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Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna / Sean O'Dwyer

02 Nov 99 - 02:10 AM (#130778)
From: Stewie

Of late, there has been considerable discussion in the forum on the subject of Irish rebel songs. They do not come any better (and most do not come anywhere near) this glorious example of Irish art:

SEAN O DUIBHIR AN GHLEANNA (Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen)

How oft at sunny morning
Sunlight all adorning
I hear the horn give warning
'Mid the birds mellow call.
Badgers flee before us
Woodcocks startle o'er us
And guns give ringing chorus
'Mid the echoes all.

The fox runs higher and higher
Huntsmen shouting nigh her
A maiden lying by her fowl
Left wounded in his gore.
Now they fell the wildwood
Farewell home of childhood
Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna
Your day it is o'er.

'Tis my sorrow sorest
Sad the falling forest
The north wind brings me no rest
And death is in the sky.
My noble hounds tied tightly
Never sporting brightly
Would make a child laugh lightly
With a tear in its eye.

The antlered noble-hearted
Stags are never started
Never chased nor parted
From the furzy field.
If peace comes but a small way
I'll journey down to Galway
I'll leave, but not for always
My Erin of ills.

Land of streams and valleys
Has no head nor rallies
In city, camp or palace
They never toast her name.
Where the warrior column
From Clyne to peaks of Collum
All wasted hills and solemn
The wild hare grows tame.

When will come the routing
Shocks of churls and flouting?
I hear no joyful shouting
From the blackbird brave.
Ne'er warlike is the yeoman
Justice comes to no man
And priests must flee the foeman
To the mountain cave.

'Tis my woe and ruin
Sinless death's undoing
Came not to the strewing
Of all my bright hopes.
How oft of sunny morning
I watched the sun returning
The autumn maples burning
And dew on the woodland slopes.

But now my lands are plundered
Far my friends are sundered
And I must hide me under
The branch and bramble screen.
If soon I cannot save me
From flights of foes who crave me
Oh death at last I'll brave thee
My bitter foes between.

For now they fell the wildwood
Farewell home of childhood
Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna
Your day it is o'er.

Traditional Irish

Source: Danny Spooner and Mick Farrell 'In Limbo and Other Songs and Places' Anthology AR003.

'Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna' is both a lovely air and a lovely ballad – musical and lyrical brilliance. One of the ironies of Irish nationalism was that the wretched poor tended to identify its interests with those of its former ruling class. There was a cultural unity between the Big House and the peasant hovel that did not exist elsewhere in Europe (for a discussion on this, read Daniel Corkery's marvellous little book 'The Hidden Ireland'). The exquisite sadness of an O Duibhir lamenting the burning of the forests and the passing of his estates would strike a chord in the heart of the most downtrodden Irish peasant. Indeed, it was only among the poor that such pieces as this survived.

Danny noted that 'Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna' and its beautiful air were 'inspired by a guerilla leader in Ireland at the time of Oliver Cromwell's attempted conquest. Sean O Dhuibhir carried on a fierce resistance against the New Model Army and its Protestant allies until his beloved forest was put to the torch by the invaders. No one listening can help but be moved by such wanton destruction and blood-letting in the name of God that is symbolised by that invasion'. ^^

02 Nov 99 - 05:51 PM (#131012)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Seán O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Philippa

See also an earlier Seán O Duibhir thread

I can write out Irish language lyrics for you, but don't have time just now, so if anybody else wants to do the job before I get around to it, s/he's welcome.

02 Nov 99 - 06:11 PM (#131030)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: JTT

Thing about the Irish peasants identifying with their former aristocracy is less clear-cut than in other countries. When the land grants were made to Elizabeth's or Cromwell's loyal soldiers, the Irish aristocrats who had owned the land often returned to work the same land as landless peasants, and their descendants were still there, waiting patiently, hundreds of years later.

I have a friend whose grandmother or great-grandmother still kept, in their tin shack, the 16th-century deeds to most of the neighbourhood land. And the local people all came to this bone-poor family for any help or negotiation they needed.

Incidentally, there's a good pipe version of Sean O Duibhir a'Ghleanna on the CD Out to an Other Side by Liam O'Flynn.

The song is immensely long in Irish, but it's commonly available, so I won't type it out.

02 Nov 99 - 07:15 PM (#131069)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Stewie

Danny's version, then, is possibly the Thomas Furlong translation mentioned in the earlier thread. I am sure it must be even more moving in Irish but, since I have no knowledge of that language, I have to make do with translation - nevertheless, it stands well enough in the English version above, whoever translated it.

Cheers, Stewie.

