17th Century: The Favorite Sounds of Finn

Black Bird White Background

Binn sin, a luin Doire an Chairn!
ní chuala mé i n-aird san bhith
ceól ba binne ná do cheól
agus tú fá bhun do nid.

Aoincheól is binne fán mbith,—
mairg nách éisteann ris go fóil,
a mhic Arphluinn ná gclog mbínn,
‘s go mbéarthá a-rís ar do nóin.

Agat, mar tá agam féin,
dá mbeith deimhin sgéil an eóin,
do dhéanta déara go dian,
‘s ní bhiadh th’aire ar Dhia go fóil.

I gcrích Lochlann ná sreabh ngorm
fuair mac Cumhaill na gcorn ndearg
an t-éan do-chí sibh a-nois—
ag sin a sgéal doit go dearbh.

Doire an Chairn an choill úd thiar,
mar a ndéindís an Fhiann fos;
ar áille is ar chaoimhe a crann
iseadh do cuireadh ann an lon.

Sgolghaire luin Doire an Chairn,
búithre an daimh ó Aill na gCaor,
ceól le gcolladh Fionn go moch,
lachain ó Loch na dTrí gCaol.

Cearca fraoich um Chruachain Chuinn,
feadghail dobhráin Druim Dhá Loch,
gotha fiulair Ghlinn na bhFuath,
longhaire cuach Chnuic na Sgoth.

An tráth do mhair Fionn ‘s an Fhiann,
do b’annsa leó sliabh ná cill;
fá binn leósan fuighle lon,
gotha ná gclog leó níor bhinn.

That is sweet, blackbird from Doire an Chairn; I did not hear in any place music that was sweeter than the song you sing while you are nesting.

The sweetest music in the world, sad it is for any who do not listen still, 0 son of Alpronn of the melodious bells, and sad for you to go back to your prayers.

If you knew for certain, as I do, the story of the bird, you would shed tears bitterly and you would not keep your attention on God.

In Norway of the azure streams, Mac Cumhaill of the wine-filled cups obtained the bird that is now seen and that’s the story of its origin for you.

That wood there is Doire an Chairn where the Fiana used to shelter and there the blackbird was put because of the beauty and loveliness of its trees.

The whistle of the blackbird of Doire an Chaim, the lowing of the stag from Aill na gCaor, and the noise of the ducks from Loch na dTrí gCaol, this was the music to which Finn slept until early morning.

The grouse about Cruachain Chuinn, the shrill cry of the otters of Druim Dá Loch, the shriek of the eagle of Gleann na bhFuath and the song of the cuckoo from Cnoc na Scoth.

When Finn and the Fiana were living, they preferred the mountainside to churchyard. Sweet to them was the song of blackbird and they did not enjoy the sound of church bells.

from the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Seamus Deane, ed. The lyric likely dates from the late Classical period (1600-1800). The Fiana is the great warrior band of Irish mythology, lead by Fionn [Finn] mac Cumhaill.

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