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Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Bruach na Carraige Báine (Altan) (25)
Lyr Req: AnNa Carraige Baine (13)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
bruach na Carriaige Baine

GUEST, 17 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 17 Mar 01 - 03:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 17 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Jun 02 - 12:48 AM
michaelr 15 Jun 02 - 04:45 PM
GUEST 31 Mar 04 - 11:58 AM
GUEST, 14 Apr 04 - 10:49 PM
michaelr 14 Apr 04 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,t o dubhda 29 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Rory 12 Jan 21 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Rory 12 Jan 21 - 06:12 AM
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Subject: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM

I'm looking for English lyrics to "Beside the White Rocks" (or "On the Brink of the White Rocks"), Bruach Na Carraige Bain in Gaelic.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 03:03 PM

I can't remember if I've seen such a song. For many other titles of the tune (including "The Foggy Dew") see "Corraga Bawn" in the Irish tune index on my website.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM

A search through the "Digitrad and Forum Search" on the main Forum page for bruach would get you quite a bit of information about versions of this song, but no English text, as the link provided in one of them to "Druidstone"'s website has changed.  This new one will work:  Bruach na Carraige Baine (The Edge of the White Rock)  -it's the Blasket Islands set, and the English is a translation rather than a singing version, but it's a start.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM

Bunting' 1840, said the tune was ancient, but known copies of it date from the early 19th century. "The West's Asleep", by Thomas Davis, seems to be the earliest known song to the tune, and Joyce, OIFMS, #667, mentions, but gives no words of it, or any other song to the tune.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 12:48 AM

Copied from
(I don't know why they didn't give a translation for the first verse.)


O's thiar cois abhainn gan bhreag gan dabht, ta an ainnir chiuin tais mhanla
Gur gile ar a com i na an eala ar an dtonn o bhaithis go bonn a broige,
Is i an staidbhean i a chraigh mo chroi agus d'fhag si m'intinn bronach,
Is leigheas le fail nil agam go brach, o dhiultaigh mo ghra geal domhsa

Is fearr liom fhein na Eire mhor na saighreas Ri ns Spainne,
Go mbeinnse is tusa i lub na finne i gcoillte s' i bhfad onar gcairde,
O mise is tusa bheith posta a ghra le haon-toil athar is mathar,
A mhaighdean og is milse pog gur tu grian na carraige baine

A stuaire an chinn chailce mas dual gan tu a bheith agam, beidh coir ort a thaithneoidh le do chairde
Idir sioda agus hata o bhonn go barr gach ni insan gcathair da haille
Beidh do bholacht a casadh gach neoin chuin an bhaile, ceol binn ag d'eachaibh ar bhanta,
Beidh or ar do ghlaice is coiste ag tarraingt go bruach na carraige baine


I would prefer than all of Ireland and the wealth of the King of Spain,
That you and I were in a beautiful nook in the woods far from our friends,
Oh, if only you and I were married, love, with the blessing of our parents,
My beloved of the sweetest kiss, you are the sun of the white rock.

Oh, fair-haired, handsome woman, if you are not destined for me, your friends will care for you,
With silk and hats from head to toe and the most beautiful of all that can be bought in town,
Your cattle will be driven home every evening, and your horses will make sweet sounds in the fields,
You will have gold in your hand and you will have a carriage to bring you to the edge of the white rock.

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From: michaelr
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 04:45 PM

My friend Sean Oglesby from Dublin used to sing the following words, which he said were translated (or re-written) from the Irish by his brother. I have no idea how close they are to the original text, but they scan and sing well.

