The Women of Ireland – is the theme that links nearly all these songs – even in the songs of emigration. Wasn’t it nearly always the mothers and sisters and wives and girlfriends who were left behind? The two drinking songs are no exception: in Níl sé ‘na Lá the feckless man is mesmerized by the mugs a-filling and the glasses a-clinking in the tavern below but is brought to his senses instantly when he hears that his wife has been looking for him all over the countryside!
The rest of the album consists mainly of love songs, some of exceptional poetic beauty, and all of them celebrating The Women of Ireland in so many different ways. Suffice the following:
Mo Mhuirnín Bán
Bhí mé oíche ‘stoigh ‘Fhéile Bríde
Ar faire thíos ar a’ Mhullach Mhór
Nuair a dhearc mé an fhaoileann ar thug mé gnaoi dí
Mar bhí sí aoibhinn deas álainn óg
Is í go cinnte a mhearaigh m’intinn
‘Gus lia na bhFiann, Ó ní leigheasfadh mé
Is tá mo chroí ‘stoigh ‘na mhíle píosaí
Mur’ bhfaighe mé dídean ina brollach bán
My Fair-Haired Darling
One night around St. Bridget’s Eve
Down at a wake in Mullaghmore
I saw the girl that I loved so dearly
And she so fresh and fair to be sure.
It was she for certain who fuddled my thinking
For the healer of the Fianna he did his best –
But my heart inside’s in a thousand pieces
Unless I find shelter in her snow-white breast.