Bígí ag Ól

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  • Teideal (Title): Bígí ag Ól.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853917.
  • 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): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • 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): Lucy Simpson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 04/11/1980.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Bígí ag ól, bígí ag ól
Bígí ag ól, bígí ar meisce
Bígí ag ól, ___________ beo
‘Gus fan go lá is bí ar meisce!


Drink up! Drink up!
Drink up and be drunk!
Drink up, __________
Stay ’til daylight and be drunk!


That’s the woman who went looking for her husband in the pub,
and he just wouldn’t come out, while he had a penny left.
And she started telling the woman of the pub to let him out.

Éirigh suas, a fhear an tí!
Cuir ort do bhriste ‘gus do hata!
Tabhair domsa carta dí
Mar beidh mé ag ól anseo go maidin!


Get up, landlord!
Put your trousers and your hat on!
Give to me a quart of drink
And I’ll be drinking here ’til morning!


It was daybreak. And the woman who was running the pub was telling him, ‘It’s only the moon,’ she said, ‘it’s not twelve o’clock yet, it’s only the moon.’ And ’twas daybreak.

Tá ‘na lá, níl ‘na lá
Tá ‘na lá, níl ‘na mhaidin
Tá ‘na lá, a mhíle grá
Solas ard atá sa ngealach.

It’s the day, it’s not day
It’s the day, no, nor morning
It’s the day, my thousand loves
It’s the bright light of the moon!

‘Not daylight,’ she said, ‘It’s the moon that’s shining down.’


Fuller versions of this song-fragment have been abundantly recorded; see Clannad’s ‘Níl sé ‘na lá’ and others. Sometimes the final verse is to be found, not in the context of a drinking-bout, but in the bedroom of a pair of lovers, where the man has to be away before dawn in order to escape discovery.