Sexual Rage, Jealousy, Stalking and Murder Fantasies. A Traditional Irish Tune.

Real culture beating fake heritage hands down.

I was settled down last evening with a book and the radio on in the background.  Nice and chilled, Fiachna Ó Braonáin doing his usual eclectic selection of sounds.  I like that subliminal cool-music feel going on without being too intrusive.

Nice.  I was just getting into the story when something tickled at the back of my brain, this a capella delivery of Bean Pháidín by
Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola with a nice bodhrán beat thumping along in the background.

‘S é truaigh nach mise nach mise, ‘s é truaigh nach mise bean Pháidín.

I remember it well.  Planxty used to do a version of this, but I never really learned the words, just that refrain.  ‘S é truaigh nach mise nach mise, ‘s é truaigh nach mise bean Pháidín.

–  What a pity I’m not Páidín’s wife. —

Standard issue thwarted love lament, or  so I used to think.  But for whatever reason, I kept listening to the insistent drumbeat of the song and for the very first time, noticed the final line of the first verse.

‘S é truaigh nach mise bean Phádín is an bean atá aige bheith caillte.

What the fuck?

— It’s a pity I’m not Páidín’s wife with  the one he has now being  dead. —

My Aran Islands friends tell me the common version there says báite, drowned, not caillte, lost,

Jesus, this is a long way from the saccharine, grá mo chroí Irish-American schmaltz they sold back to us and persuaded so many Irish people was genuine heritage.  Hard to imagine Daniel O’Donnell singing this stuff.  So much for the Homes of Donegal.

It gets more full-blooded.

 

Rachainn go  hAonach na Chlocháin

‘S isteach go Béal Átha na Báighe

Bhreathnóinn isteach trí na fuinneogaí

‘Súil ‘s go bhfeicfinn bean Pháidín

 

— I’d go to the market in Clifden and to Béal Átha na Báighe.  I’d look in through the windows to see if I could spot Páidín’s wife. —

 

It’s getting fairly fucking sinister.  This is rabbit-boiling territory but the third verse nails it for sheer batshit lunacy..

 

Go mbristear do chosa, do chosa

Go mbristear do chosa, a bhean Pháidín

Go mbristear do chosa, do chosa

Go mbristear do chosa ‘s do chnámha.

 

— May your legs be broken, Páidín’s wife.  May your legs be broken, and all your bones. —

 

Now that’s what I call jealousy, but isn’t it great?  Doesn’t it beat the living shit out of all that clergy-diluted nonsense we’ve been persuaded is the Irish heritage.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling?  Galway Bay?

Spare us.

Isn’t it great to remember that this is a flesh-and-blood country,  not some Gaelic nostalgia theme park.

 

Long may it last.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Sexual Rage, Jealousy, Stalking and Murder Fantasies. A Traditional Irish Tune.

  1. Brilliant! Love that you translated that song – my Geailge is very rusty but listening to this could revive my interest in the language. Maith an fear thú!

  2. If I was Paidin I’d be worried about the Missus’s safety and I’d call on the Sagart Paroiste to go down the street and exorcise that jealous young woman thinking foul deeds.

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