23 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2018
    1. Unusually for one of his class and religion, he became friendly with a Fenian neighbourand soon developed a passionate enthusiasm for the nationalist cause.

    2. He spent a lot of time in the open air, huntingandfishing. In this way he got to know the local people quite well.

      Didn't think of quite this connection,

    3. N.B. Has own chapter in context of Revival. Only person to have one.

  2. Feb 2018
    1. songs

      All that I have given up to this let them serve as examples of the way in which the Connaught peasant puts his love-thoughts into song and verse, whether it be hope or despair, grief or joy, that affect him. (147)

      In these final lines of the book, the reader is offered Hyde’s selection of songs as a faithful and complete insight into vernacular Connacht song about the theme of love. Moreover, Hyde suggests that in reading this anthology one achieves a good degree of familiarity with an idealized, essentially native ‘Connaught peasant’.

      Although speakers in the songs are variously male and female, and the reasons for separation from absent lovers differ, the experience of love is fairly uniform throughout. It is a sore experience of unrealized desire. That scenario produces a pronouncedly virtuous image of the ‘Connaught peasant’ for a number of reasons.

      The reader encounters deep loyalty where admiration is unstinted by forbiddance of love because of emigration, lack of requital, or death. ‘Úna Bhán,’ for example, is preceded by a long passage explaining how deeply a bereaved lover missed the fair Úna after, until he himself passed away. Also, Hyde’s anthology is particularly rich in its examples of similes drawn from the natural world. See ‘my love is of the colour of the blackberries’ (5) in ‘If I Were to Go West’, ‘I would not think the voice of a thrush more sweet’ (27) in ‘Long I Am Going,’ and ‘My love is like the blossom of the sloe on the brown blackthorn’ (31) in ‘An Droighneán Donn’. In the vivid rendering of these images, the beauty of the desired lover is stressed, and the delicate sensibility of the speaker is inherently implied. The Connaught peasant is thoroughly valorized as a result.

      Accounting for consistencies among what anthologies include, and among what they exclude, can highlight their organizing agenda. One obvious example in the area of Irish Studies is the Field Day Anthology controversy, detailed in depth by Caitríona Crowe in The Dublin Review: https://thedublinreview.com/article/testimony-to-a-flowering/

      In the case of Hyde’s Love Songs, consistencies among excluded material strengthen our perception of how actively he sought to contrive an estimable image of the Connaught peasant. Though Hyde claims his selection is emblematic of the love-thought of that idealized personage, he does not provide any examples of la chanson de la malmariée. This variety of song is so widespread that Seán Ó Tuama, who was the principal authority on the theme of love in Irish folksong, included it as one of five major genres in his article ‘Love in Irish Folksong’ (in the book Repossessions: Selected Essays on the Irish Literary Heritage. Such songs are an expression of grief by a young woman unhappily married to an elderly man.

      If we are to view the songs anthologized by Hyde in a broader context of Connacht songs about love, an awareness of the chanson de la malmariéé is required. Faoi Rothaí na Gréine (1999) is a relatively recently published collection of Connacht songs. The collecting work was done in Galway between 1927 and 1932 by Máirtín Ó Cadhain, and latterly edited by Professor Ríonach Uí Ógáin. ‘An Droigheán Donn’, ‘Úna Bhán’, and ‘Mal Dubh an Ghleanna’ are common to Faoi Rothaí na Gréine and Love Songs of Connacht. The inclusion in the former of two famous songs of the malmariée genre, ‘Dar Mo Mhóide Ní Phósfainn Thú’ (I Swear I Wouldn’t Marry You), and ‘Amhrán an Tae’ (The Tea Song) demonstrate the strong presence of that genre in the ‘love-thought’ of vernacular Connacht song.

      This way of framing discussion of Love Songs of Connacht invites close interrogation of Hyde’s biases. The choice of material for inclusion and exclusion is ideologically cohesive, to the specific end of creating a valorous image of the idealized native peasant. In my M.A. thesis, I might further refine the line of argument pursued in this annotation, and use it as the basis on which to build a discussion of Hyde’s particular ideological motivations.

