Neainsín Bhán (Fair Nancy)

Traditional Irish

Audio

This example of "Neainsín Bhán" is performed by Brian Hart on his CD An Lochin.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

* This verse was gathered from Peadar's version of the song. Nan and Dara maintain the same verses as I believe Nan learned it from Dara. Overall this song has some very interesting Irish in it which made for an even more interesting translation.

Source: Nan Tom Teaimín de Búrca
Alternate sources: Peadar Ó Ceannabháin, Dara Bán Mac Donnchadha

Is a Neainsín Bhán cé is ansa leat fear eile ná mé féin?
Is a Neainsín dtug mé fancy duit I dtosach ar mhná an tsaoil.
Mara shíl mé go mba bhréatha tú ná bean ar bith sa saol
Ach smid chainte ná raibh I gceann an té nach molfadh leatsa mé.

*Is an chéad lá d’Earrach tóigfidh mé talamh is beidh áras agam fhéin
Agus séard a dúirt mo mhuintir liom nach bhfuil aon mhaith I mo scéal
Óra níl ach togha ar ógmhná an domhain is beidh mo roghain díobh agam féin
Ní as a cuid ná a maoin a molfar í ach as a cáilíocht agus a dea-méin.

Is ma théann tú chun an aonaigh bíodh an chaora leat is a huan,
Is ma théann tú ag déanamh tíomhais bíodh do mhian agat ar dtús.
Óra bíodh sí maorga macánta is í molta as a cliú,
Ní barr maoine a tharbharfas chun tíobhais thú ach ná mealltar le straoill tú.

Is dá mbeadh heels agus tops faoi m’bhróga am is cóir maith bheith ar na boinn,
A rachfainnse chuile Dhomhnach leat san áit a mbeadh an spraoi.
Mar ní thógfadh an t-aos óg orm gach cor dá gcuirfinn díom,
Is dá mbeadh mo stór ar cheann an stóil níorbh fhada liomsa an oíche.

Is ar theacht na Nollag nach dona í m'obair ag sior-chur ins a gcré,
Mar a bheadh seabhacán ar bharr sceithe nó ar barr ghlas na sú craobh.
Mo mhallach go deo anois a thabharfainnse D’aon fhear beo fón saol,
A thógfadh orm bheith ag cogarnaíl le stóirín geal mo chléibh.

A muise a théagairín ní féidir leat gan duine éicint a fháil,
A nifeas do chuid éadaigh duit neo a d’fhuinneadh do chuid aráin.
Ach a phéarla atá breá gléigeal ó chích go cois is go láimh,
S’é mo léan gan mise faoi shléibhte leat is cead éada ag feara fáil!

Translation:
Fair Nancy

Fair Nancy who is it you prefer,
Some other man or myself?
And Nancy I fancy you
More than any other woman yet living.
I thought you were finer than any other woman alive.
But may any who would not praise you to I be made speechless.

*On the first day of spring, I’ll prepare some land
And I’ll make a dwelling of my own there,
My family says that it is useless; sure,
There is a great choice of fine young women
And I’ll have my pick of them,
She will not be praised for her inheritance or wealth
But for her quality and fine demeanour.

If you are going to the fair,
Bring the ewe and the lamb,
If you are setting up house,
You should have your darling first.
She should be a woman of dignity, integrity and good reputation.
Showy wealth will not keep the home but do no let a miserable loafer entice you.

If I had heels and tops on my shoes and if the soles were good enough,
I would go every Sunday to the place of entertainment.
The young people would not begrudge any move I’d make
And I would not feel the night passing
If my love was at the end of the stool.

 My sowing in the soil is useless work as Christmas is coming,
Like a hawk perched on a hedge or on a raspberry bush.
My curse forever on any man alive
Who would blame me for whispering secrets
To the bright silken darling of my breast.

Darling you can’t fail to find someone
Who will wash your clothes
And knead you bread.
But my pearl who is fine
And bright of breast
And foot and hand,
It is a pity that you are not on the
Mountain with me and making
All men envious of me.