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Óid don uisce beatha - An Ode to Whiskey


Carolan's detractors point to this work written in the first person singular as an indication that Carolan was addicted to drink. His supporters say that Carolan's use of the first person is simply poetic license and could not apply to himself as he could never have been Ireland's greatest composer with such an addiction. Decide for yourself.
"This spirited tune is attributed to Turlough O'Carolan by Dr. Douglas Hyde (Literary History of Ireland, p. 599), who characterizes it as 'one of the finest Bacchanalian songs in any language'." ...Carolan by Donal O'Sullivan, Ossian pub. 1958, Co. Cork.

le Turlough O'Carolan
A h- uiscí chroidhe na n-anamann,
Leagan tú ar lár mé
Bim gan chéill, gan aithne,
'Sé an t-eachrann do b'fhearr liom!

by John D'Alton
Why, liquor of life, do I love you so,
When in all our encounters you lay me low?
More stupid and senseless I everyday grow,
What a hint - if I'd mend by the marning.

Bionn mo chóta stracaighthe,
Agus caillim leat mo charabhat,
Is bíodh a ndárnais maithte leat,
Ach teangmhaigh liom amárach!

Tattered and torn you've left my coat,
I've not a cravat- to save my throat,
Yet I pardon you all, my sparkling doat,
If you'll cheer me again in the morning.

notes for song

This poem, charactarized by Hyde as one of the finest Bachalarian tunes in any language, appears with that comment in O'Sullivan's book 2 pg 118 No 197. The English metrical translation is by John D'Alton.

Lyrics: Carolan, Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Donal O'Sullivan 1958, vol 2 pg 118 no 197.
(6 stanzas) of which only 2 are printed here.

Courtesy of Vivian and Jack, IrishPage.com Feb. 2007
Tune: Ode to Whiskey sequenced by Taylor
Replay background music: Ode to Whiskey

Filleadh go liosta
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