Mudcat Café message #958387 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37189   Message #958387
Posted By: Felipa
23-May-03 - 04:45 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: An Paistin Fionn: English words?
Subject: Lyric Add: An Paistin Fionn
Douglas Hyde, Love Songs of Connacht (1893), facsimile edition - Shannon: Irish University Press, 1968, gives a very different version of An Páistín Fionn.
Hyde wrote that ''It is the air and not the words which has made the fame of this song, as we see is the case with many more.'' But Hyde doesn't give the air, and although the fourth verse he gives is also in the better-known Páistín Fionn, Hyde's version doesn't have a chorus, so I don't know if it is set to the same air. He also writes that there is a song of the same name ''in Hardiman's book, but there is not what line in it resembling this poem,'' without telling us whether the two songs do share the same tune.

Hyde: ''It is not very clear what this poem is about. There was a story about some woman that a 'clahirya,' [cladhaire] or rogue came to carry off with him, but she put her own garments on someone else, and the crooked 'clahirya' did not carry off the right person with him. We cannot find the old story now; I am afraid it is lost. I am sure it was about some true event or other that once happened amongst the people that more than half of these old songs were composed, but we cannot now find out what were the occasions on which they were made.'' He laments that the songs of the people (as opposed to those of the bards) had not been collected some 150 years earlier, ''together with the stories that belong to them, these great gaps would not occur in them and they would not be so broken up and unintelligible as they are now. ''

Hyde surmises that the song below is a composite of two songs, one ''speaking of the attempt which the crooked clahirya made to carry off…the Paustyeen Finn … and of the way she deceived him, '' and the other saying that the cladhaire should not be hanged because the Páistín went with him willingly.

I see it as two versions of events - the brother's accusation and the cladhaire's defence. Or, if the woman is called sister as a term of endearment rather than relationship, it could be that two men contested her love and the one who didn't gain her made accusations against the other? (I would have thought that deirbhshiúr - now deirfiúr - would have meant the blood sister, as opposed to 'siúr' in verse six. The prefix dearbh or deirbh means real and true. But Hyde has an aterisk beside 'sister' in the translation of the last verse, saying that here the word denotes affection rather than relationship

I retain Hyde's old spelling, and the translation is his - with my suggestions in brackets.


Ceann deireannach de'n tSáthairn músglóchad an greann,
Tháinig mo dheirbhshiuír* chugam go caoimheanmhuil fann,
''Tiucfaidh sé chugainn an cleathaire cam
Agus béarfaidh sé mise 'sa' bh-fuadach''

Bain thusa dhíot eudaigh do chuirp a's do chin,
Agus cuir ort mo hata 's mo chulaidh úr dhonn,
Má thigeann sé chugainn an cleathaire cam
Is mise bhéidhear leis ann sa' bhfuadach.

Ní'l de mhaoin an tsaoghail agam acht aon deirbhshiuír amháin
Agus ní 'réic' an domhain budh mhaith liom í fhaghail,
Ní bhéarfainn-se sgilling ar m'fhortún go bráth
Muna* dtig liom a rábh gur liom féin í.

Nuair chuaidh mé amach leis an bPáistin Fionn
Tá mé láin-chinnte gur dhúbluigh mé an greann,
Chuir mé mo lámh thairsti a's dhearsuigh sí liom
A's d'fhreastail mé an t-am bhí 'sa' láthair.

Grádh le m'anam í, an Páistín Fionn,
A croidhe 's a h-anam bheith fáisgthe liom,
Dá chích gheala mar bhláth na dtom
'S a píob mar an eala lá Márta.

Nuair d'éirigh sí ar maidin an Páistín Fionn,
''A chuisle na g-carad créad dheunfas tú liom?''
''A shiúir,'' arsa mise, ''tabhair d'athair ar faill,
'S má thogruigheann* tú aithris do sgeul dó. ''

Cad do bh'áil daoibh mo chrochadh fá'n b-Páistín Fionn,
A's gur ar mo neamh-thoil tugadh mé ann,
Ní éigin d'á n-simh-dheoin do rinne mé ann,
Acht le lán-thooil a h-athar 's a máthar.

Dá mbéidhinn-se i dteach folamh gan aoin-neach ann,
Gaoth mhór agus fearthainn dá séideabh os ár g-cionn,
Gan neach do bheith 'm aice, acht an Páistín Fionn
Is cinnte go n-ólfainn a sláinte.

Gan bhád ná coite do dhéunfainn snámh,
Gan gunna gan phiostal do dhéunfainn lámh*
Níl aoin-fhear a bhainfeadh le mo dheirbhsiúir amháin
Nach ndeunfainn púdar d'á chnámhaibh.

* mo deirbhsiúir' in the text; I have also changed 'tu' to 'tú' and 'an th-am' to 'an t-am' In the old script the seimhiú was indicated by a dot over the consonant rather than by inserting the letter h after it. I suspect that some 'typos' occurred due to substitution when there was a shortage of the correct block of type.

* Hyde notes that 'muna' was 'mar' in the manuscript, 'thogruigheann' was eagraigheann' (which he didn't understand; it means to arrange or organize), amd 'lámh' in the last verse = 'lámhach'


At the last end of the Saturday I shall waken the fun,
My sister came to me mildly and weak,
'He will come to us, the crooked clahirya,
And will bring me off by violence.'

'Do you take off the dress of your body and your head,
And put on my hat and my new brown suit,
If he come to us, the crooken clahirya,
It's I shall be carried off by him.'

I have not of the goods of this life but one sister only,
And it is not a rake of the world I would wish to have her.
I would not give a shilling for my fortune for ever
Unless I can say that she is my own.

When I went out with the Paustyeen Finn
I am certain sure that I doubled the fun;
I put my arm round her and to me she clung
And I served the time that was present (?) [in her presence?]

The love of my soul is the Paustyeen Finn,
Her heart and her soul to be squeezed to me,
Two breasts, bright like the blossom of the bushes,
And her neck like the swan of a March day.

When she rose in the morning, the Paustyeen Finn,
'O pulse of the friends [o, beloved friend], what wilt thou do with me?'
"O sister,' said I, 'take your father on an occasion
And if you choose tell him your story.'

'Why do you wish to hang me for the Paustyeen Finn?
Nd sure against my will I was brought into it.
It was not violence against their wish I did there
But with the full consent of her father and mother.'

If I were to be in an empty house without anyone in it,
Great wind and rain blowing over our heads,
Without anyone to be near me but the Paustyeen Finn,
It is certain that I would drink her health.

Without a boat or a cot I would make a rowing,
Without a gun or a pistol I would make a shooting. *
There is no man would touch my one little sister
That I would not make powder of his bones.

*[I would make an attack, I would handle it?]