Carrickfergus or Do Bhí Bean Uasal

Leggi in italiano

“Carrickfergus” comes from a Gaelic song titled Do Bhí Bean Uasal (see) or “There Was a Noblewoman” and is also known by the name of “The Sick Young Lover”, which appeared in a broadside distributed in Cork and dated 1840 and also in the collection of George Petrie “Ancient Music of Ireland” 1855 with the name of “The Young Lady”. Text and melody passed through the oral tradition have spread and changed, without leaving a consistent trace in the collections printed in the nineteenth century. This song has been attributed to the irish bard Cathal “Buí”

IRISH BREIFNE
cathal buiCathal “Buí” Mac Giolla Ghunna (c1680-c1756) a rake-poet from Co. Cavan.
Curious character nicknamed “Buil” the yellow, a bard vagabond storyteller and composer of poems, which have spread throughout Ireland and are still sung today.
The scholar Breandán Ó Buachalla has published his collection in the book “Cathal Bui: Amhráin” in 1975. In Blacklion County of Cavan there is also a small stele in his memory and it is celebrated the Cathal Bui Festival (month of June).
A incomplete priest able with words and with women, he also had a lot of “irish humor” and was obviously a heavy drinker, he went around Breifne, the Irish name of the area including Cavan, Leitrim, and south of Fermanagh ( one of the many traveler with his caravan or even less).

PETER O’TOOLE

But it is the version known by Peter O’Toole that was the origin of the version of Dominic Behan recorded in the mid-1960s under the title “The Kerry Boatman“, and also the version recorded by Sean o’Shea always in the same years with the title “Do Bhí Bean Uasal”. Also the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem made their own version with the title “Carrickfergus” in the 1964 “The First Hurray” LP.

Chieftains from “The Chieftains Live” 1977

DO BHÍ BEAN UASAL

This version has been attributed musically to Seán Ó Riada (John Reidy 1931-1971) it is not clear if it is only an arrangement or a real writing of the melody. Certainly the text is taken from the poetry of Cathal “Buí” Mac Giolla Ghunna.

Sean o’Shea in “Ò Riada Sa Gaiety” live in Dublino with the Ceoltóirí Chualann, 1969.

English translation
I
A lady was betrothed to me for a while
And she refused me, oh my hundred woes
I went to towns with her
And she made a cuckold (or a fool ) of  me before the world,
If I had got that head of hers into the church
And if I were again  n command of myself,
But now I’ weak and sore,  and there’s no getting of a  cure for me,
And my people will be weeping after me
II
I wish I had you in   Carrickfergus
not far from that place ‘Quiet Town”
Sailing over the deep blue waters
my bright love from a northern sky
For the seas are deep, love, and I can’t swim over
And neither have I wings to fly,
I wish I met with a handy boatman,
Who would ferry over my love and I
III
The cold and the heat are going together [in me]
and I can’t quench my thirst
And if I took my oath from November to February
I wouldn’t be ready until Michaelmas
I’m seldom drunk though I’m never sober!
A handsome rover from town to town.
But now I am dead and my days are over
Come Molly, my little darling, now   lay me down!

I

Do bhí bean uasal seal dá lua liom,
‘s do chuir sí suas díomsa faraoir géar;
Do ghabhas lastuas di sna bailte móra
Ach d’fhag sí ann é os comhair an tsaoil.
Dá bhfaighinnse a ceannsa faoi áirsí an teampaill,
Do bheinnse gan amhras im ‘ábhar féin;
Ach anois táim tinn lag is gan fáil ar leigheas agam.
Is beidh mo mhuintir ag gol im’ dhéidh.
II
I wish I had you in Carrickfergus
Ní fada ón áit sin go Baile Uí Chuain(1)/Sailing over the deep blue waters/ I ndiaidh mo ghrá geal is í ag ealó uaim./For the seas are deep, love, and I can’t swim over
And neither have I wings to fly,
I wish I met with a handy boatman,
Who would ferry over my love and I.
III
Tá an fuacht ag teacht is an teas ag tréigint
An tart ní féidir liom féin é do chlaoi,
Is go bhfuil an leabhar orm ó Shamhain go Fébur
Is ní bheidh sí reidh liom go Féil’ Mhichíl;/I’m seldom drunk though I’m never sober!
A handsome rover from town to town.
But now I am dead and my days are over
Come Molly, a stóirín, now lay me down!

NOTE
1) “baile cuain”= “quiet town” or Harbour Town

THE VERSION OF THE YEARS 60 AND MEANING

And we come to what remains of this song in our day, that is the version of Carrickfergus spread by the major interpreters of Celtic music.
The sweet melancholy of the melody and its uncertain textual interpretation have made the song very popular, some capture the romantic side and also play it at weddings, others at the funeral (for example that of John F. Kennedy Jr -1999).
Certainly it has something magical, sad and nostalgic, the man drowns in alcohol the pain of separation from his beloved (or more likely he drinks because he has a particular predilection for alcohol): a vast ocean divides them (or a stretch of sea) and he would like to be in Ireland, in Carrickfergus: he would like to have wings or to swim across the sea or more realistically find a boatman to take him to her, and finally he can die in her arms ( or at her tombstone) now that he is old and tired.

In my opinion, the general meaning of the text remains clear enough, but if you go into detail then many doubts arise, which I tried to summarize in the notes.

Loreena McKennitt & Cedric Smith  from Elemental, 1985


I
I wish I was
in Carrighfergus (1)
Only for nights
in Ballygrant (2)
I would swim over
the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrant.
But the sea is wide,
and I can’t swim over
Neither have I wings to fly
If I could find me a handsome boatman
To ferry me over
to my love and die(3)

II
Now in Kilkenny (4), it is reported
They’ve marble stones there as black as ink,
With gold and silver
I would  transport her (5)
But I’ll sing no more now,
till I get a drink
I’m drunk today,
but I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover
from town to town
Ah, but I am sick now,
my days are over
Come all you young lads
and lay me down.(6)

