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Lyr Add: Kilcash / Cill Chais

Thomas the Rhymer 18 Sep 00 - 01:50 AM
Quincy 18 Sep 00 - 03:40 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 03 - 09:24 AM
Big Tim 15 Aug 03 - 10:20 AM
MartinRyan 16 Aug 03 - 08:47 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 11 - 09:54 PM
Felipa 02 Jul 16 - 01:40 PM
mg 02 Jul 16 - 04:04 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: KILCASH
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 01:50 AM

This poem intrigues me. The 'BONNY PORTMORE' thread reminded me of it, and so here it is. Can anyone help me as to it's origin?


What shall we do for timber
The last of the woods is down
Kilcash and the house of its glory
And the belle of the house are gone
The spot where that lady waited
Who shamed all women for grace
When earls came sailing to greet her
And mass was said in the place

My grief and my affliction
Your gates are taken away
Your avenue needs attention
Goats in the garden astray
The courtyard's filled with water
And the great earls where are they?
The earls the lady the people
Beaten into the clay.

No sound of duck or geese there
Hawk's cry or eagle's call
No humming of the bees there
That brought honey and wax for all,
Nor even the song of birds there
When the sun goes down in the west
No cuckoo on bough-top there
Singing the world to rest.

There's mist there tumbling from branches
Unstirred by night and by day
And darkness falling from heaven
For our fortune has ebbed away
There's no holly, nor hazel, nor ash there
The pasture's rock and stone
The crown of the forest has withered
And the last of the game is gone

I beseech of Mary and Jesus
That the great come home again
With long dances held in the garden
Fiddle music and mirth among men
That Kilcash the home of our fathers
Be lifted on high again
And from that to the deluge of waters
In bounty and peace remain.

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Subject: RE: Poem... Kilcash
From: Quincy
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 03:40 AM

Hope this is of some help? It's the Irish version and also a bit of info with the midi file.
best wishes,Yvonne

Cill Chais(click)

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Subject: RE: Poem... Kilcash
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 09:24 AM

translated by Frank O'Connor; harks back to Lady Iveagh [ d 1744] who married Thomas Butler of Kilcash

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Subject: RE: Poem... Kilcash
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 10:20 AM

Can also be seen as a symbol of the demise of Ireland and her ancient culture. "Kilcash...lifted on high again" = restoration of ancient status =Irish freedom. Before my time, but apparently every child in Ireland used to know this poem.

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Subject: RE: Poem... Kilcash
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 08:47 AM

We did, we did...


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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 09:54 PM

Here are the Irish, 2 English translations, and notes copied from :


Céard a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad,
tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár;
níl trácht ar Chill Chais ná a teaghlach,
is ní bainfear a cling go bráth;
an áit úd ina gcónaíodh an deighbhean
a fuair gradam is meidhir tar mhná,
bhíodh iarlaí ag tarraing tar toinn ann,
is an tAifreann binn á rá.

Is é mo chreach fhada is mo léan goirt
do gheataí breá néata ar lár,
an avenue ghreanta faoi shaothar
is gan foscadh ar aon taobh den walk,
an chúirt bhreá a sileadh an braon di
is an ghasra shéimh go tláith,
is in leabhar na marbh do léitear
an tEaspag is Lady Iveagh!

Ní chluinim fuaim lacha ná gé ann
ná fiolair ag déanadh aeir cois cuain,
ná fiú na mbeacha chum saothair
a thabharfadh mil agus céir don tslua,
níl ceol binn milis na n-éan ann
le hamharc an lae a dhul uainn,
ná an chuaichín i mbarra na ngéag ann,
- ó, 'sí a chuirfeadh an saol chum suain!

Nuair a thigeann na poic faoi na sléibhte
is an gunna lena dtaobh is an líon
féachann siad anuas le léan ar
an mbaile a fuair sway in gach tír;
an fhaiche bhreá aoibhinn ina réabacha
is gan foscadh ar aon taobh ón tsín,
páirc an phaddock ina dairy
mar a mbíodh an eilit ag déanadh a scíth'!

Tá ceo ag titim ar chraobhaibh ann
ná glanann le grian ná lá,
tá smúit ag titim ón spéir ann,
is a cuid uisce go léir ag trá;
níl coll, níl cuileann, níl caora ann,
ach clocha agus maolchlocháin;
páirc na foraoise gan chraobh ann,
is d'imigh an game chum fáin!

Anois mar bharr ar gach mí-ghreann
chuaigh prionsa na nGael tar sáil,
anonn le hainnir na míne
fuair gairm sa bhFrainc is sa Spáinn -
anois tá a cuallacht á caoineadh,
gheibheadh airgead buí agus bán,
'sí ná tógfadh seilbh na ndaoine,
acht caraid na bhfíorbhochtán.

