Cian ” h-Eaghra - Kean O'Hara 3rd air

O Hara Crest
The O'Hara Family Crest

These verses are the same metre as those appropriate for Kean O'Hara' first air. One of Kean O'Hara's neighbours in County Sligo was John Harloe of Rathmullan. Hardiman calls him Harlow of Ramelin.

John Harlow was of English stock, and a gentleman of good fortune and fond of amusement, who erected a "Sporting Lodge" at Templehouse which, during the half of the year, was resorted to by the principal gentry of the country'. Carolan wrote the following verse for Harlow. (A. C., pg. 176)

Do bhí mé lá Márta ar sráid an Droichead Mhór,
Cia casfaidhe orm an lásin acht Seán Hárló is é ag ól;
Thug sé buidéal de fhíon Spáinneach dham lán in mo dhórn,
Is nárbh fhurus dham a rádh an lá sin go mb'fhearr é ná Cían Og!

On a March day when standing on Drohidmore's street,
Along with John Harlow I happened to meet;
Spanish wine he did give me - a full bottle, I ween
So I readily praised him more highly than Kean!

Kean O'Hara, remonstrating with the bard on this composition, said, "Turlough, you did wrong to place that bullocker Harlow on a level with me."I did so," was the reply, "but that can easily be remedied." Carolan then supplied the following revised version:

Bhí mé lá breá i dtigh an tabhairne ag ól,
Tháinic misge mhór sganrach orm is rámhaillighe mhór;
Is trua nach glas pláta bhí fáisghte ar mo sgóig
Nuair a chuir mé Seán Hárló chomh h-árd le Cían Óg!

One fine day in the ale-house I happened to sit
I got fearfully drunk and was raving a bit;
It's a pity my gullet wasn't throttled right clean
When I rated John Harlow as high as Young Keene!

Cuirim sgread chráidhte ort, a Sheáin Hárló a' mhíl mhóir,
A sglábhuídhe bhodaigh ghránna, a bhfuil an cnádán in do sgóig,
An uair a bhiodh do sgála cáfruidh agad agus tú bheith 'gá ól
Bhiodh cláiréad a's fion Spáinneach gá ól ag Cían Óg.

I put an anguished cry upon you, SeŠn Harlow you big louse,
You loutish ugly slave, with a burr-in-your-throttle carouse,
The times you had your bowl carafe and you a drinking swine
Young Kean would be drinking claret and a good Spanish wine.

This satisfied the Milesian aristocrat, and ended the matter. John Harlow was the only son and heir of William Harlow, of Rathmullan, County Sligo, Cornet of Dragoons. He died in 1757, leaving his estate to his sister, Mrs. Phibbs. [O.A.]

            
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Song Notations

Replay background music: Kean O'Hara 3rd air
Courtesy of Vivian and Jack, IrishPage.com.
Comments and notes from Carolan, the Life, Times & music of an Irish
Harper by Donal O'Sullivan English Text verses 1-2: Carolan, the Life and times of an Irish Harper by Donal O'Sullivan, 1958 Vol 2 pg 81 No 132.
English Text verse 3: Frank Osborne of Kansas City, Missouri.
Irish Text: The Poems of Carolan by Tomás Ó Máille, Irish Texts Society, 1916. No. 64, pg. 176.

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