I dinnae hae th' Irish, anely a wee bit o' Scots Gaelic, but I'm wi' Sean an' th' ithers whae think "Musha ring" comes frae wairds our Modern English/American ears hear as "nonsense."
Allow me tae present ye wi' a relatit example: growin' up subjectit tae Peter, Paul, an' Mary's rendition o' sangs, I thocht for years that th' followin' wairds were "jist nonsense syllables:"
"Shool, shool, shool-a-roon, / shool-a-rack-shack / shool-a-bob a-coon..."
These wairds were pairt o' th' chorus tae th' auld sang aboot th' lass lamentin' that, as usual, "Johnny's gane for a soldier..." Weel, I haed ma suspicions that I wisnae gettin' th' hale story wi' that odd "nonsense" chorus, an' sure eno'!!! I went tae a sang wairkshop at an Irish festival in Alaska, an' there wis a fellow teachin' us th' proper Irish wairds.
"Shool-a-run" actually comes frae th' Irish Gaelic (forgie me for wrichtin' Scots Gaelic an' omittin' accents, I dinnae hae th' Irish wairds printit oot) wairds "Siubhal"--meanin' travel-- an' "Run" meanin' someane verra dear. So th' narrator's nae babblin' like an' eejit, she's lamentin' th' fact that her love maun gae travellin' aff, an' possibly sayin' sumpit tae th' effect o' "sure, gae aff an' leave me, I'll jist sit here on ma hill wi'oot ma spinnin' wheel an' SUFFER..."
I'm thinkin' tis time tae lay this ane afore oor resident Mudcat Irish scholars. Onyane oot there wi' a facility for Irish an' eno' vocabulary/interpretion skills tae render "Musha-ring..." in th' auld Mither Tongue? Barrin' that, onyane oot there wi' eno' Irish tae tell me aff, an' laugh in ma face because ye ken it really IS nonsense, sairvin' tae cover up sumpit waurse?!?
maist humbly submitted,