Sliabh Geal gCua na Féile

Mount bright gCua festival
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This song was written in the late 19th century by Pádraig Ó Míléadha, who was an exile working in the coal mines of more...

This song was written in the late 19th century by Pádraig Ó Míléadha, who was an exile working in the coal mines of Wales. Pádraig was born in West Waterford, in the district known since as ‘Na Déise’ (‘The Decies’), in 1877.

Sliabh gCua (pronounce: ‘shleeve gooa’) is a traditional district of west County Waterford, Ireland, between Clonmel and Dungarvan. It was an Irish-speaking area until the late 19th century. Many people associated with the Irish sean-nós singing tradition, such as Pádraig Ó Mileadha and Labhrás Ó Cadhla, who came from Sliabh gCua. One of the best-loved emigrant songs in the sean-nós canon, Sliabh Geal gCua na Féile, was written by Ó Mileadha while he worked in Wales.


The second composition of note is his song, Sliabh Geal gCua, a poem in song that has become accepted as one of Ireland’s greatest songs of exile and one of the classics of the language this century. It was written in Wales.

Pádraig would often go with his wife and children to the seaside – Swansea Bay, Mumbles, the many coves of Gower. There he would sit and think of his childhood home, of his own language and of the grand old people who had spoken that language all around him in his earliest years.

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English (machine translation)

Mountain and bright gCua festival,
is You are far from me,
Sitting harbor alone,
weak with sorrow;
the golden tide meIs
Between me and my bosom country,
and Mount bright gCua festival,
not my sceol sharp?

If I was among my relatives
in Sceichín green séimhfhear,
When disseminating solar heat there
from the sky bright spotless;
Or if I were there known about the réalthain
When dew falls on the grass there,
and to Mount bright gCua not dhéirc that
both mb 'it could dh'fháilt.

It got my sorrow than taking
I read a great deal of information,
I noble nGaelainn
was My mouth;
a visit abroad have given,
is to win over the top would give Ruin
Sliabh bright gCua I would
You dh'ardach prevail.

My love-in over the Deise,
Inter bhánta, the mountains and valleys,
from shnámhas forth over tréanmhuir
Tháim exhausted without meaning;
But since I was anxious to call from God,
My shlánsa back to Ireland,
and secure Mountain festival,
Le saorghean from my heart.

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