Do Bhí Bean Uasal

There Was a Noblewoman
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This is a poem written by Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, one of the four most prominent of the south Ulster and north Le more...

This is a poem written by Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, one of the four most prominent of the south Ulster and north Leinster poets in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was later adapted to the well known Irish folk song song “Carrickfergus”. This version below is sung by Seán Ó Sé and includes some lines in English.

Along with Peadar Ó Doirnín, Art Mac Cumhaigh and Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta, Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna one of the four most prominent of the south Ulster and north Leinster poets in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has been described as ‘an Irish-speaking Christy Moore, an incisive ballad singing entertainer for a totally Irish-speaking community of poor people living at or below subsistence in the early 18th Century.

Mac Giolla Ghunna was probably born in Fermanagh and, having initially gone on to be a priest, settled for a career as a rake-poet. It has been remarked about his poetry that ‘of the handful of poems attributed to him, most are marked by a rare humanity, but none can match An Bonnán Buí (The Yellow Bittern) with its finely-judged blend of pathos and humour’. Although “Cathal Buí”, as he is still affectionately termed in the folklore of Bréifne, is now little known in Ireland, his masterpiece An Bonnán Buí remains one of the best known laments and songs in Irish from the past few centuries.

A study of the Bréifne school of poetry is forthcoming from Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin. His memory is celebrated annually in his home country – Blacklion(Cavan) and Belcoo(Fermanagh) with a festival named in his honour, Féile Chathal Buí.

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Irish

English

I your lady turn his stated
She's put up close Provision me;
Your overhead attaching her towns
But she svae of ['sway'] her life before.
But if I could have one of those
under the arches of the church,
I would without doubt my topic;
But now I am sick weak and without my medicine.
That my the people crying'll dhéidh.

For Ireland shiúlaíos the Munster together
Is along Howth seeking women,
You never saw anyone so much distance
Your bag made ??I only phléasáil my White.
Irish women to put together
A great outing for me not to say;
He said everyone who saw my fair lady.
She svae of it from County Clare.

The sun is the heat event abandoning
The thirst I do not own your chlaoi,
I bet that from November to Féabhraí
I will not be ready until Michael Day;
But I promise you that because of the amount
A iontaíos myself against her,
But because of my first love I did abandon
She collecting alms daughters.

I am sick sick and my right foot injuries
From the ógbhean took those past me;
Iarras póigín once or twice her,
For I'd ship to roam with my own sweetheart.
For I'm tired of drinking and I'm seldom sober!
I'm a Constant rover from town to town!
But now I'm Dying and my days are over -
Come Bags, Misty, and lay me down!)

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