro merce; l’amido Glenfield starch era talmente popolare da avere imitatori “furbetti”, un’altra azienda mise una produzione a Glenfield per poter dare lo stesso nome al loro amido, ma perse la battaglia legale.
5) ‘hottentot’ è il termine dispregiativo con cui era chiamata una tribù dell’africa meridionale i Khoikhoi, nell’Ottocento gli africani erano presi come curiosità esotiche e l’anello mancante dell’evuluzione darwinaiana, i koi erano quelli più popolari a causa della loro bassa statura, le donne avevano la particolarità di accumulare grosse quantità di grasso nelle cosce e nei glutei, più di una donna è stata esibita come fenomeno da baraccone in Europa. Letteralmente “ottentotta cinese”

La versione di Stanley Slade: Where we sail away from Bristol Quay

Tra gli ultimi shantyman ad aver navigato su vascelli a vela, dalla voce potente, il marinaio Stanley Slade fu ingaggiato sulle prima navi a vapore come cantante  per intrattenere i passeggeri  con le versioni più oscene del suo repertorio.

ABOARD THE KANGAROO
Chorus

I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away from Bristol quay
on board the Kangaroo

I
I thought I’d like seafarin’ life, so I bid my love adieu,
And shipped aboard as bosun’s mate, aboard the Kangaroo…
II
My love, she was no foolish girl,
her age is was two score;
My love she was no spinister,
she’d been married twice before…
III
You would not think it was her wealth that stole me heart away;
She was starcher at a launderer’s for eighteen pence a day…
IV
Paid off, I sought her dwelling place, ‘twas high on Munjoy Hill;
Where an ancient dame upon the stoop was tossing out the swill…
V
“Where is my love?” “She’s married, sir, about six months ago,
To a smart young man who’s skipper of a bark that trades the coast in coal…”
VI
Farewell to dreams of married bliss, of soapsuds and the blue;
Farewell to all you Bristol gals, you’re fickled minded too…
VII
I’ll seek some distant foreign shore,
no longer will I stay;
An’ on some Chinese Hottentot I’ll waste my life away…
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Coro
Non avrei mai immaginato che lei si rivelasse traditrice e bugiarda
mentre si salpava 
dal molo di Bristol
a bordo del Kangaroo

I
Credevo mi sarebbe piaciuta la vita del mare così ho detto addio al mio amore
per imbarcarmi come nostromo a bordo del Kangaroo
II
Il mio amore non era una stupida
aveva una quarantina d’anni,
il mio amore non era una zitella,
è stata sposata due volte prima
III
Non si potrebbe dire che sia stata la sua ricchezza ad avermi rubato il cuore
era una apprettatrice in una lavanderia per 18 penny al giorno
IV
Appena pagato ho cercato la sua abitazione, era in cima a Munjoy Hill
dove una vecchia dama sulla veranda stava gettando la spazzatura
V
“Dov’è il mio amore?” “Si è sposata signore, circa sei mesi fa, con un simpatico giovanotto , capitano di una chiatta nel commercio del carbone”
VI
Addio ai sogni di felicità coniugale all’acqua saponata e sbiancante;
addio a tutte le ragazze di Bristol e anche addio ai dispiaceri
VII
Cercherò qualche terra straniera
non posso più restare,
a qualche culona cinese
mi offrirò!

FONTI
http://folktrax-archive.org/menus/cassprogs/207slade.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/kangaroo.html
https://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/good-ship-kangaroo/
https://mainlynorfolk.info/nic.jones/songs/onboardthekangaroo.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=8460
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/aboard-the-kangaroo-.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/on-board-of-the-kangaroo-.html

Liffey Ferry

Leggi in italiano

The Dublin Penny Journal Vol 1 No 18 27 october 1832

Once the River Liffey was crossed by barges and boats that connected north and south banks and east and westwards up and down river ferrying passengers, animals and goods. As more bridges were built across the Liffey the ferries moved downstream s; in the past crossing the river from the bridge, it had a cost, like in the Middle Ages a toll was paid for people and goods transported up to the amortization of expenses incurred for the construction of the bridge, for example the Wellington Bridge then Liffey Bridge built in 1836 he kept the turnstiles until 1919 (the bridge is nicknamed Helfpenny bridge “half-penny bridge” because of the cost of the toll). The bridge was also built following protests over the bad state and overcrowding of ferries carrying goods and people across the river.

