MO GHILLE MEAR Written by the eighteenth-century poet Seán Clárach Mac Dómhnaill, Mo Ghille Mear is a traditional allegorical song – similar to the Gaelic poetic form of the Aisling – in which the poet laments the departure of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). As is customary, the poetic text portrays the land in decline in his absence. The drum used in this recording is the Irish single-headed frame drum, the bodhrán.
Text and Translation below the fold.
’Sé mo laoch mo ghille mear
’Sé mo Shaesar, ghille mear,
Ní fhuaras féin aon tsuan ná séan,
Ó chuaigh i gcéin mo ghille mear.
Bímse buan ar buairt gach ló,
Ag caoi go crua is ag tuar na ndeor
Mar scaoileadh uaim an buachaill beo
Is ná ríomhtar tuairisc uaidh, mo bhrón.
Ní haoibhinn cuach ba suairc ar neoin
Táid fíorchoin uasal ar uaithne sport
Táid saoite suaite i mbuairt ’s i mbrón
Ó scaoileadh uaim an buachaill beo
Is cosúil é le hAonghus Óg,
Le Lughaidh Mac Chéin na mbéimeann mór,
Le Cú Raoi, ardmhac Dáire an óir,
Taoiseach Éireann tréan ar tóir.
Le Conall Cearnach bhearnadh poirt,
Le Fearghas fiúntach fionn Mac Róigh
Le Conchubhar cáidhmhac Náis na nós,
Taoiseach aoibhinn Chraoibhe an cheoil.
My dashing darling is my hero
My dashing darling is my Caesar
I have had neither sleep nor good fortune
Since my dashing darling went far away
I am perpetually worried every day
Wailing heavily and shedding tears
Since my lively boy was released from me
And there is no word of him, alas
The pleasure of the cheerful cuckoo at noon is gone
The affable nobility are not bothered with sport
The learned and the cultured are worried and sad
Since the lively lad was taken from me
He is like Young Aonghus
Like Lughaidh Mac Chéin of the great blows
Like Cú Raoi, great son of Dáire of the gold
Leader of Éire strong in pursuit
Like Conall Cearnach who breached defences
Like worthy fair haired Feargas Mac Róigh
Like Conchubhar venerable son of Nás of the tradition
The pleasant chieftain of the musical [Fenian] Branch