NOTES
1) Carrickfergus (from the Gaelic Carraig Fhearghais, ‘Rocca di Fergus’) is a coastal town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, one of the oldest settlements in Northern Ireland. Here the protagonist says he wants to be at Carrickfergus (but evidently he is somewhere else) while in other versionssays “I wish I had you in Carrickfergus”: the meaning of the song changes completely.
Some want to set the story in the South of Ireland and they see the name of Fergus,as the river that runs through Ennis County of Clare.
2) Ballygran – Ballygrant – Ballygrand. There are three interpretations: the first that Ballygrant is in Scotland on the Hebrides (Islay island), the second that is the village of Ballygrot (from the Gaelic Baile gCrot means “settlement of hills”), near Helen’s Bay that it is practically in front of Carrickfergus over the stretch of sea that creeps over the north-east coast of Ireland (the Belfast Lough). It seems that the locals call it “Ballygrat” or Ballygrant “and that it is an ancient settlement and that at one time there were some races with the Carrickfergus boats at Ballygrat.The third is a corrupt translation from the Gaelic” baile cuain “of the eighteenth-century version and therefore both a generic quiet location, a small village.
But between the two sentences there is already an incongruity or better there is need of an interpretation, ascertained that Ballygrant is not a particular place of Carrickfergus for which the protagonist feels nostalgia for some specific connection with his love story passed in youth, then it is the place where it is at the moment. So the protagonist could be an Irishman who found himself in the Hebrides, but who would like to return to Carrickfergus from his old love or he is a Scot (who was a young soldier in Ireland) and remembers with regret the Irish woman loved in youth.
The protagonist could be in Helen’s Bay on the opposite side of the inlet that separates it from Carrickfergus: if he were healthy and young nothing would prevent him to go to Carrickfergus even on foot, but he is tired and he is dying and so in his fantasy or delirium he is looking at the sea in the direction of Carrickfergus deaming of flying towards his love of the past or he wants to be ferried by a boatman to be able to die next to her.
3) “and die” tells us that the protagonist who is in Ballygrant (wherever he is) would like to go to Carrickfergus to die in the arms of his love of youth.
In other versions the phrase is written as “To ferry me over my love and I” the protagonist would like to be transported by the boatman, together with his woman, to Carrickfergus. So nostalgia is about the place where the protagonist is supposed to have spent his youth and would like to see again before he died.
4) and 5)
Now on the Kilkenny stone it is written,
on black marble like ink,
with gold and silver I would like to comfort her
Replacing the verb “to transport” used by Loreena with “to support” more used in other versions. That is: on the black stone of Kilkenny (in the sense that it is usually a type of stone such as Carrara marble,  the black stone extracted from Kilkenny but also used in Ballygrant, wherever it is) that will be my tombstone where I have recorded my epitaph, I also wrote a sentence of comfort for my love
4) Kilkenny = Kilmeny some see a typo and note that Kilmeny is the parish church of Ballygrant (Islay Island) formerly a medieval church, also here there is a stone quarry, which was the main industry of Ballygrant in the eighteenth century and XIX. Now I ask myself: but with all these references to the Islay Island, (where at least there should be the tomb of the protagonist) how is it that the song is not known in the local tradition of the Hebrides and instead is it in Belfast?
6) the protagonist urges his friends to bury him

Nella versione live aggiunge anche la strofa intermedia che è stata scritta da Dominic Behan per la sua versione registrata a metà degli anni 1960 con il titolo di “The Kerry Boatman”.

Jim McCann in Dubliners Now 1975 (I and III)

Jim McCann live (with the second stanza written by Dominic Behan for his version recorded in the mid-1960s under the title “The Kerry Boatman”.

JIM MCCANN
I
I wish I was
in Carrickfergus (1)
Only for nights
in Ballygrand(2)
I would swim
over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand.
But the sea is wide
and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatman
To ferry me over my love and I(3)
II
My childhood days
bring back sad reflections
Of happy time there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends
and my own relations
Have all passed on now
like the melting snow
And I’ll spend my days
in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and my bed is free
How to be back now
in Carrickfergus
On the long road down to the sea
 

III
And in Kilkenny
it is reported
On marble stone
there as black as ink
With gold and silver
I would support her (5)
But I’ll sing no more now
till I get a drink
‘cause I’m drunk today
and I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover
from town to town
Ah but I am sick now
my days are numbered
Come all me young men
and lay me down

LINK
http://www.eofeasa.ie/cathalbui/public_html/danta_CB/who_was_CB.html
http://lookingatdata.com/m/204-mac-giolla-ghunna-cathal-bui.html
http://www.munster-express.ie/opinion/views-from-the-brasscock/the-yellow-bitternan-bonnan-bui/

http://jungle-bar.blogspot.it/2009/03/carrickfergus-ballad-of-peter-otoole.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16707
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=90070

She Moved through the Fair like the swan in the evening moves over the lake

Leggi in italiano

The original text of “She Moved trough the Fair” dates back to an ancient Irish ballad from Donegal, while the melody could be from the Middle Ages (for the musical scale used that recalls the Arab one). The standard version comes from the pen of Padraic Colum (1881-1972) which rewrote it in 1909. There are many versions of the text (additional verses, rewriting of the verses), also in Gaelic, reflecting the great popularity of the song, the song was published in the Herbert Hughes collection “Irish Country Songs” (1909), and in the collection of Sam Henry “Songs of the People” (1979).
In its essence, the story tells of a girl promised in marriage who appears in a dream to her lover. But the verses are cryptic, perhaps because they lack those that would have clarified its meaning; this is what happens to the oral tradition (who sings does not remember the verses or changes them at will) and the ballad lends itself to at least two possible interpretations.

In the first few strophes, the woman, full of hope, reassures her lover that her family, although he is not rich, will approve his marriage proposal, and they will soon be married; they met on the market day, and he looks at her as she walks away and, in a twilight image, compares her to a swan that moves on the placid waters of a lake.

cigno in volo

The third stanza is often omitted, and it is not easy to interpret: the unexpressed pain could be the girl’s illness (which will cause her death) – probably the consumption- for this reason people were convinced that their marriage would not be celebrated.
And we arrive at the last stanza, the rarefied and dreamy one in which the ghost of her appears at night: an evanescent figure that moves slowly to call him soon to death .

The other interpretation of the text (shared by most) supposes she escaped with another one (or more likely her family has combined a more advantageous marriage, not being the suitor loved by her quite rich). But the love he feels for her is so great and even if he continues his life by marrying another, he will continue to miss her.
The verses related to an unexpressed pain are therefore interpreted as the lack of confidence in the new wife because he will be still, and forever, in love with his first girlfriend.
The final stanza becomes the epilogue of his life, when he is old and dying, he sees his first love appear beside to console him.

As we can see both the reconstructions are adaptable to the verses, admirable and fascinating of the song, precisely because of their meager essentiality (an ante-litteram hermeticism): no self-pity, no sorrow shown, but the simplicity of a great love, that few memories passed together can be enough to fill a life.

A single, strong, elegiac image of a candid swan in the twilight, anticipation of her fleeting passage on earth. The song is a lament and there are many musicians who have interpreted it, recreating the rarefied atmosphere of the words, often with the delicate sound of the harp.