LIFFEY FERRY

The first ferry to Dublin was born in 1385 following the collapse of the bridge on the Liffey near the Customs House, in the cost of the ferry was paid also a fee to help finance the construction of a substitute bridge. But with the expansion of the city and the shortage of bridges, a ferry service assigned to the Dublin Corporation was established in the 1665: the service was active one hour before dawn and ended one hour after sunset and only at the beginning of the twentieth century rowing boats were converted into engines.

Liffey Ferry in the 60s

The last public ferry, from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to the East Wall Road (Spencer dock), worked until 1984 when the East Link Bridge was opened on October 20th. On that occasion Pete St. John was also present and he listened to the ferryman complaining : “Here I am redundant and I’m only 42, after 20 years befriending the machine “, Pete is a modern Dublin folk singer of the past and could not miss the opportunity to write a song about The Ferryman: the form is that of the intimate conversation of the ferryman to his wife, an appeal to remain united and not be overwhelmed by changes in life. Like so many other songs written by Pete it immediately became a popular song in the Irish folk clubs.
Pete St. John live

Gaelic Storm

Patsy Watchorn

THE FERRYMAN
I
Little boats are gone
from the breast of Anna Liffy (1)
The ferryman is stranded on the quay
Sure the Dublin docks is dying
and a way of life is gone
And Molly it was part of you and me
[Chorus]
Where the Strawberry beds(2)
sweep down to the Liffy

You kissed away the worry from my brow
I love you well today
and I’ll love you more tomorrow

If you ever love me Molly love me now
II
T’was the only job I knew
it was hard but never lonely
The Liffy ferry made a man of me
And it’s gone without a whisper
and forgotted even now
And sure it’s over Molly over
can’t you see
III
Well now I’ll tent the yard
and I’ll spend me days in talking
And I’ll hear them whisper
“Charlie’s on the dole”
But Molly we’re still living
and darling we’re still young
And that river never owned
me heart and soul

NOTES
1) Anna Liffyis the personification of the River Liffey
2) gli Strawberry Beds are an area along the Liffey near Chapelizod which has remained relatively natural, Joyce’s favorite spot along the western edge of Phoenix Parks. The Dubliners used to go for their picnics and spend their honeymoon.

LINK
https://www.dublinscultureconnects.ie/docks-ill-seen/
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4863
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/the-ferryman
http://www.dublincity.ie/image/libraries/dcr033-liffey-ferry
http://homepage.eircom.net/~browne/straw.html
https://afloat.ie/item/1895-afloatie-last-ferry-from-dublins-docklands

In traghetto sul Liffey

Read the post in English

The Dublin Penny Journal Vol 1 No 18 27 ottobre 1832

Un tempo il Liffey era solcato da chiatte e barchette che collegavano le sponde nord e sud del fiume o che ne risalivano o scendevano al mare per trasportare passeggeri, animali e merci. Mano a mano che venivano costruiti i ponti le attività dei traghettatori si spostavano o si convertivano in altri servizi; una volta attraversare il fiume dal ponte aveva comunque un costo, come già nel Medioevo si pagava un pedaggio per le persone e le merci trasportate fino all’ammortamento delle spese sostenute per la costruzione del ponte stesso, ad esempio  il  Wellington Bridge poi Liffey Bridge costruito nel 1836 mantenne i tornelli fino al 1919 (il ponte è soprannominato Helfpenny bridge  “ponte da mezzo penny” proprio per il costo del pedaggio). Il ponte venne costruito anche in seguito alle proteste  per il cattivo stato e il sovraffollamento dei traghetti che trasportavano merci e persone attraverso il fiume.

