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Subject: Cainmagandy
Date: 18 Jul 15 - 10:12 AM

Anyone ever heard of this song?

My dearest Joan, don't grieve and groan,
    But leave this lonely highland,
And o'er the seas on floating breeze
    Elope with me to my land;
Where in bower and creek there's mounds of beef
    And flour and mead and brandy;
And free from care we'll breathe fresh air
    In the fields of Cainmagandy.

That verse appears on page 301 of Séamus Ó Grianna's novel (in Irish Gaelic) "Bean Ruadh de Dhálach" (1966).

Earlier, an anonymous query about the song had appeared in the "Ulster Herald" (Omagh newspaper) of 1951/03/10. The enquirer was from Belfast but had heard the song in the Donegal Rosses (where Ó Grianna came from). He was told that the Rosses people got it from the Plumbridge area of Tyrone. The only reply to the enquiry came in the Herald of 1951/04/07, from the folklorist Michael J Murphy who happened to be living in Tyrone at the time, and he suggested it was an adaptation of the Gaelic song "Úr-chnoc Chéin Mhic Cáinte" which by coincidence belongs to Murphy's native area of South Armagh/North Louth (and which is mentioned in several Mudcat threads). It's certainly not a straight translation, but Murphy's suggestion looks extremely plausible to me, especially if we allow that the adapter chose his English words (groan, beef) more for their sound rather than their connotations, and also occasionally misunderstood the Gaelic (like mistaking "ciúin" for "Siúbhan", hence "Joan"). "Cainmagandy" itself could be a very approximate rendering of "Céin Mhic Cáinte".

Anyone know any more on this?

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Subject: RE: Cainmagandy
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Jul 15 - 10:25 AM


You may find that thread useful.

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