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Sagairtín, An (2)

Recording not currently available
(But see Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin's version, below)

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An SagairtínTá an oíche dorcha is tá sí fuar
Is tá sí ag goilliúint ar mo chroí go crua
Ní thiocfad abhaile, ‘s ní dhéanfaidh mé cuairt
Nó go bhfeice mé mo stóirín atá ina luí cois cuain.

Is deas an sagairtín é stór mo chroí
Tá an pobal beannaithe a ngabhann sé thríd
Tá séala ó Mhuire air is branda ó Chríost
Is tá sé ag tarraingt ar na coláistí.

Muise éist, a Bhideoigín, is ná goil deoir
Ní dhuit a rugadh mé ná d’aon bhean beo
Baistfidh mé do leanbh le cúnamh Dé
Dá mbeadh breith ar m’aiféala a’m ba leat mé féin.

Tá fear agus fiche acu in aon gheaing amháin
Is é an fear is deise mo mhíle grá
Tá cúilín catach air is baibín bán
Is é an rós sa ngairdín é dá mb’fhéidir é a fháil.

Is fuair mé leagan thar bharr an chlaí
Mura bhfuil dochar ann nár théighe sé i m’aghaidh
Níor lúb mé an t-aiteann ‘s níor leag mé an féar
Ach ‘na dhiaidh sin cuireadh mé ó bhéal go béal.

Is chuaigh mé aréir go dtí an doras úd thall
Lig mé fead ar mo mhíle gra
Is éard ‘dúirt a maimín nach raibh sí ann
Ach go raibh sí i dtaisce i gcónra chláir.

Muise éist, a Bhideoigín, is ná goil deoir.
Ní dhuit a rugadh mé ná d’aon bhean beo.
Baistfidh mé do leanbh le cúnamh De
Dá mbeadh breith ar m’aiféala a’m ba leat mé féin.

Translation

The night is dark, it is wet and cold, and it grieves my heart dreadfully; I won’t come home, or pay any visits, until I’ve seen my love who lies at the harbour’s edge.

My love is a kind little priest, and the people among whom he moves are blessed; he bears the stole of Mary and the mark of Christ, and he is attending the college.

Listen, little Bridget, and don’t weep; I wasn’t born for you, or for any woman. With God’s help, I’ll baptize your baby; and if I could undo the past, I would be yours.

There are twenty-one men in a single group; the fairest of them is my love. The back of his head is curly, and a fair forelock; he is a rose in the garden – if only I could get him.

I was knocked down over the top of the fence; if there’s no harm in it, let it not be held against me; I didn’t trample the bracken nor flatten the grass – but still and all I’m food for gossips.

I went last night to that door yonder; I whistled for my thousands loves. But her mother told me that she wasn’t there, that she was sealed up in her coffin.

Listen, little Bridget, and don’t weep; I wasn’t born for you, or for any woman. With God’s help, I’ll baptize your baby; and if I could undo the past, I would be yours.

Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin

Carna native and Corn Uí Riada winner Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin is very much a part of the ongoing cultural tradition which gave us Joe Heaney. Her mother, Béib, was the daughter of Joe's brother, making Bríd Joe Heaney's grand-neice. This video, recorded on Saturday 10th March 2012, features An Sagairtín sung beautifully by Brid on Trá Mhaigh Rois, the beach which is adjacent to Maigh Ros graveyard, where Joe is buried.

NB: This was an impromptu recording. The sound quality is variable.

Bríd can also be seen singing a couple of stanzas of the same song on YouTube, in a recording made by TG4, the Irish-language television broadcaster.

Notes

Because of its subject-matter – a priest and a young woman in love with each other, and the young woman pregnant – this song has in the past been the focus of some taboos. As Liam Mac Con Iomaire reports, ‘bhí scáth roimh “An Sagairtín” agus cheap daoine go raibh sí Mí-ádhúil é a chasadh, go háirithe san oíche. Choisc an Máistir ar na gasúir é a rá i Scoil Ros a’ Mhíl nuair a bhí mé féin ag dul ar scoil ansin….’ (‘There was a shadow over “An Sagairtín” and people thought it was unlucky to sing it, particularly at night. The schoolmaster at the school in Rossaveel that I attended forbade the children to sing it….’). See Liam Mac Con Iomaire, ‘Deora Aille,’ in Foinn agus Fonnadóirí, Léachtaí Cholm Cille XXIX (1999), 16.

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