Hurling match of Bavan Meadow

Lyrics

English version – Translated by Peadar Ó Dubhda

‘Twas on Bavan-meadow Green that our lads, a choice sixteen
Of Omeath’s athletic team, were football playing
Where from noon the game went on ’til old Sol was set and gone
Yet no score, not even one, by either claiming
Two well matched teams in action full of dash and fearless tacklin’
In their pace no gale of March-wind could o’ertake them
And of all those maidens fair who came just to stand and stare
None but felt a heart-beat quare, in admiration

Now to mention every name and each man, in this great game
I should like to do that same with much affection
Young O’Neill would be the first, for the ball he never missed
With his foot or fist, he’d shoot in true direction
Then big Sár Ma’ Cuarta tall, see him jumping for the ball
Head and shoulders over all, like Fionn the giant
And the two O’Murley Boys, swift as swallows in the skies
With O’Hagan brothers vying to outshine them

Standing ready in the goals is wee O’Duffy on his toes
Like Setanta facing foes on Eamain Macha
While O’Morgan and O’Hare, two full backs beyond compare
Overthrow all daring efforts to get past them
And the boys up in the ruck, O’Hanlon, Cassley and O’Ruarc
Where the tussle for possession is a hard one
Till O’Connolly’s quick snatch grips the ball and in a flash
Sends it soaring high and far across the Bavan

(sos) How pleasant to be her on Hill of Tullach
Where the scene below delights the eye
Calm Loch reflecting, clear, bold Beanna Boirce
As we watch our gallant youths in manly exercise


Notes

The Eighteenth Century is frequently referred to as ‘The Golden Age of Hurling.’ This was when members of the Anglo-Irish landed gentry kept teams of players on their estates and challenged each other to matches for the amusement of their tenants. One of the oldest records of Hurling from this era is a poem in Irish (as Gaelige) circa 1750 from the Cooley Peninsula when Irish was widely spoke on the Peninsula, from a townland named Bavan in Omeath ‘The Hurling match of Bavan Meadow’

This is the original Irish version by Niall Óg Mac Murchaidh

Bhí sé feara deag de scafairí Ómeith
Is iad ag iomáin ar léana an Bhábhúin
Ó mhullaigh an mheáin lae go cromadh dubh do ghréin
‘S char chuir siad ar aon taobh an báire
Gach branán barrúil éachtach a’ baineadh leis an liathroid
Ag imeacht mar bheadh gaoth rua Mhárta ann
‘S níl aon ríon faoin ghréin a cífeadh orthu radharc
Nach dtuitfeadh in aon sméideadh i ngrá leo

Bhí ógfhear gasta stuama d’aicme d’fhíor-fhuil Ruairc ann
Ba scáfnta mo ghruagach ar léana
Bhí mac an tí seo thuas ann, is dá rachaidís chun tuatacht
Ar dheis no ar chlé go mbuailfeadh sé an liathróid
Nuair a thógtaí an balla uathu leanaidís fear a fhuadaigh
‘S níorbh fhollain ‘thiocfadh uathu don réim sin
Ba aolbhinn’s ba suáilceach bheith ar chnoc na Tulcha an uairsin
Ag amharc ar mo chuid buachaill á dtréanáil

Is ógfhear de chlanna Néill ann, ‘chóir a bheith i dtús an scéil seo
Ba ch’iste bhuailfeadh an liathróid i mbéal báire
Is Ó Casalaigh na dhiaidh ní ba dual ó fhréamh
Is an balla leis ‘sna beanna a bhfágáil
Bhí sár-mhac Chuarta ar léim ann a bhuailfeadh poc in am feidhme
Is a rachadh amach cúl éaga le rása
Siud Ó hIr ina aghaidh mar Oscar in am ghéibhinn
Is bhuailfeadh ‘steach sa léana gan spás é



County

Louth

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Sporting occasions

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