Loreena McKennitt  from Elemental  ( I, II, III, IV)
Nights from the Alhambra 2007

Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra from Against the wind

Cara Dillon live

Sinead O’Connor  (Sinead has recorded many versions of this song )


I
My (young) love said to me,
“My mother(1) won’t mind
And my father won’t slight you
for your lack of kind(2)”
she stepped away from me (3)
and this she did say:
“It will not be long, love,
till our wedding day”
II
She stepped away from me (4)
and she moved through the fair (5)
And fondly I watched her
move here and move there
And then she turned homeward (6)
with one star awake(7)
like the swan (8) in the evening(9)
moves over the lake
III
The people were saying
“No two e’er were wed”
for one has the sorrow
that never was said(10)
And she smiled as she passed me
with her goods and her gear
And that was the last
that I saw of my dear.
IV (11)
Last night she came to me,
my dead(12) love came
so softly she came
that her feet made no din
and she laid her hand on me (13)
and this she did say
“It will not be long, love,
‘til our wedding day”
NOTES
1) Padraic Colum wrote
“My brothers won’t mind,
And my parents.. ”
2) kind – kine: “wealth” or “property”. Others interpret the word as “relatives” so the protagonist is an orphan or by obscure origins
3) or she laid a hand on me (cwhich is a more intimate and direct gesture to greet with one last contact)
4) or She went away from me
5) the days of the fair were the time of love when the young men had the opportunity to meet with the girls of marriageable age
6) Loreena McKennitt sings
And she went her way homeward
7) the evening star that appears before all the others is the planet Venus
8) The swan is one of the most represented animals in the Celtic culture, portrayed on different objects and protagonist of numerous mythological tales. see more
9) in the evening it refers to the moment when they separate
10) the sorrow that never was said: obscure meaning
11) Loreena McKennitt sings
I dreamed it last night
That my true love came in
So softly she entered
Her feet made no din
She came close beside me
12) some interpreters omit the word “death” by proposing for the dream version, or they say “my dear love” or “my own love” but also “my young love
13) or “She put her arms round me

Chieftains&Van Morrison

Chieftains&Sinead O’Connor
Fairport Convention

Alan Stivell from “Chemíns De Terre” 1973
Andreas Scholl

A version entitled “The Wedding Song” has been handed down, which develops the theme of abandonment, and which is to be considered a variant even if with a different title
second part

LINK
http://thesession.org/tunes/4735
http://knifeandforkfactory.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/she-moves-through-the-fair-meaning-and-interpretation-part-1/
http://knifeandforkfactory.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/she-moves-through-the-fair-modern-lyrics-and-variations/
http://mainlynorfolk.info/anne.briggs/songs/shemovesthroughthefair.html

Oh, are ye sleepin’ Maggie?

Leggi in italiano

From the tradition of “night visiting songs” the text is attributed to the Scottish poet Robert Tannahill and in fact various findings place the story in the woods of Paisley. ( in ‘The Poems and Songs of Robert Tannahill’ – 1874  assigned as a “Sleeping Maggie” melody.)
The heroine of this song was Margaret Pollock, a cousin of the Author by the mother’s side. She was the eldest daughter of Matthew Pollock (3rd) of Boghall, by his second marriage (mentioned in the Memoir of the Tannahills); and it is very probable the Poet beheld such an evening as he had described, in walking from Paisley over the high road to his uncle’s farm steading in Beith Parish. Margaret Pollock afterwards lived in family with William Lochhead, Ryveraes, and she and Mrs. Lochhead frequently sang that song together. Miss Pollock died unmarried (from here)

NIGHT VISITING IN DARK STYLE

The scene described is not really autobiographical (pheraps more in keeping with Robert Burns‘s temperament): the protagonist arrives at Maggy’s house in a dark and stormy night (the picture is rather gothic: an icy winter wind raging in the woods , a night of new moon without stars, the disturbing moaning of the owl, the iron gate that slams against the hinges) and he hopes that in the meantime the lover has not fallen asleep, letting come him in secret! And then no more worries or fears in the arms of Maggy every gloomy thought is dissolved!

http://www.jinua.com/movie/Sleepy-Hollow/
http://www.jinua.com/movie/Sleepy-Hollow/

I must mention the version collected by Hamish Henderson from the voice of Jeannie Robertson (see fragment of 1960) which shows a different melody from that later made famous by Tannahill Weavers.

The song was made known to the general public by the Tannahill Weavers, the good “weavers” of Robert Tannahill, also by Paisley,
At the moment you can find several live versions on you tube, but the best performances of the group are two: one in Mermaid’s Song 1992 (listen from Spotify) a faster version integrated with the reel “The Noose In The Ghillies” (with Roy Gullane , Phil Smillie, Iain MacInnes, Kenny Forsyth) and the first in Are Ye Sleeping Maggie 1976 with Roy Gullane, Phil Smillie, Hudson Swan, and Dougie MacLean (fiddle). In this first version the melody is slower and full of atmosphere (with hunder, wind and the rain effect)

Tannahill Weavers from Are Ye Sleeping Maggie 1976

Dougie Maclean (who collaborated with Tannahill Weavers from 1974 and until 1977 and then toured with them in 1980) in Real Estate -1988 and also in Tribute 1995


I
Mirk and rainy is the nicht,
there’s no’ a starn in a’ the carry(1)
Lichtnin’s gleam athwart the lift,
and (cauld) winds dive wi’ winter’s fury.
CHORUS
Oh, are ye sleepin’ Maggie
Oh, are ye sleepin’ Maggie
let me in, for loud the linn
is roarin'(2) o’er the Warlock Craigie(3).
II
Fearfu’ soughs the boortree(4) bank
The rifted wood roars wild an’ dreary.
Loud the iron yett(5) does clank,
An’ cry o’ howlets mak’s me eerie.
III
Aboon my breath I daurna’ speak
For fear I rouse your waukrif’ daddie;
Cauld’s the blast upon my cheek,
O rise, rise my bonnie ladie.
IV
She op’d the door, she let him in
I cuist aside my dreepin’ plaidie(6).
‘Blaw your warst, ye rain and win’
Since, Maggie, now I’m in aside ye.
V
Now, since ye’re waukin’, Maggie,
Now, since ye’re waukin’, Maggie,
What care I for howlet’s cry,
For boortree bank or warlock craigie?
English translation
I
Dark and rainy is the night
there’s no star in all the carry
lightning flashes gleam across the sky
and cold winds drive with winters fury.
CHORUS
Oh, are you sleeping Maggie
Oh, are you sleeping Maggie
let me in, for the loud the waterfall
is roaring over the warlock crag.
II
Fearful sighs on the elder tree bank
The rifted wood roars wild and dreary
Loud the iron gate does clank,
And cry of owls makes me fearful.
III
Above my breath I dare not speak
For fear I rouse your wakeful father
Cold is the blast upon my cheek
O rise, rise my pretty lady.
IV
She opened the door, she let him in
I cast aside my dripping cloak
“Blow your worst, you rain and wind
Since, Maggie, now I’m beside you.”
V
Now, since you’re woken, Maggie
Now, since you’re woken, Maggie
What care I for owl’s cry,
For elder tree bank or warlock crag?

NOTES
1) carry is for sky, “the direction in which clouds are carried by the wind”
2) howling
3) warlock crag is the name of a waterfall at Lochwinnoch that forms a large pool or a small pond
4) elder tree in which the fairies prefer to dwell
5) yett is gett according to the ancient custom of writing the two vowels interchangeably
6) plaidie  see more

Great horned owl and chicks. Image size 5.6 by 7.9 inches @ 300 dpi. Photo credit: © Scott Copeland

SLEEPY & DROWSY MAGGY REELS

“Sleepy Maggie” is a reel in two-part and is often paired with the “Drowsy Maggie” reel, sometimes the two melodies are, mistakenly, confused. In the version of Francis O’Neill and James O’Neill (in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland) it is in 3 parts.

