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Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill

keberoxu 26 May 16 - 06:31 PM
keberoxu 26 May 16 - 08:27 PM
Jim Carroll 27 May 16 - 07:50 AM
keberoxu 27 May 16 - 05:15 PM
keberoxu 27 May 16 - 05:22 PM
keberoxu 27 May 16 - 05:38 PM
keberoxu 27 May 16 - 05:49 PM
keberoxu 28 May 16 - 11:17 AM
keberoxu 28 May 16 - 12:04 PM
keberoxu 28 May 16 - 12:22 PM
keberoxu 28 May 16 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 28 May 16 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 28 May 16 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 28 May 16 - 09:32 PM
keberoxu 30 May 16 - 01:00 PM
keberoxu 30 May 16 - 01:04 PM
keberoxu 02 Jun 16 - 08:09 PM
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Subject: Caislean Ui Neill (sean-nos)
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 May 16 - 06:31 PM

Some Mudcat forum thread have several Irish songs crowded onto them, which is where I find mention of "Caisleán Uí Néill." Until now, this song has no thread of its own. Please help me get this thread going, as I am not knowledgeable about sean-nós or Gaelic, and working with this repertoire takes me outside my comfort zone. As usual, a sound recording attracts me to this piece of traditional Irish music.

Is there more than one tune for this song? It is stated elsewhere on Mudcat that this tune was used by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ferguson for the English-language lyric, "The Lark in the Clear Air." My interest is of course in the Gaelic of origin.

And that brings us to the problem of multiple versions of this lyric. In future posts, versions of "Caisleán Uí Néill" can be contributed to this thread. The lyric does not totally change, but from one version to another there can be totally different verses. I have no idea if the differences are regional in origin.

The sound recording, documenting a performance (with piano accompaniment) by Máire Ní Scolaí, has at most a handful of verse-lines that I could recognize from print-outs of the Gaelic lyrics. In particular:

Ní cluineadh ceol cláirsí 'dhul an t-sraid seo ná ceol binn na n-éan
Ó d'éaliugh mo ghrá uaim, craoibh áluinn, go Caisleán Uí Néill.

I believe that the Comhaltas archives have one version of this lyric.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 May 16 - 08:27 PM

This version, for what it is worth, is archived at the Royal Irish Academy webpages. (the FNG project)

CAISLEÁN UÍ NÉILL
(traditional)

Céad slán dhon oíche 'reir, 's é mo léan nach anocht 'na tús
Leis an mbuachaillín spéiriúil a bhréagadh mé seal ar a ghlúin
D'aithriseoinn scéal duit, a mhile grá, dá ndéantá air rún
Ach Flaithis Mhic Dé ná fhaighe an té chuirfeadh idir mé is tú.

Tá an gairdín seo ina fhásach, a mhile grá, nó an miste leat é?
Nil toradh ar bith ag fás ann, bláth na n-airni ná duilliúr na gcraobh
Ní chluinim ceol cláirsí ag dul an t-sráid seo ná ceiliúr na n-éan
Ó d'éalaigh mo ghrá uaim, an chraobh álainn, go Caisleán Uí Néill.

[run out of computer time. More verses in this version. -- later]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 May 16 - 07:50 AM

These are the three versions from Mrs Costello of Tuam's collection Traditional Folk-Songs From Galway and Mayo (1933)
Can't include the Irish text as they are in old Irish, which won't scan into Word, (I can't read Irish either) but am happy to provide you with a picture scan of them and the airs if they are of any use (PM me an e-mail address)
Will look up some of the references later, though our copy of The Songs of the Munster Bards doesn't include it
Jim Carroll

(i). (CASTLE O'NEILL.)
In Castle O'Neill
An enchantress has changed me with spells,
My doom be declared
If ever I court her again.

My heart-beat, my treasure !
From me you have hidden your face.
Our love-time is ended,
My grief! that my eyes on yon gazed.

The gardens are waste-land,
Bright love, since you fled from the bowers.
The rivers are straying,
Dead leaves strew the beds of the flowers.

I hear no harp's music
On the street nor the piping of birds,
Since vanished the beauty
To Castle O'Neill, whom I loved.

This song seems to be equally well known in the provinces of Munster and Connacht. There is a fine version given in the second part of " Poets and Poetry of Munster," edited by Dr. Siggerson
The above version was given me by the Rev. M. J. Conroy, P.P., Kilmeena, Co. Mayo, and he told me he learned it from an old woman in Connemara. Nos. 7 and 8 are Tuam variants of the song. It is interesting to note the change from beAn (in all the other versions) to buACAiltiti (in No. 8).

For other versions see " Love-songs of Connacht," by Dr. Douglas Hyde, p. 22, vs. 2 and 3, p. 26, v. 5 ; "The Irish Review," June, 1912;
An air of this name was printed by Bunting in his first volume of airs, 1797.