The Brink of the White Rock (Bruach na Carraige Ban)

Beside the river there dwells a maid
Of maidens she is the fairest
Her white neck throws the swans in the shade
Her form and her face are the rarest
Oh she is the maid who my love betrayed
And left my soul all shaken
For there's no cure while life endures
My love has me forsaken

I would rather far than Eireann's shore
Or the Spaniard's golden treasure
Were you and I in the greenwoods nigh
To walk there at our leisure
Or were we wed, dear love instead
Your parents both consenting
Sweet maid your kiss would make my bliss
If you to me were relenting

Oh and if you would freely come with me
In fashions brave I'll dress thee
In satins fine your form would shine
And finest silks caress thee
Your kin would come each evening home
Your bees hum in the clover
Your coach in golden style shall roll
When we ride to the white rock over


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 11:58 AM

There's a Beautiful version of the song by Seamus Begley - definately worth a listen!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 10:49 PM


That translation is amazing... just what I was looking for! Is your brother a translator by trade? I am looking for someone to translate my wedding vows into Irish. Is there any chance he might be interested? I'm willing to pay him, of course!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 11:09 PM

Hi Nataly --

you misread my post. It wasn't MY brother who came up with these lyrics, but the brother (whom I never met) of an Irish friend (whom I haven't seen in years).

So, sorry to say I can't help with your vows. But there are a number of Gaelic speakers here on the Mudcat -- so if you start a thread here and call it, say, "Irish translation needed", you'll probably get someone who can help.

Welcome to the Mudcat! Membership is free, you know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rock
From: GUEST,t o dubhda
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM

I don't want to be pedantic but "bruach na carraige baine" is the genitive singular, not the nominative plural so it's on the edge of the white rock. If we are to attract newcomers to these songs in our beautiful language, please let us try to ensure we avoid confusion. Our education system since independence has been more effective in killing the language than centuries of British oppression were beforehand. Tugaimis meas agus omos di- let us honour and respect it.

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Subject: Origin: Bruach Na Carraige Baine/Edge of the ...
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 06:07 AM

"Bruach Na Carraige Baine"
(The Braes of Carrick-Bann)
(The Edge of the White Rock)

Printed in:
Poets and Poetry of Munster, by John O'Daly, 1849, pp. 280-285

John O'Daly writes that the song was composed as an epithalamium or 'welcome home' song for the marriage of William Blacker (1647-1732) and Elizabeth Stewart (1636-1678) in 1666 on the demense of Carrick Blacker, County Armagh.
An Epithalamium is a song or poem to the bride and bridegroom at their wedding. Originating in ancient Greece such songs would make use of invocations to various Greek mythological figures as a traditional way of invoking good fortune on the marriage, as can be seen in this song.

O'Daly writes:
"Bruach and Carrick are the names of two townlands lying contiguous to each other on the river Bann, and forming a part of the demense of Carrick Blacker, an ancient seat of the Blacker family, near Portadown, in the county of Armagh.
As the Family residence was changed to this particular locality from another part of the property, on the marriage of William Blacker, Esq., with Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. Colonel Robert Stewart, of the Irry, county Tyrone, and granddaughter of the first Lord Castle-stewart, about, or shortly previous to, the year 1666, and as the sub-joined poem coincides in its general structure and style with that period (being at least a century older than the succeeding effusion), there can be little difficulty in affixing very nearly a date to its composition as an Epithalamium, or " welcome home" song, and the party in whose honour it was composed.
To their successor in the fifth generation, Colonel Blacker, the present proprietor of Carrick Blacker, we owe the following very graceful, as well as close translation."

Shiar cois abhan gan bhréig, gan dobhat,
Atá'n aingir chiuin-tais, mhánladh;
'Nar gile a com 'ná Aladh air an d-tonn,
O bhathar go bon a bróige!
Is í an stáid-bhean í do chradhaigh mo chroidhe,
'S d'fhág m'inntinn brónach,
Leíghios le fághail ni'l agam go bráth,
Ó dhiúltaidh mo ghrádh geal damhsa!

Do b'fearr liom féin 'ná Eire mhór,
'S ná saidhbhrios Rígh na Sbáinne!
Go m-beidhinn-si 's tusa a lúb na finne,
A g-coillte a bhfad ó ar g-cáirde;
Tusa 'gur mise a bhesth pórda, a ghrádh,
Le aon-toil athar 's máthar,
A mhaighdion óg 's mílse póg,
Grian na Cairge Báine!

