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Songs in Irish about Priests

GUEST,An Púca 14 Jan 04 - 06:46 PM
ciarili 14 Jan 04 - 08:12 PM
Daithi 15 Jan 04 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Jan 04 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Jan 04 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,An Púca 15 Jan 04 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Jan 04 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Jan 04 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Philippa 16 Jan 04 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Philippa again 16 Jan 04 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,Philippa 05 Feb 04 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Philippa 05 Feb 04 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,archivist 09 Feb 04 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 04 - 09:02 PM
keberoxu 29 Jun 16 - 01:08 PM
keberoxu 29 Jun 16 - 01:20 PM
keberoxu 29 Jun 16 - 01:27 PM
keberoxu 29 Jun 16 - 01:43 PM
Thompson 29 Jun 16 - 06:06 PM
Felipa 04 Jul 16 - 03:01 PM
Felipa 05 Jul 16 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Felipa (at library) 20 Jul 16 - 10:03 AM
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Subject: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,An Púca
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 06:46 PM

I'd be interested to see the number of songs in Irish which Mudcatters can recall. Something tells me there are a lot of them. I started this in the Sagairtín thread but have since realised how to create a one. Phillipa has replied in the Sagairtín thread and I hope it isn't a bother to her to post her interesting additions again here.

So, to start the list, I gave:

An Caisideach Bán (which Philippa notes has an Ulster variant)
An Sagart Ó Domhnaill/Fill Fill a Rúin Ó

to add to

An Sagairtín/An Cumann Cearr.

Phillipa has given more and linked to existing threads for specific songs in the message I hope she will post here again.

I have since thought of:

An Clár Bog Déil
Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó.

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: ciarili
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 08:12 PM

There's the one sung by Finola O' Siochru, Amhrán an tSagairt. About it she says, "Tá mé fíor-bhuíoch do Roinn Bhéaloideas Éireann, Coláiste Ollscoile, B.Á.C., agus Cartlann Fuaime Raidiá Éireann as an t-amhrán iontach seo. Bhí taifeadadh acu do Eilís Bn. Uí Chearnaigh ón mBlascaod (1969) á rá. Fuaireas roinnt dos na focail ón leagan a bhí i gCnuasach na Scol, a tógadh ó Mháire Bn. Uí Ailígheasa, Na Tuairíní, Uíbh Ráthach i 1935."

There's also Fill, a rún.

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: Daithi
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 04:45 AM

Níl amhrán é , ach an bhfuil fhios agaibh an poirt "An tSagairt CeoltoirI" (sp?)
(Tá brón orm - tá ach beagan Gaeilge agam)

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 06:20 AM

The Ulster variant of An Casaideach Bán is Thug Mé Rúide. As an Púca says, I've put links already in the thread for an Sagairtín. And yes it is a bother; why didn't an Púca provide a link to that thread?

how is Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó a song about a priest? Lots of songs refer to priests, for instance "my curse on the priest who performed the marriage service" (!)

Ciarilí, you'd be better posting Finola's background info. at the thread in which you posted the song. she's just giving thanks and credit to the U. of Dublin folklore dept and Raidió Éireann archives for the song which was recorded from Blasket Islander Eilís Bn. Uí Chearnaigh and saying she also got words from a version collected from Mháire Bn. Uí Ailígheasa and published in "Cnuasach na Scol"

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 06:24 AM

ps - Ciarili did include the background info in her original thread

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,An Púca
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 11:44 AM

Apologies to Philippa for my level of ignorance in regards threads and links.

Cailín Deas Crúite na Bó is about a woman seen by a priest when called to administer the last sacrament to a dying man. The woman is understood to be a devil who appears in the form of a beautiful woman to tempt priests. In this case, the priest is said to have realised the situation before his vows of celibacy were compromised but she is said to have delayed him long enough that the dying man passed away before receiving final unction.   The song was one of the "amhráin choiscthe" which people did not really sing. It has seemingly been "revived" without the context. I know of situations where even playing the melody of the song by a musician as a slow-air was frowned upon in a Gaeltacht area.

BTW, this particular devil is called the cuaifearnach.