    2. of

      ‘as I got it twelve years ago from an old man, named Walter Sherlock, in the County Roscommon, a man who is since dead’ (31)

      It is worth noting that recordings of native Irish speakers from nineteen counties, made in 1930 and 1931, can be accessed at https://www.doegen.ie/counties Roscommon Irish, which Hyde had heard spoken by some final remaining speakers, can be heard here.

    3. Love

      ‘S í an teanga Ghaodheilge is greannta cló, Go blasta léightear í mar cheol ‘S í chanas briathra binn-ghuth beóil, ‘S is fíor gur mór a h-áille (v)

      Hyde’s romantically excessively verse translates roughly as:

      It is the Gaelic language whose shape is most fine, She reads as a tuneful music, It is she who sings the mouth’s sweetest syllables, And truly her beauty is great

    4. or

      "I have, in the following little volume, collected a few of these, the Love-Songs of a single province merely, which I either took down in each county of Connacht from the lips of the Irish-speaking peasantry - a class which is disappearing with most alarming rapidity - or extracted from MSS, in my own possession, or from some lent to me, made by different scribes during this century, or which I came upon while examining the piles of modern manuscript Gaelic literature that have found their last resting-place on the shelves of the Royal Irish Academy." (iv)

      The way Hyde makes reference to sources is casual and non-specific. It would be difficult for a reader to access his sources. Because we have such little insight, it is important to be alert to potential biases in the collecting and editing process.

      If we can identify consistencies among the anthologized songs in terms of their depiction of love and lovers, and/or among songs which are excluded from the anthology, we will have reason to regard the very partial disclosure of sources with suspicion.

      As I have already noted, part of Hyde’s project is to bring the reader into contact with language which has an ‘unbounded’ power to excite the Irish Muse. Perhaps part of the way he contrives this encounter is to control the kind of subject matter that will appear to the reader as that which occurs most naturally in the Irish language.

    5. Connacht

      'I have compiled this selection out of many hundreds of songs of the same kind which I have either heard or read, for, indeed, the productiveness of the Irish Muse, as long as we spoke Irish, was unbounded.' (vi) This point in Hyde’s preface to Love Songs of Connacht is relevant to two questions that my M.A. thesis preparation is concerned with.

      ● What are the ways that works of the Irish Revival period express the idea that a natural cultural inheritance might be recuperated through art?

      ● What are the reasons for such works to treat of rural folkways as a repository of essentially native identity?

      Hyde illustrates that an awareness of the significance of the Irish language within a revivalist milieu will be required for informed discussion of the questions stated above.

      Proper-noun naming of an ‘Irish Muse’ suggest that there is such a thing as some essential indigenous genius, which lies in wait of stimulation. An idea of the Irish language emerges whereby it is connected intimately with a native genius, and holds inherent power to spark creativity.

      Of course, this line of argument proffers Hyde’s translations – through their close linkage with the Irish language – as stimuli for new artistic production. It works well as a way of turning Hyde’s skill as a linguist into a selling point for his book.

      In so doing, it highlights that a perceived inter-connection between language and an essentially native worldview was a major part of the book’s appeal. The representation of that connection in this and other works becomes important to my first research question as a result. An implication for my second research question is that I should consider the Irish language as a key part of the symbolic importance which attached to rural populations.