LIFFEY FERRY

Il primo traghetto a Dublino era nato nel 1385 in seguito al crollo del ponte sul Liffey in prossimità della Dogana (The Custom House), nel costo del traghetto si pagava oltre al servizio anche una quota per aiutare a finanziare la costruzione di un ponte sostitutivo. Ma con l’espandersi della città e la penuria di ponti venne istituito con patente regia (1665)  un servizio di traghetti assegnato alla Dublin Corporation: il servizio era attivo da un’ora prima dell’alba e terminava ad un’ora dopo il tramonto e solo agli inizi del Novecento le barche a remi vennero convertite a motore.

il Liffey Ferry negli anni ’60

L’ultimo traghetto pubblico, da Sir John Rogerson’s Quay all’East Wall Road (Spencer dock), ha funzionato fino al 1984 quando è stato aperto l’East Link Bridge il 20 ottobre. In quell’occasione era presente anche Pete St. John che ascoltò il traghettatore poco più che quarantenne lamentarsi per essere rimasto senza  lavoro dopo vent’anni dedicati al sevizio: “Here I am redundant and I’m only 42, after 20 years befriending the machine”, Pete è un cantore moderno della Dublino del passato e non poteva lasciarsi sfuggire l’occasione per scrivere una canzone The Ferryman: la forma è quella dell’intimo colloquio del traghettatore alla moglie, un appello a restare uniti e non farsi travolgere dai cambiamenti della vita. Come tante altre canzoni scritte da Pete è subito diventata una canzone popolare nei circuiti folk irlandesi.
Pete St. John live

Gaelic Storm

Patsy Watchorn


I
Little boats are gone
from the breast of Anna Liffy (1)
The ferryman is stranded on the quay
Sure the Dublin docks is dying
and a way of life is gone
And Molly it was part of you and me
[Chorus]
Where the Strawberry beds(2)
sweep down to the Liffy

You kissed away the worry from my brow
I love you well today
and I’ll love you more tomorrow

If you ever love me Molly love me now
II
T’was the only job I knew
it was hard but never lonely
The Liffy ferry made a man of me
And it’s gone without a whisper
and forgotted even now
And sure it’s over Molly over
can’t you see
III
Well now I’ll tent the yard
and I’ll spend me days in talking
And I’ll hear them whisper
“Charlie’s on the dole”
But Molly we’re still living
and darling we’re still young
And that river never owned
me heart and soul
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Le barchette sono sparite
dal petto di Anna Liffy, il traghettatore è arenato sulla banchina
i moli di Dublino stanno morendo
ed è finita un’abitudine, che, Molly, faceva parte della nostra vita
Coro
Dove gli Strawberry beds
scendono verso il Liffy, 
mi baciavi via le preoccupazioni della fronte
ti amo tanto oggi
e ti amerò di più domani

se mi ami Molly amami ancora oggi
II
Era l’unico lavoro che conoscessi;
era dura ma non ero mai solo
il Liffy ferry ha fatto di me un uomo
ed è scomparso senza un sospiro
già adesso dimenticato,
è proprio finita Molly,
non vedi?
III
Bene ora tenterò la sorte
e passerò i giorni in colloqui
e li sentirò bisbigliare
“Charley vive col sussidio”
ma Molly siamo ancora vivi
e cara siamo ancora giovani
e quel fiume non si è mai preso
il mio cuore e la mia anima

NOTE
1) Anna Liffy è la personificazione del fiume Liffey
2) gli Strawberry Beds sono un’area lungo il Liffey vicino a Chapelizod rimasta relativamente naturale, il posto preferito di Joyce lungo il bordo occidentale del Phoenix Parks. Un tempo i Dublinesi si recavano per i loro pic-nic e per trascorrere la luna di miele.

FONTI
https://www.dublinscultureconnects.ie/docks-ill-seen/
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4863
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/the-ferryman
http://www.dublincity.ie/image/libraries/dcr033-liffey-ferry
http://homepage.eircom.net/~browne/straw.html
https://afloat.ie/item/1895-afloatie-last-ferry-from-dublins-docklands