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Mo Chuid den tSaol
Traditional Songs from Connemara

Seachrán Chearbhaill
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12. Seachrán Chearbhaill (Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh) (MÓC Music)

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Tá sé ráite gurb é Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh a chum é seo. Bhí sé go mór i ngrá le hEileanór, iníon le Sior Murchadh Caomhánach, agus de réir an tseanchais, nuair a rinneadh cleamhnas idir í féin agus fear eile, tháinig Cearbhall i mbréagriocht mar bhacach chuig an teach, an oíche roimh an mbainis. Thosaigh sé ag amadántacht agus ag amhránaíocht sa gcaoi is nár thuig éinne é ach Eileanór; deirtear gur mheall sé leis í ar an gcaoi sin. Léiríonn Alan Harrison, An Chrosántacht (1979), gur sampla den chrosántacht é Seachrán Chearbhaill. Is cosúil gur bhain na crosáin agus na buachaillí tuí leis an traidisiún céanna, is é sin traidisiún na siamsaíochta a bhfuil a bhunús i ndeasghnátha páganacha.

This is an example of crosántacht and is purported to have been composed by Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh as he tries to elope with Eileanór on the eve of her marriage to another man. Some of the language is deliberately ambiguous and suggestive. He comes in disguise, dressed as a beggar, sings and recites prose - you will notice a connecting word between the verse and the prose but there is no correspondence in meaning. The seachrán (straying/wandering) is the wandering from verse into prose. It is said that Eileanór could understand his directions whilst the wedding party were confused. It's a 17th Century piece and is rarely sung nowadays. I heard it first from Joe Heaney but his was a shorter version. This version is based on the one collected by Micheál and Tomás Ó Máille from Tomás Breathnach. (Amhráin Chlainne Gael :1905).
Amhrán
Muise lá breá a ndeachaigh muid ag breathnú ar an ríogan mhná
B'iúd í ainnirín na maille-rosc is na míngeal breá;
Bhí a grua thrí lasadh léi mar bhreacann an t-aol mar bhláth;
Is a seang-chom ealaí le go searcfainn léi gach síorlinn ann.

Tá siúd aici dar Peadar más fíor le rá
Rós-bhéilín meala le caiseal is le caoingheal cnáimh;
A modh-chom cailce taobh-shneachta a chuir na mílte chun báis,
Théis dhúinn í 'fheiceáil sea bhreathnaigh muid an ní seo a rá.

Seachrán
'Sé an ní a bhreathnaíos féin ansiúd, mar a smaoiním mo bhriathra is mar a bhearraim mo mheanma: dá dtugainnse an tsaint sin de ghrá seirc nó síor-ghrinn go ndéanfaí braon báis nó mion amhail de mo chorp ainneoin mo chraicinn orm.

Amhrán
Muise ar arraingeacha agallta dhom nó pianta báis
Mar tá mé do mo stangadh ag an arraing 'tá 'gabháil thrí mó lár.
B'fhearr liom seal fada 'bheinn ag breathnú ar a mínchnis breá
Ná bheith á bréagadh go maidin cé gur baoisiúil dom, a léithéide 'rá.

Seachrán
Níor bhaoisiúla dhomsa a léithéide a rá ná d'Fhionn Mhac Cumhaill, Mhac Airt, Mhac Thréanmhóir Uí Bhaoiscne, a chuaigh ag tomhais na léime binne brice bua a bhí ar an mBinn Éadain Mhic Éadghaoith, Mhic Amhlaidh, san áit a dtáinig an chéad long is an chéad laoch go hÉirinn ariamh.

Amhrán
Tabhair scéal uaim chuici agus aithris di nach taobh léi atáim,
Go bhfuil sin bean eile údan le fada do mo chloí le grá,
A bhfuil lán domhan doinne ins gach buinne dá dlaoi-fholt breá
Nó an bhfuil sibh ina gcodladh nó an miste díbh m'fhorscéal 'fháil.

Seachrán
Ar seo 'gus ar siúd 'sé an forscéal a bhí ansiúd ná triúr bodachaí a bhí ag Cairbre Mhac Aoidh, a dhóigh a gcuid móna i dtús Geimhridh agus i ndeireadh Earraigh, gan aon mhaide coille a bheith acu. Chuadar ag iarraidh cead coille ar Chairbre. Thug sé sin dóibh. Chrochadar leo a dtrí tuannaí chúl-tanaí bhéal-ramhra. Dhearmadar an tapa, thugadar an mí-thapa leo, bhriseadar na giarsaí agus ligeadar na maidí rámha leis an sruth.

Amhrán
Ba í siúd ainnirín na mín chruth bán
Ag imirt an chluiche údan go hacmhainneach síos as láimh
Bhí pingin insa maide aici is dhá leithphingin eile anuas ar an gclár
Gan obadh ó aon chluiche ó oíche nó go n-éiríodh an lá
Mná na cruinne ar fad is bídís sin ar m'aon taobh an chláir,
Ba tusa féin mo thogha is mo roghain, más mian leat m'fháil.

