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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (January-June) » An Spailpín Fánach « Previous Next »

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jim (mb27-2-p01.warwick.net - 204.255.27.56)
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 09:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I would be grateful for any halp in my efforts to translate this traditional song, as you can I have tried and have probably made many mistakes- Brth and Cailleach had helped me find it originally.


An Spailpín Fánach

Ó is spailpín aerach tréitheach mise
‘gus bígí ‘soláthar mná dom,
Mar chroithfinn an síol faoi dhó san
Earrach in éadan na dtailtí bána
Mar chroithfinn an síol faoi dhó san
Earrach in éadan tailtí bána
Mo lámha ar an gcéachta i ndiaidh na
Gcapall’s g réabfainnse cnoic le fána.

‘S mo chúig céad slán leat, dhúiche
m’athar go deo deo don oileán grámhar
‘S don scata fear óg atá ‘mo dhiaidh ag
baile nár chlis orm in am an ghátair.
Tá Bleá Cliath dóite is tógfar Gaillimh
Beidh lasair a’ainn ar thinte cnámha,
Beidh fíon agus beoir ar an mbord ag
M’athair, sin cabhair ag an spailpín fánach.

Is an chéad lá in Éirinn dar liostáil mise
Bhí mé súgach sásta,
‘S an darna lá dar liostáil mise ó bhí mé buartha cráite,
Ach an tríú lá dar liostáil mise
thabharfainn chúig chéad punt ar fhágáil.
Ach a dtugfainn sin agus an oiread eile
Ní raibh mo phas le fáil a’m.

Agus bhí mise lá breá ar mhargadh Chill
Chainnigh is tháinig sé go trom ag báisteach,
Is tharraing me isteach is chuir mé ag glaoch na
Gcárta.
Nár ghlaoigh isteach orm bean a’leanna
A súil le tairbhe mo laí,
‘S dheamhan deoir dár glaodh as sin go
maidin nach raibh thíos in aghaidh an
Spailpín Fánach.

Ó’gus bhí mise lá breá thíos i nGaillimh
Is bhí an abhainn ag gabháil le fána,
Bhí an breac’s an eascainn is an beairtín
Slata ann is chuile ní dá suínnse léi
Ó bhí mná óga ann múinte tógtha, ‘siad a bhí tanaí tláth deas,
Ach dheamhan bean óg dá suínnse léi
Nach gcuirfinn an dubh ar a mbán di.


Is b’fhaide liomsa lá bheinn I dteach
Gan charaid, ná bliain mhór fhada is ráithe,
Mar is buachaillín aerach mé súgach
Meanmnach a bhréagfadh an
Bhruinneal mhánla.
Is a dhá bhean déag bhí ag éad’s ag
Iomaidh liom á súil le tairbhe mo laí,
B’é paidir na caillí nuair a théinn thar an
Tairseach “now behave yourself,” a
Spailpín fánach.


The Wandering Farm Hand

Oh I am merry and playful farmhand
And I always have a crowd of women,
As I sow the seeds in
The spring on the face of the fallow land
As I sow the seeds in
The Spring on the face of fallow land.
My hand is on the plow as I follow the
Horse breaking the rocks as she goes.

And a hundred goodbyes to the homeland of my joy, for ever and ever to the lovely island.
And to the crowd of young men that follow me at home, never will I flinch in the time of need.
Dublin will burn and Galway taken by the light of burning bones, (but) there will always be wine and beer on the table of my father with the help of the wandering farm hand.

It was the first day I was in Ireland that I enlisted, I was merry enough.
The second day after I enlisted I was sorely grieved.
The third day after I enlisted I should have given 500 pounds
But I will give this and more also (but) I can’t get leave.

And I had a fine day at the market of Kilkenny and it was raining heavy and I drew into the back of the place, and began calling for pints, did I not call over the waitress who had an eye for the service of my spade
and the devil a tear drop came down the face of the Spailpín Fánach in the morning.

And a had a fine day in Galway, laying down by a river fishing,
There was a trout or eel on the fishing rod , neither one finer than the other.
There were young women politely taking the peaceful, shallow water
But never did a young woman caused a disturbance that I should say anything bad about them.