Sleepy Maggie as reported by Fidder’s Companion is a traditional Scottish melody whose oldest transcribed source is in Duke of Perth Manuscript or Drummond Castle Manuscript (1734)

Sleepy Maggie is also known in Ireland under different names “Lough Isle Castle,” “Seán sa Cheo” or “Tullaghan Lassies” and is the model for “Jenny’s Chickens”.

Samuel Melton Fisher, Asleep, (1902)
Samuel Melton Fisher, Asleep, (1902)

“Drowsy Maggie” is instead a traditional Irish tune in 2, 3 or 4 parts, but much more popular at least at the recording level (it will be for its appearance in the movie “Titanic”!)

Gaelic Storm  (Titanic Set) – of course there is also the Scottish version: usually slow part and then it gets faster and faster so the title between in deception because there is nothing “sleepy” in the melody that comes to a final paroxysm .

SLEEPY MAGGIE

Sleepy Maggie Alasdair Fraser on fiddle
Sleepy Maggie
Gabriele Possenti  on a Mcilroy AS 65c (C)
Tullaghan Lassies Fidil Irish Fiddle trio
Jenny’s Chickens Shanon Corr on fiddle

DROWSY MAGGIE
John Simie Doherty Donegal fiddle master
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann live

The Chieftains  

Driftwood (Joe Nunn on fiddle)
Jake Wise live

Rock versions
Dancing Willow an Irish folk band from Münster (Germany)
DNA Strings from Cape Town ( South Africa)
Lack of limits faster more and more

LINKS
http://archive.org/details/poemssongsofrobe00tannrich
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/64522/1;
jsessionid=B312B09442ED31BB18C4FDA5E2E2BB59

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=59687
http://members.aol.com/tannahillweavers/
http://www.lochwinnoch.info/tales/warlock-craigie.php
http://thesession.org/tunes/787
http://thesession.org/tunes/27
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/SLA_SLE.htm#SLEEPY_MAGGY/MAGGIE

Puck Fair: a rebellious billy-goat

Leggi in italiano

In the Irish village of Killorglin, County Kerry (South-West Ireland), the most curious feast is celebrate in August: a wild goat is brought to the village and crowned king for three days and three nights (10, 11 and 12 August) . Put unfortunately in a cage, he is hoisted on a high scaffolding that dominates the houses of the village, to look curiously the activities to which his subjects are dedicated: up there, although imprisoned, the beak is abundantly fed of food and water, and at the end of the fair he is returned to his mountain!

VIDEO

VIDEO

KILLORGLIN FAIR

The fair is full of events: horse fair, livestock, craft stalls, street performers, music, parades with the band, dance and fireworks. As is the case with these traditional festivals, the origins are remote and lost in the Middle Ages, so legends are never lacking: the origins are presumably related to the Celtic religion when to celebrate a good harvest they interceded with the god Lughsee more); the legend tells of two rival clans, and of a mountain beak that has had the promptness to warn the village from the armed attack; so the warriors of the village in turn armed themselves and prepared their defense, succeeding in defeating the enemy clan. The beak instead of roasting was crowned King Puck and taken to parade. Other stories bring the legend back to the times of Oliver Cromwell and the “invaders” become the English who went to Ireland to subdue the Irish to the Crown. The soldiers bothered a group of goats, but the head of the pack the “puck” instead of fleeing to the hills, rushed to the town of Killorglin to “warn” the inhabitants.

Other legends indicate the origin of King Puck at the beginning of the nineteenth century: the fair was already flourishing and, as usual, the sellers paid heavy tax to local lord; when the British government made illegal to impose tolls at livestock, horse and sheep fairs, attorney Daniel O’Connell suggested to devote the fair exclusively to goats, as they were not mentioned in the document (August 10, 1808 ); and to show of good faith, a goat was hoisted on a stage at the top of the fair banner.

Historically the fair has obtained legal status from King James I of England and Ireland (and James VI of Scotland) in 1603.

re capro
“Kings may come and Kings may go. But King Puck goes on forever.” The sculpture was inaugurated on August 5, 2001

THE GOATS IN MYTHOLOGY

Heidrun

The goat is not an unusual animal in the Celtic tradition and generally represents fertility. The Amaltea goat fed baby Zeus and the Norse goat Heidrun dispenses mead from its udders to the Valalla warriors.
Fauns and satyrs in Greek and Latin mythology personify sexual desire and libido, the horned god with deer antlers or goat-ram horns became the syncretic god of pre-Christian religions and lent his image to the Devil.

Thus in mythology and religions, the female of goat was represented with a positive image, symbol of nourishment, fertility and abundance, while the male of goat had negative connotations.

In Irish folklore, the bocánach (a goblin-goat) infests the battlefields while in the Scottish Highlands the Glaistig (half woman and half goat) is a of the guardian waters of the cattle. With long, beautiful blonde hair, she hides her animal bottom under a long green dress and attracts men with a song or dance to drink their blood, but in many parts of Scotland, glaistig are considered protectors of livestock and of shepherds, as well as of children left alone by their mothers watching over grazing animals. (see more)

gruagach

An Poc ar Buile – The Mad Billy Goat

The song was composed by Dónal Ó Mulláin (1880-1965) in 1940, and made famous in the 60s by Seán Ó Sé: singer-farmer of Scrahans, violin and organ player, as well as a gifted dancer, he composed poems and songs in gaelic that were prized and immediately become popular.
Ar buile = bulling means “being angry” that the term in Irish Gaelic translates as “madness, frenzy”.
The beak thus becomes the symbol of the combative and indomitable Irish spirit!

The Chieftains from Water from the Well 2000

Liam Devally 1966 (what a voice!)

Gaelic Storm from Tree 2001

English translation
I
As I set out with me pike in hand To Dromore(1) town to join a meithil (2) Who should I meet but a tan puck goat(3)
And he’s roaring mad in ferocious mettle.
Chorus
Aill-il-lu puill-il-iu – Aill-il-lu it’s the mad puck goat.
II
He chased me over bush and weed And thru the bog the running proceeded,
‘Til he caught his horns in a clump of gorse
And on his back I jumped unheeded.
III
He did not leave a rock that had a passage through
Which he did not run with force to destroy me
And then he gave the greatest leap
To the big slope of Faille Bríce…
IV
When the sergeant stood in Rochestown(4)
With a force of guards to apprehend us
The goat he tore his trousers down And made rags of his breeches and new suspenders
V
In Dingle(5) Town the next afternoon The parish priest addressed the meeting
And swore it was The Devil himself He’d seen ridin’ on the poc ar buile
Irish gaelic
I
Ag gabháil dom sior chun Droichead Uí Mhóradha
Píce im dhóid ‘s mé ag dul i meithil
Cé casfaí orm i gcuma ceoidh
Ach pocán crón is é ar buile…
[curfá] Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!
Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!
II
Do ritheamar trasna trí ruillógach,
Is do ghluais an comhrac ar fud na muinge,
Is treascairt do bhfuair sé sna turtóga
Chuas ina ainneoin ina dhrom le fuinneamh…
III
Níor fhág sé carraig go raibh scót ann
Ná gur rith le fórsa chun mé a mhilleadh,
S’Ansan sea do cháith sé an léim ba mhó.
Le fána mhór na Faille Bríce…
IV
Bhí garda mór i mBaile an Róistigh
Is bhailigh fórsa chun sinn a chlipeadh
Do bhuail sé rop dá adhairc sa tóin ann
S’dá bhríste nua do dhein sé giobail…
V
In Daingean Uí Chúis le haghaidh an tráthnóna
Bhí an sagart paróiste amach ‘nár gcoinnibh
Is é dúirt gurbh é an diabhal ba Dhóigh leis
A ghaibh an treo ar phocán buile…

