The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14793   Message #130650
Posted By: Philippa
01-Nov-99 - 07:39 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Nil 'na La - a Halloween song?
Subject: RE: Níl 'na Lá - a Halloween song
A version of Níl Sé 'na Lá with eleven verses is published under the title Bean an Tí Leanna in Éinrí Ó Muirgheasa, "Céad de Cheolta Uladh" (1915), new edition edited by Brother Beausang, published by Comhaltas Uladh, 1983.

verse VI.:
"Nach mór an mheisce bhí i mo cheann
Nuair a shíl mé gurab é an lá bhí againn?
Charbh é ach an ghealach a bhí ag éirí
Is thug sí soilse feadh an domhain".

(Wasn't I tipsy to think that it was day already [and the alehouse would be open]? It was just the moon rising that gave light over the world)

The book doesn't include any musical notation, but Ó Muirgheasa says in his notes, "The music to which this song was sung in Munster will be found in Joyce's "Ancient Irish Music", no. 57"

Mían, if you can manage to get ahold of "Céad de Cheolta Uladh", you'll find the intriguing "Aisling Thomáis Oíche Shamhna", with 23 quatrains for you to translate!

I took a closer look at my sheet music for Níl 'na Lá. Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin and Jimmy Crowley do have the same basic tune, albeit in different keys, and I think this is the air Solas uses also. The tune given in Cas Amhrán (O hEidhin) and Ceolta Gael (O Baoill) is the one that I originally learned. Although as far as I'm aware that version is the best known one in Ireland - or was until the recent popular recordings of other versions - and yet I can't think of any recording of it! Clannad has much the same lyrics, but not the same tune. I like the Munster tune better, but my favourite line about drinking the rent is in the version I learned. Maybe some day I'll work out a composite version to suit myself.