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Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor

Related threads:
Lyr/Tune Add: Fairy Hills / Si Bheag Si Mhor (34)
Si Bheag, Si Mhor (45)
Origins of O'Carolan tune (22)
Lyr Add: Bonny Cuckoo (4)


GUEST,Robin 08 Nov 00 - 02:05 PM
Pinetop Slim 08 Nov 00 - 02:44 PM
Roger in Sheffield 08 Nov 00 - 03:27 PM
Bill D 08 Nov 00 - 03:55 PM
Roger in Sheffield 08 Nov 00 - 04:22 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Nov 00 - 05:13 PM
Jon Freeman 08 Nov 00 - 05:41 PM
Kara 08 Nov 00 - 05:42 PM
John in Brisbane 08 Nov 00 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,guest, Robin 08 Nov 00 - 08:24 PM
MMario 08 Nov 00 - 09:23 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Nov 00 - 09:37 PM
Irish sergeant 09 Nov 00 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Matt_R 09 Nov 00 - 11:52 AM
widowmaker 09 Nov 00 - 01:34 PM
Max Tone 09 Nov 00 - 03:28 PM
Gypsy 09 Nov 00 - 11:57 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 10 Nov 00 - 12:30 AM
GUEST,Guest, Robin 10 Nov 00 - 12:32 AM
Conán 10 Nov 00 - 03:46 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Nov 00 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,Faerie Queen 11 Nov 00 - 04:35 AM
Roger in Sheffield 11 Nov 00 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Annraoi 11 Nov 00 - 09:17 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Nov 00 - 12:29 PM
ciarili 24 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 02 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 24 Mar 02 - 10:22 PM
ciarili 25 Mar 02 - 12:35 AM
Guessed 25 Mar 02 - 06:58 AM
Jim Dixon 27 Mar 02 - 09:40 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Mar 02 - 10:03 PM
Vinland 27 Mar 02 - 11:50 PM
Dave Bryant 28 Mar 02 - 04:04 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Mar 02 - 04:09 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Mar 02 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Philippa 25 Jul 02 - 01:05 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Jul 02 - 02:52 PM
open mike 25 Jul 02 - 10:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jul 02 - 11:06 PM
Felipa 29 Apr 03 - 05:44 PM
MMario 29 Apr 03 - 07:37 PM
Felipa 29 Apr 03 - 11:40 PM
MMario 30 Apr 03 - 09:03 AM
Inükshük 30 Apr 03 - 04:11 PM
MMario 30 Apr 03 - 04:14 PM
Genie 14 Mar 07 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,biff 25 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,Robin
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 02:05 PM

Does anyone know the lyrics for Sigheag Sighor. I think that's the right spelling. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 02:44 PM

Do you mean the Carolan harp piece Sidh Beag, Sidh Mór; sometimes spelled Sheebeg Shemore, or in a variety of other ways? I've never heard any lyrics to it, and there don't appear to be any in the DT, but I'll bet you'll have an answer before they finish the recount in Florida.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 03:27 PM

I think I read that O'Carolan was a better harper than poet, so the lyrics to his tunes were lost while the tunes endure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 03:55 PM

I'm curious why you thought there MIGHT be lyrics...I have NEVER heard of any....some tunes are just meant to be tunes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 04:22 PM

contemplator
Roger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 05:13 PM

I'm sure we've located lyrics at one time. I'll have to go through my stuff again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 05:41 PM

Tranfered from http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=27448

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: DaveO
Date: 08-Nov-00 - 04:19 PM

I hadn't been aware there were words.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Kara
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 05:42 PM

may be this is a job for the Song Challenge gang
Kara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 06:35 PM

We have had some discussion on this in the past, but my memory is unreliable.

Did O'Carolan base this on an existing song? My memory is YES but as I understand it the pre-existing song has not survived. Then again I may have completely cocked this up.

Not too surprisingly there have been some lyrics appended over the years. While I adore much of Danny Doyle's work there is a smarmy song he does to this tune which may have been posted to this Forum. 'At the end of the day .....I thank the Lord'.