NOTES
1) Dromore (County of Tyrone, Northern Ireland) in 1798 was a notorious den of rebels so whoever braced the pike did it to fight against the British
2) Meithil (pronuncia MEH-hill) = work gang is a group of farmers who go to help for an “extraordinary” job in the nearby farm. In America, tradition is still rooted and is called “barn raising”
3) a crazy goat !! that is the billy goat (also called beak).
4) Cork County of Munster
5) Dingle (County of Kerry) and its territory were the scene of the “Second Desmond Rebellion” (1579-80)

LINK
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMANF6_King_Puck_Killorglin_County_Kerry_Ireland
http://www.irishpage.com/songs/pocbuile.htm
http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Irish/AnPocArBuile.html
http://celtana.ie/tag/daniel-oconnell/http://puckfair.ie/historyorigins
http://amayodruid.blogspot.it/2011_06_01_archive.html
http://stancarey.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/bulling-ar-buile-in-irish-english/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=43534 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=27881

Amhrán Na Bealtaine

Leggi in italiano

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/

Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

Leggi in italiano

“Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore ” is a traditional Irish song originally from Donegal, of which several textual versions have been written for a single melody.

TUNE: Erin Shore

A typically Irish tune spread among travellers already at the end of 1700, today it is known with different titles: Shamrock shore, Erin Shore (LISTEN instrumental version of the Irish group The Corrs from Forgiven, Not Forgotten 1995), Lough Erin Shore (LISTEN to the version always instrumental of the Corrs from Unpluggesd 1999), Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair, Gleanntan Glas Gaoith Dobhair or The Green Glens Of Gweedor (with text written by Francie Mooney)

Standard version: Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

The common Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore was first sung on an EFDSS LP(1969) by Packie Manus Byrne, now over 80 and living in Ardara Co Donegal*. He was born at Corkermore between there and Killybegs. It was taken up by Paul Brady and subsequently. However, there are longer and more local (to north Derry, Donegal) versions in Sam Henry’s Songs of the People and in Jimmy McBride’s The Flower of Dunaff Hill.” (in Mudcats ) and Sam Henry writes “Another version has been received from the Articlave district, where the song was first sung in 1827 by an Inishowen ploughman.”
The recording made by Sean Davies at Cecil Sharp House dates back to 1969 and again in the sound archives of the ITMA we find the recording sung by Corney McDaid at McFeeley’s Bar, Clonmany, Co. Donegal in 1987 (see) and also Paul Brady recorded it many times.
Kevin Conneff recorded it with the Chieftains in 1992, “Another Country” (I, II, IV, V, II)

Amelia Hogan from “Transplants: From the Old World to the New.”

Liam Ó Maonlai & Donal Lunny ( I, IV, V, II)

Dolores Keane & Paul Brady live 1988 (I, II, IV, V)

intro*
Come Irishmen all, who hear my song, your fate is a mournful tale
When your rents are behind and you’re being taxed blind and your crops have grown sickly and failed
You’ll abandon your lands,
and you’ll wash your hands of all that has come before and you’ll take to the sea to a new count-a-ree, far from the green Shamrock shore.
I
From Derry quay we sailed away
On the twenty-third of May
We were boarded by a pleasant crew
Bound for Amerikay
Fresh water then we did take on
Five thousand gallons or more
In case we’d run short going to New York
Far away from the shamrock shore
II (Chorus)
Then fare thee well, sweet Liza dear
And likewise to Derry town
And twice farewell to my comrades bold (boys)
That dwell on that sainted ground
If fame or fortune shall favour me
And I to have money in store
I’ll come back and I’ll wed the wee lassie I left
On Paddy’s green shamrock shore
III
At twelve o’clock we came in sight
Of famous Mullin Head
And Innistrochlin to the right stood out On the ocean’s bed
A grander sight ne’er met my eyes
Than e’er I saw before
Than the sun going down ‘twixt sea and sky
Far away from the shamrock shore
IV
We sailed three days (weeks), we were all seasick
Not a man on board was free
We were all confined unto our bunks
And no-one to pity poor me
No mother dear nor father kind
To lift (hold) up my head, which was sore
Which made me think more on the lassie I left
On Paddy’s green shamrock shore
V
Well we safely reached the other side
in three (fifteen) and twenty days
We were taken as passengers by a man(1)
and led round in six different ways,
We each of us drank a parting glass
in case we might never meet more,
And we drank a health to Old Ireland
and Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

NOTES
*additional first verse by Garrison White
1) It refers to the reception of immigrants who were inspected and held for bureaucratic formalities, but the sentence is not very clear. Ellis Island was used as an entry point for immigrants only in 1892. Prior to that, for approximately 35 years, New York State had 8 million immigrants transit through the Castle Garden Immigration Depot in Lower Manhattan.

OTHER VERSIONS

This text was written by Patrick Brian Warfield, singer and multi-instrumentalist of the Irish group The Wolfe Tones. In his version the point of landing is not New York but Baltimore.
Young Dubliners

The Wolfe Tones from Across the Broad Atlantic 2005 

Lyrics: Patrick Brian Warfield 
I
Oh, fare thee well to Ireland
My own dear native land
It’s breaking my heart to see friends part
For it’s then that the tears do fall
I’m on my way to Americae
Will I e’er see home once more
For now I leave my own true love
And Paddy’s green shamrock shore
II
Our ship she lies at anchor
She’s standing by the quay
May fortune bright shine down each night
As we sail across the sea
Many ships have been lost, many lives it cost
On this journey that lies before
With a tear in my eye I’ll say goodbye
To Paddy’s green shamrock shore
III
So fare thee well my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day
And a place in my mind you surely will find
Although we’ll be far, far away
Though I’ll be alone far away from home
I’ll think of the good times once more
Until the day I can make my way
Back home to the shamrock shore
IV
And now our ship is on the way
May heaven protect us all
With the winds and the sail we surely can’t fail
On this voyage to Baltimore
But my parents and friends did wave to the end
‘Til I could see them no more
I then took a chance with one last glance
At Paddy’s green shamrock shore

This version takes up the 3rd stanza of the previous version as a chorus
The High Kings

