An Cailín Rua - The Red-haired Girl

A love song to the beautiful 'Cailín Rua' ('Red-haired Girl') who takes everything the poet has to offer and then leaves him for a 'shop boy' in the end -- apparently he could get her a discount!

Trádisiunta
Nach doiligh domhsa mo chailín a mholadh,
Ní hé amháin mar bhí sí rua,
Bhí sí mar gha gréine ag dul in éadan na ngloiní,
Is bhí scéimh mhná na Finne le mo chailín rua.

Curfá:

Thug mé lion í ó bhaile go baile,
Ó Gheaftaí Dhoire go Baile Átha Luain,
Chun fhuil aon mhíle dár shiúil mé ar an fad sin,
Nach dtug mé deoch leanna do mo chailín rua.

B’fhearr liom í ná bó is ná bearrach,
Nó a bhfuil de loingis ag tarraingt chun cuain,
B’fhearr liom arís na cíos Chluain Meala,
Go mbeinn is mo chailín i mBaile Átha Luain.

Curfá

Chuir mé mo chailín go margadh Shligigh,
Ba é sin féin an margadh bhí daor,
Bhí scilling agus punt ar an mheánpheicín ime,
Is go dtug mé sin le fuinneamh do mo chailín rua.

Curfá

Chuaigh sí siar agus bróga breac’ uirthi,
Ribíní glasuaithne teannta ar a gruaig,
D’éalaigh sí uaimse le buachaill an tsiopa,
Is a Rí nár dheas í, mo chailín rua.

Curfá

Traditional
Isn’t it hard for me to praise my red-haired girl,
Not only because of her red hair,
She was like a ray of sun reflected through glass,
And she had the beauty of the Finne women.

Chorus:

I took her from town to town,
From the gates of Derry to Athlone,
There’s not a mile of the way I traveled,
That I didn’t give my red-haired girl a drink of ale.

I prefer her to any cow or heifer,
Or all the long ships drawing into the harbor,
I would rather than have all the rent of Clonmel,
To be in Athlone with my red-haired girl.

Chorus

I sent my girl to the Sligo market,
That was the market that was expensive,
A weight of butter cost one guinea,
And I gave it willingly to my red-haired girl.

Chorus

She went west wearing striped shoes,
Her hair tied up with the greenest ribbons,
She left me for a shop-boy,
God, wasn’t she lovely, my red-haired girl.

Chorus

Courtesy of Jack & Vivian Hennessey, IrishPage.com
For phonetics consult the pocket dictionary Fóclóir Póca.
Replay background music: Red-haired Girl


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