19 Nov 99 - 01:48 PM (#138434)
From: Philippa

Seán Ó Duibhir a' Ghleanna, Seán Ó Duír a' Ghleanna: published sources of Irish language text and tune include:
"Cuisle an Cheoil" (an Roinn Oideachais, BÁC/Dublin, 1976) (three versions given, background notes in Irish)
Donal O'Sullivan, "Songs of the Irish", Cork: Mercier (includes poetic translation by George Sigerson and literal translation and notes in English)
Mánus Ó Baoill, "Ceolta Gael 2", Cork: Mercier, 1986
"Amhránleabhar Ógra Éireann", BÁC/Dublin: Folens, 1971 (lyrics only)


Ar m'éirí dom ar maidin,
Grian an tsamhradh a' taitneamh,
Chuala 'n uaill á casadh,
'Gus ceol binn na n-éan:
Broc is míolta gearra,
Creabhair na ngoba fada,
Fuaim ag an macalla,
'Gus lámhach gunnaí tréan.

An sionnach rua ar an gcarraig,
Míle liú ag marcaigh,
Is bean go dubhach sa mbealach
Ag direamh a cuid gé.
Anois tá 'n choill á gearradh,
Triallfaimid thar caladh;
Is a Sheán Uí Dhuibhir an Ghleanna,
Tá tú gan ghéim

Is é sin m'uaigneas fada
scáth mo chluas á ghearradh,
An ghaoth aduaidh dom leathadh.
'Gus bás ins an spéir:
Mo ghadhairín suairc a cheangal
Gan cead híth á aistíocht';
A bhaineadh gruaim den leanbh,
I meán ghil' an lae.

Croí na huaisle ar an gcarraig,
Go ceafach buacach beannach,
A thiocfadh suas ar aiteann ,
Go lá deireadh 'n tsaoil.
'S dá bhfaighinnse suaimhneas tamall
Ó dhaoine uaisle 'n bhaile,
Do thriallfainn féin ar Ghaillimh
Is d'fhágfainn an scléip.

[The first four verses of the English posted by Stewie are poetic translations of these verses, as published in "Cuisle an Cheoil". It is close to the translation by George Sigerson given in "Songs of the Irish". After I typed verses 1-4, I went to the library and found the other verses in "Songs of the Irish":]

Táid fearann ghleanna 'n tsrutha
Gan cheann ná teann ar lochtaibh,
I sráid na gcuach ní molfar
A sláinte ná a saol;
Mo loma luain gan fosga
Ó Chluain go Stuaic na gcólum,
'S an gearrfhia ar bruach an Rosa
Ar fán le n-a ré.

Créad i an ruaig so ar thoraibh,
Buala buan a mbona?
An smóilín binn 's an lonndubh
Gan sár-ghuth ar ghéig;
'S gur mór an tuar chun cogaidh
Cléir go buartha 's pobail,
Da seola 'gcuantaibh loma
I lár ghleanna 'n tslé.

Is é mochreach ar maidin
Nach bhfuair mé bás gan pheaca
Sar a bhfuair mé sgannall
Fá mo chuid féin - 'S a liacht lá breá fada
Thig úla cumhra 'r chrannaibh, Duilliúr ar an dair
Agus drúcht ar an bhféar.

'Nois táim-se ruaighthe óm fhearrann,
I n-uaigneas 'bhfad óm charaid,
Im luí go duairc faoi sgairtibh, 'S i gcuasaibh an é
'S muna bhfagha mé suaineas feasta
Ó dhaoinibh uaisle 'n bhaile,
Tréigfidh mé mo shealbh
Agus fágfad an saol.

From O'Sullivan,"Songs of the Irish":
"In this song the pleasant, carefree life of a country gentleman ...before the hostilities is set in vivid contrast to the desolation and ruin imposed by Cromwell, and the horror and cold inhumanity of the 'settlement' are brought out by a witness and a victim - but rather by illusion and reminiscence than by direct statement. People and clergy forced to seek a refuge in the fastness of the hills; the landowning aristocracy uprooted from the territories that hd been theirs for centuries; the landscape desecrated by the razing of the forests ...; the sad necessity of abandoning home and country to seek service in the armies of France or Austria or Spain.

"...Dr. Sigerson's stressing of the patriotic note in verse 3 of his translation [verses 5+6 together if you're looking at the Mudcat texts], is not justified by the text. There are two other places where he seems to have missed the point. In verse 2 {Mudcat 3+4], the suggestion is that the stag is now the only noble left; and in verse 4 [Mudcat 7+8] the poet compares his own condition to that of inanimate natureP: apples are on the trees, foliage ont he oak, dew on the grass. He alone fails to receive that which is his own."

info from "Cuisle an Cheoil" and "Songs of the Irish":
Seán Ó Duibhir was the son of Diarmaid Ó Duibhir (died 1629), chief of the O'Dwyers of Kilnamanagh, resident of Cloniharp Castle, near Dundrum, Co Tipperary. It is thought that Seán Ó Duibhir served under his uncle, Colonel Éamann Ó Duibhir, who commanded a brigade fighting against the Cromwellian forces in the southeast of Ireland. After the fall of Limerick city in the autumn of 1651, the Irish cause was hopeless and so Colonel Éamann Ó Duibhir surrended under the terms of the Treaty of Cahir, March 1651. He some 4,500 of his officers and men were allowed to join the Spanish army, which was then fighting the French. Colonel Éamann Ó Duibhir was killed while leading his troops against Arras in August 1654.

