An Bonnán Buí Piaras Ó Lorcáin

An Bonnán Buí, Piaras Ó Lorcáin

Chum Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna an t-amhrán ‘An Bonnán Buí’, file de chuid Bhreifne in oirdheisceart Uladh (1680-1756). Is caoineadh é an dán seo do bhonnán a fuair bás den tart, ach is aoir í fosta, mar chosaint don fhile féin a bheith ar an ól. Is í Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin a chur beocht sa leagan seo den amhrán atá mar chuid den chuntas cuimsitheach s’aici ar thraidisiúin Oirialla sa leabhar ‘A Hidden Ulster’. Ceolann Piaras Ó Lorcáin roinnt véarsaí den amhrán. Tá liricí an amhráin uilig go léir thíos faoi.

‘An Bonnán Buí’ was written by southeast Ulster poet Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna (1680-1756) The poem is in the form of a lament for a bittern that died of thirst, but is also a tongue in cheek defence by the poet of his own drinking habit. This version of the song was brought to life by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin and features in her comprehensive account of the traditions of Oriel ‘A Hidden Ulster’. Piaras Ó Lorcáin sings a few verses of the song. Lyrics of the entire song are below.

A bhonnáin bhuí, sé mo léan i do luí,
’S do chnámha sínte in éis do ghrinn,
Chan easpa bí acht diobháil dí
A d’fhág ‘do luí thú ar chúl do chinn;
Is measa liom féin ná scrios na Traoi
Tú bheeith ‘do luí ar leacaibh lom;
Is nach dtearn tú díth nó dola istír
Is nárbh fhearr leat fíon ná uisce poll.

Tá mo cheannsa tinn is níl atharach ann
Óir d’éirigh a lán den trioblóid domh
Mo chairde cruinn gan áit gan roinn
Nach ndéanann siad díon nó foscadh domh;
Do bhéilín binn a bhí a’ síorthabhairt grin
Is b’aite liom do chomhrá carthannach;
A’ murab é an díth céille bheinn féin saibhir
Ach ghlac mé de roghain an bhoichtineacht

A bhonnáin álainn, ‘sé mo mhíle crá
Do chorp ar lár in éis do ghrinn,
Is gur iomaí lá a chluinfinn do ghrág
Do luí ar an láib ar chúl do chinn.
‘Sé mo thuirse mhór is mo mhíle brón
Tú bheith sínte ‘mbrón I measc na dtom,
Is na luchógaí móra a’triall ‘un do thórraimh
A’ déanamh spóirse is féasta ann.

Chuaidh mé ‘n a’tórraimh is mé tuirseach, brónach
‘Gus buidéal brónach le mo thaobh;
Ar nós go n-ólfadh sé deoch nó dhó
A fhiuchfadh a bhéal is a chorp istigh.
Acht hóm bóm bó ‘sé mo mhíle brón
A’n deoir chan ólann sé a choíche ‘ríst
Bhí an buidéal ólta a’s me ar leathchois leonta
A’ pilleadh ó thórramh an bhonnáin bhuí

Chan iad bhur n=éanlaith atá mé ag éagnaigh,
An lón, an chéirseach nó ‘n chorr ghlas;
Acht a’ bonnán buí a bhí lán de chroí
Gur cosúil liom féin é i nós ‘s i ndath.
Bhí sé go síoraí ag ól na dí
‘Gus deirtear go mbím ar a’nós sin seal;
Chan fheil a’n deoir ‘á bhfaighfinn nach leigfinn síos,
Ar chéasta go bhfaighfinn bás den tart.

‘Sé d’iarr mo stór orm stadadh den ól
Nó nach mbeinn anseo acht seal beag gearr,
Acht dúirt mé léithe gur ársaigh sí bréag
Is gurbh fhaide do mo shaol an deaoch úd fháil.
An bhfeiceann sibh éagn a’phíobáin rédih
A chuaidh in éag den tart ar ball?
Is, a chomharsanaigh chléibh, fliuchaigí mbhur mbéal
Óir chan fhaigheann sibh braon I ndiaidh bhur mbáis.

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The Yellow Bittern

O yellow bittern, for you I mourn,
Stretched out bare-boned without quill or down;
Not the want of food but a mighty thirst
Left you lying there with your head upturned;
Far worse than Troy long since destroyed,
Your body laid on naked stone,
For hurt or harm you brought to none;
Not wine for you but a waterhole.

My head is sore and there is no cure
For much trouble to me has come;
My neighbours here have naught to share,
No house or home to shelter in;
Your sweet birdsong gave non-stop fun
And I used to long for your friendly voice;
But for foolish ways I’d have wealth and gain,
The path of poverty was my own choice.

O sweet bittern, my endless pain
Is your outstretched frame and naked pelt,
And many’s the dawn I’d hear you call,
But now you lie in mud and dirt;
My heart it breaks with a thousand aches –
You in the ditch – my sore lament!
And the rats so great going to your wake
In jollification and merriment.

I went to the wake, though sad and frail,
With a bottle of ale down in my coat;
So that he might swill a drop or so
To wet his bill and inside his throat;
But bóm bóm bó my sorrowful woe,
Not a sip will pass his beak again;
The drink was done, I was drunk alone,
Coming home from the wake of my bittern friend.

It’s not your songsters that I now mourn,
The blackbird, thrush and grey feathered crane;
But the yellow bird so full of love,
Just like myself in many ways;
He’d always be supping away along,
And it’s said that I’m sometimes like that too;
Not a glass in hand but I’d swallow down,
For fear that the thirst might kill me soon.

My love she urged me to give it up
For my life would shortly end in tears,
But I said to her that her words were false,
For the drop o’ drink gave me extra years;
See now the full-throated singing bird –
How a thirst of late brought a silent end?
So, comrades dear, wet your lips here
For you’ll not get any when you’re lying dead.

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