Beití Uí Néil - Betty MacNeill

Coat of Arms
MacNeill Family Crest

Betty MacNeill was the daughter of Captain MacNeill of Ballymascanlon, which is about four miles north-east of Dundalk, Co. Louth. This song was doubtless composed when Carolan was brought to that County for the purpose of meeting the poet Séamus Mac Cuaarta. The latter also had a poem in praise of Betty, and this is in the Edinburgh Gallegan MS p. 376 four stanzas.

1. Mo chuairt go Baile Í Sgannláin
Is fearrde mé i gcéill 's i dtuigse,
Ar leanbh dheas na mbachall cas
Do árd-fhuil Néill.

2. Is geal a piob 's is caol a mailigh,
Betí bhíos le taobh na mara,
Shíolraigh ón aicme sin
Do shár-fhuil Ghaedheal.

3. An uaisle is fearr 's nach dtarlaigh i gceasnaoi
Bid go bráth i ngrádh le Betí
Dar leam ní nár, is deas a lámh
'S is bán atá a déad.

4. Dá mbeinn 'mo phrionnsa nó rí na Fraince
Nó mar Shéarlas Emper bheinn a' caint léith
Is b'fhearr leam agam í
Nó stór a'tsaeghail.

5. Is breagh do chúl 's is sáimh do shúil,
'S is mór mo dhúilin do chomhrádh ciúin,
Ach lion suas a' copán
Agus ól orm féin.

Betty MacNeill Song Notations

Notations are courtesy of Carolan, the Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Dónal O'Sullivan vol 1 Celtic Music Edition 1983.

Courtesy of Vivian and Jack Hennessey, IrishPage.com, 2005.
For phonetics consult the pocket dictionary Fóclóir Póca
Replay background music: Betty Mac Neil

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