Is léanmhar mo thurus le tréimhse gan suchart,
Is baoghalach go g-cuirfear chum fághain me!
Le géar-shearc do 'n bhruingioll is néata san chruinne,
Do chuir céadta air uireasbadh sláinte!
Do bhí a h-éadan mar luisne na gréine tre chriosdal,
Téid éanlaith chum suchaird le grádh dhi;
Tagan tréin-fhir 's righthe tar tréan-mhuir da h-amharc,
Is í Trian na Cairge Báine!

Do bhí Helen an aingir chuir an Trae shoir na lasair,
Ba néata mar labharaid fáighe!
Cuir Ajax 's Achill, 's na tréih-fhir chum catha,
Mo léan, is lé caillead na sáir-fhir!
Do rug an spéirbhean lé an bárr a m-béasa 's a b-pearsa,
'S dob' éigion dóibh casa tar sáile,
A géile do 'n aingir a g-clár na Banba,
Air Bhruach na Cairge Báine!

Do rachainn le m' bhuidhean tar fairge a loing,
'S do chuirfinn mo smuainte a d-tácht di;
Dá fásgadh le m' chroidhe air árd-leabadh mhín,
'S ní sgarfainn le m' shaoghal ar stát lé!
Rachad gan mhoill an arm an Righ,
Tá ceannas dá druim le fághail dam,
Fillfead arís fá choimirc na naomh
Go Bruach na Cairge Báine!

A bhruingioll gan téimhiol do buadhaig taithniomh mo chroidhe,
'Nar bhinne do laoidhe 'ná 'n chláirsioch;
'Nar ghile do ghnaoi ná sneachta ar an g-craoibh,
Le d' mhall-rosg ghrinn do crádhais me!
Fill orm a rís le taithniomh gan mhóill,
'S tabharfad cruinn dhuit sásamh.
Caithfiom ár saoigheal a bh-fochar ár n-gaoidheal,
Air Bhruach na Cairge Báine!

Is méinn liom sgaradh ó gach saoghaltacht air talamh,
Le géar-shearc do d' phearsainn a stáid-bhean;
Níor bhaoghal duit mairg le d' shaoghal dá mairfin,
Ní thréigfin air a bh-feacadh de mhnáibh tu!
Triall leam tar caise má 's léir leat mo phearsa,
Tá reim 's ceannar a n-dán dam,
Go h-Eire ní chasam má thréigir do charaid,
Air Bhruach na Cairge Báine!

A stuaire an chínn chailce más dual go m-beidhir agam,
Beidh cóir ort do thaithneochadh le d' cháirde;
Idir shíoda 's hata o bhonn go bathas,
'S gach nídh ann sa chathair dá áilleacht;
Beidh do bhó-lacht dá g-casadh gach nóin chum baile,
'S ceol binn ag ad bheachaibh air bánta;
Beidh ór air do ghlacaibh 's cóisde ad tharruint,
Go Bruach na Cairge Báine!

"The Braes of Carrick-Bann"

Poetic translation by Colonel William Blacker (1777-1855)

William Blacker, under the pseudonym Fitz Stewart, authored poems published in periodocals.

By yonder stream a maiden dwells,
Who every other maid excels;
Less fair the swan, in snowy pride,
That graceful stems sweet Banna s tide.
The leech in vain would seek to cure
The pangs of soul that I endure,
Since of each joy and hope bereft,
That stately fair my sight has left.

Dear is my native isle, but she
That maid is clearer far to me;
To me her favour greater gain
Than all the boasted wealth of Spain.
Fair-hair'd object of my love,
I would that in some happy grove
'Twere mine to hail thee as my bride,
Of Carrick-braes the virgin pride.

But, oh ! forbidden for a while
To revel in that sunny smile,
I seek some distant forest gloom,
To mourn in heaviness my doom,
And hear the wild birds warbling sing;
"While o'er the seas come Prince and King,
In hopes to bask beneath the rays
Of her, the Sun of Carrick Braes.

The lovely Queen, whose fatal charms
Call'd Greece's bravest sons to arms
(Historic bards record their names
Who wrapp'd the stately Troy in flames),
Less worthy than this maid by far,
To bid those heroes rush to war;
The heart more willing homage pays
To Banna's maid, on Carrick Braes.