Apologies that this contribution is too namby-pamby.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,guest, Robin
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 08:24 PM

Okay, I admitt that I have a friend who sings the words to this tune. I have gotten the words from her twice and somehow managed to lose them twice. I am so embarrassed to have to ask her again, so I thought I would try you guys out first. But, since no one seems to know them, I'll be brave - she's a good friend anyway. Then I'll post them here for the rest of you!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: MMario
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 09:23 PM

tough one to search for because of all the alternate spellings....but check out sheebeg sheemore

url=http://www.dnaco.net/~mobrien/irishptr/iresongs/sibeagsi.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Si Beag Si Mor
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 09:37 PM

Thanks Mario!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:47 AM

Robin: To the best of my knowledge, there are no lyrics for the song although i base that on the two versions I have on vinyl the proper spelling is i believe Si Beag Si Mor and translates to "It's Small, It's Big" but I may be mistaken about that. Good luck and keep us posted. I'd ber interested. The song is one of my favorites. Kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,Matt_R
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:52 AM

Neil, I've also heard it translated as "So Little, So Big." I also read somewhere that "Si" is a variant of the word "Sidhe", or a fairy mound. I had read that there is a particular place in Ireland where there are 2 such fairy hills adjacent to each other, one small, one big, and it was for them that Turlough O'Carolan named the tune. Also, with the "sheebeg sheemore" thing...in actual Gaelic, wouldn't it be pronounced more like "shee veg shee woor"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: widowmaker
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 01:34 PM

There are indeed words to this lovely tune. Unfortunately they are modern and are written by "THE FUREYS" I'm not sure which album. hope this helps SLAN ANOIS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Max Tone
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 03:28 PM

Nice one, MMario,Br> Rob


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAIRY HILLS
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:57 PM

Sigh...i've been typing for hours, but here goes. The title for the LYRICS is: Fairy Hills, and I believe it is contemporary. I refuse to type in the gaelic, but will happily mail to any masochist that will sing it.

Long long ago in this ancient land
A battle took place where two hills now stand
And on the plain there lay the slain
For neither battle won

So the bard did sing of these fairy hills
Where bloom the white flowers and daffodils
One big one small Si Bheag SiMhor
And never the battle is won

Beneath these hill great heroes lie
Of the Red Branch Knights and their ancient foe
In still of night the immortals fight
But never the battle is won

And so the harper was told these fairy tales
Of these fairy hills of the ancient Gaels
One big one small Si Bheag Si Mhor
And never the battle is won,br>

Twas after the battle the prophet foretold
No rest would be found for these warriors bold
Till they unite and fight one common foe
And then would the battle be won

So then the harper wrote of these fairy hills
Where bloom the white flowers and daffodils
One big one small Si Bheag Si Mhor
And never the battle is won

And to make up for my whining...here is the translation of the gaelic version:

Oh, great strife came between the kings
Feuds grew between their Hills
Because Big Hill folk spoke too well of themselves
While small hill burned beneath them
"You can never share rights to our noble lake
Go into ranks by tribe or town.
Carry your blemish away from us
Be happy to keep your hands and feet

"You cannot always win every fight
On lake, on land, when we contend
It would be good if you made peace
Instead of ordering wars in here
Time to gather the hosts,
make a striking force
From throughout the plains
they come marching here
It will never seem right to die for hills
Beheaded in that slaughter

THis is why battle pains our hearts:
With Hill princes on every side,
And Tuatha De Dannan come in a swarm,
The slaughter is not surprising
Then it is that the Hill kings lost
The thousand killed on every side
There was no dwelling lnot destoyed
In all the killing that day

"Parley, parley, oh friends and kin!
Our enemy from Cairn Clann Aoidh,
Comes from Eachlainn Peak, up our dead troops"
Now everyone fights together

Now none ever will say twice,
"War isn't caused by too much pride"
Peace is as good as wars were bad
The towns in both lands are rebuilding
Envy first, then an eager host,
Then thousand prisoners in the grave...
Better eat words almost forever
Then ahve angry brothers on their biers

The first version is much easier to sing...second one is more like "One Tin Soldier" for my taste..and alot harder to sing. Of course, maybe i don't have the line breaks correct in that one, either. Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 12:30 AM

Thanks Gypsy.

