Newsletter #41: March 2018

Amhrán na míosa: An Cailín Rua (The Red-haired Girl)


“Song of the month” aims to encourage the readers of this newsletter to learn songs in Irish and sing them themselves. The lyrics of each song are provided, along with a translation into English and a link to a video of the song on YouTube.


This month’s song is “An Cailín Rua”, from the classic Skara Brae album, released by the group of the same name in 1971. The lead vocalist on this particular recording is Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and the harmonies are provided by the other members of the group: his sisters Tríona and Maighread, and Dáithí Sproule from Derry.





Nach doiligh domhsa mo chailín a mholadh, Isn’t it hard for me to praise my red-haired girl,
Ní hé amháin mar bhí sí rua. Not only because of her red hair.
Bhí sí mar gha gréine ag dul in éadan na ngloiní, She was like a ray of sun reflected on glass,
Is bhí scéimh mhná na Finne le mo chailín rua.And my red-haired girl had the beauty of the women of the Finn.

CurfáChorus
Thug mé liom í ó bhaile go baile, I took her with me from town to town,
Ó gheaftaí Dhoire is go Baile Átha Luain. From the gates of Derry and to Athlone.
Chun fhuil aon mhíle ’ár shiúil mé ar an fad sin, There isn’t a mile of the way I travelled,
Nach dtug mé deoch leanna do mo chailín rua. That I didn’t give a drink of ale to my red-haired girl.

B’fhearr liom í ná bó is ná bearrach, I prefer her to any cow or heifer,
Nó a bhfuil de loingis ag tarraingt chun cuain. Or all the fleets heading into the harbour.
B'fhearr liom arís ná cíos Chluain Meala, I would rather than have all the rent of Clonmel,
Go mbeinn is mo chailín i mBaile Átha Luain.That I would be in Athlone with my red-haired girl.

Curfá Chorus

Chuir mé mo chailín go margadh Shligigh, I sent my girl to Sligo market,
Ba é sin féin an margadh bhí daor.That was the market that was expensive.
Bhí scilling agus punt ar an mheánpheicín ime,A weight of butter cost one guinea,
Nó go dtug mé sin le fuinneamh do mo chailín rua. And I gave it with energy to my red-haired girl.

Curfá Chorus

Chuaigh sí siar agus bróga breac’ uirthi, She went west wearing speckled shoes,
Ribíní glasuaine teannta ar a gruaig. Her hair tied up with the green ribbons.
D'éalaigh sí uaimse le buachaill an tsiopa, She slipped away from me with the shopboy,
Is a Rí nár dheas í, mo chailín rua.And God wasn’t she nice, my red-haired girl.

Curfá Chorus