Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile

Oh-ro You're Welcome Home
"Óró" is a cheer, while "sé do bheatha 'bhaile" translates as "you are welcome home." The song in its original form d more...

“Óró” is a cheer, while “sé do bheatha ‘bhaile” translates as “you are welcome home.” The song in its original form dates back to the third Jacobite rising in 1745-6. In the early 20th century it received new verses by the nationalist poet Patrick Pearse and was often sung by members of the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising. It was also sung as a fast march during the Irish War of Independence.

Like many folk songs, the origins of this song are obscure, but several different uses of the tune and chorus can be identified. In 1884 Mr. Francis Hogan of Brenormore, near Carrick-on-Suir, then “well over seventy years of age”, reports that “this song used to be played at the ‘Hauling Home,’ or the bringing home of a wife”. The “hauling home” was a ceremony that took place a month after a wedding when a bride was brought to live in her new husband’s home. This version only consists of the chorus.

Énrí Ó Muir?easa also records a similar refrain of Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile in 1915 from the Barony of Farney, “but the song to which it belonged was lost before my time”. There is no mention of “hauling home” and the line that P. W. Joyce gives as thá tu maith le rátha (“’tis you are happy with prosperity [in store for you]”) is instead Tá tú amui? le rái??e (“You’ve been gone three months”). Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile has also been associated with the Jacobite cause as Séarlas Óg (“Young Charles” in Irish), referring to Bonnie Prince Charlie and dating to the third Jacobite rising of 1745-6.

Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile appears as number 1425 in George Petrie’s The Complete Collection of Irish Music (1855) under the title Ó ro! ’sé do ?ea?a a ?aile (modern script: Ó ro! ’sé do bheatha a bhaile) and is marked “Ancient clan march.” It can also be found at number 983 (also marked “Ancient Clan March”) and as a fragment at number 1056, titled Welcome home Prince Charley.

In the early 20th century Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile received new verses by the nationalist poet Patrick Pearse and was often sung by members of the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising. It was also sung as a fast march during the Irish War of Independence.

Since 1916 Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile has also been known under various other titles, notably Dord na bhFiann (Call of the Fighters) or An Dord Féinne. The latter title is associated with Pearse in particular. This version of Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile features the pirate or “Great Sea Warrior” Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley), a formidable power on the west coast of Ireland in the late 16th century. Pearse shows his knowledge of the Jacobite version in the way he adapts it to the new independence cause. He emphasises the Irishness of the fighters by substituting native Gráinne for foreign Prince Charlie and changing Béidh siad leis-sean Franncaigh is Spáinnigh (“They’ll be with him, French and Spanish”) to Gaeil féin ‘s ní Francaigh ná Spáinnigh (“Gaels they, and neither French nor Spaniard”).

Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile has been sung widely by ballad groups such as The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, The Cassidys, Noel McLoughlin, The McPeake Family, Thomas Loefke & Norland Wind, and the Wolfe Tones. Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile was also sung by sean-nós singer Darach Ó Catháin, Dónall Ó Dúil (on the album Faoin bhFód) and by Nioclás Tóibín. The song has received more modern treatments from John Spillane, The Twilight Lords, Cruachan, Tom Donovan, and Sinéad O’Connor. There is also a classical orchestral version by the Irish Tenors. Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile was also used in the 2006 film The Wind That Shakes the Barley. The number and variety of performances indicates how widely known the song is. It was widely sung in state primary schools in the early and middle 20th century. Boxer Steve Collins used the song as his ring entrance music for all seven of his WBO supermiddleweight title defenses in the mid nineties.

Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile has been sung widely by ballad groups such as The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, The Cassidys, Noel McLoughlin, The McPeake Family, Thomas Loefke & Norland Wind, and the Wolfe Tones. Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile was also sung by sean-nós singer Darach Ó Catháin, Dónall Ó Dúil (on the album Faoin bhFód) and by Nioclás Tóibín. The song has received more modern treatments from John Spillane, The Twilight Lords, Cruachan, Tom Donovan, and Sinéad O’Connor. There is also a classical orchestral version by the Irish Tenors. Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile was also used in the 2006 film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

 

Pádraig Pearse’s version

Chorus:

Oró! You are welcome home!
Oró! You are welcome home!
Oró! You are welcome home!
Now that summer is coming

1. Welcome O woman who was so afflicted,
It was our ruin that you were in bondage,
Our fine land in the possesion of theives,
And sold to the foreigners

Chorus

2. Grainne Mhaol is coming over the sea,
Armed warriors along with her as guard,
They are Irishmen, not English or Spanish,
And they will rout the foreigners

Chorus

3. May it please the God of Miracles that we may see,
Although we only live a week after it,
Grainne Mhaol and a thousand warriors,
Dispersing the foreigners

Chorus

The first song is the original Jacobite version in which The Young Pretender is called “Shéarlais Oig, Mhic Rí Shéamais” (Young Charles, King James’s son”) as stated in the first line of the song, is the one who was welcomed home to claim his birthright in 1745.

The lyrics of the newer version were written by Pádraig Pearse, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1916, as an invitation to all Irishmen away from Ireland to return home and join the fight for independence.

The tune is in P. W. Joyce as “Oro,’Se do Bheatha a Bhaile”: “Oro, Welcome Home!” A Hauling-Home Song, with following explanation:

“The ‘Hauling Home’ was bringing home the bride to her husband’s house after marriage. It was usually a month or so after the wedding, and was celebrated as an occasion next only in importance to the wedding itself. The bridegroom brought back home his bride at the head of a triumphal procession- all on cars or on horseback. I well remember one where the bride rode on a pillion behind her husband. As they entered the house the bridegroom is supposed to speak or sing:

1. – Oro, sé do bheatha a bhaile,
Is fearr liom tu ná céad bo bainne:
Oro, sé do bheatha a bhaile,
Thá tu maith le rátha.

 

2. Oro, welcome home,
I would rather have you than a hundred milch cows:
Oro, Welcome home,
’tis you are happy with prosperity.

Here is another collector, Mr. Hogan‘s note on this air:

– “Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile used to be played at the ‘Hauling Home’, or the bringing home of a wife. The piper, seated outside the house at the arrival of the party, playing HARD (i.e. with great spirit): nearly all who were at the wedding a month previous being in the procession. Oh for the good old times!”

Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile is called in Stanford-Petrie an “ancient clan march”: and it is set in the Major, with many accidentals, but another setting is given in the Minor. I (Joyce) give it here as Mr. Hogan wrote it, in its proper Minor form. In several particulars this setting differs from Dr. Petrie’s two versions. It was a march tune, as he calls it: but the MARCH was home to the husband’s house. Dr. Petrie does not state where he procured his two versions.”

It’s obvious that Pearse knew both the history and use of Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile as a metaphor for Welcoming Ireland Home as a bride, to a free Ireland. (Source: Mr. Bill Kennedy Permanent Member of mudcat.org)

Notes

^ a b Joyce, Patrick Weston (1909). Old Irish Folk Music and Songs. London (Dublin): Longmans, Green and Co. (Hodges, Figgis & Co.). pp. 121, 130.

p. 121

The following 34 airs (to “She’s the dear Maid to me”) were sent to me from time to time during 1884 by Mr. Francis Hogan of South Lodge, Brenormore, near Carrick-on-Suir, a good musician and a great enthusiast in Irish music and songs. He must have been then well over seventy years of age. Some of these he wrote from memory, and others he copied from MSS.

p. 130

275. ORO, ’SE DO BHEATHA A BHAILE: ORO, WELCOME HOME!
A Hauling-home Song.

The “Hauling home” was bringing home the bride to her husband’s house after marriage. It was usually a month or so after the wedding, and was celebrated as an occasion next only in importance to the wedding itself.

The bridegroom brought home his bride at the head of a triumphal procession—all on cars or on horseback. I well remember one where the bride rode on a pillion behind her husband. As they enter the house the bridegroom is supposed to speak or sing:—

Oro, sé do bheatha a bhaile, is fearr liom tu ná céad bo bainne:
Oro, sé do bheatha a bhaile, thá tu maith le rátha.