It was a long day I was at this house without a friend, a long year and a season,
I was a lively young man spiritedly trying to persuade a graceful young maiden
There were two teenage girls in a jealous rivalry for the service of my spade,
The old woman let out a little prayer when I came over the threshold, “now behave yourself,” Spailpín Fánach.

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's not bad, Jim. A fine song from Seán 'ac Dhonnchadh. There is another version in Amhráin Chlainne Gaedhal by Mícheál and Tomás Ó Máille that mention Castlebar and 1798. I am sure you'll get a few more comments. One thing I would point out that tinte cnámha is a bonfire. I am dying to know what bígí soláthar mná dom means. I'll print this and look at it, but I suppose others will get back to you before I do. The last 2 verses I definitely have some questions about. I think you dropped a couple of lines i ngaeilge.

Beidh mé ag caint leat arís. An amhránaí thusa? Is maith liom amhráin ar an sean-nós. Bhí clú agus cáil le Seán 'ac Dhonnchadh.

Brían

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 01:49 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jim,
Rather than doing individual corrections on yours, I am going to try translating this again then get back to you. maybe some others will join in on the comhra.

Brían

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Jim (207.79.68.232)
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 04:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Níl mé amhránaí. Far from it! but this tune has stuck in my head- even before I had any understanding of the lyrics. I eagerly await your translation!

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Beth (ha62s468.d.shentel.net - 204.111.63.212)
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 11:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jim: I have sung this song for years and asked lots of people for help with the translation of the trickier parts! some of the idioms are not at all common, and with poetry you always have to bargain for the possibility that the writer didn't particularly want to be easily understood. It looks to me like "an tairbhe mo lái" is an unusual euphemism for that which is usually euphemized. But who's to prove it?

Is é an fonn sin an fonn céanna le "The Girl I Left Behind Me", a bhí an-cháil air ar fud Meireacá ag an am faoin Revolution. Tá taifeadadh breá eile ag Treasa ní Mhiollan ar "An Clochar Bán" (CIC).

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 04:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Yeah, one doesn't have to be too astute to find double meanings in this song.

Beidh mé ar ais go fóill,

Brían

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 11:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Chonaic mé cara dom tráthnóna inniu. D'fhoghalainn sé a chuid Gaeilge i gContae na Gaillmhe sa Scoil Náisiunta blianta ó shoin. Tá a chuid Gaeilge níos mó ná mo chuid féin.Thug sé cabhair dom. Seo dhuit:

AN SPAILPÍN FÁNACH(THE AIMLESS LABOURER)

I am a happy, talented labourer
And everyone, provide women to me!
As I shake my seed twice in the Spring on the brow of the fallow land.
As I shake my seed twice in the Spring on the brow of the fallow land
My hands on the plow behind the horses
tearing down the slope of the hills.

Five hundred farewells to my father's district, for ever to the Loving Island,
To the crowd of young men I left behind in the town who did not fail me in my time of need.
Dublin is burned, Galway is raised(in rebellion) we will light the bonfires
There will be wine and beer at my father's table, that will help the aimless labourer.

he first day in Ireland that I was enlisted, I was happy and well satisfied.
And the second day that I was enlisted, I was worried shaken.
But the third day that I was enlisted, I would have given five hundred pounds to leave,
And I would have gived that and anything else, but I was not able to get my pass.

I was a fine day in the market of Killkenney, and it began to rain heavily,
I drew inside and put my back to the wall and began to call for quarts(of beer)
Didn't I call in a shebeen keeping woman, hoping for the service of my spade
And devil a drop from then till morning, wasn't it paid for by the aimless labourer.

One day as I was down in Galway, the river was running down the slope.
There was trout and eel and a bundle of sticks and every sort of living creature.
There were young women there, reared and learned,
They were slender, gentle and fine.
And devil a woman if I sat with her, wouldn't I put the black on the white to her(pull the wool over their eye).

It's been a long day since I have been in a house without a friend, a great, long year and a season,
because I am courageous, talented labourer a teasin' the gentle maidens.
There are two and ten jealous women, competing for the service of my spade,
It was the prayer of the oul' wans, as I come across the threshold,
"Now behave yerself", you aimless labourer.

