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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
David Lyr Req: Choinleach Ghlas an Fhómhair (35) Lyr Add: COINNLEACH GLAS AN FHÓMHAIR/HARVEST FIELD 25 Aug 99


Here is a poetic and singable version that you can try, or select a verse to try.

Translated by Brian O'Rourke
Published in Pale Rainbow

In a harvest field at evening, my sweetheart, you passed me by;
Oh, I liked your fine appearance, your clear laugh, your sparkling eye;
There were roses in your cheeks, and your teeth shone like stars on high;
‘Tis my grief we are not seeking a priest our two hearts to tie.

Oh, I wrote to her complaining that her strange ways were hard to thole,
And she wrote me back explaining that her base heart was black as coal;
Oh, smoother is her waist than a rare silk or satin roll,
And my heart is near to breaking, for that maiden is half my soul.

Oh, I'll pay little heed to what people may say or try,
And I'll risk my life to see her in the deep or in places high;
She’s the cuckoo on the treetop; she’s a creature of air and sky,
She’s my darling, and she’ll be still my sweetheart the day I die.

O Lady lightly laughing, why can’t we just put to sea
For an island near Croagh Patrick, and live far from all company?
For I’m nine longs months since harvest, waiting calmly by bush and tree
For the chance to show you, darling, it’s not smart to make fun of me.

Oh, it is a cause of shame and it drains all my hope to see
That they’ve married off my lady to a waster of low degree;
But the one who’ll suffer pain is the maiden they stole from me,
And it’s nicely I'd embrace her in the shade of the old oak tree.

Oh, the hills and glens of Ireland my tired eyes will see no more,
For I have been divided from the idol I did adore;
Should misfortune ever grind me, may the kind Lord increase my store;
And I'd follow you through high seas, and in time we would reach the shore.

I had to look up "thole,” too, and it wasn't even in my computer's Am. Heritage Dict. It's a dialectic word meaning endure.

Notice that not only do the ending words rhyme but most lines have several internal rhymes or assonances in the style of the old Gaelic poetry.

O'Rourke's books are a great resource and you might be able to order them from Irish Books and Media in Minneapolis.

Happy singing,


HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 16-Apr-02.

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