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 06:55 PM

I thought you were referring to a Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow
Well, you are, but most versions don't have that context. Brían did post a version in the thread I've linked to, in which the poet sees a vision of an evil temptress; but I did not understand the poet to be a priest.

isn't there a song praising a different Father Ó Domhnaill (not Fill,a rúin)? I recall a singer saying he was singing the song in the locality that this priest came from, and someone objected - saying the priest in question had banned house céilidhthe

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Jan 04 - 07:12 PM

An Fial-Athair Dónall or Fial Ó Dónaill
on the Lillis Ó Laoire recording "Bláth Gach Géag dá dTig" on Cló Iar-Chonachta and lyrics published by Cathal Goan in "Ceol" vol VII, 1984 from "An Gaodhal" Oct 1897

"It is believed to concern a priest who was removed from a certain parish. The song was composed in the hope of enticing him to return."

from Lillis Ó Laoire's album notes, which also refer us to the songs "Sliabh a' Liag" or "Sliabh Aniar" and Cití Eoghain Éamonn singing on the 1995 RTÉ album "Amhráin ar an Sean-Nós"

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 03:02 AM

I should clarify that Sliabh a' Liag is not a song about a priest. It is a song in praise of a place. There are similar verses in An Fial-Athair Dónall sbout the wonderful place the Father hails from.

Another song for An Puca's list is "Sagart na Cúile Báine", a song commemorating a priest who was drowned. Sarah Ghriallais sings this song on the recording "Idir Dha Sháile".

For those unfamiliar with other songs mentioned on this thread; "Fill, Fill a rúin" is a mother's lament that her son has turned from Catholic priest to Protestant minister, and other songs are about love between a priest and a woman, sometimes from the woman's viewpoint, sometimes from the man's, the priest's.

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa again
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 04:20 AM

how could we have left out Roisín Dubh!

by the way, a version of "Sagart na Cúile Báine" is published in Cas Amhrán, edited by Micheál Ó hEidhin and also available from Cló Iar-Chonnachta (see link above)

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 10:58 AM

as well as songs about priests who are tempted by women, there are nuns who are tempted by men. A recording of "Nóra an Chúil Úmair" (Nora of the amber hair)sung by Pádraig Ó Cearbhaill is on the album "Seachrá", Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1998

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:01 AM

that should be "Seachrán"!
On the same album you can hear Antaine Ó Faracháin singing "An Caisideach Bán".

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: GUEST,archivist
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 11:24 AM

another recording of Fial Ó Domhnaill (An Fial-Athair Dónall) is Cití Ní Ghallchóir,recorded in 1949 but available on a CD issued by RTÉ, "Amhráin ar an Sean-Nós" (NOT to be confused with Fill, fill a rúin/ Sagart Ó Domhnaill)

Links to threads featuring songs in Irish about priests:
Sagart na Cúile Báine
Thug mé rúide & an Caisideach Bán
Amhrán an tSagairt
Pill, pill a rún
an Sagairtín
Roisín Dubh

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 09:02 PM

An Bhutais

Aililiu, a dhuine, do chruinnigh an t-ualach        
Ar mhiste leat gluaiseacht no an mairfir go brach?                                                                        Bagun do do chistin a d'oirfeadh romhor duit;                                                                               Ma chuirfear san uaigh leat e, codail go samh.                                                                              Da mheid iad do dhllthe, t'ionmhain is t'ualach,                                                                            Chifirse an tuama romhat lan desna cnamha                                                                              Ach de reir mar a thuigim do shentence an uair ud                                                                      Mar ni thabharfairse an bhuatais go Flaithis na nGrast.                                                                     

Is doigh liom gur chodail tui i gcraiceann mic tlre        
Is an ainsprid choimhthloch ag faire ar do bhraid.
Na dean Dia de do bholg i bpobal na milte,        
No na feiceann tu Gaeil bhocht' le heasnarnh ag fail bhais                                                    D'aithnlos ar do dhochma la crochta na slol dom                                                                         Go raibh do chrol istigh ag smaoineamh ar eagla anbhais                                                             Ach an crann go mbionn an toradh air nl chloisim go gcrlonann                                                       Is go bhfoire go caoin e Mac Mhuire na nGrast.

