Mo Ghile Mear

Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill, cóirithe ag Dónal Ó Liatháin

The air was documented by a man named Dómhnall Ó Buachalla of Cúil Aodha, County Cork, with words from two of Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill’s songs: Bímse Buan ar Buairt Gach Ló, Seal do Bhíos im’ Mhaighdin Shéimh, and another of unknown origin. Dónal Ó Liatháin gave an account of how it was formed to the sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird:

“We were gathered in the Ó Riada house […] and Peadar had this tape and he put it on and on it was a man, if my memory serves me correctly, whose name was Domhnall Ó Buachalla. … You could recognise from the tape that his was an old voice. [Peadar] told us that this was a tape that his father had collected from the man in question and he played us a song from it, and I think that the verse that affected me most was:
Gile mear sa seal faoi chumha
Gus Éire go léir faoi chlocaí dhubha
Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
Ó luadh i gcéin mo ghile mear.
..I didn’t recognise the air at all myself, it was a very muffled recording. But Maidhci and Jeremiah did recognise it […] Peadar gave it to me saying that we could make a song from this melody.”

Ó Liatháin described the process of selection:
“I had no plan whatsoever except that I … would take the most beautiful verses … the verses that were … sort of universal as you might say. There really wasn’t any difficulty because it was kind of clear that this was the thing you would do… The words and lines were very nice in the verses that we chose, but … Seán Clarach really was a superb craftsman as regards metre and so forth and you couldn’t really find a bad verse where the metre would not be spot on”.

Foinse: Ceol & Cibeal Chúil Aodha (fé stiúir Pheadar Uí Riada)

Seal dá rabhas im’ mhaighdean shéimh,
‘S anois im’ bhaintreach chaite thréith,
Mo chéile ag treabhadh na dtonn go tréan
De bharr na gcnoc is i n-imigcéin.

Curfá
‘Sé mo laoch, mo Ghile Mear,
‘Sé mo Chaesar, Ghile Mear,
Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
Ó chuaigh i gcéin mo Ghile Mear.

Bímse buan ar buairt gach ló,
Ag caoi go cruaidh ‘s ag tuar na ndeor
Mar scaoileadh uaim an buachaill beo
‘S ná ríomhtar tuairisc uaidh, mo bhrón.

 Curfá

Ní labhrann cuach go suairc ar nóin
Is níl guth gadhair i gcoillte cnó,
Ná maidin shamhraidh i gcleanntaibh ceoigh
Ó d’imigh uaim an buachaill beó.

Curfá

Marcach uasal uaibhreach óg,
Gas gan gruaim is suairce snó,
Glac is luaimneach, luath i ngleo
Ag teascadh an tslua ‘s ag tuargain treon.

Curfá

Seinntear stair ar chlairsigh cheoil
‘s líontair táinte cárt ar bord
Le hintinn ard gan chaim, gan cheo
Chun saol is sláinte d’ fhagháil dom león.

Ghile mear ‘sa seal faoi chumha,
‘s Eire go léir faoi chlócaibh dubha;
Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
Ó luaidh i gcéin mo Ghile Mear.

Curfá

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