Another relative of Colonel Éamann Ó Duibhir celebrated in song was 'Éamann an Chnoic' (Éamann Ó Riain, 'Ned of the Hill'), who was related on his mother's side to the Colonel. 'Éamann an Chnoic' was killed sometime shortly after 1702. You'll find three DT entries for Ned of the Hill/Edmond of the Hill, the English translation (only) of Éamonn an Chnoic.

19 Nov 99 - 05:08 PM (#138485)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Bruce O.

There are no less than 4 copies of Sidney Owenson's translation of "Ned of the Hills" into English in the Levy collection (from her 'Twelve Original Hiberian Melodies, 1805). I suspect her original was that sung by her father Robert Owenson (an adopted English name, born Mac Eoghain in 1744) in a Dublin concert at the Theatre Royal, Cross Street, in 1778, "Emhun uh Chnuick" (but not known to have survived in a printed copy).

19 Nov 99 - 05:23 PM (#138486)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: johntm

Phillipa Do you know of any recordings of this version of the song? The one's I have heard all are of "After Aughrim's Great Disaster" which has different words. That includes the version on Liam O'Flynn's disk by the Voice Squad. John T. M.

19 Nov 99 - 05:34 PM (#138489)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Bruce O.

Philippa's version (that in Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy (and said to be the sole original?), with many small differences in Gaelic spelling, is in JIFSS, 1925, along with a translation along the lines of Stewie's, but with every line somewhat different (as to be expected for a metrical translation). Also noted in JIFSS in that O'Daly (Poets and Poetry of Munster, 2nd series) took the Sean O'Dwyer of the song to be the 'Shane O'Dwyer, chronicler de Aharlagh' noted in a manuscript of 1584 in BL (Carew MSS #627).

19 Nov 99 - 07:01 PM (#138517)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Susanne (skw)

A very moving version of 'After Aughrim's Great Disaster' but under the title 'Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna' was recorded by Mick West of Glasgow on his first CD, Fine Flowers and Foolish Glances. - Susanne

19 Nov 99 - 07:31 PM (#138519)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: johntm

Suzanne I copied that off a radio broadcast once, but have never been able to find the CD itself. Do you know who puts it out? I am still interested in the other version of Sean O'Dwyer also

19 Nov 99 - 08:02 PM (#138535)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Philippa

Johntm, If you look at Stewie's first posting, you'll see he says it's from a recording "Source: Danny Spooner and Mick Farrell 'In Limbo and Other Songs and Places' Anthology AR003".

Bruce O: is the translation in JIFSS, 1925 the one by George Sigerson, the one given in Donal O'Sullivan's book? Spooner and Farrell's version appears to be derived from that one.

19 Nov 99 - 08:34 PM (#138547)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Seán O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: PS

No anachronism in the question above about George Sigerson (1836-1925)

19 Nov 99 - 08:50 PM (#138552)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Bruce O.

Re; The Gaelic text: JIFSS and Songs of the Irish. Some spellings are slightly different, but I suspect that's simply due to moderniization of Gaelic spelling. JIFSS starts "'S ar" rather than "Ar" and 4th line starts "'Agus" rather than "'Gus". I see now that JIFSS version lacks the 4th verse of that in songs of the Irish.

Translation: JIFSS version is labeled 'Translation', is not Sigerson's, and I see now that it's not rhymed, so it is stricktly a translation, and not a song. It commences:

When I rose in the morning,
And the summer sun was shining,
I heard the huntsman's horn
And the sweet song of birds;

It also has only 3 verses.

19 Nov 99 - 08:55 PM (#138553)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Bruce O.

Silly of me not to have remembered that 'Songs of the Irish' gives translations also. JIFF translation is that following the song texts in 'Songs of the Irish', but lacking the last verse.

19 Nov 99 - 08:59 PM (#138555)
Subject: Seán O Duibhir an Ghleanna
From: the Archivist

Don't forget to look at the previous thread (link at 2 Nov) for the "After Aughrim's great disaster" translation, clickable link to abc, and other info.

19 Nov 99 - 09:25 PM (#138560)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Bruce O.

Philippa, some other of O'Sullivan's notes in JIFSS that might interest you.

