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Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh

Colm Doyle 17 Mar 97 - 03:06 AM
Susan A-R 08 Oct 07 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,DK 08 Oct 07 - 11:16 PM
Susan A-R 09 Oct 07 - 10:39 AM
michaelr 09 Oct 07 - 06:54 PM
Declan 09 Oct 07 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,JTT 09 Oct 07 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,DK 09 Oct 07 - 09:53 PM
Effsee 09 Oct 07 - 10:02 PM
Effsee 09 Oct 07 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,JTT 11 Oct 07 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,JTT 24 Oct 07 - 03:41 PM
Gillies 14 Nov 07 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Mark Urquhart 08 Oct 20 - 12:27 PM
JeffB 09 Oct 20 - 07:43 AM
Felipa 09 Oct 20 - 06:57 PM
Felipa 09 Oct 20 - 06:59 PM
GUEST 10 Oct 20 - 04:15 AM
Felipa 10 Oct 20 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 20 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Trestarig 18 Oct 20 - 02:42 PM
Felipa 18 Oct 20 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Padraig Ua Briain 05 Apr 21 - 11:42 AM
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Subject: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Colm Doyle
Date: 17 Mar 97 - 03:06 AM

Hello and happy St Patricks Day,

Does anybody have an english translation for the Irish song/air An Buachaill Caol Dubh, The Dark Slender Boy? The Irish lyrics would also be appreciated if you've got them.

Colm


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Susan A-R
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 10:26 PM

I'm also looking for a more accurate rendition of this. Johnny Doyle includes a version of this, sung by his father, on his Evening Comes Early recording. I have many of the lyrics in my head, but loaned a friend the cd and he managed to lose the jacket with the lyrics on it. Here's the very approximate lyrics I am able to remember.

When I go to the market to make a purchase
I grasp my earnest money within my hand
A dark slender boy still seeks and searches
til he slipps beside me, sedate and bland.
'tis not long after, my senseless laughter
Will reach the rafters and I'm left prone
When I've paid what's owing, even though it's knowing
seven months without a shirt I am going
My money gone

is tall and festive, clever and learned, of comely mein
But he has left me and in pain bereft me
of all my fortune, sheep and kyne
Were I to travel to france ?
Or back across to Inishmore
Swift as the swallow my track he would follow
untill on the morrow I would find him there.
I'm pretty much missing the second verse and first half of the third here.


The faerie queen of ? met us out roaming
Near the ?? and she told the lad
if he would me abandon that she would grant him
a hundred ?
The slim boy answered in tones of banter
It was ne'er his fancy to lose a friend
over hill and over hollow that he would follow
a soak so mellow until the end.


Anyone fill in the gaps??


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Subject: Lyr Add: AN BUACHAILL CAOL DUBH / DARK SLIM LADDIE
From: GUEST,DK
Date: 08 Oct 07 - 11:16 PM

This is Donal O'Sullivan's version from 'Songs of the Irish.'

Nuair a théim ar aonach a' ceannach éadaigh
'S bíonn an éirnis agam im láimh,
Síneann taobh liom an buachaill caol dubh,
'S cuireann caol-chrobh isteach im láimh.
Is gearr'n-a dhéidh sin go mbím go h-aerach,
Gan puinn dem chéill 's mé os cionn an chláir,
A' díol na n-éileamh do bhíonn am chéasa,
Seacht mí gan léine's an fuacht am chrá.

'Sé an buachaill caol dubh fada, féileach,
Clisde, léigheanta, 's gur mhaith é a shnó,
Do chlaoidh i bpéin mé 's do mhill i n-éag mé,
Is d'fhág mé féinig ar beagán stóir.
Dhon Fhrainnc dá dtéinn, nó go cuan Binn Éadain,
No a' dul don léim sin go h-lnis Mór,
Bionn an séithleach im dhiaidh ar saothar,
Mara mbeinn féin uaidh ach uair de ló.

Do casadh Aoibhill na Craige Léith' orrainn,
A'gabháil na sli is do ghaibh liom baidh;
Is dúirt dá ngéillfeadh an buachaill caol dubh
Go dtúrfadh céad fear dó suas im áit.
Do labhair an caol-fhear go gonta géar lé,
Is dúirt ná tréigfeadh a charaid ghnáth,
Gur shiúil sé Éire tré choillte 's réitigh
Le cumann cléibh is le searc im dheuidh.


When I go to market to make a purchase
And grasp the earnest within my hand,
The dark slim laddie still seeks and searches
Till he slips beside me sedate and bland.
It's not long after my senseless laughter
Will reach the rafter and I'm left prone;
When I pay what's owing, e'en though it's snowing,
Quite bare I'm going, my money gone.

The dark slim laddie's aye open-handed,
So kind, so candid, witb features fine;
But he has left me in pain, bereft me
Of all my fortune, my sheep and kine.
If I took a notion to cross the ocean
His deep devotion would not despair;
Swift as a swallow my track he'd follow,
And on the morrow I'd find him there!