I
So fare thee well, my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day
Farewell to old Ireland
Good-bye to you, Bannastrant(1)
No time to look back
Facing the wind, fighting the waves
May heaven protect us all
From cold, hunger and angry squalls
Pray I won’t be lost
Wind in the sails, carry me safe
Chorus:
So fare thee well, my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day
A place in my mind you will surely find
Although I am so far away
And when I’m alone far away from home
I’ll think of the good times once more
Until I can make it back someday here
To Paddy’s green shamrock shore.
II
Out now on the ocean deep
Ship’s noise makes it hard to sleep
Tears fill up my eyes
The image of you won’t go away
(Chorus)
III
New York is in sight at last
My heart, it is pounding fast
Trying to be brave
Wishing you near
By my side, a stór (2)
(Chorus)
Until I can make it back someday here
To Paddy’s green shamrock shore

NOTES
1) Banna Strand , Banna Beach, is situated in Tralee Bay County Kerry
2) my love

Shamrock shore

LINK
http://www.ceolas.org/cgi-bin/ht2/ht2-fc2/file=/tunes/fc2/fc.html&style=&refer=&abstract=&ftpstyle=&grab=&linemode=&max=250?isindex=green+shamrock+shore
http://www.kinglaoghaire.com/lyrics/191-paddy-s-green-shamrock-shore http://www.kinglaoghaire.com/lyrics/192-paddys-green-shamrock-shore-1 http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/soundtracks/paddys.htm

https://thesession.org/tunes/5936 https://thesession.org/discussions/2129 https://thesession.org/tunes/7048 https://thesession.org/recordings/218

Love is pleasing

“Love is pleasing” ma anche “Love is teasing” è una canzone tradizionale diffusa nelle isole britanniche e nel nord-america che era di moda nei folk club degli anni 60-70. Gli studiosi ritengono che i versi siano parte di una serie di “frasi fatte” provenienti dal grande calderone delle ballate tradizionali, così svincolati da una narrazione esprimono comunque un sentimento, quello dell’amore tradito (o dell’amore incostante).
The words of “Love is Teasing” resemble those found in three similar songs, “O Waly, Waly,” “The Water is Wide,” and “Down in the Meadows” and all of these can be traced back to the ballad “Jamie Douglas” (Child 204). In “Jamie Douglas,” a bride has been falsely accused of infidelity and is sent back to her father with an aching heart. All of the shorter songs have whittled away the narrative over time leaving nothing but an emotional core. Various versions journeyed back and forth between Ireland, Britain, and North America, and singers often augment whatever verses they have learned with others from a common stock of associated “floating” verses. (tratto da qui)

VERSIONE AMERICANA

ASCOLTA Jean Ritchie imparò la canzone nel 1946 da Peggy Staunton,  irlandese emigrata a New York

ASCOLTA Rhiannon Giddens in Tomorrow Is My Turn, 2015 che così scrive nelle note “I first heard Peggy Seeger sing this and immediately fell in love with it – as I found earlier recordings I got caught by Jean Ritchie’s version, with her idiosyncratic and hypnotic dulcimer playing. This is the ancient warning from woman to woman about the perfidies of man.


I
Love is teasing, love is pleasing
And love’s a pleasure when first it is new
But as love grows older it still grows colder
And fades away like the morning dew
II
Come all you fair maids, now take a warning
Don’t ever heed what a young man say
He’s like a star on some foggy morning When you think he’s near he is far away
III
I left my father, I left my mother
I left my brothers and sisters too
I left my home and kind relations
I left them all just to follow you.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
L’amore è un tormento, l’amore è un piacere e l’amore è piacevole quando è appena nuovo,
ma man mano che cresce l’amore si raffredda
e svanisce come rugiada all’alba
II
Venite tutte qui ragazze, e prendete il mio avvertimento: non date mai retta a quello che un giovanotto dice,  lui è come la stella in un mattino nebbioso, quando lo credete vicino, si è allontanato
III
Lasciai mio padre, lasciai mia madre
lasciai le mie sorelle e anche i miei fratelli
lasciai tutti gli amici e la mia fede
li lasciai tutti per seguirti

VERSIONE EMIGRATION SONG

Pur nella standardizzazione del genere il canto si suddivide in due filoni, nel primo una donna (ma anche un uomo) con il cuore a pezzi, rimasta senza punto di riferimento, sceglie di emigrare per l’America.
ASCOLTA The Dubliners

ASCOLTA Marianne Faithfull & Chieftains live


I
I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I was a youth again
But a youth again I can never be
Till apples grow
on an ivy tree
II
I left me father, I left me mother
I left all my sisters
and brothers too
I left all my friends and me own religion
I left them all for to follow you
III
But the sweetest apple is the soonest rotten
And the hottest love is the soonest cold
And what can’t be cured love
has to be endured love (1)
And now I am bound for America
IV
Oh love is pleasin’ and love is teasin’
And love is a pleasure when first it’s new
But as it grows older sure the love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew
V
And love and porter makes a young man older
And love and whiskey makes him old and grey
And what can’t be cured love has to be endured love
And now I am bound for America
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Vorrei, vorrei, vorrei ma non posso
vorrei essere di nuovo giovane
ma non potrò mai essere di nuovo giovane finchè le mele cresceranno sull’edera
II
Lasciai mio padre, lasciai mia madre
lasciai le mie sorelle e anche i miei fratelli
lasciai tutti gli amici e la mia fede
li lasciai tutti per seguirti
III
Ma la mela più dolce è quella che per prima marcisce e l’amore più appassionato è il primo che si raffredda, e quello ciò che non può guarire dall’amore, deve essere rafforzato dall’amore e ora sono in partenza per l’America
IV
L’amore è un piacere e l’amore è un tormento e l’amore è piacevole quando è appena nuovo
ma man mano che cresce l’amore si raffredda
e svanisce come rugiada all’alba
V
Amore e birra fanno di un giovane un uomo
e amore e whiskey lo fanno invecchiare e incanutire
e quello ciò che non può guarire dall’amore, deve essere rafforzato dall’amore e ora sono in partena per l’America

NOTA
1) letteralmente: e quello che non può essere amore curato deve essere amore sopportato
VERSIONE DRINKING SONG
La seconda verisone è un lamento più tipicamente femminile.
ASCOLTA Karan Casey live


I
I never thought my love would leave me
Until that morning when he stepped in
Well, he sat down and I sat beside him
And then our troubles, they did begin
II
Oh love is teasing and love is pleasing
And love is a pleasure when first it’s new
But love grows older and love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew
III
There is an alehous in yon town
And it’s there my love goes and he sits down
He takes a strange girl (1) upon his knee
And he tells to her what he once told to me
IV
I wish my father had never whistled(2)
And I wish my mother had never sung
I wish the cradle had never rocked me
And I wish my life, it had not begun
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Non avrei mai creduto che il mio amore mi avrebbe lasciata
fino a quel mattino quando entrò
beh si sedette e io mi misi accanto a lui
e allora i nostri guai iniziarono.
II
L’amore è un piacere e l’amore è un tormento e l’amore è piacevole quando è appena nuovo,
ma man mano che cresce l’amore si raffredda
e svanisce come rugiada all’alba
III
C’è una birreria in quella città
ed è dove il mio amore va a sedersi,
si prende una puttana sulle ginocchia
e le dice ciò che un tempo diceva a me
IV
Vorrei che mio padre non avesse mai suonato il flauto
e che mia mamma non avesse mai cantato
vorrei che la culla non mi avesse mai cullato
e che la mia vita non fosse mai cominciata

