An bhFaca Tú Mo Shéamuisín

Have you seen my little Jimmy?
This is a children's song written by The Cassidys (Na Casaidigh), sung from the perspective of a loving mother whose son more...

This is a children’s song written by The Cassidys (Na Casaidigh), sung from the perspective of a loving mother whose son is starting school. It is often learned by school children in Ireland. Na Casaidigh are an Irish traditional group from Gweedore, County Donegal, based in Dublin. The group consists of brothers Aongus, Seathrún, Ciarán, Fionntán, Feargus, and Odhrán. Irish is their native tongue and they had to study English as a second language during their school years, which allows Na Casaidigh to alternate easily between both languages in their songs.

The following is an expert from an article by Deirdre Falvey, Irish Time, 1997: The repetitive songs of childhood hold a resonance beyond their simplicity, comjuring up memories of times, which seemed to be always sunny, more straightforward, more truthful. A lot of that is rose-tinted rubbish, of course – and tricks of the mind – but the comfort of the familiar and the past is not to be underestimated.

Many of us have fond memories of learning those songs – and Oró Sé Do Bheatha ‘bhaile, Trasna Na dTonnta, Báidín Fheilimí, Bheir Mí Ó – in school and in the Gaeltacht summer colleges. In the Gaeltacht they had a book, Cas Amhran – green, hardback, well-used – which grouped them together and formalised them. We learned them in classes in the morning, swam in the afternoon and danced at ceilithe in the evening. All very well regimented and monitored by an maistir, of course. But they are positive memories.

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Irish

English

Have you seen my little Jimmy?
My little love, my little boy.
Have you seen my little Jimmy?
As he was going down the road.

No shoes at all on his little feet.
On his little feet, on his little feet.
No shoes at all on his little feet.
Nor a little hat or coat.

Going to school is little Jimmy
My little love, my little boy,
Going to school is little Jimmy
A little yellow book in his pocket.

On his back is a little bag
A little bag, a little bag
On his back is a little bag
And his little lunch inside it.

He was born in Móin a Lín
At the bottom of the hill in a little bird nest
He was born in Móin a Lín
Near to Bun Dóite.

The love of my heart is my little Jimmy
My little love, my little boy.
The love of my heart is my little Jimmy
From morning till night.

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