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Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks

17 Mar 01 - 02:55 PM (#420023)
Subject: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,

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.

17 Mar 01 - 03:03 PM (#420027)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

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.

17 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM (#420041)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: Malcolm Douglas

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.


17 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM (#420042)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

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.

15 Jun 02 - 12:48 AM (#730363)
From: Jim Dixon

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.

15 Jun 02 - 04:45 PM (#730623)
From: michaelr

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


31 Mar 04 - 11:58 AM (#1151060)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks

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

14 Apr 04 - 10:49 PM (#1162038)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: GUEST,


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!


14 Apr 04 - 11:09 PM (#1162050)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rocks
From: michaelr

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.


29 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM (#3397071)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Beside the White Rock
From: GUEST,t o dubhda

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.