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Lyr Add: S oro londubh bui

DigiTrad:
THE BROWN AND THE YELLOW ALE
THE BROWN AND YELLOW EARL


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: The Brown and the Yellow Ale (41)
Lyr Req: The Brown and the Yellow Ale (14)
Lyr Req: The Brown and the Yellow Ale (27)


Matthew Edwards 22 Oct 01 - 05:42 PM
MartinRyan 22 Oct 01 - 06:26 PM
Matthew Edwards 22 Oct 01 - 08:19 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Oct 01 - 09:56 PM
Matthew Edwards 23 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Oct 01 - 09:37 AM
weepiper 23 Oct 01 - 02:07 PM
Matthew Edwards 24 Oct 01 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 Oct 01 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 Oct 01 - 05:49 AM
Matthew Edwards 29 Oct 01 - 05:42 PM
Matthew Edwards 31 Oct 01 - 05:49 PM
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Subject: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 05:42 PM

'S óró londubh buí(O my blackbird gay)

Bhí mé lá breá 'gabháil an bóthar'S óró londubh buí
Casadh 'n gruagach éadrom óg dom
'S óró grá mo chroí

D'fhiafraigh sé dom-s' ar níon dom an óig-bhean
Dúirt mé féin gurbh í mo bhean phóst' í

D'iarr sé iasacht bliain nó dhó orm
Cha deánaim sin ach dheánfaidh mé 'n cóir leat

Gabh thusa 'n t-ísleacht 's rachaidh mise an t-ardán
Cé bith againn a leanfas sí bíodh sí go deo aige

Chuaigh seisean a' t-ísleacht 's chuaigh mise 'n t-ardán
Lean sí 'n gruagach, 's aige bhí an óige

D'imigh sí uaim ar feadh trí ráithe
Tháinig sí chugam, Maire gan náire

D'fhiafraigh sí dom-sa caidé mar bhí 'n tsláinte
Mar is olc le mo charaid 's mar is maith le mo namhaid

Caidé dheánfá thusa dá bhfuighinn-se bás uait?
O, chuirfinn síos i gconair faoi chlár thú

Nuair a chuala mise na briathra breátha
Luigh mé siar agus rinne mé an bás úd

Chuaigh beirt 'na coilleadh fá dhéin an adhmaid
Leath-mhaide cuilinn is leath-mhaide fearna

Chuir sí síos i gcónair chaol mé
In gcéad slata den tsacadh ba ghránna

Tógaigí suas ar mur nguailnibh go h-ard é
Is caithigí sa pholl deise don tsráid é

Nuair a mhoitigh mé féin na briathra gránna
D'éirigh mé suas go lúfar láidir

Fan! Fan! Ligigí síos mé
Go n-insidh mé scéal beag eil' ar na mná daoibh

Is minic a chuaigh bó mhaith thaire 'n teorainn
Is phill sí aríst sa dhóigh a ba chóir daoithe

Ach 'a b'é gur bean a bhí in mo mháithrín
D'inseoinn scéal beag eil' ar na mná daoibh

Scéal beag inniu is scéal beag amarach
Is scéal beag eil' 'ach aon lá go cionn ráithe

Translation(some assistance needed here)
1.One fine day as I went along the road (O my blackbird gay),I came across the handsome young enchanter (O my love and my joy)
2.He asked me if the young woman was my daughter, but I soon told him she was my wife.
3. He asked to borrow her for a year or two, I sai I couldn't do that but I'd give him a chance.
4. You go down the low road, I'll take the high one, and whichever one of us she follows can keep her.
5. He took the low road while I took the higher, and she followed him because he was younger.
6. She stayed away for three quarters of the year, and then she came back, Maire without any shame.
7. Then she asked me how my health was "I'm poorly to my friends, but I'm well enough for my enemies."
8. "What would you do if I were to die?" I said."I'd bury you in a sealed coffin." she said.
9. These were fine words to hear from her, so I lay back at my ease and pretended to have died.
10.Two men were sent to the forest for wood; a half load each of holly and alder.
11. She had me buried below in a narrow coffin with a hudred yards of shroud made of dirty sacks.
12. "Lift the old man high on your shoulders, and throw him down in the yard."
13. When I heard her saying such nasty words I rose from the dead looking strong and healthy.
14. "Wait! Wait! Put me down, and I'll tell you a story about the women."
15. Good cows will often cross into the neighbourng field and come back no better than they should be.
16. If it wasn't that my own mother was a woman I would tell you some stories about women.
17.One story for today. and another one for tomorrow, and a story for every day for the next three months.

I know that this translation is seriously defective, so I'd be grateful for any assistance.

The song comes from the singing of Mary Doohan of Tory Island , off Donegal. There are some other variants of the song from Connaught, but I don't know of any recent version. It has been suggested that underlying this song is some Irish version of the story of Persephone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 06:26 PM

We've looked at some of the English versions before - The Brown and the Yellow Ale, for one. There are Connemara versions with the air and chorus of "Thugamar féin an samhradh linn".