Oro, welcome home, I would rather have you than a hundred milch cows:
Oro, welcome home, ’tis you are happy with prosperity [in store for you].

Here is Mr. Hogan’s note on this air:—“This song used to be played at the ‘Hauling Home,’ or the bringing home of a wife. The piper, seated outside the house at the arrival of the party, playing hard [i.e. with great spirit]: nearly all who were at the wedding a month previous being in the procession. Oh, for the good old times!”

Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile is called in Stanford-Petrie an “ancient clan march”: and it is set in the Major, with many accidentals, but another setting is given in the Minor. I give it here as Mr. Hogan wrote it, in its proper Minor form. In several particulars this setting differs from Dr. Petrie’s two versions. It was a march tune, as he calls it: but the March was home to the husband’s house. Dr. Petrie does not state where he procured his two versions.

^ a b c d Ó Muir?easa, Énrí (1915). Céad de ?eoltai? Ula?. Baile Á?a Clia?: M. H. Mac Giolla agus a ?ac. pp. 151, 303.
p. 303

87. Óró, ’sé do ?ea?a a?aile

(See page 151.)

This little Jacobite relic I got from Nancy Tracey, Co. Tyrone, and also from Cáit Ní ?ealla?áin, an old woman 90 years of age in Ballor, Fanad, Co. Donegal. It has a catchy, popular air. A refrain somewhat similar to this one was common in Farney, but the song to which it belonged was lost before my time.

Hó, ró, ró, ’sé do ?ea?a un a’ ?aile,
Hó, ró, ró, ós cionn duine eile ;
Hó, ró, ró, ’sé do ?ea?a un a’ ?aile,
Tá tú amui? le rái??e. (Farney song).

^ Souchon, Christian (24 July 2010). “Oro! Se Do Bheatha Bhaile”. Jacobite Songs. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
^ Petrie, George (1903) [1855]. Stanford, Charles Villiers. ed. The Complete Collection of Irish Music. London: Boosey & Co. pp. 251, 268, 356.
p. 251, No. 983 Ancient Clan March
p. 268, No. 1056 Welcome home Prince Charley
p. 356, No. 1425 Ó ro! ’sé do ?ea?a a ?aile

^ a b Tempany-Pearse, Rose. [http:// pillar.ds4a.com/garden/andordfeinne.htm “An Dord Feinne”]. A Lovely Old Garden: A New Critical Study of the Poetry of Padraic Pearse. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
15 December 2012: Wikipedia’s spam filter is rejecting this URL although it is legitimate. Consequently I have had to add a space to the URL in the above citation.

^ a b Pearse, Pádraic H. (1998, 2010). “The Dord Feinne”. CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. University College, Cork. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
^ Some versions have B’fhearr liom thú ná céad bó bhainne (“I’d prefer you to a hundred milk cows”).
^ Some versions have Frainc or Francaigh (“French”) instead of Gaill (“foreigners, English”).
^ Ó Baoill, Seán Óg; Ó Baoill, Mánus (1975). Ceolta Gael. Baile Átha Cliath: Cló Mercier. p. 74. ISBN 085342-410-1.

Do you have any further information about this song? Edit this page and help us expand this section. ^close

Irish

English

Welcome oh woman who was so afflicted,
It was our ruin that you were in bondage,
Our fine land in the possession of thieves...
And you sold to the foreigners!

Oh-ro You're welcome home,
Oh-ro You're welcome home,
Oh-ro You're welcome home...
Now that summer's coming!

Gráinne O'Malley is coming over the sea,
Armed warriors along with her as her guard,
They are Gaels, not French nor Spanish...
And they will rout the foreigners!

Oh-ro You're welcome home (x3)
Now that summer's coming!

May it please the King of Miracles that we might see,
Although we may live for a week once after,
Gráinne Mhaol and a thousand warriors...
Dispersing the foreigners!

Oh-ro You're welcome home (x3)
Now that summer's coming!

Can you provide a better translation?

Chords