Bunting's and O'Farrell's tune (now in 'Sources of Irish Traditional Music', 1998, [SITM] and indexed in the Irish tunes on my website)
O'Daly's 'Poets and Poetry of Munster', 1st series, 1849, tune with a song by Eoghan Ruadh O/ Su/illeabha/in (tune is #6672 in SITM)
O'Daly's 'Poets and Poety of Munster', 2nd series, 1860, same tune as O'Daly's earlier one, but Gaelic text is from Hardiman, and with Dr. Sigerson's metrical translation.
O'Daly's 'Irish Language Miscellany', 1876, same tune again, but song is one by Daniel Warren of Killarney.
Next is Joyce's tune, 1888, with Hardiman's text.

20 Nov 99 - 11:31 AM (#138736)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: johntm

Philippa Thanks. I saw that but assumed it was a book--my ignorance. Stewie--What company published this recording? I could not find the album title or Danny Spooner in a quick search of a couple of on-line music stores

08 Dec 99 - 01:44 PM (#146635)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Philippa

Alision has posted tunes for this song at Mudcat midis
Many thanks, Alison!

Alison says she'll do ABCs as well if anyone specifically requests.

25 Feb 02 - 07:41 AM (#657347)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: GUEST,Jerry

Did Iarla O/ Linnard not sing this sean nos tune on one of new CDs? I thought I heard it but perhaps it is not listed under the above name? Thanks.

26 Feb 02 - 05:31 AM (#658050)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Paddy Plastique

There's a beautiful version, as gaeilge, on Nigel Rolfe's compilation / project
'Lament' on Real World. Sung by Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill
Thanks to the lyric posters - I was thinking of putting a request up for it

27 Dec 05 - 06:52 AM (#1635313)
Subject: Lyr Add: SHAUN O'DWYER OF THE GLEN (Sigerson)
From: GUEST,IanB

Dr Sigerson's translation was published in his book 'Bards of the Gael and Gall' 1907. Here is his text, from which it can be seen that there are numerous errors in the version posted above by Stewie, which he found in the Spooner/Farrell anthology:

Oft, at pleasant morning,
Sunshine all adorning,
I've heard the horn give warning
   With bird's mellow call––
Badgers flee before us,
Woodcocks startle o'er us,
Guns make ringing chorus,
   'Mid the echoes all;
The fox runs high and higher,
Horsemen shouting nigher,
The maiden mourning by her
   Fowl he left in gore.
Now, they fell the wild-wood:
Farewell, home of childhood,
Ah, Seán O'Duibhir a' Ghleanna
   Thy day is o'er !

It is my sorrow sorest,
Woe,–– the falling forest !
The north wind gives me no rest,
   And Death's in the sky:
My faithful hound's tied tightly,
Never sporting brightly,
Who'd make a child laugh lightly,
   With tears in his eye.
The antlered, noble-hearted
Stags are never started,
Never chased nor parted
   From the furzy hills.
If peace came, but a small way,
I'd journey down on Galway,
And leave, tho' not for alway,
   My Erinn of Ills.

The land of streamy valleys
Hath no head nor rallies––
In city, camp, or palace,
   They never toast her name.
Alas, no warrior column,––
From Cloyne to peaks of Colum,
O'er wasted fields and solemn,
   The shy hares grow tame.
O ! when shall come the routing,
The flight of churls and flouting?
We hear no joyous shouting
   From the blackbird brave;
More warlike is the omen,
Justice comes to no men,
Priests must flee the foemen
   To the mountain cave.

It is my woe and ruin
That sinless death's undoing
Came not, ere the strewing
   Of all my bright hopes.
How oft, at sunny morning,
I've watched the Spring returning,
The Autumn apples burning,
   And dew on woodland slopes !
Now my lands are plunder,
Far my friends asunder,
I must hide me under
   Branch and bramble screen––
If soon I cannot save me
By flight from foes who crave me,
O Death, at last I'll brave thee
   My bitter foes between !

12 Aug 07 - 08:46 PM (#2124481)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna (Sean O'Dw
From: Stewie

Very belatedly, thanks JanB for the corrections to the translation I posted so long ago.


17 May 10 - 10:27 PM (#2908931)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna / Sean O'Dwyer
From: GUEST,alex

this is a awsome song need to know the beat, but cool!

07 Jun 10 - 05:34 PM (#2922654)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna / Sean O'Dwyer
From: GUEST,Billy Clancy

I would guess that the line "ó Chluain go Stuaic na gcolum" refers to two local placenames near Rossmore in Tipperary which was part of the Ó Duibhir territory. The cross(roads) of Clune and the pub Coffeys of Stuke are still well known local landmarks. Colum nowadays spelt colm presumably meant dove , all part of the wildlife theme which runs through the song.

24 Nov 17 - 08:08 AM (#3890101)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna / Sean O'Dwyer

Just watched a youtube post of this piece on Facebook by the Cookstown teacher CIaran Kelly, Len Graham singing so well. not recent footage, may have been VHS digitized. Good singing, Graham calls his " an Ulster version" I think.