Gorse, Whin, Furze 3 – a shared love in Irish, Ulster Scots, Scots & English

Gorse (in Irish. ‘aitinn’) in some Irish music.

My thanks once again to writer and folklorist, Róise Ní Bhaoill for these links. She tells me she finds gorse referred to in Irish more in songs than in poetry. The three examples here are an absolute treat.

This wonderful tune will set your heart racing.

Seán Ó Riada, “Cnocáin Aitinn Liatroma” – The Whinny Hills of Liatrom

A tragic song

Róise says, “Here Belfast man and stalwart of Cumann Chluain Ard, Albert Fry sings A Mháire  Ní Mhaoileoin”.  I know this tune in its lively version as ‘The Eniskillen Dragoons’ but here it is offered with immense tenderness and nuance as a tragic ballad. Exquisite.

Song: A Mháire  Ní Mhaoileoin

An dtiocfá ag baint an aitinn liom

A Mháire Ní Mhaoileoin?

Thiocfainn is dá cheangal leat

Mo chuid den tsaol ‘s a stóir!

Would you come cutting furze with me

O Máire Ní Mhaoileoin?

I would and I would bind with you

My darling and my own.

Albert Fry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHtXJCWDIY0

You’ll find a longer version of the lyrics in Irish and English here

A happy song

Róise tells us, “Pádraig Ó Maoileoin (1913-2002), born Com Dhíneol Thuaidh, Dún Chaoin, Co. Kerry. A version of Will Ye Go Lassie Go, using the imagery of the yellow blossom on the gorse for both the bower and with reference to scent.”

I am going to pinch that opening line! “Summer is coming yellow-ly” and the final line of the first verse, “The yellow flower is on the tip of the gorse”. The use of gorse instead of heather for the building of the bower creates a picture of a glowing golden-ness.

Tá an samhradh ag teacht go buí

Agus duille ar chrainn go fairsing;

Tá nead ag cearca fraoigh

Is bláth buí ar bharr an aitinn.

 

Tar liúm, a chailín liúm!

Agus siúlfaimid le chéile

Go bhfaighimid nead an éin

Sa ghleann ag bun an tsléibhe.

Tar liúm, a chailín liúm!

 

Tógfad grianán duit

Agus thart air fál ‘na sheasamh;

Agus cuirfidh mé ar a bharr

A bhfuil de bhláth ar bharr an aitinn.

 

Dá n-imeodh mo ghrá bán

Thiocfadh ceann ‘na háit ar maidin

Ó thaobh an ghleanna bháin

Ón bhfraoch agus ón aiteann.

 

 

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