The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2871   Message #13968
Posted By: Alice
04-Oct-97 - 06:25 PM
Thread Name: Lullaby Land (songs posted here)
My favorite is "The Gartan Mother's Lullaby". Dick, I checked this in the DT and have some corrections for you. First, it is Gartan, not Garton. My sources are Irish Country Songs, collected and arranged by Herbert Hughes,, 1909, and the album notes from Songs of Ireland by Mary O'Hara, written by Liam Clancy, 1958. Also, Lullaby doesn't have the "e" on the end in this case. In the second line, it sounds like Eeval, but it refers to "Aoibheal", who guards the Grey Rock. I have another source, True Irish Ghost Stories, which refers to her as a banshee rather than just a fairy woman, as Liam Clancy calls her. In the ghost story book, it reads, "The most famous Banshee of ancient times was that attached to the kingly house of O'Brien, Aibhill, who haunted the rock of Graglea above Killaloe, near the old palace of Kincora. In A.D. 1014 was fought the battle of Clontarf, from which the aged king, Brian Boru, knew that he would never come away alive, for the previous night Aibhill had appeared to him to tell him of his impending fate."


Sleep, O babe, for the red bee hums
The silent twilight's fall.
Eeval (Aoibheal) from the Grey Rock comes
To wrap the earth in thrall.
A lyan* van o, my child, my joy,
My love and heart's desire,
The crickets sing you lullaby
Beside the dying fire.

Dusk is drawn, and the Green Man's thorn
Is wreathed in rings of fog.
Sheevra sail's his boat til morn,
Upon the starry bog.
A lyan van o, the paly moon
Hath brimmed her cusp in dew,
And weeps to hear the sad sleep-tune
I sing, O love, to you.

repeat first verse.

This is one of the first songs I sang at the Irish session that I attend. It has a very sweet melody, and is a crowd pleaser.

*lyan is pronounced like "linn" Alice in Montana