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 08:19 PM

Martin, Thanks for mentioning "Thugamar féin". I'll try to follow up your "Brown and Yellow Ale" connection. I think there are some Hebridean songs which are also related, but its 1:16 AM here in the UK now. Too late to do anything useful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 09:56 PM

The above text is given in Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1975), though with a different translation (presumably by Noel Hamilton, who recorded the song from Mary Doohan of Baile Thiar in 1967).  See also these previous discussions:

Lyr/Chords Req: The Brown and the Yellow Ale

james joyce yellow ale

And, in the DT:

THE BROWN AND THE YELLOW ALE

And, if you aren't eating or drinking anything you might choke on:

THE BROWN AND YELLOW EARL

A midi of (a) tune for the song can be heard via the  Mudcat Midi Pages:

Brown and the Yellow Ale

I found that on somebody's website ages ago, without realising that I already had a better transcription in Kennedy's book.  A midi made from that notation can be heard, as usual, via the  South Riding Folk Network site:

Londubh Buí


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 23 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM

Malcolm thank you for all those links. This song seems to have led a very confusing existence, leading to some wildly varying interpretations. I had meant to credit The Folksongs of Britain and Ireland as the source of the text, but was too tired to do so at the time, so thanks again. The translation given in FSBI is a bit misleading but the one I have given is based on it with the help of an Irish dictionary and some dim memories from lessons at school 30 years ago! I would be most grateful for someone who can improve it.
The droit de seigneur interpretation seems to me to be a bit off the mark, as most Irish versions of the song seem to refer to the seducer as a gruagach (trans. = enchanter). This seems to suggest that the young woman in the song is being put under a sort of spell, and being carried off for nine months(!) to the spirit world. I'm not too sure about the Persephone motif, but as Martin has noted the song is often sung to the refrain Thugamar féin an samradh linn(We have brought the summer with us), which celebrates the Bábóg na Bealtaine, or May doll.

I just posted this song as a penance for peddling crude jokes and shaggy dog tales on the cat-naming thread. It looks as if this could get interesting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Oct 01 - 09:37 AM

I've just remembered where I recognised that phrase from; Thugamar féin an samradh linn is also the refrain of a set of The Herring's Head quoted by Petrie (Complete Collection of Irish Music, vol. II no. 502).  I quoted the single verse in  Lyric:The Herring Song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: weepiper
Date: 23 Oct 01 - 02:07 PM

Hi Matthew,
The word 'gruagach' in Scottish Gaelic is kind of interesting. Here's the dictionary definition:
gruagach, -aich, -aichean s.f. 1) Young woman, maiden, virgin. 2)in derision, Man with long hair. 3) Bridesmaid. 4) Bridegroom's maid. 5) (rarely) Chief of a place. 6) Supposed household goddess. 7) s.m. Brownie. The word is presumably derived from 'gruag', wig, hair of the head, especially of a female, anything resembling hair.
I don't know enough about Irish Gaelic to compare properly but it sounds like meaning 7) above is the one correlating to your 'enchanter'. The Brownie is a sort of household spirit which people in the Highlands used to believe would help out and watch over the family if he was kept happy by leaving a bowl of cream out for him at night and so on, and would cause trouble if he was shown disrespect...
Of course it might not be a supernatural reference at all here if a meaning like 2) above is what's meant!
Slan leibh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 08:26 PM

Malcolm and weepiper, thanks again. It would seem from what Malclom has said that Thugamar féin an samradh linn may be a sort of floating refrain, associated witha number of different songs.

However on the IRTRAD-L forum a version of this song is given from Ár gCeol Feinig, Pádraig Breathnach, Browne & Nolan, 1920 collected "from a priest in Connaught". This tells more or less the same story, but without the death ,feigned or otherwise, of the husband.The chorus goes:

Samradh, samradh, bainne na ngamha,
Thugamar féin an samradh linn,
Thugamar linn é, cé bhainfidh dinn é,
Thugamar féin an samradh linn.

Trans.:Summer, summer, milk of the calves,
we have brought the summer with us,
we brought it with us ,who will take it from us?
we have brought the summer with us

BTW Re. The Brown and the Yellow Ale/Earl does anybody know about the origin of the translation? It is not by James Joyce (as Debby McClatchy claimed in her misleading notes), nor can I find it in the Collected Poems of James Stephens.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 05:25 AM

The only recording of the "Thugamar fein.." variant of Brown and Yellow ale I'm aware of was made by The Press Gang, a Dublin-based harmony group (late 19969's or so?). I also have a vague memory of hearing a rather bizarre variant of the Tory version with a reggae beat!

I think the James Stephens attribution is solid enough - not sure where I read it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 05:49 AM

Make that "late 1960's or so"!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:42 PM

I have been told that there was a recent article in the Sunday Times Magazine on a folktale or song related to the topic of this song. I'll have to search the local library, but in the meantime would be grateful if anyone can provide some information.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'S óró londubh buí
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 05:49 PM

Correction

The first lines of the song should read:

Bhí mé lá breá 'gabháil an bóthar
'S óró londubh buí
Casadh 'n gruagach éadrom óg dom
'S óró grá mo chroí

The chorus (in italics as above) is repeated in each verse.


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