Notes from Brian: Traditional singer Aine Meenaghan comes from Camus in southern Connemara. I met her some years ago in Chicago where she now resides. Unbeknownst to her, I acquired a tape of her personal recordings and started learning her songs. A few years back at the IHC in Chicago, I sang this song to her and I've never heard the end of it since! She has influenced my style more than any other singer and I hold her in the highest regards. This version of Donal Og (Young Donald) conveys a bitter hatred of false lovers. In it are many beautiful lyrics and curses that have inspired my own personal approach to the song
Thug mé grá duit is mé beag bídeach
Ó chuir mé barr air is mé mór míllteach
Ní hé sin an grá a thug an t-uan don chaora
Ach gra buan daingean nach féidir a scaoileadh.
Scéal ar an grá is nach mairg a thug é
Do aon mhac mathar ariamh nár thuig é
Mo chroí ‘na lar o d’fhag sé dubh é
‘s ní fheicfidh mé ar an tsraid ná in áit ar bith eile é.
Thug tú gealladh dom ach rinne tú breag liom
Go mbeitheá romham ag cró na gcaorach
Ó lig me fead ort is dha chéad beicigh
Ach ní bhfuair mé aon fhreagra ach na huain ag meileach.
Chuir tú amach mé‘s bhi an oíche baisteach
Fuaireas titim mhór a’ dul síos le fana
Nior dhuirt tú Dia linn is bhí tú I lathair
‘s nar b’fhurasta aithne dhomsa go raibh fuath ag mo ghrá dom.
Duirt mo mhathair liom, a stór gan labhairt leat
Inniú na amarach na De Domhnaigh
Nach dona an trath a bhfuair mé an fogra
Is é an fal ar an ngort é tar eis na foghla.
Deir siad liomsa go bhfuil me mealltach
Go bhfuil fear eile agam in aice baile
Ó lucht na mbreag ach na raibh rath orthu
Beidh mise ag mo stóirín is na raibh maith acu.
I Gave You My Love
I gave you my love and I so little.
That love blossomed when I was grown.
That’s not the love a lamb shows his mother,
But it is a fortress of love not able to be conquered.
The story of love you gave me wasn’t out of pity,
Or the love an only son shows his mother.
My heart in its center has gone black
But I haven’t seen you on the road or elsewhere.
You gave a promise to me but broke it with lies,
To meet you at the enclosure of the sheep.
Oh, I gave out a whistle and two hundred shouts,
But I got no reply except the bleating of sheep.
You threw me out and the night was rainy.
I took a great fall coming down the slope.
You never said “God Bless Us” when we were together,
And it wasn’t easy for me to allow my love for you to turn to hate.
My mother said to me darling, do not to speak to you,
Today, tomorrow, or on Sundays
Wasn’t it unfortunate the hour I got this warning?
It is the haggard built round the field too late after the trespass.
They say of me that I am deceitful,
That I have another man
In the town of lies, but weren’t they wrong?
I will have my own love and it will never be good for them.