You don't need to type in the Irish Gaelic version.

The site that Mario posted has both the Gaelic as well as a translation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,Guest, Robin
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 12:32 AM

Gypsy, Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou, those are the words I've heard my friend sing. Unfortunately I already emailed her to send them, but maybe I can get her in time. Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Conán
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 03:46 PM

A couple of points:
1. An approximate pronunciation is "Sheebeg, Sheemore". The sound "V" or "W" is determined by syntactic circumstances none of which apply here.
2. The meaning is "The Small Fairy Mound, The Big Fairy Mound"
3.I have never heard any words to this tune in either Irish or English that could remotely be described as traditional. Conán


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 12:20 AM

I assume you haven't heard the words from Mario's link? Or you have and they aren't "O'Carolan's", in your opinion?


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Subject: SI BHEAG SI MHOR
From: GUEST,Faerie Queen
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 04:35 AM

See M Mario's link Nov 8 for Irish Gaelic lyrics as well as translation already posted
Yes BH and MH have V or W sounds; in some dialects - Scottish Gaelic - always a V sound - otherwise it depends on what vowel follows. Approx pronunciation "Shee Vig/Vug, Shee Wore/War" Little fairy, big fairy.
Because a different grammatical construction is involved, 'S í beag, 'S í mór, (Shee big/beg/bug, Shee more), would mean It/she is little, It/she is big.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 06:58 AM

I have been looking at the page MMario linked to, then tried the "Traditional Tunes in Standard MIDI Format" link from that page only to receive error messages. Does that mean the linked page has moved or no longer exists?
I am also intrigued now as to the authenticity of the words, are they 'original',added later or added much later? And where would you go to find out?

Roger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 09:17 AM

Faerie Queen:-
Conán is quite correct in his observations.
The tune is called "Sidhe Beag, Sidhe Mór". The question of pronouncing "BH" or "MH" doesn't even apply here, so I don't see the point of the observation.
The word "Sidhe" in the title does not mean a "Fairy" it means "a fairy mound". There is a difference.
The construction you cite as meaning "it is little/it is big" does not exist in Irish. There are two basic ways of saying "It is small / it is big" :-
1. Tá sé (sí if the Subject is Feminine Singular)beag / tá sé mór."
2. 'S é (í if Feminine Singular) atá beag / 'S í atá mór. This would be used for emphasis.
3. There is another rather less usual construction.:-
Is beag é (í if Feminine Singular)/ Is mór é.
That's it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 12:29 PM

That site that is broken seems to be a link to Lesley's old page. Try this one:

Contemplator Site


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Subject: Lyr Add: SÍ BEAG IS SÍ MÓR (Carolan)
From: ciarili
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM

Sí beag is sí mór

Ó imreas mór tháinig idir na ríona
Mar fhíoch a d'fhás on dá chnoc sí
Mar dúirt an tsí mhór go mb'fhearr í féin
Faoi dhó, faoi dhó ná 'n tsí bheag.

"Ní raibh tú ariamh chomh huasal linn
I gcéim dar ordaíodh i dtuath nó (i) gcill
Beir uaim do chaint, níl suairceas ann
Is coinnigh do chos is do lámh uainn."

"Choíche ní bhfaighfidh sibh bua ar chách
Ar muir, ar tír na n'iomarbhá
B'fhearr an chídh 'bheith 'déanamh síoth
Ná fógairt cogaidh i láthair."

Tráth chruinnigh na sluaite, bhí an bualadh teann
Ar feadh na machaireacha 'nonn 's anall
'S ní raibh éinne ariamh dár ghluais ón mbinn
Nár chaill a cheann san ar sin."

Is é seo an cath do chráidh ár gcroí
Na prionsaí sí ar gach taobh
Tuatha Dé Danann ag teacht'na scaoith
'S nach íontach saolta an t-ár sin.

