Mo Ghile Mear

My Gallant Darling
The UCD Choral Scholars released their debut international recording on Signum Records on 11th December 2015 (USA and Ca more...

The UCD Choral Scholars released their debut international recording on Signum Records on 11th December 2015 (USA and Canada – 12th February 2016). The disc, entitled Invisible Stars is an enchanting collection of traditional and contemporary choral music from Ireland and Scotland and features arrangements and new compositions by some of Ireland’s most celebrated composers for choir, including Michael McGlynn, Brendan Graham, Ivo Antognini, Bill Whelan and the group’s artistic director, Desmond Earley.

This is a traditional Irish song written by 18th-century poet Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill, to honor Prince Charles Stewart (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”). Mo Ghile Mear is his most famous poem. It is a lament or caoineadh that was written after the defeat of the Bonnie Prince Charles at the Battle of Culloden, Scotland, in 1746. The Irish poets had pinned their hopes on this revolutionary prince and his flight was a crushing blow to the long-suffering Gaeil of both Éire and Scotland. Their exasperation and despair is vividly portrayed in this poem. Like all other Gaelic poems of the time, Mo Ghile Mear would have been sung rather than recited; indeed, the melody is well-known today.

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My dashing darling is my hero
My dashing darling is my Caesar
I have had neither sleep nor good fortune
Since my dashing darling went far away

I am perpetually worried every day
Wailing heavily and shedding tears
Since my lively boy was released from me
And there is no word of him, alas


The pleasure of the cheerful cuckoo at noon is gone
The affable nobility are not bothered with sport
The learned and the cultured are worried and sad
Since the lively lad was taken from me


He is like Young Aonghus
Like Lughaidh Mac Chéin of the great blows
Like Cú Raoi, great son of Dáire of the gold
Leader of Éire strong in pursuit


Like Conall Cearnach who breached defences
Like worthy fair haired Feargas Mac Róigh
Like Conchubhar venerable son of Nás of the tradition
The pleasant chieftain of the musical [Fenian] Branch

Chorus x2

Since my dashing darling went far away

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