An te a thabharfadh bliain ar an leaba i ngalar is i gcruatan
D'eireodh ina sheasamh ag grafadh no ag bualadh
'S na smaoineodh ar Aifreann beannaithe an Uanrnhic
Do shaorfadh dn gcruatan an t-anam la an gha.                                                                        Aililiu, a dhuine, do chonaic tu na milte
Is nl fhaca tu fosa do dhifhulaing an Phais
Ar chrann(a) na croise, an chonairt a dheoladh                                                                            Mar a mbiodh an fhuil ghlormhar ina ceathanna ar lar.

Da mairfeadh Naomh Peadar, gan deannad, Seamus
Aindrid ba neata a thuirling i mbroig;                                                                                       Meibhln is Pilib, aonmhac Alpheus
Maitiu ba neata le Jude agus Siun;                                                                                              Siud iad an fhoireann do chonaic Zacheus
Ar an gcrann is e ag titim le dlithe an Aonmhic                                                                            Mar is doigh liomsa, a dhuine, na tuigir an Ghreigis
Seo! Caith diot an eide mura leanair Naomh Pol.

Indeed my good sir, who would heap up the riches
From Death's call there's no power a person can save.
Though the hams in your kitchen be sweet and be tasty
They'll give you small comfort when you're in your grave!
Though great are your powers, your esteem and your lasting
The tomb lies in wait at the end of the road
And then you will find that, unless I'm mistaken,                                                                        You'll not need your boots in your future abode.

Pretend not your gruffness conceals your good nature.
The devil is waiting and won't be deceived.
Don't worship your belly and offer it sweetmeats                                                                           While the poor faint with hunger and die unrelieved.
I knew by your face on the day of the sowing
That the harvest you craved was not the true one.                                                                      The Tree that bore fruit has never grown older
Its burden is still - as it was- Mary's son.                                                                                    

For he who lies down in illness and sorrow                                                                                  But rises next day to plough land and sow seed                                                                           Will not think at all of the Mass and its graces
Which would save his poor soul in the day of its need.
Indeed my good man you have seen many people                                                                         But you never saw Jesus who suffered the Passion                                                                        On the arms of the cross with the dogs snapping at Him
While His Blood showered round in most prodigal fashion.

Gone now is brave Peter and James is gone with him
And Andrew - no finer man ever wore shoe
Matthew and Philip and also Alphaeus,                                                                                     Simon the Blessed, St John and St Jude.                                                                                    All these were the people who witnessed Zaccheus                                                                        In a tree as he waited Our Lord's blessed call.                                                                         Forgotten your Greek? Then I'd like to remind you:                                                               Abandon your cloth or else follow St Paul.

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Subject: RE: An Sagart Chuaidh ar Mire (for recitation)
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 01:08 PM

Stretching the thread a bit, as this is no song lyric: it is a story collected in Gaelic and translated by Douglas Hyde for his "Religious Songs of Connacht"/Abhráin Diadha Chúige Connacht, in the second volume, pp.176 - 189. Thought I would begin by giving Hyde's English rendering. If any interest is expressed/posted/PM'ed, I can also post the original Gaelic, but I will wait to hear from you. This will take me more than one always does.

The Priest Who Went Mad

English translation: Douglas Hyde

Hyde: "I got this story from Próinsias Ó Conor, who got it from a man of the name of Thomas Gruairc -- that was the name he gave me -- who came from near Lough Glynn [Loch-Ghlinne] in the County Roscommon. I have changed the names in this story because I believe there are some of the people alive yet. The places spoken of are only five or six miles away from where I am writing." (1906, pub. Dublin)

More than fifty years ago there was a miller, Dennis Ó Ryan, living in the mBaile of [withheld] in Co. Roscommon, and he had a mill near the road. Dennis became a cripple from the time that he founded the mill.

Hyde's footnote: "He had evidently built the mill on a spot that the "good people," i.e. the fairies/ sídheóga/ Tuatha de Danann themselves, lived in, invisible, of course, and unknown to men-folk. They had probably given him a warning to desist from his work, and he had neglected it. This is the suppressed premise of the story; but all Irish speakers would supply it for themselves as something self-evident."

People say that a little red 'gruagach' or wizard came to him one night when he was pricking the quern of the mill, and that he let one of the great stones fall on him, and that it was this that crippled him. The little wizard man asked him, 'Which do you prefer, '   says he,   'your wife, or your son, or yourself to go mad?'
'I have only one son, and there is no danger of madness on him; he is in the college now and he will become a priest within a month. And as for my wife, she is the most sensible woman in the parish."
'Time is a good story-teller,' said the little red 'fearín'.
It was well, and it was not ill. A month went by, and Owen, son of Dennis Ó Ryan, came home a priest. A great welcome was before Father Owen, not only from his father and mother, but from everyone in the neighborhood, for himself and his father and mother were greatly respected.

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Subject: RE: An Sagart Chuaidh ar Mire, post 2
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 01:20 PM

The first Sunday, after his coming home, Father Owen read Mass in the chapel of [withheld] , that was his first Mass, and, my grief! it was the last Mass ever he read. That very night madness came upon him. He got a razor, and thought to cut his mother's throat. In the morning, the next day, he tore every bit of clothes that was on him, and off and away with him through the country, and he naked, and a great book which he had written himself in Irish and Latin on the top of his head.
The father was filled with grief and with heartbreak, and when the mother heard of the way in which her only son was, she herself almost went distracted as well as he. Servants were sent after Father Owen and he was brought back, but he broke from them again, and yet again, and at last they had to give him 'the leave of his head.'

He would not sleep in any place except in the mill, and he would not eat a morsel of food at all except meal and watercress, and he would not go to sleep without the great book under his head. It was often the people thought to steal the book from him, but they were not able, and he would not part with it at all.
It was his custom to go to a large field within half a mile from the mill, in which there were numbers of sheep and lambs. He used to sit down in the middle of the field and there was never a sheep or a lamb in it that would not be gathered round him, and he used to being reading to them out of the great book, and they used to stand listening to him until he would be tired. Then they used to come, each one of them, and lick his hands.
There was a man of the name of Peter Ó Riordan listening to him once, without his knowledge, and he brought home with him the sermon that he heard Father Owen giving to the sheep.
(to be continued)

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Subject: RE: An Sagart Chuaidh ar Mire, post 3
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 01:27 PM

"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
"Listen to me, ye that are without sin. Ye are under the care of God. There are grass and herbs growing for ye, and there are nice white garments upon ye, to keep ye warm and dry. And there is no Judgment for ye after your death. Ye are more happy than the children of Eve who were born in sin, and who would be burning in a great fire in hell for ever after their death, were it not that God, the King of the World, sent His only Son down out of Heaven to give them example and doctrine, and to save them. But behold the requital that they made Him for His trouble. They abused Him and they smote Him, and cast foul spits upon His very holy face. They put a crown of thorns upon His head and bruised it down tightly upon Him, and after that they hanged Him upon a tree. But when He was dying, He asked His Father to grant them forgiveness after all the ill-usage that they had given Him, for He made them in His own image, and He showed to them His great power with miracles in this world. The thief Judas betrayed Him, and Peter the Apostle reneagued Him; and yet after that He gave him the Keys of Heaven, and he was the first Pope, and He established the Catholic Church to guide us in the way of grace, and there is no danger of whosoever shall follow it, but, my grief! there are not many following it."
He said many more things of the same kind to the sheep.
(to be continued)

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Subject: RE: An Sagart Chuaidh ar Mire, post 4
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 01:43 PM

That evening, on the high road, the parish priest encountered Father Owen Ó Ryan, and began to give him some advice. But Father Owen said to him, "Hold your tongue, you are a vile sinner, you are putting the people astray by your example."
"How so?" said the parish priest.
"I'll tell you that," says Father Owen. "When you took sacred orders, you made three promises to God, namely, secret of confession, chastity, and lowly poverty. Now you know perfectly well that you are not keeping your promise about lowly poverty, because you have a house and land and cows and sheep, and you have hundreds of pounds in the bank. You got that treasure from the poor people, and there is not a day in the year but you see your fellow creatures almost dying with the hunger, yet you do not divide your riches amongst them; you do not give them a morsel to eat. Put no question to me until you change your ways, or I shall burn all the hay and oats that is in your haggard, and I shall leave you without a horse or a sheep."
It was on the high road that he held this talk, and there were a number of people listening to him, and no doubt there are some of them alive yet.