CAisteán Úi Neill (ii).

(2) (CASTLE O'NEILL.) Sung by Miss MAGGIE HESSION, Belclare, Tuam.
My heart's love, I'm calling,
In the young summer days let us speed
Away down to Tirawley
Ere morning spreads dew on the fields.

No dowry I hope for
Of sheep, or cattle, or lands,
But my two hands supporting
Your head like the clustering branch.

The garden is waste-land,
Bright love, and lonely I keep.
One apple-tree waves there,
White blossom is strewn on its leaves.

Ah, if I heard you calling,
No quiet of sleep would I know.
But sorrow befall him
Who came between you and my soul

(III)
The following version of the song was written down for me by Mr. Michael Diskin, N. T., Milltown, Tuam, from Simon Steed, Milltown, but I failed to get the air from him :?

The garden is waste-land,
Love, that quickened my pulses with pride:
One apple-tree grows there,
On its branches the blossom is white.

Oh, come from the castle
With me when the summer is born,
Afar through the valleys,
Ere bird-song has startled the morn.

But I cannot follow
My love to the halls where she shines
A bright star of knowledge,
Whose equal no sage has descried.

No minstrelsy joyful of harps
I heard going the street.
So sweet as her voice is,
My love, that's in Castle O'Neill.

And I ask for no dowry
Of cattle, or sheep, with my bride, '
But my two hands around her,
And converse of love in the night.

But sorrow betide him
Who stole the desire of my soul:
'Tis my wish I could drive him
To exile on Sassenach shores.

On the quay there is riding
A ship that will bear me to Spain:
I'll sail to the wild geese,
Forgetting dead passionate days.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 16 - 05:15 PM

continuing, with verse 3:
Is i gCaisleán Uí Neill tá an péarla bhain dhíomsa mo shnua
is gurb é binneas a bhéil a chuirfeadh éanlaith na coille chun suain
's é an tsamhail thug mé féin dá mhéin mhaith is do leagan a shúl
mar fhíoruisce an tsléibhe is é ag téaltó maidin lae ciúin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 16 - 05:22 PM

and the fourth and final verse from FNG at RIA (archive project).

Níl cnócan dá aeraí, a mhíle grá, nach n-aithneoinn do shiúl
'S níl maighdean dá chéillí, is é mo léan, nach dtéann uirthi an chluain
Tá mo mhuintir dom thréigean 's níl éinne tíocht chugam ar cuairt
agus mo ghrá dom shéanadh le céil fir eile is nach trua.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 16 - 05:38 PM

Sorry to chop up the song verse by verse, but the multi-verse posts were getting rejected by the submit-message function. I found the Comhaltas Archive version now. How long will it take me to get all four verses on here?

Céad slán doch oiche 'réir, sé mo lé nach í anocht 'na tús,
Leis an mbuachaillín spéiriúil a bhréagfhadh mé seal ar a ghlúin
Mar do chuir tu orm t'éaradh, a mhí grá geal ís ni leat-sa mo rúin
Ach céad faraor géar, ta na sléibhte 'dhul idir mé's tú

Tá an gáirdin seo 'na fhásach, a mhíle grá bán agus mise liom fhéin
T´ na pabhsaithe á fás'ann, is breaghtha dhá bhfaca tú riamh
Ní chluinfea ceol cláirsí 'dhul an t-sráid seo ná ceol binn na n-éan
O d'éaluigh mo ghrá uaim, craoibh áluinn, go Caisleán Uí Néill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 May 16 - 05:49 PM

...and the final two Comhaltas Archive verses, if the computer will allow me.

Is a gCaisleán Uí Néill tá an péarla 'bhain dhíom-sa mo ghrá
Go dtug mé fhéin spéis dó go mór i ngan fhios do'n slua
Ag teallach 'ti mhóir sea chónuíonns is chodalaíonns mo ghrá
Ach a samhail níl le fáil ann, ach an réalt eolais ar an mbáile úd thall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 11:17 AM

Fourth and final verse, archive, Comhaltas.

Ba mhilse liom do phóigín ná an rós a thaganns ar bláth
Is le cúmha mór i ndiaidh mo stóirín ní mó ná go gcodaluim fein trá
Bliain 'san oiche aréir, sea réab na capaill an fál
Agus chuaidh siad de léim, sé mo léan géar, amach ins a' snamh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 12:04 PM

Many thanks, Jim Carroll, especially for the references! Have just pulled up, online, "Poets and Poetry of Munster" edited by Sigerson. Let me see if I can use computer code to work this out from the script. This version has more than four verses, AND I see individual lines wiggling around and jumping from verse to verse....this is a lively traditional lyric in that respect, alive and kicking! Here goes.

