Páidín and Brídín

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  • Teideal (Title): Páidín and Brídín.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853905.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 23252.
  • 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): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Lucy Simpson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 18/10/1979.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, 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.

It’s a couple who got married, you see, and they didn’t have much – they didn’t even have the sheets to put over them in the bed. And, eh- You see, there’s a lot of people got married in the old countryside, you know, they just got married for the sake of company, you see, they didn’t have any- no courtship, nothing, no wedding, no… feast after it, couldn’t afford it. They might kill a rabbit. Long, long ago- This is supposed to be one of these stories.

And the priest of the parish and his gallant band
Came over the mountain to marry Suzanne
‘Twas Páidín and Brídín and twelve more besides
With spades and shovels they welcomed the bride!

And you’re welcome all of ye, every one of ye
Welcome all, a ghrá gheal mo chroí1
And you’re welcome all of ye, every one of ye
Welcome all, be guests of me song!

This maid she was handsome, this maid she was fair
Her hair like the mane of a two-year-old mare
Her legs they were wide and her stockings were thin
And a big faithne2 grew under her chin!

And for the bride’s dinner they had a big goose
A big jack-rabbit cut up and let loose
A big black turkey stuck all of his bones (?)
And a big pig’s bladder they bought in Tyrone.

And the feasting was over, they both went to bed
With Páidín’s old britches for pillow they met (?)
And Brídín’s old petticoat to cover their shins
When she woke in the morning she swore she had twins!

And you’re welcome all of ye, every one of ye
Welcome all, a ghrá gheal mo chroí
And you’re welcome all of ye, every one of ye
Welcome all, be guests of me song!


1. Bright love of my heart.

2. Joe glides over this word in the song itself but Lucy – always sharp with questions about anything she doesn’t catch – gets Joe to supply the missing word, which in Irish means a wart.

From his remarks to Lucy, it’s clear that Joe doesn’t think much of this song, which he says he used to hear his father singing at weddings. He doesn’t think anybody else in the village had it, or at least he never heard anyone else singing it, apart from his father. As regards the question of who is actually getting married (Páidín and Brídín? The mysterious Suzanne?), Joe says his father could never make head or tail of it, himself.