Contae Mhaigh Eo

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  • Teideal (Title): Contae Mhaigh Eo.
  • 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): unavailable.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): unavailable.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): unavailable.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Ar an loing seo Phaidí Loinsigh bím ag déanamh bróin
Ag osnaíl ins an oíche ‘s bím ag síorghol sa ló.
Anois ó dalladh m’intinn
‘S mé i bhfad ó mo mhuintir
Dar m’fhocal is maith a chaoinimse Contae Mhaigh Eo.

‘Gus liostáil mé le sáirsint ar shráid baile mhóir
Shíl mé gur bhreá an rud dom é nuair a bhí mé bocht óg.
Tug sé gloine is cárt dom
Is gunna le mé a ghardáil
‘S gur shíl mé féin go mb’fhearr liom é ná i gContae Mhaigh Eo.

‘Gus marach bás mo mháthair bheinn maith go leor.
Bheadh buidéal ins gach láimh liom ‘s mé i gcomhluadar ban óg.
Marar síor-ól na gcártaí
Agus an dlí a bheith ró-láidir
Ní i Santa Cruz a fágfaí mo chnámhaí faoin bhfód.

Tá punt is fiche amuigh orm i gContae Mhaigh Eo.
Ní dheachaigh mé dá éileamh le bliain anois nó dhó,
‘Faitíos go mbéarfaí thiar orm
‘S go gcrochfaí i ngeall ar fhiacha mé,
‘S go bhfáiscfí boltaí iarainn ar bharriallacha mo bhróg.

Go dtaga Cnoc na Cruaiche ar cuairt don Abhainn Mhóir
Go dtaga an toimín luachair ag buachailleacht na mbó,
Go n-osclaítear na cófraí
Atá ar mhullach Bheanna Beola
Ní scarfaidh mo chúl go deo leat a Chontae Mhaigh Eo.

Translation

On board Paddy Lynch’s boat I have nothing but sorrow,
sighing by night and constantly weeping by day.
Since my mind has been darkened
and me far from my people,
by God, how I pine for you, County Mayo.

I enlisted with a sergeant in town
I thought it would be a great thing for me as a poor youth;
he gave me a glass [of whiskey] and a pint,
and a gun to guard me,
and I thought this was better than being in County Mayo.

If it weren’t for my mother’s death, I’d have been alright.
I’d have a bottle in each hand in the company of young women!
But for constant drinking,
and the law being too harsh,
my bones wouldn’t be buried in Santa Cruz.

I am owed twenty-one pounds in County Mayo.
I haven’t gone demanding them for the past year or two,
for fear that somebody’d catch me back there
and that I’d be hanged for debts,
and that they’d clap iron chains around the tops of my shoes.

Until Cnoc na Cruaiche pays a visit to Abhainn Mhór,
until a tuft of rushes starts herding cattle,
until the coffers are opened,
that are at the top of Beanna Beola
I shall nevermore leave you, County Mayo.

Notes

For additional verses and some discussion, see ‘An Caiptín Bruadair’ in Micheál agus Tomás Ó Máille, Amhráin Chlainne Gael, ed. William Mahon (Indreabhán 1991), 5-7 and notes.

This is a commercial recording: Sraith 2: Ó mo Dhúchas (Gael Linn LP CÉF 051 / CEFCD 191-2), 1976; reissued 2007.