NOTE
1) stange girl non è solo una ragazza strana ma un eufemismo per prostituta
2) i genitori hanno fatto sesso

FONTI
https://peggyseeger.bandcamp.com/track/love-is-teasing
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=9734
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/l/loveteas.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/loveisteasing.html
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/casey/love.htm

Dusty miller

Canzoncina passata per la penna di Robert Burns e rielaborata da un frammento di Herd (Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs 1776) “Dusty miller” è andata in stampa nello Scots Musical Museum nel 1788.
Il lavoro del mugnaio era importante nelle comunità di un tempo e anche nei piccoli centri era sempre presente un mulino. Carlo Ginzburg scrive  «La secolare ostilità tra contadini e mugnai aveva consolidato un’immagine del molinaro furbo, ladro, imbroglione, destinato alle pene infernali» (vedi)
Sebbene nelle canzoni popolari i mugnai siano per lo più personaggi avidi e disonesti, avari e donnaioli, su questa canzoncina non ci sono racconti anedottici; possiamo solo dire che è stata scritta dal punto di vista femminile, una donna chiaramente soddisfatta dalle prestazioni del mugnaio!
La melodia è riportata in numerose raccolte per violino del 1700, ma già aria popolare nel 1600  (vedi)

ASCOLTA Ewan MacColl

ASCOLTA Rod Paterson


I
Hey, the dusty Miller,
And his dusty coat,
He will spend (1) a shilling,
Or he win a groat(2):
Dusty was the coat,
Dusty was the colour,
Dusty was the kiss
That I gat frae the Miller.
II
Hey, the dusty Miller,
And his dusty sack;
Leeze me on the calling
Fills the dusty peck(3):
Fills the dusty peck,
Brings the dusty siller;
I wad gie my coatie
For the dusty Miller.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Viva il mugnaio infarinato
e la sua giubba infarinata
spenderà uno schellino
o guadagnerà  un grosso d’argento:
polverosa era la giubba
polveroso era il colore
polveroso era il bacio
che ho preso dal muganio
II
Viva il mugnaio infarinato
e il suo sacco infarinato,
caro è per me il suo richiamo,
riempie il  peck infarinato:
riempie il  peck infarinato,
porta l’argento infarinato;
darei la mia giubba
per il mugnaio infarinato

NOTE
1) nel SMM è scritto all’inverso: He will win a shilling, or he spend a groat
2) Antica moneta inglese d’argento, corrispondente al grosso, coniata dal 1351 al 1662; ebbe all’inizio un valore di poco superiore a quello del penny, […] ma in seguito fu ragguagliata a 4 pence. Il groat fu emesso anche in Scozia dal 1358 e in Irlanda dal 1460.
3) vecchia unità di misura equivalente a 1/4 di staio. In Scozia, il peck era usato come misura fino all’entrata in vigore della Legge sui Pesi e Misure del 1824 che uniformò i valori al sistema imperiale britannico Il peck in Scozia equivaleva a 9 litri (nel caso di certe colture, come frumento, piselli, fagioli e miglio) e a 13 litri (nel caso di orzo, avene e malto)

Il sito “The Fiddler’s Companion” elenca 8 brani diversi chiamati “The Dusty Miller”: si tratta di hornpipe, jig, slip jig, reel, strathspey
ASCOLTA Tony Rice

ASCOLTA The Chieftains

ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCE: in versione lenta

FONTI
http://www.studicassinati.it/db1/jupgrade/index.php/archivio/100-anno-xv-n-1-gennaio-marzo-2015/1052-m-ottaviani-storie-di-mole-mugnai-e-mugnaie
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-ii,-song-144,-page-151-dusty-miller.aspx
http://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Dusty_Miller_(6)
http://www.cobbler.plus.com/wbc/poems/translations/476.htm
https://thesession.org/tunes/4323
https://www.scottish-country-dancing-dictionary.com/dance-crib/dusty-miller.html

Olaim Punch

Un canto in gaelico irlandese dal titolo Ólaim puins (I drink punch) ma più conosciuto con il titolo di Olam Punch  è una drinking song che richiama The Jug of punch. Il tema però più che essere un elogio al bere, loda la vita del mendicante.
Nelle canzoni popolari celtiche si leva talvolta un canto di protesta contro “il sistema”: uno spirito libero vagabonda per il paese, mendicante senza radici, suonatore ambulante che si dedica occasionalmente a lavori stagionali, e più spesso vive al di fuori dalla società civile. (continua)

ASCOLTA The Chieftains & Punch Brothers, Lark in the clear air + Olam Punch in Voice of the Ages 2012

ASCOLTA Danù con il titolo di “An Deirc” in “All things considered” 2002 (su Spotify) mantengono il ritornello ma aggiungono ulteriori strofe (vedi testo)

I
Ólaim puins is ólaim tae
Is an lá ina dhiaidh sin ólaim toddaí
Ní bhím ar meisce ach uair sa ré
Mo ghrása an déirc is an té do cheap í
II
Lá má bhím le híota tréith
Bím lá ‘na dhiaidh ag glaoch na gcannaí
Lá le fíon is arís gan bhraon
Mo ghrása an déirc is an té do cheap í
III
aAr mo theacht a luí ar thréad
An bhuí san fhéith is na héimhe ag leanaí
Báisteach fhill is rinn ar ghaoth
Ó, táim le déirc ní baol do mo gharraí
IV
Is sámh a bhím i mo luí le gríin
Gan suim sa saol ach sclíip is starraíocht
Gan cháin gan chíos ach m’intinn saor
Nach fearr í an déirc ná céird is ealaín!

TRADUZIONE IN INGLESE (da qui)
I
I drink punch and I drink tea/And the following day I drink toddy/ I’m only drunk but once a month/ Thanks for charity, and from anybody
II
Everyone considers all life’s ways
Thinks of the clergy, thinks of buying
Thinks of the army, its power and sway/ But sure charity is the trade I’m trying
III
Some farmed land now I see
The golden meadow and lambing sheep
There’s a driving rain and a cutting breeze
Never a threat to my crops, for none I keep
IV
Now under the sun I’m happy still
Never a care in the world, just joy replayed
No tax nor worry, but my own free will
Charity sure beats craft or trade
V
If one day I’m cursed with drought
The following day I’ll be ordering toddy
One day with wine, the next without
Thanks for charity, and from anybody
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Bevo il punch (1) e bevo il tè
e il giorno dopo bevo il toddy (2)
mi ubriaco solo una volta al mese
grazie alla carità della gente
II
Ciascuno valuta tutte le strade della vita; pensa a farsi prete o darsi al commercio o pensa all’esercito, la sua forza e il dominio, ma di certo la carità e l’affare che fa per me.
III
Ora guardo ai campi coltivati,
i campi dorati e le pecore che si accoppiano
c’è una pioggia battente e un venticello gelido
ma non ho preoccupazioni per il raccolto e nessuno da mantenere
IV
Ora sotto il sole sono ancora felice
non m’importa di niente; solo gioia ripetuta, niente tasse, nè preoccupazioni, ma solo la mia libera volontà, la carità di sicuro batte l’artigianato o il commercio
V
Se un giorno sono maledetto dalla siccità, il giorno seguente ordinerò del toddy, un giorno con vino, quello dopo senza,
grazie alla carità della gente