Tá an t-amhrán seo lán sean-Gaeilge a deir mo chara liom. Tá sé an-deacair a thuiscint.

I think it helped to put two heads together on this one. This is my best attempt to date and I've had this recording donkey's ages. I would love any input.

Beidh mé ag caint leat arís,

Brían

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Jim (mb27-2-p42.warwick.net - 204.255.27.97)
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2001 - 09:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Maith thú, Brian! That's great, It will give the chance to compare your translation with mine and see where I went wrong. (perhaps a little more work on my irish grammar wouldn't hurt)

Go raibh maith agat!

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 01:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jim,
Beidh ár rang Gaeilge cúpla seachtain seo chugainn. Fuair ár múinteoir céim as Colaiste na Gaillmhe. Cuirfidh mé ceist chuici faoin t-amhrán. Bí ceart go mbeidh mé ag caint leat arís.

Brían

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Bhí mé ag caint le mo Mhúinteóir Ghaeilge Dé hAoine seo caite agus thug sí cabhair dom.

"Provide women to me" should read "Hunt out women for me".

In the 4th verse: "Paid for by the Aimless Laborer" should read "Put down in front of The Wandering Laborer."

Verse 5: "Bundle of sticks" should be "Bundle of willow", which grew along the river bank. It was used for thatch.

"Slope" should read "Falls".

Beidh mé ag caint leat arís,

Brían

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Aonghus (vpn.parthus.com - 62.221.5.1)
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2001 - 08:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

S dheamhan deoir dár glaodh as sin go
maidin nach raibh thíos in aghaidh an
Spailpín Fánach.

Not a drop was ordered from then till morning that was not on the Salpín Fánach's slate
i.e. he was been charged for everyones drink!

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Brien Hoye (ptldme-unallocated-66-30-209-89.maine.rr.com - 66.30.209.89)
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2001 - 08:11 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat, a Aonghus!

Brían

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Jim (207.79.68.242)
Posted on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agaidh to all who contributed to this discussion! It has given me a fair amount to study and think about.

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Jim (149.61.49.25)
Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2002 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi,
as an educator, I post on this site primarily when school is out so I am returning to this old thread:


"An Spailpín Fánach

Ó is spailpín aerach tréitheach mise
‘gus bígí ‘soláthar mná dom, "

was translated by Brien to mean:

"AN SPAILPÍN FÁNACH(THE AIMLESS LABOURER)

I am a happy, talented labourer
And everyone, provide women to me!"

I guess "bígí" is the plural imperative of "to be." Is "soláthar" a noun (provider) or a verb (provide)? and how can one tell?

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Aonghus (vpn.northampton.parthus.com - 194.205.191.226)
Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 04:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

soláthar can be noun and mean "a provision of"
and a verb provide.

in this case, the apostrophe stands for a missing "ag"
so it would be "agus bígí ag soláthar mná dom", and so a verb!

Provider would be soláthraí

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Jim (207.79.68.232)
Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat, a Aonghus!

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Matt Horning (spider-wq061.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.200.181)
Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 10:59 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Can use some help.I need english to Irish translation.
"Sleep well my brother".Truly appreciated.

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Aonghus (vpn.northampton.parthus.com - 194.205.191.226)
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 04:05 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Coladh sámh, a dheartháir

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Fintan (neta.lisp.com.au - 203.21.133.124)
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghus a chara,
'a' nó 'mo'?

Fintan

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Seosamh (1cust56.tnt16.nyc9.da.uu.net - 63.38.56.56)
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Níl "mo dheartháir" ceadmhach sa tuiseal gairmtheach. Caithfidh "a dheartháir" a rá sa chás sin.

Tá an dá leagan de amhrán áirithe ann: "..., mo shean-Dún na nGall" atá i rann amháin den bhunleagan agus "a shean-Dún na nGall" sa leagan eile. 'S é an dara ceann le "a" atá ceart.

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Aonghus (vpn.parthus.com - 62.221.5.1)
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 06:40 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Maith agat Seosamh
Bhí fhios agam go fuaimnigh "mo" mícheart, ach ní raibh fhios agam cén fath.