Is ansin do cailleadh na ríthe sí
Na mílte dhíobh ar gach taobh
Ní raibh ach bruíon do scrios an Traoi
Le méid an áir an lá sin.

Pairlí, pairlí a chairde gaoil
Sin chugaibh ár námhaid ó Charn Chlann Aoidh
O Bhinn Eachlainn aníos na sluaite díobh
Is bímis uile páirteach.

Atá siad anois is ariamh dhá rá
An cogadh is lú go milleann a lán
Gur fearr an tsíoth is measa dlí
Ná bialte is tíortha a bhánú.

'Sé an t-éad ar dtús do dhíbir slua
'S chuir na mílte i gcarcar crua
Is fearr an chóir bheith buan go deo
Ná bráithre a ghríosú a n-áireach


line breaks added by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 08:43 PM

A bit of thread drift here: I've a idea that, though the expression "tis so" masquerades as English,it's really "tá sé" imported bodily into the language with a slight drift in pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 10:22 PM

ciarili
Foinse, má's é do thoil é. Is beag is fiú foclaí a thabhairt gan tagairt.
Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: ciarili
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 12:35 AM

Dear Annraoi

If I had notes to give, I'd sure give them! Frankly, I didn't even have a whole piece of paper on that one, and that was the only complete things on it. I don't give the source as O'Carolan, because I doubt he's the one who put words to it, or even wrote the tune.

Sometimes I have notes, but a lot of what I started with is on paper, and from someone who did not write any of that stuff down. I know it's annoying - I find it so as well. Once I get work, I'm going to buy a lot of books (I've already got a long list) and see what I information I can find in them about these songs and others. My interest is more in the Scottish material, anyway.

By the way, I'd be happy to send you a cd full of lyrics, over 400 in Irish, over 700 in Scottish Gaelic, some English songs, and even some Manx, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton ones, if you like. It's what I've gotten typed in so far or found from other sources, like right here!

ciarili@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Guessed
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 06:58 AM

what happened to the Big brother, little brother interpretation?
or is this a colloquial appellation of actual hills?
As it was a scotsman who pointed it out to me maybe he was interpreting gallic, he was a scholarly type though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 09:40 PM

This page at the Contemplator site says that Gaelic lyrics to "Sheebeg and Sheemore" are given in the book "Carolan: The Life and Times of an Irish Harper" by Donal O'Sullivan, published by Celtic Music, Louth, Lincolnshire, England, 1991, (First published in 1958).

It isn't clear from the information on this web page whether Carolan wrote the lyrics, or whether he only wrote a tune to go with an existing poem. The story concerns a battle between two faeries.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SÍ BHEAG IS SÍ MHÓR (Turlough O'Carolan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 10:03 PM

The following may be a bit redundant, since it duplicates what has already been posted above, but I think it is more free of errors, at least in punctuation and line breaks.

Copied from http://www.dnaco.net/~mobrien/irishptr/iresongs/sibeagsi.html

Sí Bheag is Sí Mhór
Lyrics & Music: Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738)
Translation: Maureen S. O'Brien

Ó imreas mór tháinig idir na ríona,
Mar fhíoch a d'fhás ón dá chnoc sí,
Mar dúirt an tsí mhór go mb'fhearr í féin,
Faoi dhó, faoi dhó ná'n tsí bheag.

"Ní raibh tú ariamh chomh huasal linn,
I gcéim dar ordaíodh i dtuath nó (i) gcill,
Beir uaim do chaint, níl suairceas ann,
Is coinnigh do chos is do lámh uainn."

"Choiche ní bhfaighfidh sibh bua ar chách,
Ar muir, ar tír ná 'n iomarbhá,
B'fhearr an chídh 'bheith 'déanamh síth
Ná fógairt cogaidh i láthair."

Tráth chruinnigh na sluaite, bhí an bualadh teann.
Ar feadh na machaireacha 'nonn is anall,
's ní raibh aoinne ariamh dar ghluais on mbinn,
Nár chaill a cheann san ár sin.

