Báibín na gCraobhfholt
Fair Maiden with the Flowing Hair
|Véarsa 1||Verse 1|
|Nuair [a] ghabhaim-se an tsráid síos, ní fháiltíonn romham aoineach||When I go down the street no-one bids me welcome|
|Ní bhfaighinn piúintín ná cáirtín gan lán díol go daor as.||I wouldn’t get a pint or a quart without paying through the nose for it.|
|Dá mbeinn im’ úillín nó ‘m áirnín i mbarr crainn mar péarla||If I were a small apple or a little sloe hanging high on a tree like a pearl|
|Nó im’ rós in sa ngáirdín roimh báibín na gcraobhfholt.||Or a rose in the garden before the lovely girl with the flowing hair.|
|Véarsa 2||Verse 2|
|A Sheáinín aro a ghrághil, tá an bád insa chaladh||O Seáinín my dear love the boat is in the harbour|
|Is go stiúróinn-se í [ ] lámh dheas nó go raghainn leat go dtí ‘n baile.||And I would steer it with my right hand so I could go to the town with you.|
|A lúibín na gcraobh fholt tá déis mo chroí [a] ghreadadh||O pretty girl of the flowing hair who has tortured my heart|
|‘Sé mo chumha fhada léirghoin gan sinn déis teacht ón sagart.||It is my complete sorrow that we have not just come from the priest.|
|Véarsa 3||Verse 3|
|Tá mo chroí féinig mar bheadh éinín i gcliabhán||My own heart is like a little bird trapped in a cage|
|Nó crann ar bárr sléibhe amuigh lá gaoithe [ag] luasgán||Or like a tree out on the mountainside swaying on a windy day,|
|Nó long ar an dtréan mhuir is gach n-aon innte i gcruachás||Or a ship on the wild sea and everyone onboard in danger|
|Nó gur toil leis an mhnaoi mhaorga me féin do shábháil.||Unless it were the will of the stately lady to save me.|
|Véarsa 4||Verse 4|
|Taibhreamh a deineadh dom féinig san oíche||I had a dream alone at night|
|Go raibh báibín na gcraobhfholt liom féin is í sínte.||That the girl with the flowing hair was here, lying down with me.|
|Cuacha buí raobtha go dréimreach buí chas||Her yellow locks in disarray, falling down, golden,|
|Dá scaoileadh ar gach taobh di ‘s í réiteach a cinn ann.||Tumbling all around her while she combed her hair.|
|Véarsa 5||Verse 5|
|Bíonn siad ag síor rá go bhfuilim leat páirteach||They are always saying that I am involved with you|
|Is dob’ fhearr liom go mb’fhíor san ná píopairidhe na Spáinne||And I would love if that were true, better than the pipers of Spain.|
|Go dtugas grá dílis do d’ chroí-se [a] bhí mánla||I have given my loyal love to your gentle heart|
|Is go deó, deó is choíche ní scaoilfidh mo pháirt leat.||And never, ever, ever will I give up my love for you.|
There is a west Kerry song called Báb na gCraobh in Breandán ‘ac Gearailt’s song anthology An Blas Muimhneach, Vol. 2, but the words are entirely different to Goodman’s Báibín na gCraobhfholt. Similarly, there is a reference in An tOileánach to a song called Aitheanta Bháb na gCraobh. On a CD by Labhrás Mac Síthigh there is also a song called Báb na gCraobh so the title was a familiar one in Goodman’s native place. His song, however, is different to the other texts I have seen and is, to my knowledge, quite unique.
I am intrigued by the mention of ‘píopairí’ or ‘píobairí na Spáinne’ in the final verse. Mentions of France and Spain are common enough in the amhrán tradition. The skill of ‘dochtúirí na Fraince’ is mentioned as is the quality of Spanish leather but I have not heard the praises of Spanish pipers sung in other songs. Given the strong historic and cultural links between Ireland and northern Iberia – Galicia and the Basque country in particular – I suppose it is not surprising that their pipers would be admired in Ireland.
Check out refs from AMF and Ó Tuama AGIAND.
 ‘aoineach’ = aon neach, aon duine – any person, anyone.
 ‘úillín’- a little apple
 ‘áirnín’ = diminutive of áirne, a sloe.
 The MS is unclear at this point, probably ‘le mo.’
 ‘déis’= tar éis
 ‘that we have not just got married.’
 ‘innte’ = inti
 Dative singular of noun ‘bean.’
 ‘raobtha’ = réabtha
 ‘píopairidhe’ = píobairí