Caitilín na Guaire

Coarse-Haired Caitilín

Véarsa 1 Verse 1
A Chaitilín na guaire, léan agus ruaig ort O Caitilín of the coarse hair, misery and banishment to you
Ná tugann dom suaimhneas ná cneastacht id’ ghnaoi. Who never give me peace nor look on me with kindness.
Ach id’ chnapaire ghruama, led’ labhartaibh stuacach You are stout and strong, surly with your angry talk
Do lagaigh go mór mé gan tapa im’ chroí. Which weakened me greatly and left me without vigour in my heart.
Mura gcuirfidh tú uait iad geallaim go luath dhuit If you do not give up these [ways], I promise you truly
Go gcaithfead thú a bhualadh is a leagadh gan mhoill. That soon I shall have to hit you and knock you down swiftly.
Is go n-imeodsa uaitse is ná tiocfad fé do thuairim And then I shall leave you and never again come under your shadow
Is nach bhfaighidh tú mo thuairisc go raghad ar loing. And you’ll get no word of me until I am on board ship.
Véarsa 2 Verse 2
Ar maidin dé hAoine is buartha ‘bhí m’intinn Last Friday morning my mind was troubled
Nuair a chromuis ar bhruíon liom is ar chaismirt ró-ghéar. When you began to fight with me and do sharp battle [with me].
Is go raibh náire ar mo chroí istigh nuair a bhailigh na daoine And I was deeply ashamed when the neighbours gathered
Timpeall mo thí is iad ag magadh is ag scréach. Around my house [and they] mocking and screeching.
Deirim gan mhoill leat mura n-aistreoir ón slí sin I am telling you without delay, if you don’t change your ways
Go mbuailfead sa mhaoill tú is go mbrisfead do ghiall. That I will punch you in the head and I will break your jaw,
Is go bhfágfad tú fíor-lag, gan tapa in aon tslí ionat And I will leave you very weakened, with no life in you at all
Is ná beidh fhios age do mhuintir cad d’imigh ort riamh! And your family will never know what became of you!


This song carries a ‘health warning’: it is NOT to be taken seriously. As is evident from the words, it tells the tale of a man who is bullied by his wife and made a laughing-stock in front of his neighbours. Although he threatens her with physical violence, it is clear from the first verse that he, not she, is the one at the receiving end of domestic abuse.

I have not found any other version of this comic song in print. It has a strongly-marked rhythm and is fun to sing.