    6. chúige

      ‘what you yourself and the late John O’Daly, following in the footsteps of Edward Walsh, to some extent accomplished for Munster, more than thirty years ago’ (iv)

      John O’Daly (1800-1878) was an editor and publisher. He published Edward Walsh’s Reliques of Irish Jacobite Poetry (1844), as well as two series of Poets and Poetry of Munster, the first by James Clarence Mangan (1849), and the second by George Sigerson (1860). In another of his works, Mise agus an Conradh (1937), Hyde wrote ‘Ní raibh éinne, lena linn, a rinne níos mó ar a shlí féin chun Gaeilge a leathnú agus a shaothrú’ (There was noone, during O’Daly’s time, who did as much as he did to popularize Gaelic’, my trans.) The most comprehensive biography of John O’Daly is that in Beathaninéis, vol. 2, by Diarmuid Breathnach and Mairéad Ní Mhurchú. It is available online at https://www.ainm.ie/Bio.aspx?ID=1193

      The most comprehensive biography I have found in English is the entry in The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, edited by Robert Welch.

    7. grádh

      ‘My Dear Dr. Sigerson’ (iv)

      The Dr. Sigerson in question is George Sigerson (1836-1925), a physician and an eminent translator of Gaelic poetry. When the Gaelic League was founded in 1893, Hyde was elected as its present, and so absented his role as president of the National Literary Society. Sigerson succeeded him, and was the society’s incumbent present when Love Songs of Connacht was published.

      A direct address to the National Literary Society was famously performed by Hyde in 1892. The central idea of his speech titled ‘The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland’ was that there was an indissoluble link between a nation’s language and its culture, and that it was a sign of cultural weakness to mimic English ways and habits of thought.

      The beginning of Love Songs of Connacht reminds us of the ideological backdrop from which the book emerges. For in-depth accounts of the development of the idea that language and nationhood are inextricably linked, see Diarmuid Ó Giolláin’s Locating Irish Folklore: Tradition, Modernity, Identity (2000), and Joep Leerssen’s National Thought in Europe: A Cultural History (2006). You can read the text of Hyde’s 1892 speech to the National Literary Society at http://historymuse.net/readings/HYDENecessityforDeAnglicizingIreland1892.html

    8. Abhráin

      The formatting of e-books on Internet Archive does not allow hypothesis.is users to annotate the books’ text. In annotating Hyde’s Love Songs of Connacht for the EN6009 Annotate-A-Thon, I have attached annotations to the text beneath the scanned images. Extracts and corresponding page numbers are placed at the beginning of each annotation, in order to properly contextualize my responses.

