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Lyr Req: Amhran na Leabhair

Áine 21 Sep 99 - 09:48 PM
Mían 22 Sep 99 - 01:22 PM
Mían 22 Sep 99 - 03:14 PM
Áine 22 Sep 99 - 04:29 PM
Áine 23 Sep 99 - 09:34 AM
Áine 23 Sep 99 - 11:13 AM
Mían 27 Oct 99 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,xxxx 09 Oct 10 - 05:25 AM
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Subject: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Áine
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 09:48 PM

A chairde,

Tá mé ag cuartú na bhfocal den amhrán 'Amhrán na Leabhair' (as Gaeilge, ar ndóigh). Is amhrán seo fá dtaobh den longbhá a tharla as an chósta Chontae Chiarraigh nuair a bhí long ag iompar leabhair ar an shon na 'hedge schools' in Éirinn ar feadh an ama de na bpéindlíthe.

I am searching for the words to the song 'The Song of the Books.' This song is about a shipwreck that occurred off the coast of County Kerry when a ship was carrying books for the hedge schools in Ireland during the time of the penal laws.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Mían
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 01:22 PM

still looking for lyrics, but in meantime found a lovely rendition at the following address:

http://www.verinet.com/~ktcrumb/tunes/sounds/amran.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Mían
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 03:14 PM

There is a version by Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaoich on the album Taobh na Gréine (1994 Gael-Linn). Gael-Linn usually includes lyrics with their CDs... still looking...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Áine
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 04:29 PM

Dear Mian,

I visited the website you recommended and you were right, it's a very lovely rendition of the song. Now I want to find the words more than ever. Thanks for helping in the search! Slan, Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Áine
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 09:34 AM

A chairde,

After four hours of searching on the Net, I found the following information about 'Amhrán na Leabhair'. Unfortunately, I could only find the first verse of the song; but, I have ordered the CD by Tim Dennehy (mentioned below) and I will post the entire song when I receive it. All of this information I found on the IRTRAD-L bulletin board. Any misspellings or misinformation that may be contained in the following should be attributed to the original author(s). Everything enclosed between the double brackets [[ ]] is from the mentioned source. I have edited out the irrelevant stuff:

[[". . . Tim Dennehy recorded "Amhrán na Leabhar" on his fine album "Farewell to Miltown Malbay". The notes say:

"Words: Tomás Rua Ó Súilleabháin (1785-1848) "Music: trad. arr. Tim Dennehy. "Tomás Rua, schoolteacher and poet, had been transferred from Derrynane [on the south of the Iveragh peninsula] to Portmagee [opposite Valentia island on the north of the peninsula]. He placed his huge and valuable library of books - both printed and in manuscript form, all leather bound - and his clothes on a boat which was travelling from Derrynane Bay to Valentia Harbour. He himself travelled by road. Unfortunately the boat overturned near Carraig Eibhlín Ní Rathaille just outside Derrynane Bay and his priceless library was lost. 'Amhrán na Leabhar', also known as 'Cuan Bhéil Inse', was his poetic response and is probably his best known song which is also very popular with pipers as a slow air."

Note, incidentally, that the accident happened near the start of the journey, about 15 miles in a straight line south of Valentia Harbour and more than twice that distance in sea miles, with some great big lumps of mountains in between. So although "Valentia" occurs in the opening line of the song, the island itself has little to do with the story . . .

Go Cuan Bhéil Inse casadh mé

Cois Góilín aoibhinn Dairbhre

Mar a seoltar flít na farraige

Thar sáile i gcéin.

I Portmagee do stadas seal,

Faoi thuairim intinn maitheasa

D'fhonn bheith sealad eatarthu

Mar mháistir léinn.

Is gearr gur chuala an eachtara

Ag cách mo léan!

Gur i mBord Eoghain Fhinn do chailleathas

An t-árthach tréan.

Do phreab mo chroí le hatuirse

I dtaobh loinge an taoisigh chalma

Go mb'fhearrde an tír í 'sheasamh seal

Do ráib an tséin."

A remarkable rhyming scheme. All five verses are printed in the CD insert. Here's my clumsy attempt at a literal translation of just the first one (above).

"To The Harbour at the Mouth of the Island [= Valentia Harbour]

I happened to go

By the beautiful inlet of Dairbhre [Oak Island, another name for Valentia]

Where the fleet of the sea is sailed abroad.

In Portmagee I stopped a while

For the purpose of intellectual work

Because of being amongst them for a time

As a teacher.

Soon the event was heard of

By all, alas!

That on Eoghan Finn's Table [?a rock or reef?] was lost

The mighty vessel.

My heart gasped with misery

Concerning the boat of the brave leader

That it was better for the country to have waited a while than to run the gale."

. . . Valentia (is) . . . a very interesting place indeed in many ways . . . . For example - it's the birthplace of the druid Mogh Roith, Servant of the Wheel, who beheaded John the Baptist; the source of the roof-slates on the British Houses of Parliament; and an American connection is that the privateer John Paul Jones often took shelter in Valentia Harbour or nearby Portmagee (named after a redoubtable 18th century female smuggler, incidentally) when his cruises brought him far into the Atlantic."]]

** It's Áine again ? For you Americans who paid attention in history class and know who John Paul Jones was, it's true that he was a 'privateer' ? something that I certainly wasn't taught in school. Look him up in the Encyclopedia and check it out ? I certainly learned something new!

Slán go fóill, Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Áine
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 11:13 AM

Shame on me for not mentioning the name of the fellow who posted all the wonderful information on the IRTRAD-L. His name is Paul de Grae. Maith a bhuachaill!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhrán na Leabhair
From: Mían
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 04:25 PM

Click here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Amhran na Leabhair
From: GUEST,xxxx
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 05:25 AM

Cuan Bhéal Inse is the bay between Dairbhre (Valentia) and the mainland, where one finds portmagee


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