Bean an Leanna - The Landlady


Carolan always liked the ladies. He went out of his way not to offend any of them. His first love was a crush he had on Bridget Cruise of Cruisetown as a teenager. Then he settled down and married Molly Maguire, the love of his life.

This poem is about another girl he met one day up on the meadow. Upon his return home, he asks the landlady to celebrate with him. It was on this occasion that he wrote this poem called "The Landlady". It is a happy piece, in which Carolan proffers a golden guinea to her and calls for a quart of drink to toast his sweetheart." ... O'Sullivan.

A Bhean an leanna, a pháirte,
Tá'n bás in mo chroí re tart,
Beannacht Rí na ngrásta dhuit,
Is tabhair cárta eile líonta isteach.

Seo guinea don ór is fearr dhuit,
Is bain féin do reicnáil as,
Súd fá thuairim sláinte
Chúil álainn mo chailín deas!

A's nach lách, aigeanntach aérach,
Ghabhas mo ghradh-sa súas an gleann,
Chuala mé liút dhá séideadh,
In m' éisteacht mhar bí rí binn.

Thóigfead sí croí bheith báortha
Le guth éadrom a's le glórthaí binn',
Nach truagh leat mé bheith aonruic
Liom féin a's mé air chúl mo chinn.

O Landlady, O partner,
My heart is dying with thirst,
A blessing of the King of Grace on you,
And bring in another full quart.

Here's a guinea of the best gold for you,
And take your own reckoning out of it. (keep the change),
For the health of
the beautiful tresses of a fine girl.

And is she not friendly, cheerful, and lively,
I took my lover up in the glen,
I heard a flute playing,
To my ear it was so sweet.

She could capture a heart that was cold
With a whisper and sweet sounds
Don't you pity my being alone
Me by myself laid out on the back of my head.


Replay background music: Landlady
Courtesy of Jack and Vivian, 2022
Irish text: Poems of Carolan by Tomás Ó Máille, Irish Texts Society 1916, pg 153 No. 40.
Remarks: Carolan, Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Donal O'Sullivan 1958, vol 2 pg 117 no 196.
Translated by Frank Osborne, Kansas City, Mo.

Filleadh go liosta
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