An Cuaichín Óg

The Pretty Young Girl

Véarsa 1 Verse 1
Ar maidin inné is mé tré ‘m shuan                    1 Yesterday morning as I was at rest
Do dhearcas an spéirbhean mhaorga uaim.       2 I saw the stately, beautiful woman coming towards me.
Bhí lasadh ina gné is [? gcaor][1] ró-mhór           3 Her face was all aglow with the blush of berries
Is a carnfholt léi go féar anuas                           4 And her luxuriant tresses touched the grass.
 (Abair línte 3 agus 4 fé dhó)  (The last 2 lines of each verse are repeated)
Véarsa 2 Verse 2
Triomaigh do shúil a chúilfhionn óg                  5 Dry your eyes, o fairest young lady
Stad feasta dod’ chumha is bí sughach go leor  6 Reject sorrow for ever and be joyful,
Gur ceanglag liom tú is tú bog óg                      7 You were promised to me when you were still very young
Is thar mhnáibh na Mumhan gur tú mo stór.      8 And, above all the women of Munster, you are my treasure.
(Abair línte 7 agus 8 fé dhó)  (Sing lines 7 and 8 twice.)
Véarsa 3 Verse 3
Dé bheathasa id’ shláinte a ghrá is a stóir         9 God’s blessing on your life and health my love and my darling
Is cuirim go hárd céad fáilte reomhat.              10 And I give you, loudly, a hundred welcomes.
Seo mo dhá láimh duit, le páirt is póig             11 I give you my two hands in partnership and with kisses,
Is cead luí go lá go sásta id’ chóir.                    12 With permission to lie happily by your side until daytime comes
(Abair línte 11 agus 12 fé dhó)


  (Sing lines 11 and 12 twice.)


This text bears a slight resemblance to Seán Clárach Mac Dómhnaill’s poem Ar Maidin Inné [2] in that three of the lines in the first verse correspond to lines in Mac Dómhnaill’s amhrán. Indeed, the first verse also resembles the opening of an aisling but the text then changes in style and the rest of Goodman’s version is a tender, if conventional, love-song. It is possible that a verse or verses are missing, after verse one, from Goodman’s version. The metre, too, differs from Seán Clárach’s poem.


The title Ar Maidin Inné occurs in various guises in the manuscript tradition and in print. For example, it is mentioned in relation to the pastourelle by Seán Ó Tuama.[3] A poem of that title was also submitted to the Oireachtas in 1905 by Diarmuid Ó Síothcháin[4] whose pen-name, ‘Daingean Uí Chúise,’ suggests a west Kerry origin. In RIA MS 23 E 12, the scribe Nioclás Ó Cearnaigh of Dundalk (c.1802-1865) gives a short text which he ascribes to ‘O’Carroll’ which begins Air maidin a ndé. The rhythm and sentiment of this song-text are somewhat similar to Goodman’s song but the words are not.

The song text Ar Maidin Inné, collected by AM Freeman in Múscraí, Co. Cork shortly before World War 1[5] which was not published until after the war, bears a slight similarity to Goodman’s text of An Cuaichín Óg but Freeman’s text is fragmentary. An tAthair Breathnach also has a version called Ar Maidin i nDé in Part 3 of Fuínn na Smól but the resemblance to Goodman’s text is very slight indeed.

[1] The Song MS is unclear at this point.

[2] Dán 23 in Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill ed. Éamonn Ó hÓgáin, B.Á.C. 2011.

[3] Seán Ó Tuama, An Grá in Amhrán na nDaoine, B.Á.C. 1960.

[4] MS NLI 250 195 (a) (4) ‘An Samhradh Crua’/ ‘Ar Maidin Inné.’

[5] Journal of the Folk-Song Society, Vol.6, No.24 Jan.1921.