Is é sin an cath do chráigh ár gcroí,
Na prionsaí sí ar gach taobh
Tuatha Dé Danann ag teacht 'na scaoth'
's nach iontach saolta an t-ár sin.

Is ansin do cailleadh na ríthe sí,
Na mílte díobh ar gach taobh
Ní raibh ach bruíon do scrios an Traoi,
Le méid an áir an lá sin.

Pairlí, pairlí, a chairde gaoil,
Sin chugaibh ár namhaid ó Charn Chlann Aoidh,
Ó Bhinn Eachlainn aníos na sluaite díobh,
Is bímis uile uile páirteach.

Atá siad anois is ariamh dhá rá,
An cogadh is lú go milleann a lán,
Gur fearr an tsíth is measa dlí
Ná bailte is tíortha a bhánú.

'sé an t-éad ar dtðs do dhíbir slua,
's chuir na mílte i gcarcair chrua,
Is fearr an chóir bheith buan go deo,
Ná bráithre a ghríosu in árach.

* * *

Oh, great strife came between the kings,
Feuds grew between their Hills, because
Big Hill folk spoke too well of themselves
While Small Hill burned beneath them.

"You can never share rights to our noble lake.
Go into ranks by tribe or town.
Carry your blemish away from us.
Be happy to keep your hands and feet."

"You cannot always win every fight
On lake, on land, when we contend.
It would be good if you made peace
Instead of ordering wars in here."

Time to gather the hosts, make a striking force.
From throughout the plains, they come marching here.
It will never seem right to die for hills,
Beheaded in that slaughter.

This is why battle pains our hearts:
With Hill princes on every side, and
Tuatha De Danann come in a swarm,
The slaughter is not surprising.

Then it is that the Hill kings lost
The thousands killed on every side.
There was no dwelling not destroyed
In all the killing that day.

"Parley, parley, oh friends and kin!
Our enemy from Cairn Clann Aoidh,
Comes from Eachlainn Peak, up our dead troops!"
Now everyone fights together.

Now no one ever will say twice,
"War isn't caused by too much pride."
Peace is as good as wars were bad.
The towns in both lands are rebuilding.

Envy first, then an eager host,
Then thousands prisoners in the grave --
Better eat words almost forever
Then have angry brothers on their biers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Vinland
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 11:50 PM

In his notes to a reprint of John & William Neals's " A Collection of the most Celebrated Irish Tunes", Nicholas Carolan (a contemporary historian) states that the melody of the song "Cuckoo" (or possibly "Bonnie Cuckoo") is the origin of O'Carolan's "Sheebeg and Sheemore", which was written around 1691.

"Sheebeg and Sheemore" is considered to be O'Carolan's first composition; he apparently based his melody partly on the older song. Because the melody is so instrumental in character, I would think O'Carolan's version wouldn't lend itself to being sung. It's generally thought that O'Carolan didn't actually sing most of his 'songs' - even those melodies he to which he had written lyrics. Apparently he is supposed to have recited (or chanted) the lyrics rhythmically while playing the tunes.

Although O'Carolan is most famous for writing beautiful melodies, he did in fact write several poems - including an elegy to his wife.

As stated, there's a wonderful book by Donal O'Sullivan on O'Carolan's life and music. I understand that it's recently back in print. It has most of his tunes and the stories behind how many of them came to be written.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 04:04 AM

There is a set of modern words - nothing to do with the original big and little fairy hills - I think it might be the Furey's set. A friend of mine sings it - I can only remember the lines at the end:

When you hear the wild geese calling,
Think of me and I'll be there.

I'll try and find the rest if someone doesn't beat me to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 04:09 AM

Found them through ALTAVISTA - HERE . Although there's nothing about SÍ BHEAG IS SÍ MHÓR these words fit it and are often sung to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 04:36 AM

WOOPS - Appologies to all - the tune that I've been thinkig of is PLANXTY IRWINE of course !

