Droighneán Donn, An (2)

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  • Teideal (Title): Droighneán Donn, An (2).
  • 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): The Máire Nic Fhinn Collection.
  • 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): Liam Clancy.
  • 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.

Fuair mé féirín ó lá aonaigh ó bhuachaill deas
Agus céad póg an lá ina dhiaidh sin ó phlúr na bhfear
Lá léan ar an té a déarfadh nach tú mo ghean
‘S an lá ina dhiaidh sin nach deas mar a d’éalóinn faoi na coillte leat.

And I got a fairing, oh, on a fair-day from a handsome young man
And a hundred sweet kisses from my own darling John
I’ll go roaming all day ’til the evening comes on
And I’ll be sheltered by the blossoms early of my droighneán donn.

Síleann céad bean gur leo féin mé nuair a ólaim leann
Téann dhá dtrian síos nuair a smaoiním ar a gcomhrá liom
Sneachta séite a bheith dhá shíor-chur ar Shliabh Uí Fhloinn
‘S go bhfuil mo ghrá-sa mar bhláth na n-áirní ‘gabháil an droighneán donn.

And of late I’m captivated by a handsome young man
And I’m daily complaining for my own darling John
Confuse them, consume them who says you’re not true
But through lonesome glens and valleys I will wander with you.

Dhá mbeinn i mo bhádóir nach deas mar a shnámhfainn an fharraige anonn
Dhá mbeinn mo fhaoileán nach deas mar d’éiróinn ar bharr na dtonn
Bheinn ag éalú le mo chéadsearc is á fáisceadh a coim
Ach an lá nach bhféadaim, ó, bean a bhréagadh níl an báire liom.

I wish I had a small boat on the ocean to roam
And I’d follow my true love where e’er he would go
I would rather have my true love to rove, sport and play1
Than all the gold and silver by land or by sea.

And come all you pretty fair maids, get married in time
To some handsome young man that will break up your pride
But beware of winter’s evenings, cold breezes come on
That will shake the blossoms early on the droighneán donn.

Translation

Verses 1, 3 and 5.

And I got a present on a fair-day from a handsome young man,
and a hundred kisses the next day from the flower of young men.
A day of woe be on the one who says you aren’t my love;
and the next day wouldn’t I gladly escape with you into the woods!

A hundred women think I’m theirs when I’m drinking ale;
two-thirds of it goes down when I think of their conversation with me;
blown snow, constantly falling on Sliabh Uí Fhloinn;
my love is like the blossom of sloes on the brown blackthorn.

If I were a boatman wouldn’t I gaily float over the sea;
if I were a seagull I would rise nicely above the waves;
I would be escaping with my first love, my hand around her waist;
but the day I can’t coax a woman, the game is lost.

Notes

1. This doesn’t make much sense. A version collected in Kinvara in 1938 gives this line as ‘ I would rather have my darling to love, sport and play’; cf. Ó Muirithe, An tAmhrán Macarónach (Dublin, 1980), 62. Joe may have been trying to avoid using the word ‘love’ twice in one line.

This recording is valuable because it was sung not in front of an audience, or in the recording studio, but in an informal company of people, many of whom — if not all — are clearly Irish speaking natives of Conamara (as evidenced by the way they call out encouragement and join in with the song, as is normal in the Gaeltacht singing tradition). The pace is much slower than in some of Joe’s formal performances of the song, which enables him to wring the last drop of emotion out of every syllable. The communication between Joe and his listeners is very much two-way in this recording (again, in keeping with the Gaeltacht tradition), and like so many of his live recordings it illustrates the powerful ingredient which an audience — especially one composed of Conamara natives — contributed to Joe’s singing.

Another recording of An Droighneán Donn, which Joe made while living in the United States, appears on Come All You Gallant Irishmen. In that instance, the pace is a bit quicker and the sound quality much better. Polished but lacking some of the essential elements present here.

We are greatful to the late Liam Clancy for permission to use this recording.