143 Máire an cúil fhinn - Mary of the Fair Locks
Máire an Cúil Fhinn - Mary of the Fair Locks
Bantigherna Eoin Uí Ruairc, Flaith Bhréifne


Lady O'Rourke wife of Eoin
O'Rourke, Ruler of Breiffne

This song was written for Mary, the wife of Owen O'Rourke, Prince of Brefny.

Mrs. O'Rourke - Máire an chúil fhionn (Mary of the fair locks). It is said that Owen O'Rourke's wife felt much offended at Carolan not composing a tune for her, "after all her attention and kindness to him". So Carolan, who "always wished to have the ladies on his side", composed this song and regained her favour! ... O'Sullivan

le Toirdhealbhach Ó Cearbhalláin
1. Siochán air dtús ort, a chúl chas na gcraobh,
A phlannda don árd fhuil ón gcuan sin Loch Cé,
Níl cuan níl caltha, níl áit ar bith ina dtéidhim,
Nach é chluinim aig a' nhgasraidh gurabh í Maillí a rug a' chraobh

...
Peace to you at first, o you of the curly flowing hair,
High-blooded flower from the cove of Loch Cé,
No cove, no harbor no place where I frequent,
That I do not hear the people say that Molly takes the branch. [1]

2. Ón tir seo uile gan roinn le n-a disleacht agus grinn,
Gidh gur mheara tú na cóigi le do chlúanaidheacth bhinn,
Níl ní air bith is fearr ná ná an réidhteach agus déanamuid é in n-am,
'S an méid a bhí eadrainn sa gcúis sin bíodh sé múcta le lionn.

From this entire country with its loyalty and perception,
Though you excite the provinces with your sweet flattery,
There is naught better than resolution and we will do it in time,
And that issue which was between us will be quenched by ale.

3. Siúd í slainte mhná Eóin Uí Ruairc,
Líontar dhúinn thart lán an óir fá gcuairt,
Ól go tapaidh é, óbh ! agus léig thart é,
Ní fhágfa mise (an) áit seo seal míosa ná ráithe
Go ndéana mé siochán le saoi na mbriathar grinn.

Here's to the health of Eoin O'Rourke's woman,
On a visit full golden rounds are filled for us,
Drink it quickly, aye! and pass it around, [2]
I would not leave this place for a month or a season
Until I make peace with the sage of sharp repartee.

4. A Mhaillí an fhuilt fhinn, léig an uair seo (a)nois liom,
Bhéarfad bannaidhe maithe cruadha dhuit do thúaith ná do chill,
Nach gceilim féin ar d'aisdidhe léir-mheisnih mo chinn,
Nísa taoisge ná bheith d'fhibhrán liom thriallfuinn thar toinn.

O Molly of the fair hair, spend this time with me now.
I would bring you good solid bonds of countryside or church,
That I would not hide from your clear brave essays, my head,
Simpler for me, than your anger with me, to travel overseas. [3]

5. Is air a'gcúan seo Loch Aillionn a chomhnuigheas a stáid,
Bhfuil a cum glan cailce mar an 'ala air a' tsnámh,
Níl sin air talamh séoid air bith is caithneathaigh,
Sí is deise si is áille sí is breghachta ins gach am,
'S gurb í cionidhe a Fáil uilig í, Máire an chúil fhinn.

It is on this cove of Loch Allen where resides her estate,
Where her clean chalk-white form is like the swimming swan.
There is not on earth any jewel so delicately flowerlike, [4]
She is daintiest she is most beautiful most excellent in any time,
And she is the fairest of all women of Fáil, Máire the fair haired.

Courtesy of Vivian and Jack, Irishpage.com Feb. 2008
Cabhair ó Proinsias Osborne
[1] The word "craobh" means "branch" which means in fact "prize"
[2] The word "léig" here is a variant of "lig" meaning "let"
[3] The word "d'fhibhrán" may actually mean "fever", but the word "anger" is more understandable here.
[4] The word "caithneathaigh" is probably derived from "caithne" meaning "arbutus" or "a trailing plant with evergreen leaves and pink or white flowers.
Source: The poems of Carolan, Amhráin Cearbhalláin Ó Máille, pg. 118 no. 8.
Notations: Donal O'Sullivan vol. 1 pg 240 No. 143



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