Neainsín Bhán

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  • Teideal (Title): Neainsín Bhán.
  • 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): none.
  • 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): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): c.1971.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Peter Hunt Studio.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): commercial recording.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): Gene Martin.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): Gael Linn.

A Neainsín bhán, cé ‘s ansa leat — fear eile ná mé féin?
‘S a Neainsín a dtug mé fancy dhuit i dtosach ar mhná an tsaoil
Mar shíl mé go mba bhreátha thú ná bean ar bith sa saol
Ach smid chainte ná raibh i gceann an té nach molfadh leatsa mé.

‘S ar theacht na Nollag nach dona í m’obair ag síor-chur ins an gcré
Mar bheadh seabhcán ar bharr sceiche nó barr glas na sú craobh
Ó mo mhallacht go deo anois a thabhairfainnse d’aon fhear beo sa saol
A thógfadh orm bheith ag cogarnach le stóirín geal mo chléibh.

‘S dá mbeadh heels agus tops faoi mo bhróga a’m agus cóir a bheith ar na boinn
Ó rachainn chuile Dhomhnach san áit a mbíonn a’ spraoi
Mar ní thógfadh an t-aos óg orm gach cor dá gcuirfinn díom
‘S dá mbeadh mo stór ar cheann an stóil níorbh fhada liom an oíche.

‘Gus a téagairín ní féidir dhuit gan duine eicínt a fháil
A nífidh do chuid éadaigh nó a fhuinfidh do chuid aráin
Ach a phéarla atá breá gléigeal de chích, de chois ‘s de láimh
‘S é mo léan gan mé faoi shléibhte leat ‘s cead éad ag feara Fáil.

Translation

Fair Nancy, who would you prefer — another man or myself?
Nancy, I fancy you above all other women in the world.
I thought you were the handsomest of any woman on earth
And let no one speak who wouldn’t recommend me to you.

Coming up to Christmas I’m working hard, planting in the ground
Like a hawk on the top of a bush, or the green top of the raspberry.
My eternal curse I’d put now on any living man
Who would blame me for whispering with the bright treasure of my heart!

If my shoes had heels and tops and if the soles were in good shape
I would go out every Sunday to the place where there was fun to be had
For the young people wouldn’t hold it against me if I danced a few steps
And if my darling were at the end of the bench the night wouldn’t seem long.

My dearest, you can’t go without somebody
Who will do your washing and knead your bread
But my pearl, brightest and fairest of breast, of foot, of hand
I’m sorry I’m not off in the hills with you and let the men of Ireland be envious!

Notes

Entry updated on 8th June 2019. The audio recording, previously unavailable here, was added and the recording details and notes were updated.

This song was taken from a commercial CD: Seosamh Ó hÉanaí: Ó Mo Dhúchas (Gael Linn CEFCD 191–2; released in 2007 and re-released in 2018). This is a double album. It combines the original vinyl releases Seosamh Ó hÉanaí (Gael Linn CÉF 028; released in 1971) and Ó Mo Dhúchas (Gael Linn CÉF 051; released in 1976).

Glacann muid buíochas le Gael Linn, ⁊ le Antoine Ó Coileáin go háirid, as ucht cead leis an amhrán a chur ar fáil anseo.

The album can be purchased from the Gael Linn web site.