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Jim (207.79.68.232)
Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 12:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Can anyone help me with this translation?

"Beidh lasair a’ainn ar thinte cnámha"

Brien translates as "we will light the bonfires"

I can't find "ainn" in ÓDónal, unless it is "aithinne" (spark, firebrand) also I have no idea what "a’" might denote.

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Seosamh Mac Bhl. (1cust229.tnt12.nyc9.da.uu.net - 67.192.250.229)
Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 07:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

a'ainn is dialect (Conamara) for againn.

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Jim (149.61.49.25)
Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 01:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat!

I would never have figured that out without your help!

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Jim (149.61.49.25)
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 09:53 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I am in need of help again,

If you take these lines:

"Ach an tríú lá dar liostáil mise
thabharfainn chúig chéad punt ar fhágáil.
Ach a dtugfainn sin agus an oiread eile
Ní raibh mo phas le fáil a’m."

I can't find "dtugfainn" in any reference. Is it the subjective past of "to give" which is being used as the conditional past? Perhaps it is a matter of dialect.

Also, I see that "thabharfainn" is the conditional form of to give, but is there any conditional past form? and how exactly is the sense of the past communicated in this line?

Finally, what would be a phonetic pronunciation of "thabharfainn"? Perhaps "haurinn?"

Thanks so much for your help!

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Seosamh Mac Bhloscaidh (1cust100.tnt13.nyc9.da.uu.net - 67.192.236.100)
Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2002 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

With this kind of bulldog approach to the language you and Al should learn Irish in no time. Many people would leave something like "a dtugfainn" alone, sense the meaning after a while (if they are both lucky and get an intensive exposure to the language) and then die happily ignorant of exactly what it is.

Cad atá ann, mar sin? I assume it is the past subjunctive, misspelled as the conditional: even should I give that much and more, ... . Remember when I was carrying on about (internal) similarities in form and usage of the habitual past and the conditional within Irish, English and Spanish? Well, the past subjunctive is the same in form as the past habitual. So there you go. (If you follow me.) Barring some dialect thing, it should have been written "a dtugainn".

The conditional is often used instead of the past subjunctive. But the conditional of tabhair (give) has tabhar- as the root. It's true that there is dialectal variation involving the three different roots that came down from Old Irish (when the verbs were truly complicated)it: tug-, tabhr- and bheir-. So possibly the author of this version of the song intended the conditional. But the lines sound like Conamara Irish to me and as far as I know, the conditional in that dialect is the same as the standard: thabharfainn, thabharfá, agus araile.

Barúil eile ag éinne?

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Seosamh (1cust100.tnt13.nyc9.da.uu.net - 67.192.236.100)
Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2002 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jim, I assume you meant to write "the subjunctive past" above, in which case you were inspired.

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Jim (149.61.49.25)
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Seosamh,

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I meant the "subjunctive" not "subjective"

I am still at a loss. I understand that the context demands either the conditional past of the subjunctive past (which has the form of the habitual past).

However, isn't the habitual past "thugainn" not "dtugainn?"

Go raibh maith agat!

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Jim (149.61.49.25)
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 01:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I had to rewrite my text in order to avoid another misleading typo.

Seosamh,

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I meant the "subjunctive" not "subjective"

I am still at a loss. I understand that the context demands either the conditional past or the subjunctive past (which has the form of the habitual past).

However, isn't the habitual past "thugainn" not "dtugainn?"

Go raibh maith agat!

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Jim (149.61.49.25)
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 01:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I understand it now, "dtugainn" is "thugainn" after eclipsis. I didn't realize wods beginning with "T" could undergo eclipsis- it is my understanding that nouns starting with "T" don't after the definite article. I found this website helpful:

http://home.t-online.de/home/lars.braesicke/tabhair.htm

I would still appreciate help on these questions:

If you take these lines:

"Ach an tríú lá dar liostáil mise
thabharfainn chúig chéad punt ar fhágáil.

I see that "thabharfainn" is the conditional form of to give, but is there any conditional past form? and how exactly is the sense of the past communicated in this line?

Finally, what would be a phonetic pronunciation of "thabharfainn"? Perhaps "haurinn?"

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