The Queen of Thomond met us while roaming
Along the roadway and told the lad
If he'd me abandon that she would grant him
A hundred topers to make him glad.
The slim boy answered in tones of banter
'Twas ne'er his fancy to lose a friend:
O'er hill, o'er hollow he'd always follow
A soak so mellow until the end!


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Susan A-R
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 10:39 AM

Thank you. That will do. I've always wanted to sing this one. It's pretty interesting and has a lovely melody and this gives me enough to go on.

Susan


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 06:54 PM

Here are the lyrics as printed in the booklet to Evening Comes Early:

The Dark Slender Boy

When I go to the market to make a purchase
And grasp the earnest money within my hand,
The dark slender boy still seeks and searches
Till he slips beside me sedate and bland.
It's not long after my senseless laughter
Will reach the rafters, and I'm left prone
When I pay what's owing, even though it's snowing,      
Seven months without a shirt I am going, my money gone.

An Buachaill Caol Dubh is tall and festive
Clever and learned, of comely mien      
But he has left me and in pain bereft me      
Of all my fortune, sheep and kine.
Were I to travel to Fance, no go Cuan Binn Eadair
Or back across to Inishmore
Swift as a swallow, my track he would follow,
Until on the morrow I would find him there      

The fairy Queen of Thomond met us while roaming
Near the fray rock, and she told the lad
If he would me abandon, that she would grant him
A hundred topers to make him glad.
The slim boy answered in tones of banter
It was ne'er his fancy to lose a friend
Over hill and o'er hollow, my track he'd follow
A soak so mellow, until the end.


Does anyone know what a "toper" is?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Declan
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 07:47 PM

Michael,

A toper would be someone who was fond of the drink.


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 08:54 PM

Heavens, reading this (first the English version, then the Irish original) it sounds so like a coded gay song. Hmmm!


---
When I go to the fair buying clothes,
And with the goods in my hand
Stretched beside me the dark slim lad
And he puts a grass-stalk inside in my hand

Shortly after that I'm delighted
Without a quid to my name, and I'm across the board
Selling the clothes I had to my name,
I'm left without my shirt, cold in my craw.

It's the slim dark boy, tall, festive,
Clever, light, beautiful complexioned.
He wrecked me, he destroyed me
And left poor me with little treasure.
If he'd come from France, or the harbour of Howth
Or leaped to Inis Mor
The famine-hound would be lashing me to work
If all he wanted was an hour of the day.

(and so on)


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,DK
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 09:53 PM

From O'Sullivan's notes to the song.

In this song we have the unusual and attractive concept of the Spirit of Drink as a Dark Slender Boy who accompanies his protégé everywhere. The author of the conceit was a Munster poet of the mid-eighteenth century named Seán Ó Seanacháin (John Shanahan), whose eccentric character and general irresponsibility earned for him the sobriquet of "Seán Aerach" or "Flighty Jack". According to the account given by O'Curry to Petrie, he was a native of Tulla, County Clare, who settled down in the neighbourhood of Glin, on the estuary of the Shannon in County Limerick.

Aoibhill, mentioned in the third verse, was the Fairy Queen of Thomond in Irish mythology; and her palace, Carraig Liath or The Grey Rock, is a hill overhanging the Shannon about a mile and a half above Killaloe, on the Clare side of the river. She appeared to Brian Boru on the battlefield of Clontarf (1014), predicted the outcome of the battle and informed the king of his impending death.

*Pronounced Eevil.


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Effsee
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 10:02 PM

" the Spirit of Drink as a Dark Slender Boy who accompanies his protégé everywhere."
Would he be any relation to this fella from an unknown poet?

A tall dark man & his wee brown dog.

Ach wummin will you haud yer wheesht, I know I'm awful late!
Well no, I didn't get all done, the jobs that are on my plate.
Ye see, life is never simple and ye canna tell before,
The tricks that fate'll play on us, the things God has in store.
Sure, I was full of good intentions,If you only knew,
The list of things that's needing done, that I was going to do,
Man, you would've seen some action.If I hadnae stopped and spoke,
To a tall dark man , wi' a wee brown dog.

Sure man can just be daicent and honesty itself,
And he cannae turn and walk away when someone's needing help.
When I bumped into Dezzy he was leaning on the wall,
He said he'd been there maist the day, in case the thing would fall!
Sure'n' both his shoulders were worn through to the bone,
I couldn't leave a man like that, to face the job alone!
So I downed my tools and joined him, he caught his breath and spoke,
About a tall dark man and a wee brown dog.

Now Dezzy is no author, but when something's got his goat,
He can speak his mind as clear as any sermon wrote.
And he talked about the weather, and the troubles in this land,
And all the ins and outs of the job we had in hand.
He said since the two of us had been working all this time,
He thocht that for a little while, the wall would just be fine.
"Come on I'll introduce you" he said and cleared his throat,
"To a tall dark man", wi' a wee brown dog.

