Line 1: Correct Irish
Line 2: Approximate sound
Line 3. Word for word translation
Line 4. Translation
Before you begin, please note:
ch is a gentle short gargling sound.
dh is similar but as a soft gargled g. It is written in pronunciation here as gh.
G and C are always hard sounds (never j or s)*
o is u as in umbrella, so is u, but
ú is oo as in soon
ó is o as in own
de or di combintaion changes the d almost to a j sound ** Written dy in pronunciation below
Practice Slowly with Quizlet here
1. A Dhónaill óig, má théir thar farraige,
A ghónil ó-ig maw hayr hor farige*
Oh Donal young if you go over sea
Oh young Donal, if you go overseas,
Tabhair mé fhéin leat ‘s ná déan do dhearmad.
Toor may hayn lat snaw **dyayn duh yarmud
Give me self with you and don’t make your forgetting
Bring me with you and don’t you forget.
Beidh agat féirín lá aonaigh ‘s margadh,
Ba-ee ogut fayreen law aynu is morugu
Will at you treat day of-fair and market
You will have a treat on fair and market day,
Gus iníon rí Gréige mar chéile leapan (ag)at.
Gus ineen ree graygu mor chaylu lapan ot
And daughter king of-Greece as partner bed with you
And a Greek king’s daughter as your bed companion.
2. Gheall tú dhomsa (a)gus rinne tú bréag liom,
Yal too ghumsa gus rinu too brayg lum
Promised you to me and did you lie with me
You promised me and you lied to me.
Go mbeithfeá romham ag cró na gcaorach.
Gu mayhaw room eg cró na geeroch
That be-would-you before me at pen the of-sheep
That you would be [there] before me at the sheep pen.
Lig mé fead ort is dhá chéad béiceach,
Lig may fad urt is ghaw chayd baykyooch
Let I whistle on you and two hundred of-shouts
I whistled for you and shouted two hundred times,
Ach ní bhfuair mé freagra ach na huain ag méileach.
Och nee woor may fragru och na hooin a maylooch
But not got I an answer but the sheep at bleat
But the only answer I got was the sheep’s bleating.
3. Thug mé grá (a)gat is mé beag bídeach,
Hug may graw gut smay beug beedoch
Gave I love at you and I small very-little
I gave you love when I was very small
Chuir mé barr air is mé mór millteach.
Chu-ir may bawr er smay mór meeltoch
Put I harvest on it and I big very-big.
It came to fruit when I was all grown up.
Níorbh é sin an grá a thug an t-uan don chaora,
Neerv ay shin on graw a hug on toon dun chu-eeru
Was not it that the love that gave the lamb to the sheep
That was not the love that the lamb gave to the sheep,
Ach grá buan daingean nach féidir a scaoileadh.
Och graw booun dan-gan noch faydir a sceelu
But love enduring firm not able to free
But a firm enduring love that is inescapable.
Seo mar a d’aistrigh Lady Gregory an t-amhrán
It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;
the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.
It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;
and that you may be without a mate until you find me.
You promised me, and you said a lie to me,
that you would be before me where the sheep are flocked;
I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you,
and I found nothing there but a bleating lamb.
You promised me a thing that was hard for you,
a ship of gold under a silver mast;
twelve towns with a market in all of them,
and a fine white court by the side of the sea.
You promised me a thing that is not possible,
that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish;
that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird;
and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland.
When I go by myself to the Well of Loneliness,
I sit down and I go through my trouble;
when I see the world and do not see my boy,
he that has an amber shade in his hair.
It was on that Sunday I gave my love to you;
the Sunday that is last before Easter Sunday
and myself on my knees reading the Passion;
and my two eyes giving love to you for ever.
My mother has said to me not to be talking with you today,
or tomorrow, or on the Sunday;
it was a bad time she took for telling me that;
it was shutting the door after the house was robbed.
My heart is as black as the blackness of the sloe,
or as the black coal that is on the smith’s forge;
or as the sole of a shoe left in white halls;
it was you put that darkness over my life.
You have taken the east from me, you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!