SORRY - SORRY - SORRY - SORRY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Si bheag Si mhor
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 01:05 PM

♪The Irish language lyrics already posted (although slightly different) and an English language translation were published by Douglas Hyde in the 1890s, and are reprinted in Hyde. "Amhrán Chúige Chonnacht I-III", edited by Breandán Ó Conaire. dublin:Irish Academic Press, 1985

I quote from Hyde's introduction to the lyrics [from the English language side of the page; the Irish is also printed]: "I am about to give here another song which Carolan composed but which has never been printed. This song had great vogue formerly, but most people are now ignorant as to what sort of thing it is. I mean the 'Shee More and Shee Beg'['Sí mhor agus Sí Bheag']. Hardiman mentions that it was the first song that Carolan ever composed, but he does not give us the verses. He says that the Carolan came, and he young, to the house of MacRandall (or Reynolds), near Lough Sgur, in the county Leitrim and was playing for MacRandall on his harp. This MacRandall ... was of the race of the old chiefs who held a large portion of the county Leitrim beneath their sway, and he himself possessed plenty of land and wealth, and was also a good poet in Irish. He asked the Carolan whether he had ever composed verses or stanzas, and Carolan answered he had not for he was only a musician at this time. 'Perhaps,' said MacRandall ...,"you would make better work with your tongue than your fingers,'and he told him that there had been a great battle lately between the good people who were living in the Shee Beg [an tSí Beag] (a rath or a little hill near his own house), and those who were living in the Shee More [an tSí Mór], and he desired him to make a song about the battle. ... ...It is the two Queens of the Fairies who are quarrelling with one another in the second verse, and in the third verse the bard is telling them that it were better for them to make peace between themselves, for if they were to fight for ever no one side of them would conquer the other. It is not very clear who is speaking in the seventh verse, ...but I believe it is a fairy who says 'Parley' ['Pairlidh'] and that it is the bard himself who speaks the two last verses."

So according to this, Vinland, the tune wasn't Carolan's first, but the lyrics were.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 02:52 PM

During a fairly recent browsing session at a local book shop, I looked at one of those "coffee table scenic (fill in locale)" books that had a very nice panoramic photo of two rather ordinary "bumps" in the landscape. The accompanying narrative described these two bumps as the "big hill" and the "little hill," and asserted that Carolan did, in fact, write something to commemorate "the great battle" that had taken place there. Fairies were mentioned.

I didn't buy the book, but the illustration would suggest that there is a specific locale which - at least in the tradition of the locals - is associated specifically with the composition. Maybe they have a local museum?

I'll watch for the book on my next trip, and maybe if it's down to less than $3 I'll pick it up - or make notes.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: open mike
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 10:36 PM

i alsohave heard some beautiful words for midnite on the water sung by kate wolf and others- the words were by someone i believe by the name of Cruizat? (but that would be a new thread wouldn't it?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 11:06 PM

There are several recent sets of lyrics written to Midnight on the Water, all of which have been posted here several times already. My own feeling is that they are all pretty poor compared to the tune, and that some people can't leave well alone when they really ought to (maybe those who can sing a tune but can't play it?); but of course many others would disagree with me. Many people have also recently written lyrics to Carolan tunes, and most of those, too, have been quite ghastly.


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Subject: Lyric Add: Beltane Night (Sí Beag Sí Mór)
From: Felipa
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 05:44 PM

I've just come across another translation of the Carolan lyrics. I am intrigued by the Bealtaine / May Day connection

Any further information on historical/mythological background is welcome.

According to Hughes, Boulton's words are set to a Carolan tune; he doesn't give the usual name of the air but he does give musical notation, and it is -as you'd expect from the words - Sí Beag Sí Mór.. I find it very difficult to sing Beltane to this tune!

I have a tiff (graphic) available of the notation fitted to the words; if you want a copy pm me with your e-mail address. I will oblige if I'm not deluged with requests! MMario has this item also.