Sure a man can jist be civil, sure, not rude to fellow man,
So I went along with Dezzy, and we left the wall to stand.
We went to certain premises, and hadnae long to wait,
'Til a tall dark stranger joined us, and man his crack wis great!
And short and tall the tales were told, telling truth, and lying!
I swear to God I couldna tell, the way the time was flying!
And though the mood was fancy free, there was one word of warning,
Although the dog was friendly now, he'd be vicious in the morning!
When it comes to best of company, I know I'd gi' my vote,
To a tall dark man, and his wee brown dog!

What a man must do, a man must do, it's all a body can,
And I wandered past the building, with the wall we'd left to stand.
Now I had faith in Dezzy's judgement, but that bloody wall was shakin'!
I'm telling you, I swear to God, yon thing was well past saving!
But the wife says "Sammy Semple, you lies'll never blin' us,
For I know that tall black stranger , and I know his name is Guiness!
And when the man, and no the dog, has started getting frisky,
Then that's the dog that leads the man, and I know it's name is whisky!
Hey, Sammy Semple, listen here, you'll rue the day you spoke,
To a tall dark man, and his wee brown


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Subject: RE: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Effsee
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 10:03 PM

dog


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 06:28 AM

Still wondering if there's a bit of a gay thing going on there.

Cathal O Searcaigh did an interesting thing on subversive gay imagery in traditional music, sean-nós and those 18th-century poems a couple of years back. Not sure if the buachall caol dubh (ahem, nearly said chaol...) was part of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 03:41 PM

By the way, Iarla O Lionaird has a
great version


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Gillies
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 08:10 PM

Hey there

would anyone happen to know the chords used by John Doyle on his version of this song?

cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,Mark Urquhart
Date: 08 Oct 20 - 12:27 PM

I was looking in an antique book of poetry 'The four winds of Eirinn' by Ethina Carberry and she has a poem called 'Mo Bhachaill cael-dubh' which she has translated as 'My Black Slender Boy' and the poem makes pretty clear she means Black, and not just dark-haired. It was quite a shocking poem to read, written around 1900 in Eire.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: JeffB
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 07:43 AM

Liam O'Flynn knew it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMvBnEvuBuA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 06:57 PM

Ethna [not Ethina] Carberry's poem cited by Mark Urquhart sounds most intriguing. "The Four Winds of Eirinn" can be viewed online. I wouldn't say that the lad addressed in the poem is definitely dark-skinned as well as dark-haired, though perhaps the "mouth of white pearls" suggests his teeth contrast with his skin colour:

My Black Slender Boy, you have nothing but health–
Yet your diamonds of eyes are far rarer than wealth;
Your mouth of white pearls, and your locks of the jet
Would buy all my fortune and leave me in debt.


The hate and scorn of the narrator's parents towards the Black Slender Boy may be because he is poor and they are well-off, rather than because of his colouring.

My Black Slender Boy, though my father may frown,
And my proud mother pass you with scorn in the town,
While they bargain at making a match for me there,
With Red Ulic Keown in the heat of the fair–


note that Ulic[k] would have red hair, not red skin ... and that would be a typical way to describe someone in Irish language (Úna Bhán, Uilleac Rua, Domhnall Dubh - fair haired, red haired, black haired)

https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/carbery/eirinn/eirinn.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 06:59 PM

I think the Buchaill Caol Dubh in the original lyrics is a tall glass of stout.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 04:15 AM

Felipa is correct.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Felipa
Date: 10 Oct 20 - 06:54 PM

or maybe I should have said "porter" (I was thinking about how the glass is narrow, "caol" but the drink is "stout")


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 08:24 AM

I have always been told the referred to the bottle but I suppose the glass would work too, if it's not your only man.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,Trestarig
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 02:42 PM

I stand to be corrected but I'd understood it to be a metaphor for a bottle of liquor/poitín. Porter would be the immediate assumption from a word like dubh but the poem itself is from the mid 1700s, before stout porter was actually even on tap in Ireland. Porter was first developed in England in the early-mid 1700s, with urban Irish breweries like Guinness only switching to it from ale in the 1770s-1820s as it became popular first in cities and then later in rural areas in Ireland. May be entirely unrelated but the Scots Gaelic equivalent to poitín is called poit dubh?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: Felipa
Date: 18 Oct 20 - 04:12 PM

Ó Suilleabháin dates the song as mid 1700s
"The author of the conceit was a Munster poet of the mid-eighteenth century named Seán Ó Seanacháin (John Shanahan), whose eccentric character and general irresponsibility earned for him the sobriquet of "Seán Aerach" or "Flighty Jack". According to the account given by O'Curry to Petrie, he was a native of Tulla, County Clare, who settled down in the neighbourhood of Glin, on the estuary of the Shannon in County Limerick."
(quoted by DK in a previous message)

yes, I suppose a bottle may be a better image than a glass.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
From: GUEST,Padraig Ua Briain
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 11:42 AM

The slim black lad is most likely a reference to the bottles in which whiskey was kept. It hid the colour and so the quality from the customers. At the time the people didn't care one way or the other about sexuality. It was much later that the word "aerach", which here means merry/drunk came to mean "gay".


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