    1. Bhí triúr mac agam a bhí oilte tóigthe,Cé gur ghearr an lón dhom iad, céad faraor géar;Mar d’fhág siad a máithrínn bhocht ag silt na ndeoraGach aon lá Domhnaigh is a bhris a  croí. Ní raibh suim ar bith agam ins an mac ba óige,Cé go mba deas an t-ógánach é Peadar fhéin;Ach an mac is sine acu sé a chráigh go mór mé‘Gus mí ní beo mé le cumha in do dhiaidh. Mo Pheadar muirneach a bhí oilte múinte‘S a chuaigh ar chúntar a bheith ní b’fhearr;Bhí gean na gcomharsan ort an fhad is bhí tú liomsa,‘S nach mba ait an cúntóir thú amuigh le Seán. ‘S tá súil agamsa go bhfaighidh tú umhlaíocht‘Gus pardún cumhachtach ó Rí na nGrást,A thabharfas abhaile agam sibh ó slán gan chontúirt,Mar is mór mo chumha-sa i ndiaidh mo mhaicín bán. ‘S dá bhfuil trua in Éirinn is mó ná mé anois I ndiaidh an chéad mhac a chráigh mo chroí ‘Gur ag guibhe Dé a bhím agus ag iarraidh déirce Mar scéal ní fhaighim uaibh ar mhuir ná ar tír. Is nuair a fheicim gach bean acu is a gclann fré chéileGo gcaillim mo radharc agus meabhair mo chinnIs tá deireadh mo sheanchais agus mo chomhrá déanta ‘S ní labhród aon smid go dté mé i gcill. Is nach mac gan cuntas thú anois dar liomsa Nach dtiocfadh ar cuairt agam d’oíche ná láGur chaith mé trí ráithe mhór ar fad go t’iomparAgus chuaigh mé i gcontúirt leat aon oíche amháin. Nach dtug mé scoil díbh  ‘gus beagán foghlaimGur d’léir mo chuntaíocht nach rinneas thar barrIs nach beag a ghoileanns mo ghalra dumhach ortNó fébí cúige ina mbíonn sibh ann. Cá bhfuil truaighe in Éirinn is mó ná mé anoisI ndiaidh an chéad mhac a chráigh mo chroíA  d’oil  go cneasta sibh   gan  guth   ná náireFuair bia  ‘gus anlann deas glas a chionn  Ach má’s sé an bás  a chlis orm agus a d’fhág faoi bhrón méMar is iomaí geall mór a chur mé i gcillGurb é an fortún deireanach a  bhí dhá bharr agamGur gheal mo cheann-sa agus dhubh mo chroí Is nach beag a ghoilleans mo ghalra dumhach ortIs a liachtaí brón mhór  dul fré mo chroíGur dtáinig an tinneas orm agus chaill mé móránIs níl luach mo chónra agam anois faraor. Ach ní hé sin is measa dhom ná d’fhág mé buartha Ach rinne mé an pósadh ar m’ais aríst,Gur bhain sé an chlann díom a bhí oilte tógtha‘Gus d’fhág muirín óg orm  ‘s mé go lag ina gcionn. Is dá bhfuil truaigh in Éirinn ach mac ‘gus máthairBheith ag goil le fána ar a chéile chóichínA chuaigh go Sasana in san Arm Gallda‘S gan fios a bpáighe ach beagán bia. 'S dá mba i mBaile na Cille agam a bheadh a gcnámhaNí bheinn chomh cráite ná a leath ina ndiaidh,Ach mo chúig chéad beannacht libh go Ríocht na nGrástaMar a bhfuil sé i ndán dhom sibh a fheiceáil choíchín.

      I had three songs, had them reared and taught, But their use to me did not last, They left their poor mother weeping Every Sunday, and break her heart The youngest son wasn’t the dearest to me, Even though he, Peadar, was a fine young man, It was the eldest son whose lost hurt me deepest, He has me nearly killed with sorrow

      My darling Peadar who was most polite, Who life to make a better life, Our neighbours loved you when you dwelt here, And you were the best of help when out with Seán

      I hope you’ll be greeted forgivingly, with a powerful pardon from God above, Who might bear you home to me, safe from danger, Because I sorely miss my baby son,

      And you are the heedless son, That won’t visit me by day or by night, After me carrying you for 9 months, And graving great danger to give birth to you, Didn’t I give you schooling and a bit of learning, But it seems now that I didn’t do well, My heartbreak concerns you little, Where you are

    2. Máire Ní Mhongáin

      As Ciarán Ó Con Cheanainn writes in Leabhar Mór na nAmhrán, the oldest written version of this song dates to 1814, and is found in MS Egerton 117 in the British Library. Oral lore in Conneamara has it that Máire Ní Mhongáin’s three sons joined the British Army, and that Peadar deserted soon after joining, and emigrated to America. It seems probable that their involvement was in the French Revolutionary Wars or the Napoleonic Wars, the major conflicts fought by the British Army in the final decade of the eighteenth century and the first decade of the nineteenth respectively.

      Máire Ní Mhongáin seems to have resonated among Irish emigrant communities in the United States. My evidence for this is that Micheál Ó Gallchobhair of Erris, County Mayo, collected songs from Erris emigrants living in Chicago in the 1930s, over a century after the occasion of ‘Amhrán Mháire Ní Mhongáin’s’ composition. It features in his collection, which you access via the following link: http://www.jstor.org.ucc.idm.oclc.org/stable/20642542?seq=2#page_scan_tab_contents

      The virulent cursing of departed sons by the mother, named Máre, produces the effect of striking g contrasts with John Millington Synge’s bereaves mother, Old Maurya, in Riders to the Sea.

      My Irish Studies blog features an in-depth account of typical features of the caoineadh genre to which Amhrán Mháire Ní Mhongáin belongs. You can access it via the following link: johnwoodssirishstudies.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/carraig-aonair-an-eighteenth-century-west-cork-poem/

    1. Gus ag tíocht aniar ó Bhalla dhom dhá mhíle amach ón gClár,Cé casadh orm ach cailín deas agus í ar a diallait ard,"An tusa bean an tseanduine?" " Is mé, mo chreach is mo chrá,Is dá mbeinnse bliain ‘mo chónaí leis ní thabharfainnse dhó grá!" "Ó, brón ar mo mhuintir a phós mé chomh hóg,Phós siad leis an seanduine mé mar gheall ar chúpla bó,Míle uair ab’fhearr liom agam an buachaillín deas óg,A thiocfadh isteach ar maidin ‘s a bhéarfadh dhomsa póg!" "Is nach deas an fear i mbaile mé? níl dúil agam san ól,Tá tréith níos fearr ná sin agam a bhréagfadh cailín óg,Shaothróinn arán ‘gus fataí di, cruinneacht is eorna mhór.‘S a Dhia nárbh fhearr dhuit agat mé ná réic de bhuachaill óg." "Míle uair a b’fhearr liom agam an buachaillín deas óg,Nach ligfeadh chuig an aifreann mé ‘gus bairbín ar mo bhróg,A thabharfadh chuig teach a’ leanna mé ‘gus a d’ólfadh a ghiní óir,‘S nach mbeadh sé chomh maith leat, a sheanduine, nuair a bheadh na páistí mór." "Más cailín den tsaghas sin thú ‘s go bhfuil dúil agat san ól,Is gearr a mhairfeas airgead dhuit ná do shealbháinín bó,Ach iarraim ar Dhia ‘s ar Mhuire mura mairfinn an oíche beoGo bhfeicfead ag iarraidh déirce thú ‘s do mhálín ar do dhroim!" "B’fhearr liom ag iarraidh déirce is mo mhála ar mo dhroim,Ná do leithéide de sheanduine a bheith sa mbaile agam tinn,Mar shílfinn mura ndéantá ach casacht nach mairfeá an oíche beo,‘Gus lig de do chuid chlamhsáin feasta liom, a ghiolla an chársáin mhóir!"

      When I was on my way back from Balla, two miles out from Clare Who should I meet but a young girl, up on a her high saddle ‘Are you the old man’s wife?’ ‘I am, my sorrow and woe And even if I didn’t leave his side for a whole year I couldn’t love him

      Oh, curse my parents who married me off so young They married me off to the old man for the sake of a couple of cows It’d be a thousand times better to with a nice young fellow, Who’d come in to me in the morning and give me a kiss.

      But am I not a good man to have at home? I have no heed on drink., And I have qualities even better than that, that would entice a young woman, I provide her bread and potatoes, wheat and barley And, my God, am I not more to use to her than a rake of a young fellow?

      It’s one thousand times more I’d prefer to have the young fellow, Who wouldn’t let me go to mass with wholes in my shoes, Who’d bring me to the public house and who’d spend his golden guineas, And wouldn’t be every bit as good as you, you old man, by the time the kids had grown up?

      If you’re that kind of a girl, and you’re that taken with drink, It’s not long money will last you, or your runt of cow, And I ask of God and Mary that I might survive the night, Otherwise you’d be seen begging for alms, and your sack on your back

      I’d rather beg for arms and have my sack on my back<br> Than be returning to a sick wretch of an old man at home<br> Because I think, if you’re coughing stops at night, you’d not survive it,<br> Now don’t be bothering me with your whining any more, you wheezing wreck.

    2. Bean an tSeanduine - Sean Nós 2

      ‘Bean an tSeanduine’ features all of the conventions of the malmariée genre we have previously encountered in ‘An Seanduine Cam’. Also, it is a good example of the speaker blaming her parents for her plight, which is another regular feature of this song type.

      As well as being one of the finest examples of the genre, it is perhaps the most well-known and commonly sung, owing in large part to the simplicity and catchiness of its monosyllable end-rhymes.

      As well as Ó Tuama, Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail has written about the common features of the chanson de la malmariée. Her article ‘The Representation of the Feminine: Some evidence from Irish language sources’ in Eighteenth-Century Ireland/Iris an Dá Chultúr is a rich source of information on the topic. In ‘Bean an tSeanduine’, we have a fine example of what Ní Úrdail calls the description of ‘the plight of a beautiful young woman, trapped in an unhappy marriage to an impotent elderly spouse who is ignorant of her mental and physical frustration’. However, when we consider the particular humour of this song, we can identify how it serves to empower the female speaker.

      ‘Bean an tSeanduine’ differs from ‘An Seanduine Cam’ in that there is no third-person narrator. Like ‘An Seanduine Cam’, the humour of the song relies on a ridiculing of the old man, although here the young woman herself is his detractor. Each of his brags meet a witty riposte. When he claims wealth, she calls him a miser, and when he wonders what would become of his if he died during the night, she jokes that death is an immanent danger. When mockery of this kind is voiced by the female speaker, it serves to empower her, and inspire in the listener a sense of sympathy and respect.

    1. Bhí aithne a’m is eolas ar sheanfhear sách dóighiúil‘Sé an áit a raibh cónaí air thíos ins an ngleann,Bhí sé i ndeis mhór ann, ‘s bhí eallach go leor aige,Airgead ‘s ór buí le cur ina cheann. Thóg sé suas comhairle bean óg a phósadh,Go gcoinneodh sí a chúrsaí seacht n-uaire ní b’fhearr,Ach ar maidin is tráthnóna bhí fearg is gruaim air Faoi eochair an trunc mar ní raibh sí le fáil. ‘S nach suarach an ní dhuitse bualadh faoi mhnaoi ar bith‘Gus fios ag do chroí istigh nach dtabharfaidh dhuit gráNuair nach mór é do ghnaoi ort nár fhága tú de shaol é ,Go bhfanfainnse taobh leat a sheanspleantair cam.’ ‘S nach dtug mé go leor dhuit, airgead ór buí,Báid bheaga, báid mhóra, capall is carr,Le nithe do dhóthain ’gus beatha mhaithe chóiriúilTogha leaba chlúmhaigh is cead codladh go sámh. Gach uile shórt eile dár chuir do chroí spóirt ann,Go fiú an parasól le tabhairt leat i do lámh,Capall nó pónaí le cur fút i gcónaí,Goil ag an aifreann Dé Domhnaigh dá dtográ a dhul ann. Dá dtabharfá an saol mór le n-ithe is le n-ól dom,Saibhreas Rí Sheoirse is ba mhór é le rá,Loingis faoi sheolta ‘gus cóistí ar bhóithrí,‘S b’fhearr liom fear óg ná thú, a sheanduine cam.’ Mar a nglacfaidh tú comhairle téirigh dhá thóraíocht,Cuir ort do chóta is do chlóca ar do bhráid.Bí ag na crosbhóithrí le theacht an tráthnóna,Is beidh seans ar fhear óg agat má bhíonn tú i bhfad ann. Is nuair a thiocfas an oíche ‘s nach bhfaigh tú aon dídean,Tosóidh tú ag caoineadh ‘s gan aon mhaith dhuit ann.Thabharfainnse an Bíobla, anois le glanfhírinne,Go mb’fhearr leat a bheith arís ag do sheanduine cam. ‘S nach suarach an tslí dhom mo shamhail de mhnaoi,Bheith ag caitheamh mo shaoil leat gan súgradh ná greann,Shá fhairsinge do shaol é Ghaillimh go Luimneach,Is a liachtaí sin Muimhneach i gCo. an Chláir. Dhá bhfaighinnse dídean timpeall na Saoirseacht,Ó d’fhéadfainn an geimhreadh seo a chaitheamh go sámhShasódh sé m’intinn ‘s ní bheadh briseadh croí orm,Ná a bheith sínte síos leatsa a sheanspleantair cham! Dhá mbeifeá chomh críonna ‘s ba chóir do bhean tí a bheith,Ó d’fhéadfá an geimhreadh seo a chaitheamh go sámh,Mar olann na gcaorach d’íocfadh sé an cíos dúinn,‘S an méid eile a bheith agat le cur faoi do láimh. Ach ní mar sin a bhí tú ach lán de dhroch smaointe,Mar is iomaí sin intinn a thagann do mhná,Tá mé ríchinnte dá mbeifeá sách críonna,Go mb’fhearr leat a bheith arís ag do sheanduine cam!

