Úna Bán / Fair Una

Lyrics

Úna Bán

A Úna bhán, is gránna an luighe sin ort
Ar leabaidh caol árd ameasc na mílte corp
Muna dtagaidh d’ fháidh orm, a stáid-bhean bhí riamh gan locht
Ní thiocfaidh mé chum na h-áite seo go bráth acht aréir ‘s anocht

A Úna bhán, a bhláth na ndlaoith ómra
Tar éis do bháis de bhárr droch-chómhairle
Féach, a ghrádh, cia aca b’ fhearr de ‘n dá chómhairle ?
A éan i gcliabhán, is mé i nÁtha na Donóige

A Úna bhán, d’fhágbhuidh tú mé i mbrón casta
Agus cia b’ áil leat bheith trácht air go deo feasta
Cúilín fáinneach air ar fhás suas an t-ór leaghtha ?
A’s go mbfhearr liom air láimh leat ‘na an ghlóir Flaithis

A Úna bhán, ar seisean, na gcurachán cam
‘S an dá shúil agat ba chiuine d’á ndeachaidh i gceann
A bhéilín an tsiúcra, mar leamhnacht, mar fhíon ‘s mar bheoir
Agus a chos dheas lúthmhar is tú shiúbhalfadh gan phian i mbróig

A Úna bhán, mar rós i ngáirdín thú
‘S ba choinnleoir óir ar bhórd na bainríoghna thú
Ba cheileabhar ‘s ba cheolmhar ag gabháil an bhealaigh seo rómham thú
‘S é mo chreach maidne bhrónach nár pósadh liom thú

A Úna bhán, is tú do mhearuigh mo chiall
A Úna, is tú a chuaidh go dlúth idir mé ‘gus Dia
A Úna, a chraobh churtha, a lúibín casta na gciabh
Nár bh’fearr damh-sa bheith gan súile ná d’fheiceál ariamh ?

Is fliuch agus fuar mo chuairt-se chum an bhaile aréir
Agus mé mo shuidhe suas ar bhruach na leapthan liom féin
A ghile gan gruaim ag nár luadhadh an iomadamhlacht acht mé
Cad as nach bhfuagruigheann tú fuacht na maidne dham féin ?

Tá daoine annsan tsaoghal so chaitheas di-mheas ar dhúithche folamh
A lán de mhaoin shaoghalta, agus ni buan í aca
Ceasacht maoine ni dheanfainn ná truagh fearainn
Acht b’fhearr liom ná dá chaora da mbheidheadh Úna agam

Seasaidh agus dearcaidh, bhfuil mo ró-ghrádh ag tigheacht ?
Is mar chnap-sneachta í a’s mar mhil bheacha do reoidheadh an ghrian
Mar chnap-sneachta ‘s mar mhil bheacha do reoidheadh an ghrian
Agus a chuid ‘s a charaid, is fada mé beo id’ dhiaidh

A Úna, a ainnir, a charaid, ‘s a dhéid órdha
A bhéilín mealdha nár chan riamh éagcóra
B’fhearr liom-sa bheith ar leabaidh léi ‘ga síor-phógadh
‘Ná mo shuidhe i bhFlaitheas i gcathaoir na Trionóide

Ghluais mé tríd baile mo charad aréir
A’s ní bhfuair mé féin fuaradh ná fliuchadh mo bhéil
‘S é ‘dubhairt an stuagh-chailín gruama a’s madar as a méar
‘Mo thri truaighe ní n-uaigneas do casadh liom thu féin’
—————————————————–
Fair Una

O fair Una, ’tis ugly, this lying upon you
On a high, narrow bed among a thousand corpses
If your answering shout does not come to me
Oh stately woman who was always without fault
I will not come to this town ever again, but for last night and tonight.

O fair Una, O blossom of the amber locks
After your death because of bad advice
Look, my love, which of the two counsels was better,
O bird in a cage, when I was in the Ford of the Donogue?

O fair Una, you left me twisted up in grief
And why would there be in you a desire to make much of it forevermore
O girl with pretty, ringleted hair, on whom the molten gold grew ?
I would prefer being with you to the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven

O fair Una, said he of the crooked skiffs
Your two eyes were the gentlest that were ever put in a head
O little mouth of sugar, like new milk, like wine and like finest brew
O lovely, nimble foot, you would walk without pain in a shoe

O fair Una, you were like a rose in a garden
And you were a golden candlestick on the queen’s table
You were a melody, and musical, when you walked the road before me
‘Tis my sorrowful loss of the morning that you were not married to me

O fair Una, it is you who deranged my senses
O Una, it is you who came firmly between me and God
O Una, O fragrant bough, o curly ringlet of hair
Wouldn’t it have been better for me to be without eyes, never seeing you ?

My visit to the town last night was wet and cold
And I was sitting up on the edge of the bed by myself
O brightness without gloom, to whom many were not betrothed, but I was
Why do you not proclaim to me the coldness of the morning ?

There are people in this world who hurl contempt on an empty estate
Full of worldly wealth themselves, although it does not last forever
I would not complain of lack of wealth nor lament lack of land
But I would rather have Una than two sheep

Stand and look, is my great love coming ?
She is like a snowball and bees’ honey which would freeze the sun
Like a snowball and bees’ honey which would freeze the sun
My treasure and my darling, ’tis a long time I’ve lived without you

O Una, maiden, darling, and golden teeth
O little honeyed mouth which never uttered an injustice
I would have preferred to be in bed with her, kissing her continually
Than to sit in the Kingdom of Heaven on the throne of the Trinity

I passed through my friends’ town last night
Yet I found nothing with which to cool or wet my mouth
The graceful girl, glum and with madder on her fingers, said
‘Thrice woe is me, that I did not meet you in solitude’


Notes

This is the love story of Úna ní Dhiarmada and Tomás Mac Coisteala. .

Úna was the daughter of Mac Diarmada, owner of Castle Carrick, which is located on an island in Lough Key in County Roscommon. Úna is the Irish version of the name ‘Agnes’ which is derived from the Latin word for ‘lamb’. She and Mac Coisteala fell in love, but her father had already selected a much wealthier man for her to marry. When her father forbade her see Mac Coisteala, she grew ill with grief and became bedridden. Fearful that his daughter might die, her father relented and allowed Mac Coisteala to visit her. Úna’s joy was so great that she fell into a trance during Tomás’ visit. The castle seemed deserted at the time, and Tomás was mindful of Úna’s reputation. He left the premises, rather than remain alone with his sleeping beloved. Hopeful that someone from the household would call him back, he rode very slowly away. When no one came, he was deeply disappointed, and swore he would never return unless he was called back before he had crossed the Átha na Donóige (“the Ford of the river Donogue”). A messenger finally came from Úna just as he completed the crossing, but Mac Coisteala would not break his vow. Úna fell into deep despair when Tomás did not return, and eventually her sadness grew so profound that she died. She was buried on an island in Lough Key, Tomás swam across the lough and spent three nights lying and weeping on her grave. On the third night, he spoke the first verse of the song, ‘Úna bhán’. At once he felt something like Úna’s hand lightly strike his cheek, and heard a voice like Úna’s say, ‘na tarraigh’ (‘do not come’). He departed satisfied, and never went back while he lived. When he died, he was buried beside Úna.

Castle Carrick

Castle Carrick


Song Clip


County

Roscommon


Songwriter