Newsletter #27: July 2014

Song of the month: Inis Oírr


“Song of the month” aims to encourage the readers of this newsletter to learn songs in Irish and sing them themselves. The lyrics of each song are provided, along with a translation into English and a link to a video of the song on YouTube.


The song we have for you this month is “Inis Oírr”, sung by Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola, who is from the island of Inis Oírr herself. This song can be found on the album An Raicín Álainn, which was released in 2002. The tune was originally composed in the 1970s by Dublin accordion player Thomas Walsh and the lyrics were later added by Lasairfhíona, based on the poem “On Inisheer” by Ethna Carbery (1866-1902).



Inis Oírr, in Inis Oírr, ní raibh eolas agam ar fhaitíos, In Inis Oírr, in Inis Oírr, I didn’t know about fear,
Ná ar an dólás a stopfadh gáirí, Nor of the sorrow that would stop laughter,
Go dtí an lá duairc úd nuair a sheol mo ghrá uaim.Until that gloomy day when my love sailed from me.
Tháinig scamall ar an ngrian, is é dorcha ina dhiaidh. A cloud came over the sun and it was dark after that.

Cén fáth ar imigh tú sular spléach an sabhaircín, Why did you leave before the primrose peeped out,
Tríd an bhféar a bhí bán ón ngaoth shearbh-ghoirt?Through the grass bleached by the bitter salty wind?
Anseo cois na tine dúinn ba againn a bheadh toil ár gcroí. Here by the fire we’d have had our hearts’ desire.
Nárbh é an suaimhneas sámh seo ab fhearr dúinn?Wasn’t it this gentle tranquillity that was best for us?

Lá éicint atá ceaptha amach tiocfaidh tú ar ais,
a stór,
Some day that’s meant to be, you’ll come back,
my darling,
Do churach ar luas in aghaidh an taoille, Your currach speeding against the tide,
Le toil do mhuintir féin ar chraga Inis
Meáin,
With your own people’s consent, on the crags of Inis Meáin,
Le mo ghalar dubhach a leigheas, más féidir é.To cure my melancholy, if that can be done.

Inis Oírr, in Inis Oírr, ó fanfaidh mé leat ann, Inis Oírr, in Inis Oírr, oh I’ll wait for you there,
Ag sníomh na mbrionglóid’ de ló is d’oíche,Spinning dreams by day and night,
Go dtí go mbeidh agat ór is go mbeidh do thaisteal déanta.Until you have gold and your travelling is done.
Glacfaidh tú mé i do chroí, is tógfaidh sin an cian
díom.
You will take me into your heart and that will lift the sadness from me.