Newsletter #49 July 2020

Song of the month: Táimse im’ chodladh


“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.


This month’s song is “Táimse im’ chodladh” from the renowned west Cork singer Iarla Ó Lionáird. This song is featured on the album Invisible Fields (2005) but this is a version from the television series The Highland Sessions, broadcast in 2005. This song is a vision poem from the 18th century and, as is usual in this genre, a beautiful maiden, who is the personification of Ireland, comes to the poet as he sleeps and complains about the plight of the Irish.

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Tráthnóinín déanach i gcéin cois leasa dom,Late one afternoon I was far away by a fairy fort,
Táimse im’ chodladh is ná dúistear mé.I’m asleep, let me not be awoken.
Sea do dhearcas lem’ thaobh an spéirbhean mhaisiúil,I saw by my side the beautiful maiden,
Táimse im’ chodladh is ná dúistear mé. I’m asleep, let me not be awoken.
Ba bhachallach péarlach, ó dréimreach barrchasCurled, pearly, wavy, ringleted
A carnfholt craobhach ag titim léi ar
ballchrith,
Was her flowing mass of hair, falling from her in a tremble,
Is í ag caitheamh na saighead trím’ thaobh do chealg
mé,
And she was throwing arrows through my side that wounded me,
Táimse im’ chodladh is ná dúistear mé. I’m asleep, let me not be awoken.

Is mó buachaillín óg a tógadh go ceannasach,Many young boys were taken forcefully,
Táimse im’ chodladh is ná dúistear mé. I’m asleep, let me not be awoken.
Do cuireadh le forneart anonn thar farraige,They were sent violently overseas,
Táimse im’ chodladh is ná dúistear mé. I’m asleep, let me not be awoken.
Go bhfeicead an lá a mbeidh ár ar Shasanaigh,May I see the day when the English are slaughtered,
Ughaim ar a ndroim is iad ag treabhadh is ag branar dúinn.A harness of their backs as they plough and till for
us.
Gan mise a bheith ann mura dtéanam an maide
leo,
And let me not be there if I don’t get to lay into them with a stick,
Táimse im’ chodladh is ná dúistear mé.I’m asleep, let me not be awoken.