An t-Oileán Úr

Lyrics

Rinne mé smaointiú ‘m ‘in-tinn is lean mé dó go cinn
Té go n-éalóinn ó mo mhuintir a nonn’un Oileán Úir
D’iarr mise in mo impi ar an Ard Rí ‘bhí os mo chionn
Sa mo shábháiltar gach chon-túirt go geriochnóinn mo shiúl

Shiúil mé fiche mile is nior casadh orm Criostai
Capall bé nai caora ’déanamh inigilt ar an fhéar
Ach coillte dlútha is gleanntain is búirtheach beithigh allta
Fir agus mná gan toirt orthu a chasfá fá do mhéar

Ach tharla isteach i dteach mé nuair a casadh orm daoine
D’fhiafraigh siad carbh as mé nó an tír inar tógadh mé
Duirt mé leofa i mBéarla gur tógadh mé in Éirinn
Laimh lc Loch Éirne i gCoillidh Lios na Raoch

Bhí cailleach ins an chlúdaigh agus stocaí ar a glúiní
D’éirigh si go lúfar agus chraith sí liomsa lámh
’Sheacht mh’anamh fear do thire thar a bhfaca mé riamh de dhaoine
Gur tógadh misc in Éirinn i mBaile Lios Béal Átha

Nuair a chonaic mé na daoine is ansin a rinne mé smaointiú
Gur mhéanar dá mbeinn in Éirinn is mé sínte faoi chlar
An áit a bhfuíghfinn lucht mo chaointe agus aos óg bheadh lách aoibhinn
A chaithfeadh liom an oíche agus pairt mhór den lá
—————————————————————

A thought came into my head and I followed it with action
To slip away from my people and go over to America
In my prayers I besought the High King above me
To save me from all danger until my journey’s end

I travelled twenty miles and I never met a Christian
Nor a horse nor cow or sheep a-feeding on the grass
But dense woods and valleys and the roaring of wild animals
Men and women wearing not a stitch you’d wrap around your hand

I happened to go into a house where I met some people
Who asked me where I came from and where I had been reared
I told them, using English, that I was born in Ireland
Beside Lough Erne in the Wood of Lisnaree

There was an old lady sitting knitting in the chimney corner
She rose up quickly and shook me by the hand
“A man from your place is more welcome than all I have ever met
For I was reared in Ireland in the town of Lisbellaw”

It was when I saw these people that I began to think
I’d be lucky to be in Ireland even if stretched in a coffin
I’d find keeners there to mourne me and gentle pleasant young people
To spend the while of a night with me and a great part of the day.


Notes

This song originated in County Fermanagh at a time when the Irish language was a vernacular there. It describes the experiences of an early emigrant to America.
He must have landed in wild territory among American Indians. A prose translation of the text will give the substance if not the rollicking lift and spirit of this unique song


Song Clip


County

Fermanagh

Song Themes

Emigration

Songwriter