The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24205   Message #1891835
Posted By: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
23-Nov-06 - 12:17 PM
Thread Name: Wanted: Songs for alcoholics!
Subject: Lyr Add: THE DARK, SLENDER LADDIE / AS BEURLA
There's a joke about, "What's the difference between a Drunk and an Alcoholic?", the answer being, "A Drunk doesn't have to go to the meetings..."; but, when I mentioned this in conversation with an alcoholic some years ago, he answered, "A Drunk enjoys it", so maybe it's not so funny after all. Anyway, bearing in mind this distinction, and what an earlier poster wrote about songs for Drinkers/Drunkards as distinct from songs for Alcoholics, how about the eighteenth-century song by Sean O'Seanachainn (Sean Aerach), which may be translated as "THE DARK, SLENDER LADDIE"? This version "As Beurla" is closely modelled on the translation by Donal O'Sullivan in his "Songs of the Irish", 1960.

When I'm at the market, some cloth to purchase,
And hold the earnest within my hand;
The dark, slender laddie still seeks and searches
Till he slips beside me, and there he'll stand.
It's not long after my senseless laughter
Will reach the rafters, so bright and bould;
And I'm tormented, for my money's spent, and
My clothes still unmended, and me sterved wi' could.

The "Buchaill Caol Dubh" is learned and charming,
Open-handed, of aspect fine;
And he has left me destroyed, he's bereft me
Of health and fortune, of land and kine.
Tho' I'd cross over the stormy ocean,
From the Port of Howth to Inis Mhor,
Swift as a swallow, my track he'd follow,
And by the morrow, he'd be on the shore.

Queen Aobhill of Thomond met us, roaming
Along the roadways, and to the lad said she,
Let him me abandon, and she would grant him
A hundred drunkards... instead of me.
Right firm and boldly, the laddie told her
He'd always hold to so close a friend;
For ever faring throughout all Erin,
My fortune sharing until the end.

This version keeps a bit closer to the Irish original than O'Sullivan's, and tries to preserve something of the internal rhyming and assonance characteristic of songs "As Gaelige". Cheers!

An Buachaill Caol Dubh.