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PostPosted: Fri 18 Oct 2019 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri 18 Oct 2019 9:31 pm
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I happened across this beautiful lullaby, Mo Choara Bhan, as I was looking for public domain Irish music to use in a Christmas musical (Set to premier this December! ). The only part of the translation I could find was that the title meant "My white lamb" or "My white sheep." Inspired by that snippet, I wrote the song "Oh Spotless Lamb," but I would still love to be able to understand the original lyrics, and to have them spelled out in Irish. Maybe I could even expand either my own lyrics or the English translation to cover all the verses! Sooo... If any of you have the extra time to devote I would really appreciate it!

(I was also able to find that this song, with a full booklet of lyrics in Irish and English, was released in CD format, but is currently out of print. So a photo of the lyrics page would be the fastest solution if you have it. I do have the information on the CD, but would have to dig out my notes. I think copying the lyrics would be legal since I already tried to find and purchase the CD/booklet? :??: )


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PostPosted: Sat 19 Oct 2019 11:29 am 
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Joined: Thu 01 Sep 2011 9:55 am
Posts: 1958
Location: 91 - France
It's in 'Codail A Mhuirnín' - I'm surprised that it isn't available.

Mo chaora bhán, mo chaora bhán,
Mo phlúirín ó, mo chaora bhán,
Grá mo chroí, a leanbháin sí,
A shearc ó mo chroi, mo chaora bhán.

Mo ghamhainín beag, mo ghamhainín beag,
Mo stóirín ó, mo ghamhainín beag,
Grá mo chroí, a leanbháin sí,
A shearc ó mo chroi, mo ghamhainín beag.

Mo chircín geal, mo chircín geal,
Mo mhuirnín ó, mo chircín geal,
Grá mo chroí, a leanbháin sí,
A shearc ó mo chroí, mo chircín geal.

My white sheep, my white sheep,
My little flower, my white sheep,
Love of my heart, my fairy child,
Love of my heart, my white sheep.

My little calf, my little calf,
My treasure oh, my little calf,
Love of my heart, my fairy child,
Love of my heart, my little calf.

My little white hen, my little white hen,
My darling oh, my little white hen,
Love of my heart, my fairy child,
Love of my heart, my little white hen.

(I only hope that the Fairies don't hear this, because if you're calling this child a fairy child, they'll probably want him/her back. Usually in Irish lullabies, they're pleading with the fairies not to take the child away or perhaps hoping to get the mother out of their clutches. There's the CD 'Suantraí' recorded by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin you might like to listen to.)

By the way - the singer is Méav Ní Mhaolchatha


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PostPosted: Fri 01 Nov 2019 4:38 am 
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Joined: Fri 18 Oct 2019 9:31 pm
Posts: 4
Thank you so much! I also just figured out how to get notifications when someone replies to me, so hopefully I won't just fall off the face of the earth again... :oops:

It will be fun to listen to the song with the lyrics. Listening while reading helps me to associate the sounds with the words. :D

So, in Irish folklore/music they would more likely mean the literal child of a fairy, rather than a child who was beautiful or fairy-like?


franc 91 wrote:
By the way - the singer is Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

She sings beautifully! Do I remember correctly that she sings/sang with Celtic Women?

*goes to search for the suggested CD*


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PostPosted: Fri 01 Nov 2019 11:22 am 
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Joined: Thu 01 Sep 2011 9:55 am
Posts: 1958
Location: 91 - France
I think that in this context, 'fairy child' probably is meant as a compliment. If you're looking for lyrics of songs in Irish or in Scots Gaelic there's the website - http://www.celticlyricscorner.net where among others you can find the lovely-looking Méav - http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/meav/index.htm. In fact it's quite common nowadays to have the lyrics and their translations provided on the sleeve notes of CDs recorded by Irish and Scots Gaelic singers and musicians.

This is in the sleeve notes of 'Suantraí' recorded by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin -

Children were prey to abduction by the fairies especially male children because of the traditional idea that the male gives more of its characteristics to offspring and therefore more human blood to the fairy race. This emphasis on abduction reflects the function of fairies as a means of warning children to stay near home. The early death of a child was often seen as an abduction by the fairies......

Mullach a' tSí

Ar Mhullach a' tSí tá síoga geala
Fá chaoin ré an earraigh ag imirt 's ag spóirt
Seo iad aniar chun glaiogh ar mo leanbh
Le mian é a tharraing isteach sa Lios Mór.

Uiseó uiseó uiseó mo leanbh uiseó mo leanbh uiseó a stór
Uiseó uiseó uiseó mo leanbh uiseó ní imeoidh tú leo.

Goirm thú a chroí ní bhfaighfidh siad do mheallach
Le brí a gcleas ná le binneas a gceol
Tá mise led' thaobh ag guí ort 's ag beannacht
Seothín a leanbh ní imeoidh tú leo.

Seoithín seothó mo stóirín mo leanbh
Mo sheod gan cealg mo chuid den tsaol mhór
Seoithín seothó nach mór é an taitneamh
Mo stóirín 'na leaba 'na chodhladh gan brón.

The Fairy Mound

Above the fairy mound there are bright fairies
Playing in the soft light of the spring moon
Here they come to call my child
With desire to entice him into their ringfort.

Lulla lulla lulla my child lulla lulla lulla my love (treasure)
Lulla lulla lulla my child lulla mychild you'll not go with them

My darling my own they will not entice you
With the strength of their tricks or the sweetness of their music
I'm by your side praying and blessing you
Lulla my child you'll not go with them.

Lulla lullo my little love my child
My jewel without blemish my only one
Lulla lullo great is my pleasure
My little love (in his bed) asleep without sorrow.

A changeling in Irish is :
http://www.teanglann.ie/ga/eid/changeling


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