Seachrán
Láimh m'athar is mo mháthar is maith an t-ádh nach mbím (Sise)

Amhrán
Bímse lá i m'easpag i gCaiseal is i gcianta cách;
Mar rí ar gach cleasaíocht go hacmhainneach sea bhím gach lá.
Lá breá eile is gan agam ach mo phíce i mo láimh
Siar ó choir chathaithe ag caitheamh ó! mo dhíslí ar clár.

Seachrán
Ba bheag an fáth a bhí dhomsa an dís údan a chatheamh, murach a olc 's 'imrím an bua. Bua ar sheasair tucar tacar táipléis óir. Lá dá rabhas fhéin is an rósbhéalach ag imirt cluiche fón eang rua, bhí triúr ar chaladh, triúr ar dhoras. Tháinig treall dhona thubaisteach de mhuintir an tí isteach. Dúirt an doras a dhúnadh. D'imir beart an cleas i m'aghaidh. Dá mbeinn ansin go brách is ní iarrfainn maide.

Amhrán
Is go droim átha na tubaiste sea casadh mise i dtír gan snámh,
Fear na tuaighe giorra nach seinneann ó de chum-dheas dán
D'ionsaigh dís eile an tSionainn thrí Luimneach siar le fán
Is nach trua-ghéar sin duine a bheith in eileatram a bhí inné beo slán.

Seachrán
Hibill-heabaill, giorrán capaill, easpag ceannann agus call air.

Amhrán
Bímse lá beag eile a mbíonn mallacht ó gach pápa i mo dhiaidh
Faoi mo bhean agus mo leanbh is mo bhanaltra 'bheith in ann a gcliar.
Dheamhan sin gort socair nach i bhfogas dhó tá móinín fraoigh
Is dheamhan sin loch ar bith gan abhainn a bheith 'gabháil uaithi síos.
Tá an reithe seo ina shodar is níl aon chónaí faoi
Is ní minic a tháinig sonas gan an donas a bheith ina orlaí thríd.

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Amhrán
One fine day that I went to see the queenly woman
She being the young maiden of the fine, soft, white and dreamy eyes;
Her cheeks ablaze the way dappled lime is fair;
And her slender swanlike waist so that I would love every moment of her presence.

Peadar says, she has these attributes, if it's true for him,
A sweet red mouth lined with perfect white teeth.
Her measured snow-white waist caused the death of thousands,
She, having been seen by us, we are compelled to say:

Seachrán
What I was compelled to say there as I ponder my words and sharpen my thought: if I were to covet through a desire for love or extreme pleasantry, my body would be turned into a deathdrop or a minor apparition despite my being wrapped in my skin.

Amhrán
Well, are these sharp arrows of screaming pain or are they death pangs?
I'm bent in agony from the dart that is going through my heart.
I'd much prefer to gaze a long while upon her fine soft skin
Than to be enticing her until morning, though it's foolish of me to say so:

Seachrán
It would not be more foolish to say such a thing than it was for Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Mac Airt, Mac Tréanmhóir Uí Bhaoiscne who went to measure the wonderful speckled, pointed peak on Binn Éadain Mhic Éadghaoith Mhic Amhlaidh, where the first ship and warrior ever came to Ireland.

Amhrán
Bring a message to her from me and tell her that she's not the only one;
There's another woman who has been a long time tormenting me with her love,
Who has a world of full brown curls in each lock of her fine hair
Or are you asleep or would you mind hearing my conclusion

Seachrán
The conclusion was that Cairbre Mac Aoidh's three strong sons burned their turf at the beginning of Winter and at the end of Spring without having a stick of timber. They went to seek Cairbre's permission to cut wood. He duly gave such. They took with them their three narrow backed and wide mouthed axes. They forgot their luck and took misfortune with them, they broke the joists and let things drift.

Amhrán
She was the young maiden of the gentle white form,
Playing that game skillfully out of hand.
She had a penny in her stick and two other halfpennies on the board,
Refusing no game from night until the day should rise.
If the women of this earth be on my side of the table,
You'd be my pick and my choice if you wish to have me.

Seachrán
By my father's and mother's hand, it would not be opportune to go with you. (She replies)

Amhrán
I spend some days as a bishop in Cashel far away from all;
As a king of trickery I skillfully spend each day.
Another fine day I have naught but my fork in my hand
Far from the sin of temptation and throwing my dice on the board.

Seachrán
I had little reason to throw my dice but I cannot accept defeat and play to win. A win at backgammon on a makeshift supporting bench. One day as I and the rosy-lipped one played a game under the red net; there were three guarding the harbour, three on the door. A misfortunate crew from the house entered. They ordered the door closed. A move turned the game against me. If I were there forever I would not request a stick.

Amhrán
To the ridge of a misfortunate ford, I happened to land without swimming,
A man of the short axe can sing a well formed poem.
Two others faced the Shannon inclining westwards through Limerick.
Pity the person who is on a bier who yesterday was alive and well.

Seachrán
Hibill-heabaill, a nag, a bald bishop with a cowl on.

Amhrán
On another little day the curse of each pope follows me
Because of my wife, my child, and my nurse who can answer them poetically.
There is no level field without a heathery bog beside it
There is no lake from which a river does not flow
This ram is trotting and cannot stay still
Good fortune is rare without having misfortune in inches through it.

BIRDS

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