CAISLEÁN UÍ NÉILL
(traditional. Editor: Sigerson, Poets and Poetry of Munster)

(given as verse 4 in Sigerson; corresponds closely to verse 1 in previous posts on this thread)
Cé slán do'n oidhche raoir is é mo léan nach í nocht atá ann
'S do'n m-buachaillín spéireamhuil do bhreagfadh mé seal ar a ghlúin
Do 'neósfainn féin sgéal duit dá m'fhéidir go g-coimeádfádh orm rún!
Go bh-fuil mo ghrádh bán am thréigion a Dhia ghléigil 'sa mhic Mhuire nach dúbhach!

(shouldn't complain, but wow, this is a workout.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 12:22 PM

(Poets and Poetry of Munster, ed. Sigerson:
verse 2)

Atá mo gháirdín-sí an fhásach a dhian-ghrádh an misde leat é
Atá torthuighe ró ánd ann agus fásach go barraoi na g-craobh
Ní chluinim ceól cláirsíghe gabhail an t-sráid seo ná ceól binn na n-éan
O d'éalaigh mo ghrádh uaim, cúl fáingioch go Caisleán Uí Néill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 01:05 PM

(Poets and Poetry of Munster, ed. Sigerson: printed as first verse)

A chumainn dhil a's annsacht a d-tús an t-samhraidh dá d-tiocfádh liom féin
Amach faoi na gleannta nó mar a d-tígheadh an ghrian fae
Badh, caoire, ná gamhna ní íontóchuinn leatsa mar spréidh
Acht mo lámh bheith faoid' chóm geal 's cead cómhrádh bheith eadrainn a raon!

Well, that's three verses down, four to go...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 08:12 PM

Corresponds to Verse 1 from Sigerson's "Poetry of Munster" edition.

A hundred farewells to last night;
It is my grief that it was not tonight that was first.
A sprightly "bohaleen" that would coax me a while on his knee.
I would tell you a tale myself
If it were possible you could keep a secret for me,
That my love is forsaking me,
Oh! bright God and oh, Mary, is it not the pity!

translator: Douglas Hyde
page 25, "Love Songs of Connacht
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1893


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 08:27 PM

Correspondence: Verse 2, Sigerson edition, "Poetry of Munster"

This garden is a wilderness, oh! white love;
or, are you sorry for it?
Under the fine white fruits that are growing
like the foliage of the branches.
I would not think the voice of a thrush more sweet going this street,
or the melodious voice of the birds;
And sure my love has eloped from me, the ringletted "cool",
to the castle of O'Neill.

translator: Douglas Hyde
page 27, "Love Songs of Connacht"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 28 May 16 - 09:32 PM

corresponds to: A chumainn dhil a's annsacht a d-tús....

Oh, affection and oh, darling, in the beginning of the summer
would you move with me yourself
Out under [Hyde adds: (among)] the valleys where we might be
at the going-under of the sun
Cows, sheep, or calves, I would not ask them
for fortune with thee,
But my hand beneath your white form,
And leave to converse until twelve would strike.

translator: Douglas Hyde
page 23, "Love Songs of Connacht"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 16 - 01:00 PM

Listening to differing recordings quickly demonstrates that this lyric has more than one tune. There is a sean-nós version being sung which has an entirely different melody than that recorded by Máire Ní Scolaí. That said, the latter melody can be also heard online through a website for sound archives of traditional singing; recently I recognized the melody in question in a field recording made in Galway in the 1930's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 16 - 01:04 PM

And this is Máire Ní Scolaí's recording of the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbGVPQRqpIY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caislean Ui Neill
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 08:09 PM

Thanks to the Hathi Trust webpages, I have online access to the collection referred to by Jim Carroll in a previous post on this thread, edited by Mrs. Eileen/Eibhlín Costello of Tuam. Mr. Carroll noted that there were three "Caisleán Uí Néill"s in the collection, and offered the English translations of the lyrics. Now, here's where the plot thickens the tiniest bit.

"Amhráin Mhaige Seóla," the collection in question, has FOUR, count 'em, FOUR versions of "Caisleán Uí Néill." If I remember this right, there are four versions of the lyric: for one of the four, the tune was not taken down; but for three of the four, both the text and the melody are given. And the rub is, that the recording made for HMV around roughly the year 1940 by Máire Ní Scolaí uses the melody for version number four in "Amhráin Mhaige Seóla."
The tune is printed out on page 136 of the collection. Mrs. Costello, the editor, observes that this tune is markedly different than the other melodies for the same essential poem/subject, and this is true.

I'm still struggling with what words Ní Scolaí sings on the recording. Will report what progress I have made on a future post.


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