NOTE
1) il punch irlandese è il whisky bevuto con un po’ di acqua calda (con fetta di limone e chiodi di garofano, zucchero a piacere)
2) il toddy è il tè “corretto” con whisky o rhum e aromatizzato con cannella, chiodi di garofano e scorza di limone (zucchero e miele a piacere) per combattere i primi sintomi d’influenza! (per la ricetta qui)

FONTI
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/i-did-in-my-way-.html
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/danu/andeirc.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=53007
http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/translation/topic21661.html

I SAW THREE SHIPS

Nella tradizione cristiana, i Magi fanno visita a Gesù bambino poco dopo la sua nascita, portando in dono oro, incenso e mirra.
Ma un viaggio altrettanto intricato fu compiuto dalle loro reliquie!

IL VIAGGIO DEI RE MAGI

Nel 1270 Marco Polo ha visto le tombe dei Magi a Saba: “In Persia è la città eh’ è chiamata Sabba (Saba), dalla quale si partirono li tre re che andarono ad adorare a Cristo quando nacque. In quella città sono seppelliti gli tre magi in una bella sepoltura, e sonvi ancora tutti intieri e co’ capegli. L’uno ebbe nome Baltasar, l’altro Melchior, e l’altro Guaspar. Messer Marco domandò più volte in quella città di questi tre re: ninno gliene seppe dire nulla, se non ch’erano tre re seppelliti anticamente. E andando tre giornate, trovarono un castello chiamato Galasaca (Cala Ataperistan), cioè a dire, in francesco, castello degli oratori del fuoco. È ben vero che quegli del castello adorano il fuoco, ed io vi dirò perché. Gli uomini di quello castello dicono che anticamente tre re di quella contrada andarono ad adorare un profeta, lo quale era nato, e portarono tre offerte: oro per sapere s’era signore terreno, incenso per sapere s’era Iddio, mirra per sapere s’era eternale.”
Il francescano Odorico da Pordenone (anch’egli in viaggio per la Cina) cinquant’anni dopo Marco Polo dice che la città dei Re Magi era Cassam l’attuale Kasham, a sud del mar Caspio e di Teheran, nell’attuale Iran.

Eppure già da un secolo prima, la tradizione li vuole sepolti nel Duomo di Colonia; fu Elena, la madre di Costantino a “trovarli” nel suo famoso pellegrinaggio in Palestina e Terra Santa dal quale ritornò carica di reliquie, e li fece trasportare nella chiesa di Santa Sofia a Costantinopoli. Solo nel 344 Sant’Eustorgio vescovo di Milano si ricordò del reliquiario e lo richiese gentilmente all’imperatore d’Oriente che altrettanto gentilmente lo recapitò a Milano. Ma nel 1162 Federico Barbarossa sceso nel Bel Paese per punire i comuni italiani riottosi a riconoscerlo come Imperatore distrusse la Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio e si portò a casa la reliquia dei Magi. Infine fu Colonia la città che costruì una nuova chiesa per i Magi che lì rimasero e perciò ricordati come i Re Magi di Colonia..

I SAW THREE SHEEP

Le peripezie compiute dalla reliquia dei Re Magi (e tanti frammenti e ossicini si rintracciano lungo l’itinerario!) sono diventate il pretesto per il testo di una canzoncina per bambini risalente al 1500-1600, ancora oggi molto popolare per il suo testo scorrevole e ripetitivo.  La sua grande popolarità ha fatto si che esistano tantissime varianti, Joseph Ritson, nel suo “Scotish songs,” vol. I riporta alcuni versi di un canto natalizio scozzese risalente alla metà del 1500 che ci ricorda la nostra carol
There comes a ship far sailing then,
Saint Michael was the stieres-man;
Saint John sate in the horn:
Our Lord harped, our Lady sang,
And all the bells of heaven they rang,
On Christ’s sonday at morn.

thre-shipsConosciuto anche come On Christmas Day In The Morning il brano è stato riarrangiato a fine Ottocento, in cui i Magi vengono sostituiti dalla Sacra Famiglia. Nel “The Nursery Rhyme Book” del 1897 i tre viaggiatori delle navi sono diventate tre graziose fanciulle che arrivano a Capodanno
And one could whistle,
and one could sing
And one could play on the violin

Di paese in paese la canzone si è arricchita di strofe e di numerose varianti (vedi).

Lindsey Stirling in “Warmer in the Winter” che nei suoi live trasforma in una scatenata danza delle Befane

The Chieftains

Blackmore’s Night in “Winter Carols

Sting

Così la versione di “Sunny Bank” è quella diffusa in Cornovaglia con il titolo “As I Sat on a Sunny Bank ”
Kate Rusby in “The Frost is All Over” 2015


I (1)
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day in the morning.
II
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?
III
Our Savior Christ and His lady,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Our Savior Christ and His lady,
On Christmas day in the morning.
IV
Pray, whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
Pray, whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?
V
They sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day,
O they sailed into Bethlehem(2),
On Christmas day in the morning
VI
And all the bells on earth shall ring(3),
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day in the morning.
VII
And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.
VIII
And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.
IX
Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Then let us rejoice again,
On Christmas day in the morning
Traduzione italiano
I
Ho visto tre navi in mare
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Ho visto tre navi in mare
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
II
E cosa c’era sulle tre navi?
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
E cosa c’era sulle tre navi?
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
III
Cristo, nostro Salvatore e la sua madre.
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Cristo, nostro Salvatore e la sua madre.
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
IV
Vi prego, dite, verso dove erano dirette le tre navi? il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Vi prego, dite, verso dove erano dirette le tre navi? il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
V
Navigavano verso Betlemme.
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Navigavano verso Betlemme.
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
VI
E tutte le campane della Terra risuoneranno,
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
E tutte le campane della Terra risuoneranno,
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
VII
Tutti gli angeli in Cielo canteranno,
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Tutti gli angeli in Cielo canteranno,
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
VIII
Tutte le anime sulla Terra canteranno.
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Tutte le anime sulla Terra canteranno.
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
IX
Gioiamo allora tutti insieme,
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.
Gioiamo allora tutti insieme,
il giorno di Natale, di mattina.

NOTE
1) As I sat on a sunny bank,
A sunny bank, a sunny bank
As I sat on a sunny bank
On Christmas day in the morning
I saw three ships come sailing in.
2) ovviamente Betlemme non ha sbocchi sul mare, così qualcuno ha ipotizzato che si stesse parlando di cammelli noti come “le navi del deserto”
3) le campane un tempo suonavano per annunciare alla comunità ogni evento importante o particolare specialmente se si trattava di una lieta notizia da festeggiare

FONTI
https://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/isawthreeships.html
http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/i_saw_three_ships.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=54593
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=96549