Though it is MUCH better to listen to Keith singing the song and imitate him, these approximations of pronunciations may help some people who want to learn more of the language.
BTW If you are a complete beginner and want to learn a simple way to read and speak the Irish language, please explore: https://ancroiait.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/learn-irish-lesson-1/
Here’s how I arranged each line of the song in four parts
Line 1: Correct Irish
Line 2: Approximate sound
Line 3. Word for word translation
Line 4. Translation
Note: Something to learn from this line
Before you begin, please note: ch is a gentle short gargling sound.
G and C are always hard sounds (never j or s)
o is o as in orange
ó is o as in only
Vowels: É, é, ó, é, ó x8 É sounds like ay as in day and ó sounds like o as in only.
Uair [nuair] ‘a bhí mé ag ligeann scíth, rith smaoineamh liom.
oor [noor] ‘a vee may eg lihgun shkee, rih smweenuv lum.
time [when] that was I ing-lett rest, ran thought with me.
Once (when) I was resting, a thought came to me.
Note: Lig do (du) scíth means relax. It is often used when someone comes to visit.
Mol an óige ‘s tiocfaidh sí ‘mar is dual di.
Mul on óeege s chuck-hee shee, mor is dool dee.
Praise the youth and come-will she as is proper for her.
Praise the young and it will thrive (just) as it should be.
Note: Mol an oíge is tiocfaidh sí is a famous Irish proverb.
Chorus / Curfá
‘S muid ag lorg ár n-áit dár dtír bheag álainn
s mwid eg lurg awr nawt dawr deer vee-ug awlin
And we at search our place of our country small beautiful.
And we searching for our place in our small beautiful land
Note: The word for small is beag (bee-ug). Because it describes a feminine word ► vee-ug
In san domhan. Tá ár tseoid fhéin ann.
in son down. taw awr tshowd hayn on
In the world. Is our jewel own there.
In the world. Our own jewel [the language] is there.
Note: the word a’inn is a contraction of againn meaning at us. Combined with the verb Is it means We have. To say I have something you need to say Is something at me.
[Níl] ‘Ach í a labhairt amach le cion.
[neel] och ee a lowert* umoch le kyun. *lower rhymes with flower
[not is] but her to speak out with fondness.
[It’s] just we should just speak it with affection.
Note: To say I only need… or I just need… you say I don’t need but…
Ach dún do shúile go ciúin agus samhlaigh go bhfuil
Och doon du hool gu kyoon ogus *sowlee gu wil * sow rhymes with now
But close your eyes ly-quiet and imagine that is
But close your eyes quietly and imagine that
Note: go has two meanings. It can be ly at the end of an adverb or that.
sí fós inár gcroíthe.
shee fós inawr gree
She still in our hearts.
it still is in our hearts.
Note: a’inn is a contraction of againn which means at us. Fós can mean still or yet.
‘S bí ‘brionglóid go suan agus cuimhnigh:
s bee [eg] bring-lód gu soon ogus kivnee:
And be [ing] dream ly-sound and remember:
And dream soundly and remember that
Note: the ag of ag brionglóid is left out but understood. That’s the ing part.
Bhí sí linn ón gcéad lá riamh.
Vee shee lin ón gayd law reev.
Was she with us from the first day ever.
It was with us from the start.
Note: She refers to the Irish language. Both Gaeilge (Irish) and teanga (language) are feminine.
Ghabhfadh muid ó neart go neart ar scáth a chéile.
Gho – hok mwid ó nyart gu nyart er skaw a cheyle.
Go-would we from strength to strength on shade (cover) of each other.
We’ would go from strength to strength working together.
Note: Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine is a famous proverb meaning that people survive by covering for each other (collaborating).
Verse 2 / Véarsa 2
Tá mo chroí dóchasach. Feicim fíor na spéire.
Taw mu chree dóchusoch. Fekim feer na spayre.
Is my heart hopeful. See-I breadth-line the of-sky.
My heart is hopeful. I see the horizon.
Note: Sentences start with a verb. My heart is becomes Is my heart.
[Is é an] ‘Íomhá is deise liom: éirigh na gréine.
[is ay on] eevaw is desheh lum: ah-ee-ree na grayne
[Is it the] image ist-nice with me: rising the of-sun.
(‘Tis the) most beautiful image to me: the rising of the sun.
Note: The word Grian (sun) crashes into the word of (de) and becomes gréine (of-sun).
Déan do chuid fhéin ar a son. [Tá] ‘Sé suas duitse ‘s dom.
Dayn du chid hayn er a sun. [taw] Shay soo-us ditshu s dum.
Do your bit own on her sake. [Is] it up to you and to me.
Do your own bit for its sake. It’s up to you and me.
Note: ‘s is a contraction of agus meaning and.
If you want to start at the beginning learning how to read Irish words and some basic phrases try: