A song describing the legendary feasts of O’ Rourke , presumably held at the now ruined Banqueting Hall behind Villiers Castle in Dromahair . The poem is based on the Christmas festivities held in the Great Hall of the castle at Dromahaire, County Leitrim, by the Irish chieftain Brian na Murtha O Ruairc, Prince of Breffni, and the ancestor of several of Carolan’s friends.
These festivities are referred to in the Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, of April 6th, 1589:
“How naughtily O’Rourke hath always carried himself…He caused a picture of Her Majesty [Queen Elizabeth I] to be drawn at a horse tail and kept his Christmas according the the Pope’s computation’
Pléaráca na Ruarcach , possibly the original full Irish version, was sung by Sean O Sé in the video above. Below are the three known versions , with comparable verses aligned.
For more details from published sources visit here.
|Jonathan Swift after Mc Gauran
|O’Carolan & McGauran
|1||O’ROURKE’S noble farewill ne’er be forgot. By those who were there,or those who were not.||O’Rourke’s revel rout let no person forget. Who has been, who will be,or never has yet||Pléaráca na Ruarcach I gcuimhne gach uile dhuine.
Dá dtiocfaidh, dá dtáinic,’s dá maireann go fóill:
|2||His revels to keep,
We sup and we dine
On seven score sheep, fat bullocks, and swine.
|See seven score hogs in the morning we slay .With bullocks and sheep for the feasting each day||Seacht bhfichid muc, mart agus caora
Dhá gcasgairt don ghasraí gach aon ló.
|3||Usquebaugh to our feast in pails was brought up,
A hundred at least,and a madder our cup.
|Hundred pails usquebaugh drunk in madders like wort.In the morning we rise and with us was the sports.||Céad páil uisge bheatha ‘s na meadra dhá líona,
Ag éirghe ar maidin is againn bhí an spóirt.
|4||O there is the sport!
We rise with the light in disorderly sort,from snoring all night.
|5||O how was I trick’d!
My pipe it was broke, my pocket was pick’d, I lost my new cloak.
|My breeches is stole, my pipe it is broke. My pocket is picked, where the devil’s my cloak?||Briseadh do phíopa-sa, sladadh mo phóca-sa, goideadh do bhríste-sa, loisgeadh mo chlóca-sa,|
|6||I’m rifled, quoth Nell, of mantle and kercher. Why then fare them well,
The de’el take the searcher.
|My kercher I’ve lost and my mantle’s not on.Seven blessings be with them, my friends are all gone||Chaill mé mo bhairéad, m’fhallaing is m’fhiléad,
Ó d’imigh na gairéad ar seacht mbeannacht leó!
|7||Come, harper, strike up, but first by your favour.Boy, give us a cup.Ah! this hath some savour.||Come, strike up the harp, your music in haste.A swill of your liquor, how quiet the feast||Cuir spraic ar a’ gcláirsigh, seinn suas a’ pléaráca,
An bucsa sin, ‘Áine ‘gus greadóg le n-ól!
|8||O’Rourke’s jolly boys ne’er dreamt of the matter.Till roused by the noise and musical clatter.||The sons of O’Rourke bounced up in a throng.Each man with his woman and danced to the song.||Lucht leanamhna na Ruarcach a’ cratha a gcleití.Tráth chuala siad tormán nó troimpléasg an cheóil;|
|9||They bounce from their nest,
No longer will tarry,
They rise ready drest without one Ave-Mary.
|A-shaking their feathers, just roused their slumber.By the noise of the harp and of feet without number||D’éirigh gach aon aca gan coisreaca ‘n a leabaidh,
Is a bhean leis ar strachailt in gach aon chórn.
|10||They dance in a round cutting capers and ramping.
A mercy the ground
Did not burst with their stamping.
|11||The floor is all wet
With leaps and with jumps.While the water and sweat.Splish-splash in their pumps.
|Till the ground shaking under partook of their cogues.Which as they quick trotted glig-glugged in their brogues||Nár láidir an seasamh don talamh bhí fútha. Gan réaba le sodar agus glug ins gach bróig!|
|12||Bless you late and early,Laughlin O’Enagin!
But, my hand, you dance rarely Margery Grinagin
|Long life and god health to you, Loughlin O’Enegan.By my hand, you dance bravely, Margery Grinigan!||Saol agus sláinte dhuit, ‘Mh’leachlainn UíFhionnagáin
Dar mo láimh is maith a dhamhsuíos tú, ‘Mhársail Ní Ghriodagáin!
|13||Bring straw for our bed.Shake it down to the feet.Then over us spread the winnowing sheet.||Here’s to you, dear mother, I thank you, dear Pat.Come shake us down rushes an excellent bed and over us next the winnow-cloth spread.||Here’s to you, ‘mháthair, I pledge you, God save you!
Beir ar a’ sgála so, sgag é in do sgóig.
|14||To show I don’t flinch.Fill the bowl up again.Then give us a pinch.Of your sneezing, a yean||Dear Anna, some snuff, to keep me awake. And a little to drink as long as I speak||Crath fúinn an tsráideóg, sín tharuinn an bhán-phluid.Tugthar ar sáith dhúinn de lionn-choirm chóir!|
|15||Good lord! what a sight,after all their good cheer,
For people to fight
In the midst of their beer!
|Good heaven how strange! What must people think? After filling their skins thus to fight in their drink!||A Árd-Rí na gcarad, cébi ‘tchífeadh an ghasraí.Ar líona a gcraicní nó ar lasa san ól!|
|16||They rise from their feast, and hot are their brains.A cubit at least ,the length of their skeans.||Cnáimh righe bacaird ar fad in gach sgín aca,
A’ gearra ‘s a’ cosgairt go mór, mór.
|17||What stabs and what cuts,what clattering of sticks.
What strokes on the guts,what bastings and kicks!
|Such stabbing, such gashing, such tugging and strife||A slisneacha darach ar lasa a’ gabháil fríd a chéile, A’ buala, a’ greada, a’ losga ‘s a’ dódh.|
|18||With cudgels of oak,
Well harden’d in flame. A hundred heads broke, a hundred struck lame.
|Half an arm at least the length of each knife! What sounding, rebounding, a hundred heads broke!|
|19||You churl, I’ll maintain , my father built Lusk,
The castle of Slane,
and Carrick Drumrusk.
|My father he built the monastery of Lusk, with Boyle, Sligo, Galway and Carrickdrumrusk||A bhodaigh, ‘sé m’athair-se chuir Mainistir na Búille suas,
Sligeach is Gaillimh is Caraidh Dhroma Rúisgthe fós.
|20||The Earl of Kildare,
and Moynalta his brother.As great as they are, I was nurst by their mother.
|Betagh of Moynalty and the Earl of Kildare . I was nursed by their mother. Ask that woman there!||Iarla Chill’ Dara agus Biadhtach Mhuí n-ealta.
Siad d’oil agus d’altruim mé, fiosraigh so de Mhór.
|21||Ask that of old madam: She’ll tell you who’s who.
As far up as Adam,
She knows it is true.
|22||Come down with that beam. If cudgels are scarce, a blow on the weam or a kick on the arse.||Tóig suas a’ t’ádhmad agus buail an t-alárm air.
Preab ionsa táirr agus Cic ionsa tóin
|23||“Who raised this alarm?” says one of the clergy. A threatening severely, “Cease fighting, I charge ye!”||“Cé thóig a’ t-alárm so?” ar aon den Eaglais. Ag éirghe ‘n-a sheasamh‘s a’ bagairt go mór;|
|24||A good knotted staff, the full of his hand. Instead of the spiridis backed his command !||Ní h-é spairgeas uisge coisreactha ghlac sé sa gcíora
Ach bata maith darach, bog-lán dóirn!
|25||So falling to thresh fast as he was able . A trip and a box fetched him under the table.||Trí shíl sé na caithmhílidh a chasgairt ‘s a chíora.
Do fágadh an sagart ‘n-a mheall chasta fán mbórd.
|26||Then rose a big friar to settle them straight. But the back of the fire was quickly his fate!||D’éirigh na bráithre a’ tárrtháil na bruíne,
Is fágadh an t-Athair Gáirdian ar a thárr ‘n-áirde sa ngríosaí.
|27||From whence he cried out, “Do ye thus treat your pastors? Ye, who scarcely were bred to the Seven Wise Masters!||“Tráth bhínn-se ag an bPápa ar stuidéar na ngrásta.‘S a’ glaca na ngrádhamh tháll ins a’ Róimh,|
|28||That when with the Pope I was getting my lore. Ye were roasting potatoes not far from Sheemore!”||‘Sé an Seven Wise Masters bhí agad ar do tháirr. Is tú a’ rósta na bprátaí láimh leis a’ tSídh Mhór!|