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Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre? / Sheila Nee Iyer

GUEST,matt milton 10 Nov 09 - 07:03 PM
MartinRyan 10 Nov 09 - 07:09 PM
MartinRyan 10 Nov 09 - 07:11 PM
Matthew Edwards 10 Nov 09 - 07:48 PM
Matthew Edwards 10 Nov 09 - 08:27 PM
MartinRyan 11 Nov 09 - 03:20 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Nov 09 - 04:10 AM
GUEST 11 Nov 09 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,matt milton 11 Nov 09 - 05:04 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:03 PM

really enjoying listening to the album A Wild Bee's Nest by Paddy Tunney, one of the re-releases Topic is doing to celebrate its 70th.

There's a song on it called Sheela Nee Eyre, which I'd never heard of before, and which has some rather bizarre classical Greek references in it. It's your sort of standard 'as i roved out one may morning' song, in which a bloke meets a girl he fancies and exchanges a few words, only their idea of flirting seems surprisingly literary and arcane.

Anyone have the lyrics to hand?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:09 PM

There's a set in the Digital Tradition HERE

There's also an earlier thread with some discussion IIRC

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:11 PM

The earlier thread

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHEILA NEE IYER
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:48 PM

From Paddy Tunney, The Stone Fiddle: My way to Traditional song, Dublin, 1979. pp.116-117

"In the whole corpus of traditional song couched in the borrowed Béarla, [i.e. English] there are none to compare with the high-minded effusions of our hedge-school-master poets. These songs are readily recognisable by the plenitude of classical allusions they contain and by the adaptation of the Gaelic assonantal rhyme, used extensively by the Gaelic Aisling poets of the eighteenth century...And when [the hedge-school-master]...headed for the moorlands of Mollybreen and Meenatully, the Muses would mingle with the heady wine of the wilderness and inspire such an exquisite song as Sheila Nee Iyer:

Sheila Nee Iyer

It was by the banks of a clear flowing strame,
That first I accosted that comely young dame,
And in great confusion I did ask her name:
"Are you Flora, or Aurora or the famed Queen of Tyre?"
She answered: "I'm neither, I'm Sheila Nee Iyer."

"Go rhyming rogue, let my flocks roam in peace
You won't find amongst them the famed Golden Fleece.
The tresses of Helen, that goddess of Greece,
Have hanked round your heart like a doll of desire
Be off to your spéirbhean," said Sheila Nee Iyer.

"May the sufferings of Sisyphus fall to my share,
And may I the torments of Tantalus bear,
To the dark land of Hades my soul fall an heir
Without linnet in song or a note on the lyre,
If I ever prove false to you, Sheila Nee Iyer.

"O had I the wealth of the Orient store,
All the gems of Peru or the Mexican ore,
Or the hand of a Midas to mould o'er and o'er
Bright bracelets of gold and of flaming saphire,
I would robe you in splendour my Sheila Nee Iyer."

Note: spéirbhean = beautiful woman

Roud Index no 3108, and apparently uniquely sung by Paddy Tunney.

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:27 PM

Ah well! Martin found the answers while I was still hunting down my copy of 'The Stone Fiddle', so you've got the information twice over now.

Looking back at the old thread the links to the Midnight Court site don't work any more but the same details now seem to be available on a new site edited by Noel Fahey Cúirt an Mheán Oíche - The Midnight Court which quotes Síle Ní Eidhir as an example of an aisling type of poem - although there is nothing to suggest that it ever actually existed as a Gaelic language poem.

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:20 AM

Matthew

The term is also commonly used to describe English language equivalents. That said, there is sometimes a tendency to interpret any "boy meets girl" song set in Ireland as having political overtones!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 04:10 AM

""May the sufferings of Sisyphus fall to my share,"
A singer friend of mine makes a beautiful job of this, but his wife, who is a Greek literature teacher always refers to it as "The Dung Beetle Song"....... answers on a plain postcard!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:03 AM

thanks so much. I did look in the digital tradition for this song, but didn't find anything as it's listed there spelt 'Sheila' and 'Iyer'.

that 'stone fiddle' book sounds great. time for a quick trip to abebooks methinks. I'd no idea Mr Tunney was such an engaging and erudite chap.

When you read old lyics like that, you really appreciate that there's a direct link to what gets praised as high art modernist collage in James Joyce or avant garde pared-down non sequitur in Samuel Beckett. You can see shades of some of the horseplay between Vladimir and Estragon (from Waiting for Godot) in some of these exchanges.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheela Nee Eyre
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:04 AM

cookie monster struck again in the post above. no doubt getting over-excited at the Sesame St anniversary celebrations.


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