      I was well acquainted with a well-off old man, And his place of dwelling was down in the glen He was well propertied, with plenty of livestock, And silver and gold to go along with it

      He took the advice that he should marry a young woman, As she’d look after his house much better than he, But by morning and night she was cross and upset, About the key to the trunk which was not to be found

      Isn’t it a pitiful case, that you’d approach any woman, When you know in your heart you couldn’t be loved, Amn’t I kind to you, that you’d ever be so lucky, That I’d stay by your side you crooked old wretch

      Didn’t I give you much, silver and gold, Small boats and big ones, a horse and cart, Your fill of fine things, and of good hearty good, A fine bed of feathers, where you sleep at your ease

      If you gave me the world, and all it has to eat and drink, All the wealth of King George which is known to be grand, A fleet under fine sail and coaches under the road, I’d rather have a young man than you, you old wretch

      If you can’t see sense, go find your young man Put on your coat, and your cloak round your neck, Be at the crossroad when evening comes, And you’ll get yourself a young man if you wait long enough

      If I could find shelter somewhere in the Liberties Oh how happily I’d spend winter there It would gladden my mind, and not at all break my heart Like it does to lie with you, you old wretch

    2. An Seanduine Cam - Corn Uí Riada 2016

      The song’s first two verses are spoken by a third-person narrator. In its humorous exaggeration, the first verse caricatures recognized conventions of arranged marriage. This narrative consciously situates itself in a genre whose familiarity to the listener is a necessary part of the humour. It addresses the economic incentives which were the major precipitating factors of marriage arrangements in rural Ireland during the eighteenth century. It also invokes the misery which such marriages often visited upon young women.

      In his essay ‘Love in Irish Folksong’, Seán Ó Tuama identifies among typical features of the malmariée genre that ‘a young woman speaks (in the first person) of her anguish,’ that ‘the description of the husband can be unbelievably grotesque and ribald: he is humped, crippled; he coughs, grunts, whines at night; most of all, he is cold as lead, important, and completely fails to satisfy her desires’, and that ‘she discloses that she is going to leave him for a young man’ (149). ‘An Seanduine Cam’ provides clear examples of all of these traits.

      Moreover, because these tendencies find expression in a debate form, and are redoubled in response to the unfeeling man, the resistant character of the put-upon young woman is strongly emphasized.

    1. Search alphabetically by song title. Each file contains a recording of the song along with a transcription of the words used in that performance.

      I have selected three songs for discussion and translation. These are ‘An Seanduine Cam’ (found in the search results for ‘A’), ‘Bean an tSeanduine,’ and ‘Máire Ní Mhongáin’.

    1. Singers

      The recordings in the archive are drawn from the TG4 programmes ‘Abair Amhrán’, ‘Amhrán is Ansa Liom’, and ‘Sean-Nós’, as well as their broadcasting of the singing competitions of the annual An tOireachtas festival. Virtually all singers of unaccompanied song in Irish, practicing at any point over the past 110 years, are included in the archive’s recordings. Representation of different regions of origin, age groups, and themes of song is highly diverse.

    2. Search alphabetically by song title

      This website provides important context for the exploration of a research question I am addressing in my M.A. thesis preparation.

