Róisín Dubh (Little Dark Rose) MIDI, videos
(Róisín Dubh - Click for Irish Gaelic translation)
#570: YouTube video by MollysIrishEyes
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

midi1   alt: midi2

Little Rose, be not sad for
all that hath behapped thee:
The friars are coming across the sea,
they march on the main.
From the Pope shall come thy pardon,
and from Rome, from the East-
And stint not Spanish wine
to my Little Dark Rose.

Long the journey that I made
with her from yesterday till today,
Over mountains did I go with her,
under the sails upon the sea;
The Erne I passed by leaping,
though wide the flood,
And there was string music on each side of
me and my Little Dark Rose!

Thou hast slain me, O my bride,
and may it serve thee no whit,
For the soul within me loveth thee,
not since yesterday nor today;
Thou has left me weak and broken
in mien and in shape,
Betray me not who love thee,
my Little Dark Rose!

I would walk the dew with thee
and the meadowy wastes,
In hope of getting love from thee,
or part of my will;
Fragrant branch, thou didst promise me
that thou hadst for me love -
And sure the flower of all Munster
is Little Dark Rose!

Had I a yoke of horses
I would plough against the hills,
In middle-mass I'd make a gospel
of my Little Dark Rose;
I'd give a kiss to the young girl
that would give her mouth to me,
And behind the liss would lie
embracing my Little Dark Rose!

The Erne shall rise in rude torrents,
hills shall be rent,
The sea shall roll in red waves,
and blood be poured out;
Every mountain glen in Ireland,
and the bogs shall quake,
Some day ere shall perish
my Little Dark Rose!

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 16th-century Irish traditional ....####
A variant was recorded as Róisín Dubh by Ryan's Fancy (Currahs, Minstrels, Rocks & Whiskey, trk#12, 1971, Gunn Records).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

The video above features an excellent Irish language variant by the singer, songwriter and actress, Molly McClogan.

This song was probably named after Rose, one of the daughters of Hugh O'Neill, second Earl of Tyrone, whose family was for centuries enemies of the clan O'Donnell. It is reputed to have originated in the camps of Red Hugh O'Donnell [1571-1602] who was betrothed to Rose O'Neill in 1587. Róisín Dubh, meaning "Little Dark Rose", is one of Ireland's most famous political songs. Traditionally, it is sung in the Irish language, with few if any recordings existing in English. It is based on an older love-lyric which referred to the poet's beloved rather than being a metaphor for Ireland as it is here. The reason behind the transposing of Ireland as a maiden was not merely poetic, but also avoided the English persecution on Irish songs of the period. It is also for this reason that political songs of this era are mostly sung in Irish, which most English authorities did not understand. Originally translated from the Irish language by James Clarence Mangan [1803-1849], poet and essayist who gave voice to Irish nationalism before and during the famine years of 1846-52, this translation is credited to Pádraig Pearse, the leader of the 1916 Easter uprising.

¹ The River Erne is in northwest Ireland.
² Munster is the southernmost of the four provinces of Ireland. It comprises the counties of: Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford.

{Irish Gaelic translation by Owen Roe MacWard }
Róisín Dubh (Little Dark Rose)

A Róisín ná bíodh brón ort fár éirigh dhuit-
tá na bráithre ag dul ar sáile is iad ag triall ar muir,
tiocfaigh do phardún óa bPápa is ón Róimh anoir
is ní spáráilfear fíon Spáinneach ar mo Róisín Dubh.

Is fada an réim a lig mé léi ó inné do dtí inniu,
trasna sléibhte go ndeachas léi is mo sheólta ar muir;
An éirne scoithe sí de léim í cé gur mór é a sruth;
is mar cheól téad ar gach taobh di a bhíonn mo Róisín Dubh.

Mhearaigh tú mé, a bhradóg, is nár ba fearrde dhuit,
's go bhfuil m'anam istigh i ngean ort is ní inné ná inniu.
D'fhág tú lag anbhann mé i ngné is i gcruth;
ná feall orm is mé i gnean ort, a Róisín Dubh.

Shiúfainn féin an drúcht leat is fásaigh goirt
mar shúil go bhfaighinn rún uait nó páirt ded thoil;
a chraoibhín chumhra, gheallais damhsa go raibh grá agat dom,
is gurb í plúrscoth na Mumhan í mo Róisín Dubh.

Dá mbeadh seisreach agam threabhfainn in aghaidh na gcnoc
is dhéanfainn soiscéal i lár an Aifrinn do mo Róisín Dubh;
bhéarainn póg don chailín g a bhéarfadh a hóighe dhom
is dhéanfainn cleas an leasa le mo Róisín Dubh.

Beidh an Éirne 'na tuilte tréana is réabfar cnoic,
beidh an fharraige 'na tonnta dearga is an spéir 'na fuil,
beidh gach gleann sléibhe ar fud éireann is móinte ar crith,
lá éigin sula n-éagfaidh mo Róisín Dubh.

The video below features a recording of an Irish language variant by the Wolfe Tones (The Foggy dew, trk#;14, 1965, Fontana Records).

See more songs by The Wolfe Tones.

#828: YouTube video by darrin42
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

From the Free Dictionary:
Liss - to free, as from care or pain; to relieve.
Stint - to be frugal or economical in providing something; hold back.


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