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PostPosted: Fri 20 Jan 2023 2:50 pm 
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Hello folks. I'd be terribly grateful if any of you could help me with this.

My mom May is from Kilmovee, County Mayo. She's 92 now and her memory is slipping. There's an Irish song she sang to us when we were younger – she and her sisters used to sing it on the long walk to school. I'd love to know what it's saying as she doesn't know, she just remembers the words (her kids are all from Birmingham so we barely speak English!) There's a video of her singing it here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/angs3qgqhm6va ... g.mp4?dl=0

Any way you could help? Incidentally, she sang another song which I eventually figured out was Óró Mo Bháidín – I often play her Mary O'Hara's version of that and she sings along.

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jan 2023 4:11 pm 
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I hope Bríd Mhór sees this post when she visits the forum again. She might know the answer. Sadly the forum doesn't have the erstwhile level of posts.


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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jan 2023 6:32 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
I hope Bríd Mhór sees this post when she visits the forum again. She might know the answer. Sadly the forum doesn't have the erstwhile level of posts.

Nice one, thanks. I don't know if what she's singing is peculiar to the area but it could be.


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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jan 2023 10:46 pm 
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Are you interested in learning Connacht Irish specificially? Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhial is the best resource for that.


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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan 2023 6:41 am 
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Thanks for the recommendation but no, I'm just after a translation for the song.


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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan 2023 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat 31 Jul 2021 8:03 pm
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Below is my attempt at a transcription. A question mark after a word indicates that I’m not sure about what I’m hearing. Note I’m not a fluent Irish speaker.

Line 1: Óró ‘gus óró oró.
Line 2: Táim ag fanacht leis
Line 3: Mo bhó [?] ar [?] lao [?]
Line 4: Is do [?] uair [?] treibhe [?] leo
Line 5: Agus ím bím babaró
Line 6: ‘S óró oró.
Ará

Translation Attempt:

Line 1: This translates to “Óró and óró oró”, where the words “óró” and “oró” are essentially nonsense words, commonly used in songs, kind of like “sha la la” in English language pop music.

Line 2: This clearly translates to “I’m waiting for him/it.” The words here are very distinct.

Line 3: This would almost seem to say “My cow on (a) calf”, which makes no sense. So maybe I’m mishearing it.

Line 4: I’m fairly clueless about this line. “Is do uair” would mean “And your time” but normally, you would expect “do uair” to be contracted to “d’uair”. The word “treibhe” is the genitive of “treibh”, which can mean family, homestead or tribe but that doesn’t seem to make sense here. The last word “leo” means “with them”. Maybe I’m putting the word boundaries in the wrong places for this line. Maybe instead it's something along the lines of "Is do uair tre [?] a bheith leo".

Line 5: This means “And ím bím babaró”, where “ím bím babaró” are nonsense words.

Line 6: "And óró oró".

“Ará”: I’m guessing that this means “Hooray”.

--

If someone with better Irish than me could give a quick listen, it might be possible to make out lines 3 and 4 above.


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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan 2023 4:06 pm 
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Caoilte wrote:
Below is my attempt at a transcription.

Thank you so much for this, Caoilte – that's amazing. I always wondered about the Bím Babaró, whether it was a name.

She's obviously singing a version of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMCzpVh5Qcg

although the words are different. I'll do some more research but that's a great start. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan 2023 5:12 pm 
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I think im means butter, and bím is just a word to rhyme with im, and then babaró is a made up word that is alliterative and fills out the metre.


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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan 2023 5:30 pm 
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Nice find. I found another recording here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQcgdSQ ... 3w&index=3. It’s a medley of three songs, with the first one being Ím Bím Babaró.

And I found some lyrics for Ím Bím Babaró here.https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbe/9000685/71 ... entScript=

There are 4 lines per verse, with the first and last lines matching within each verse, and also between verses. So only the second and third lines change across the verses. The lyrics are whimsical in nature, such that they would appeal to a small child.

However, the lyrics generally differ between the three sources (apart from the first and last lines of each verse, which all three sources have in common). The recording you found has 5 verses. The recording I found has 4 verses, with the 3rd and 4th verses being in English (the English verses are not translations of the first two verses, which are in Irish). The third source, which only gives lyrics, has three verses. The only match in lyrics across the three sources is between those of the second verse of the recording you found and the second verse of the recording I found.

Your mother’s lyrics bear a slight similarity to the source that only gives the lyrics. Specifically, the second line of the first verse has “Táim ag fanacht le mo bhuachaillín” (meaning: I am waiting for my little boy). This seems similar to, but not the same as, what I had labelled as Lines 2 and 3 of your mother’s recording (although the first three words are identical). Maybe she’s trying to say “mo bhuachaillí” (my boys) here instead of ‘mo bhuachaillín” (my little boy).

Anyway, It’s a very pleasant melody. I'm sure your mother will enjoy hearing it.


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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan 2023 5:35 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
I think im means butter, and bím is just a word to rhyme with im, and then babaró is a made up word that is alliterative and fills out the metre.


Maybe so, although I'm don't see the relevance of butter to the lyrics. Also, the word "bím" means "I be" (aka "I am") but I don't think it's meant to mean that here.


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