      The portrayal of female personages in revivalist literature sets them in signally passive roles. This is most clearly at issue in the work of that period’s two foremost dramatists. In W.B. Yeats’ Cathleen Ni Houlihane, the female protagonist does not pursue her own course of action, but rather serves to inspire male heroism (P.J. Mathews discusses the play’s portrayal of female passivity at length in a piece, see http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/literature-and-1916). In The Only Jealously of Emer and The Countess Cathleen the value of women to society is achieved through acts of self-sacrifice for the benefit of significant male others (Christina Wilson has argued similar points in great detail: http://chrestomathy.cofc.edu/documents/vol5/wilson.pdf).

      In John Millington Synge’s Riders to the Sea, we encounter a blending of the taste for passive female characters with a revival fascination with the rural west. Old Maurya’s reticence and stern faith in God, following the drowning of her five sons, established her as the moral centre of her native Aran community. Her monologue in the play’s ending concentrates our attention on the community’s willingness to surrender to tragic fate, which is always threatened by the danger of the sea (the play is available to read online at this link: http://www.one-act-plays.com/dramas/riders_to_the_sea.html).

      What is interesting to me is that images of a massive female subject, favoured by Abbey playwrights who sought to stress the cultural specificity of Ireland, differ strongly with some prominent portrayals of the female subject in vernacular literature in Irish. In my annotation of this archive, I will provide examples of some genres of folk song – composed by females, and traditionally sung by female singers – that contradict ideas of a female subject as passive sufferer of fate. Annotations will include translations to English.

      After highlighting these features of oral literature in Irish, I will have laid down substantial grounding for a discussion of the ideological motivations of revivalist authors’ depiction of female subjects. It is interesting that certain tropes of a national identity, which these authors consciously sought to create, can be seen as divergent with realities of the social group which was most fundamental to that identity. This observation encourages consideration of European intellectual currents which might have influenced revivalist writers, romantic nationalism in particular.

    3. Songs

      Hypothesis.is allows for annotation of various pages of a website. On this homepage, I have highlighted all text links to the other pages I have annotated.

    1. 'An lá nach bhféadfaim/bean o bhréagadh/nil an báire liom' (i)

      The epigraph in the book's beginning directs our attention towards the kind of image of woman we might encounter in the text. It means 'the day I can't entice a woman, I am defeated', and is attributed to 'some poet.'

      Like the book itself on a miniature scale, the epilogue is an act of selection, that speaks to a certain agenda on the part of the collector.

      Here, an idea of female as passive object and the male as questing subject trains our attention on how these roles feature in the songs.

    2. "I have, in the following little volume, collected a few of these, the Love-Songs of a single province merely, which I either took down in each county of Connacht from the lips of the Irish-speaking peasantry - a class which is disappearing with most alarming rapidity - or extracted from MSS, in my own possession, or from some lent to me, made by different scribes during this century, or which I came upon while examining the piles of modern manuscript Gaelic literature that have found their last resting-place on the shelves of the Royal Irish Academy." (iv)

      We must bear in mind that this is an edited collection. Necessarily, therefore, it is guided by an organizing schema.

      When we bear this is mind, we identify certain problems at issue in this extract.

      The way Hyde makes reference to sources is casual and non-specific. It would be difficult for his reader to access these sources.

      Because we have such little insight, it is important to be alert to potential biases in the collecting and editing process, that may have occurred at various stages.

      We don't know what particular kinds of love song he asked members of the 'Irish speaking peasantry' to sing - he may have asked for songs about particular kinds of scenario. Otherwise, it's possible he dispensed with songs after their collection, if they didn't accord with a particular kind of love song he wanted to publish.

      Important questions are raised for the reader about the particular choice of song Hyde includes, and whether there are any conspicuous exclusions. By asking these questions as we continue to read, we might discern the kind of image of the Irish speaking peasantry that Hyde is attempting to construct.