Péarla an Bhrollaigh Bháin

Play recording: Péarla an Bhrollaigh Bháin

view / hide recording details [+/-]

  • Teideal (Title): Péarla an Bhrollaigh Bháin.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 850105.
  • 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): James Cowdery.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): between 1979 and 1981.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 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.

Tá cailín deas ‘mo chrádh le bliain agus le lá
Is geallta a bheith a’m le pósadh
Ach mo chreach agus mo chrádh ní dhom a bhí sí i ndán
Ach an té údan nár labhair mé go fóill air
Don Fhrainc nó don Spáinn dhá dtéadh mo ghrá
Ó rachainn gach lá dhá féachaint
Mara dhomsa a bhí tú i ndán, a phéarla an bhrollaigh bháin
Mac Muire go brách ar fónamh(?).


A lovely girl has been tormenting me for a year and a day,
And was promised to be mine in marriage;
But alas and alack, she was not destined for me,
But for the one over there whom I’ve not yet told of.
If my love went to France or Spain
I would go there every day to see her.
If you were not to be mine, oh pearl of the white breast,
Son of Mary, fit (?) forever.


This is one of many songs that Joe provided to Jim Cowdery for the sake of the airs, as this was the subject that most interested Jim. The final word of the last line is unclear – and so, as a consequence, is its meaning. In the text given by Donal O’Sullivan in Songs of the Irish (Dublin, 1960, p. 46), this last line reads ‘Mac Muire na ngrás dár saora!’ – May the Son of Mary of the graces save us!

Joe’s air is virtually identical to the one printed with the song in O’Sullivan’s collection.