Aitím ar Mhuire is ar Íosa
go dtaga sí arís chughainn slán,
go mbeidh rincí fada ag gabháil timpeall,
ceol veidhlín is tinte cnámh,
go dtógfar an baile seo ár sinsear
Cill Chais bhreá arís go hard,
is go brách nó go dtiocfaidh an díleann
ní fheicfear í arís ar lár!

tr. Thomas Kinsella

Now what will we do for timber,
with the last of the woods laid low?
There's no talk of Cill Chais or its household
and its bell will be struck no more.
That dwelling where lived the good lady
most honoured and joyous of women
--- earls made their way over wave there
and the sweet Mass once was said.

Ducks' voices nor geese do I hear there,
nor the eagle's cry over the bay,
nor even the bees at their labour
bringing honey and wax to us all.
No birdsong there, sweet and delightful,
as we watch the sun go down,
nor cuckoo on top of the branches
settling the world to rest.

A mist on the boughs is descending
neither daylight nor sun can clear.
A stain from the sky is descending
and the waters receding away.
No hazel nor holly nor berry
but boulders and bare stone heaps,
not a branch in our neighbourly haggard,
and the game all scattered and gone.

Then a climax to all of our misery:
the prince of the Gael is abroad
oversea with that maiden of mildness
who found honour in France and Spain.
Her company now must lament her,
who would give yellow money and white
--- she who'd never take land from the people
but was friend to the truly poor.

I call upon Mary and Jesus
to send her safe home again:
dances we'll have in long circles
and bone-fires and violin music;
that Cill Chais, the townland of our fathers,
will rise handsome on high once more
and till doom --- or the Deluge returns ---
we'll see it no more laid low.

From "Londubh an Chairn"
Being Songs of the Irish Gaels, London, 1927:

1. Where now is the sheltering wildwood
That we in our youth have known?
Oh gone are the groves of our childhood
And even the birds are flown.
It was there that dwelt the good lady
There the sweet bell was daily rung,
Great Earls came over the wave there,
And the deep-intoned Mass was sung.

2. No wild-goose is heard on the lake now,
No wild-duck now haunts the stream,
The eagles their eyrie forsake now,
No bees hum in day's bright beam.
No voices of birds now entrance us
As they once sang at evening's fall,
No cuckoo is heard in the branches
To utter his slumb'rous call.

3. To Mary I pray, and the Saviour,
May our exiles return again,
With dancing and bonfires blazing
And violins' sweetest strain.
That the Castle that now is so humbled
May rise with strong keep and wall,
And till earth into ashes has crumbled
In ruin no more may fall.

    The Castle of Cill Chais (Kilcash) was the chief seat of one of the branches of the Butler family until well into the eighteenth century. It is situated at the foot of Sliabh na mBan, not far from Kilsheelan, near Clonmel, County Tipperary.

    Today the popular Irish song Cill Chaise (Kilcash) lives, still mourning the death and the time of Lady Iveagh, while the memory of Kilcash history and monuments has faded.

    Irish school texts and other sources attributed the poem to Father John Lane a Parish Priest of Carrick-on-Suir who was educated for the priesthood by Lady Iveagh, the deagh-bhean (good lady) of the song. This credit appears undeserved, as Fr Lane died in 1776 and the sale of its timber was not advertised in the local papers until 1797. The poet Pádraig Ó Néill has recently been suggested as possible author, but that is also arguable.

    The air for Kilcash appears to be that of Bliadhin 'sa taca so phós mé (This time twelve months I married), collected by George Petrie in Clare and published in 1855.

    Cill Chaise seems to have been composed in the early 1800s after the timber sale. The earliest manuscript copies of the text did not appear till forty years later.

    My thanks to John Flood of Dublin, who details the story of Kilcash in his book: John Flood & Phil Flood, Kilcash, A History, 1190-1801 (Dublin: Geography Publications, 1999)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kilcash / Cill Chais
From: Felipa
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 01:40 PM

There are several recordings of Cill Chais on youtube
example Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaioch et al

sheet music
on folk tune finder

Patrick Comerford's blog includes photos of ruins of Cill Chais

I wonder who set the words to music. I found this comment on Ceolas:The Fiddler's Companion: "The tune appears as 'An Arran Air' in Hoffman's 1877 arrangement of melodies mostly taken from the George Petrie collection."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kilcash / Cill Chais
From: mg
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 04:04 PM

sean cannon does a lovely version of it.

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