Bean Pháidín

Play recording: Bean Pháidín

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  • Teideal (Title): Bean Pháidín.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): none.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): George MacIntyre.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): Irish.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): George Mac Intyre.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 1964 – 1965.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Clydebank, Scotland.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

…Well, it’s very simple. The story about ‘Bean Pháidín’, which means ‘Páidín’s Wife’ is that she was desperate — she was desperate — this woman was desperate that Páidín’s wife would die, and she didn’t care how she’d die, so long as she’d get to marry Páidín herself. She was what the old saying says, she was mad after Páidín. But anyway, she composed the song, and she wished him — she wished Páidín’s wife was drowned, she wisher her legs and hands to get broken, her body broken, her hair fallen off — everything, anything to get Páidín…

[Discusses the song Cailleach an Airgid.1]

Is é an trua ghéar nach mise, nach mise,
Is é an trua ghéar nach mise bean Pháidín
Is é an trua ghéar nach mise, nach mise,
A’s an bhean atá aige a bheith caillte.

Rachainn go Gaillimh, go Gaillimh,
Is rachainn go Gaillimh le Páidín.
Rachainn go Gaillimh, go Gaillimh
Is thiocfainn abhaile sa mbád leis.

Chorus

Go mbristear do chosa, do chosa,
Go mbristear do chosa, a bhean Pháidín.
Go mbristear do chosa, do chosa,
Go mbristear do chosa a’s do chnámha!

Chorus

Chuaigh mé go haonach na Chlocháin
Isteach go Béal Átha na Báighe.
Bhreathnaigh mé isteach thríd na fuinneogaí
I ndúil is go bhfeicfinn bean Pháidín.

Chorus

[Sings Cailleach an Airgid]

Translation

It’s a pity I’m not, I’m not,
It’s a pity I’m not Páidín’s wife,
It’s a pity I’m not, I’m not  
and his own wife dead!

I would go to Galway, to Galway
I would go to Galway with Páidín,
I would go to Galway to Galway
and come home with him in the boat.

Chorus

May your feet be broken, your feet,
May your feet be broken wife of Páidín!
May your feet be broken, your feet,
May your feet be broken and your bones!

Chorus

I went to the market in Clifden,
into Béal an Átha Báighe;
I looked in through the windows
Hoping to see Páidín’s wife.

Chorus

Notes

1. Joe quite often sang Bean Pháidín and Cailleach an Airgid as a medley in this fashion.

Joe often also included the following stanza, but not on this occasion:

Chaith mé mo bhróga, mo bhróga,
Chaith mé mo bhróga i ndiaidh Pháidín.
Chaith mé mo bhróga, mo bhróga,
Chaith mé na boinn is na sála.

[I’ve worn out my shoes, my shoes,
I’ve worn out my shoes chasing after Páidín.
I’ve worn out my shoes my shoes,
I’ve worn out the soles and the heels.]

We are grateful to George MacIntyre for permission to include this recording.