With her I'd roam o'er ocean's wave,
And ne'er to part each danger brave;
And as I pressed her to my heart,
My soul's most inward thoughts impart.
But now I'll seek to win a name—
A soldier—on the field of fame,
In hopes, returning crowned with praise,
To win the gem of Carrick Braes.

Oh, peerless maid, without a stain,
Whose song transcends the harper's strain;
Whose radiant eyes their glances throw
From features like the driven snow; Return, return, without delay,
While I atoning homage pay,
And let us spend our blissful days
'Mid those we love on Carrick Braes.

Oh were each earthly treasure mine,
For thee I would it all resign;
Each fond regret my ardent love
Shall place my dear one far above.
Come, maiden, where, beyond the sea, Both health and riches wait on thee; Repress each lingering thought that stays
On home, and friends, and Carrick Braes.

Lov'd charmer of the flaxen hair,
I'll deck thee forth with anxious care;
All dress'd in silken sheen so fine,
The costliest in the land to shine;
Unnumber'd herds shall low for thee,
Her honey store prepare, the bee;
While rings of gold adorn thy hands,
And menials wait on thy commands;
And friends behold, in fond amaze,
Thy splendour upon Carrick Braes.

Stanzas 1, 2 and 8 are more usual in current versions of this song.
The poetic translation deviates somewhat from the literal translation.


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Subject: Origin: Bruach Na Carraige Baine/Edge of the ...
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 06:12 AM


The Blacker family of Carrickblacker in County Armagh are claimed as being descended from the Viking Blacar, who was a King of Dublin in early 10th century.  In 943 Blacar defeated Muirchertach mac Néill and his army, near Armagh, allegedly by the River Bann where Carrickblacker House now stands.
After his death in 946, his son, Sitric MacBlacar, succeeded him.

But the name then disappears from the Irish Annals, and reappears in Yorkshire in Wigstrum Hundred (Domesday Book) as landholders before the Norman Conquest (1066).

can be traced back to William de Blakkar of Worsborough in Yorkshire who was living in 1300.
Captain Valentine Blacker moved from Yorkshire to Armagh in Ireland, the first of the Blacker family to settle in Armagh, as Commandant of Horse and Foot.
He purchased the manor of Carrowbrack from Anthony Cope, of Loughgall, in 1660.
This manor was subsequently called Carrickblacker.

WILLIAM BLACKER (1647-1732),
the grandson of Captain Valentine Blacker, son of Lt. Col. George Blacker and Rose Latham. He was a staunch supporter of King William III, and fought at the battle of the Boyne in 1690.
He married Elizabeth Stewart (1636-1678) in 1666, and they moved into Carrickblacker.
The song "Bruach Na Carraige Baine" was supposedly composed as an epithalamium or 'welcome home' song for the marriage.
They had two children.
After Elizabeth's death, William married twice more and had a further child.
In 1692 William had built the manor house of Carrickblacker.

ELIZA BLACKER (1739-1822),
daughter of William Blacker Esq (1709-1783) and wife Letitia Carey, was the great grand-daughter of William Blacker and Elizabeth Blacker (Stewart).
The song "An Raibh tu ag an gCarraig?" (Have you been at Carrick?) was composed in honour of the lady of the Blacker family, Eliza Blacker (later Lady Dunkin). This song is attributed to blind harper from Tyrone, Dominic Ó Mongain (1715-1796).

Leiutenant-Colonel WILLIAM BLACKER (1777-1855),
fifth generation descendant of William Blacker and Elizabeth Blacker (Stewart).
He was a British Army officer, Commissioner of the Treasury of Ireland, poet and author. His published work is sometimes attributed under the names Fitz Stewart or Colonel Blacker.
He wrote the poetic English translation of the song "Bruach Na Carraige Baine".

The Carrickblacker estate was purchased in 1937 by Portadown Golf Club, which demolished Carrickblacker House in 1958 to make way for a new clubhouse.


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