Éamonn an Chnoic

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  • Teideal (Title): Éamonn an Chnoic.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 855203.
  • 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): Warren Fahey.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 1976.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Sydney Opera House, Australia.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): concert.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Now, this song- There is rumours that Ned Kelly, who roamed the Australian bush, was some relation of Éamonn Ó Ceallaigh, who was thrown out of his lands in 1798, and had to emigrate, because even the girlfriend he had, when it came to the point, she refused to let him enter the house.

She said, ‘Cé hé sin amuigh, a bhfuil faobhar ar a ghuth, ag réabadh mo dhorais dúinte?’ – ‘Who is out there, with the sharpness in his voice, kicking my door in?’ He said, ‘Mise Eamonn an Chnoic, atá báite-‘ ‘I’m Ned of the Hill, who’s tired, weary and wet, through rambling fields and mountains.’ And she said, ‘What can I do for you? If I let you in, I’ll be in the same boat as you. Why don’t you go foreign – go over the sea, go to Australia or something.’ And there’s a strong [rumour] that Ned Kelly was a son of his who roamed the Australian bush in the 1840s. Well, the song is originally in Irish, and that’s the way I’m going to sing it for you.

Cé hé sin amuigh a bhfuil an faobhar ar a ghuth
atá ag réabadh mo dhorais dúnta
Mise Éamonn an Chnoic, atá báite fuar fliuch
ó shíor-shiúl sléibhte is gleannta.
A lao ghil ‘s a chuid, céard a dhéanfainnse dhuit
Mara gcuirfinn ort binn de mo ghúna
Tá púdar go tiubh á shíor-shéideadh leat
Ó, beidh muid araon múchta!

Is fada mé amuigh faoi shneachta agus faoi shioc,
Ní raibh dánacht agam ar aon neach.
Mo sheisreach gan scor, mo bhranair gan cur,
Gan iad agam ar aon chor.
Níl caraid agam – is danaid liom sin –
a ghlacfadh mé moch nó déanach;
Ó caithfidh mé a dhul thar farraigí soir 
Ós ann nach bhfuil aon de mo ghaolta. 


‘Who is that out there, with an edge to his voice,
beating on my closed door?’
‘I’m Ned of the Hill, who’s cold and wet to the skin
from constantly rambling through hills and valleys.’
‘My darling, what can I do for you
beyond putting the train of my gown over you [for a cloak]?
You are constantly being shot at,
and both of us will be killed!’

‘I’m a long time out in the snow and frost,
without the boldness to speak to anybody;
my team unyoked, my fallow field unsown –
not that I have them, anyway!
I haven’t a friend – a fact that I regret –
who would take me in early or late;
I will have to go across the sea,
to a place where I have no relations.’


Although Joe most likely first encountered this well-known Munster song in school rather than around the fireside at home, he subsequently made it his own and was fond of performing it in concerts.

A text very close to the one Joe sings is given in Donal O′Sullivan, Songs of the Irish (Dublin, 1960), 150-2. O’Sullivan refutes Joe’s allegation of a link between the son of ‘Éamonn an Chnoic’ and Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, indicating that ‘Éamonn an Chnoic’ was Edmund Ryan of Knockmeoll Castle, Co. Tipperary, who went on the run following the defeat of Irish forces by William of Orange in 1691. He became a ‘rapparee’ and, with a price on his head, was forced to live by his wits; he did not emigrate, but was eventually murdered as he slept by a man seeking to claim the reward.

We are grateful to Warren Fahey, who promoted and recorded the concert from which this recording was taken, for allowing us to use it here; the concert can be heard in its entirety on Warren’s website.