From Old Irish Melodies selected from the Bunting Mss. set to words by Harold Boulton, Edited and Freely Arranged with Pianoforte Accompaniment by Herbert Hughes. London: Boosey & Hawkes circa 1931

BELTANE NIGHT
Harold Boulton (after the Irish Gaelic)

From the big high hill Finvarra came
The king of the small round hill to shame,
'A hill twice as high as yours I claim,
'Sky-high,' says I, 'Do you doubt it?'
The other replied - 'Your pride's immense,
But you do not excel in size or sense -
If you want to display your excellence,
Come put up a battle about it.'

The hosts arrayed were a wondrous sight,
All singing and dancing and full of fight;
Sing-song, ding-dong, 'twas Beltane night
When none can stop their vagaries.
As mortals awoke on that May-day morn
There's many had heard Finvarra's horn,
And the clash of arms by the light winds borne -
But sunrise had scattered the fairies.

Author's notes: 'A parallel to the mortal High-King at Tara, King Finvara claimed to be high-king of the fairies. As High-King it is reasonable to suppose that he would claim the highest hill as his special prerogative.
'The account of this battle in the Irish poem leaves my untutored intelligence doubting whether this is purely an ancient legend or a veiled political skit after the manner of Gulliver's Travels.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: MMario
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 07:37 PM

I'll try to post an ABC of it tomorrow


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Subject: RE: Sí beag Sí mhór
From: Felipa
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:40 PM

the tune is widely available, including on-line
The difficulty is in fitting the words to the air, and this is where MMario may be able to help


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Subject: Tune Add: BELTANE NIGHT
From: MMario
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 09:03 AM

X:1
T:BELTANE NIGHT
C:Words by Harold Boulton (after the Irish)
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:Bb
z4zc/2 d/2|e (d/2 c/2 B) B (B/2 c/2 B)|G2F D2F|(G/2 F/2) (G/2 A/2) B c2(B/2 c/2)|
w:From the big high__ hill Fin__-var-ra came The king_ of_ the small round_
d2c B2d|G2c/2 c/2 F2B|D2(D/2 E/2) F2d|
w:hill to shame,'A hill twice as high as yours I_ claim,'Sky
G zc F zB/2 A/2|B3B z(B/2 c/2)|d (d/2 c/2) B (c/2 B/2 c/2 d/2) f|g2f d2c/2 B/2|
w:-high,' says I, 'Do you doubt it?' The_ oth-er_ re-plied___ 'Your pride's im-mense, But you
c c f d (c/2 B/2)|B zG G zG/2 F/2|D D E F2d|
w:do not ex-cel in_ size or sense If you want to dis-play your
G zc F zf|e c A F F (G/2 A/2)|B2zB2z|z8|
w:ex-cel-lence,Come put up a bat-tle a_-bout it.'
z4z(c/2 d/2)|(e d/2 c/2) B B (B/2 c/2) B|
w:The_ hosts__ ar-ray'd were_ a
G zF D zF|(G/2 F/2 G/2) A/2 B c B c|d2c B2d|
w:won-drous sight,All sing__-ing and danc-ing and full of fight; Sing
G zc F zB|D zE F zd|G zc F zB/2 A/2|
w:-song, ding-dong, 'twas Bel-tane night When none can stop their va
B zzB3-|B zzz2(B/2 c/2)|d (d/2 c/2) B (c/2 B/2) (c/2 d/2) f|
w:-ga-ries._ As_ mor-tals_ a-woke_ on_ that
g2f d2(c/2 B/2)|c c f d (c/2 B/2)|B2G G2G/2 F/2|
w:May-day morn There's_ man-y had heard Fin_-var-ra's horn, And the
D2E F zd|G zc F zf|e c A F F (G/2 A/2)|B zzB zz
w:clash of arms by light winds borne But sun-rise had scat-tered the_ fair-ies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Inükshük
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 04:11 PM

One of the very best melodies of all. It really requires no lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: MMario
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 04:14 PM

but it's nice to sing it too; and some people who like it don't play instruments. There are other sets of lyrics to the tune as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: Genie
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 06:12 PM

This tune is quite refreshing this time o' year.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM

you people are very helpful with things i am only beginning to research


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