Nobody saw Father Owen coming to the mill that night, as it was his custom to do, and his father and mother were very anxious for fear lest it was drowned he was. When it was late at night and when the servants were all asleep, the father got a lantern and went to the mill. When he opened the door, he saw the mill lit up as bright as if it was the sun that was shining upon it. Dennis Ó Ryan was a courageous man, but he was afraid to go in. He returned and waked up another man, a man of the Gillerans [Giolaránaigh], and brought him with him. The pair went to the mill, and when they entered it, they saw Father Owen asleep, and the big book under his head, and a great shining ram standing on each side of him. His father fell into a faint, and the other man had to carry him home with him. He was sick and ailing after that, and never left his bed for three months.

There used to be a great light in the mill every night after that, from ten o'clock on, and the people used to be greatly afraid of walking on the road that was beside the mill from the time that night would fall, and they used not to bring oats to the mill to dry it or to grind it. But the mill-wheel used to be going round every night and the stones used to be working.
A short time after that, Father Owen was sent to a great house in Dublin where mad people and people out of their senses were; but he did not live long in it. He died, and the father and mother did not live long after him. The mill was closed up, and there has not been a drop of water coming to it for years, but they say that the people of the place hear the mill-wheel working in it every night still.
[The End]

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: Thompson
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 06:06 PM

The story about Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó that I heard was not that the song was about a priest hearing it, etc, but that this particularly beautiful song is an unlucky one to hear when starting a journey, because a priest (named, I think, but I'm not sure) once heard the song being played when he had been asked to go and give the last rites to a dying person; the song was so beautifully played that he delayed to hear it, and so the person died without being anointed.

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Subject: RE: Songs in Irish about Priests
From: Felipa
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 03:01 PM

see reference to Fial O Domhnaill in message 15 Jan 2004
as sung by Cáit Ní Ghallchóir (sound recording on youtube)

also, same singer on an old archived radio programme

(scroll down, "éist anois" means "listen now")

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Subject: RE: Cúirt an Mhean Oíche
From: Felipa
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 07:23 AM

and if Keberoxu can stretch it, so can I - the very long poem, 1000 lines, Cuirt an Mhean Oíche.
text, poetic, translation and notes in this publication
see for instance lines 801-816

translation of lines 801-2: "I've seen incontrovertable evidence that many a son
Could call a priest father in more ways than one."
and goes on to complain about the rule of clerical celibacy

You may prefer this web layout:
The tune Daithí mentioned in 2004 I suppose is the reel usually known by an English language title, The Musical Priest but sometimes as An Sagart Ceolmhar. It's easy to find recordings of this tune and notation

dramatic adaptation one hour+, youtube

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Subject: Fial Ó Domhaill
From: GUEST,Felipa (at library)
Date: 20 Jul 16 - 10:03 AM

words, notation and translation of An Fhial-Athair Dónall - The Charismatic Father Donal are in Derek Bell & Liam Ó Conchubhair,Traditional Songs of the North of Ireland, Wolfhound Press, 1999. I think the title should be An Fial-Athair Dónall (or an Fial-Athair Domhnall), that the "h" which would be added only in the case of a grammatically feminine word - or after a preposition) is a mistake. Anyway, the song is many about the wonderful place Dómhnall lives in but the first of the four verses given IS about how pleasant the cleric is.

Rachaidh mise siar go mullach Shliabh an Fhiaigh
Bo bhfeice mé an Fil-Athari Dónall;
Is gur fuide liom nó bliain gach lá go mbíom a' trial,
A' tarraingt ar an chliar mhódhmhar
A ghnúis gheal nar fhiata, 'Úmlaigh aniar'
'tá cumhdaite de'n chiall ró-mhaith;
Is í brúite i bpían tá a' chluid seo 'do dhiaidh,
A' dúil leat gach aon oích' Dhomhnaigh.

I'll travel off west to the Raven's Mountain top
'til I see the gracious Father Donal
And each day on my way is longer than a year,
As I draw near to this lovely friar.
His beaming friendly face,
'Come over here, my dear,'
Suffused with wise counsel.
And how painful we feel in our own little spot;
Every Sunday night here we await you.

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