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Lyr/Tune Add: Una Bhan / Fair Una

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Una bhan


John in Brisbane 12 May 99 - 11:16 PM
Philippa 12 Sep 99 - 04:45 PM
Philippa 17 Sep 99 - 11:26 AM
Philippa 03 Dec 99 - 01:34 PM
Bruce O. 03 Dec 99 - 02:45 PM
alison 04 Dec 99 - 11:19 PM
John in Brisbane 05 Dec 99 - 08:15 AM
alison 06 Dec 99 - 12:04 AM
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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: ÚNA BHÁN / FAIR UNA
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 May 99 - 11:16 PM

This song covers the gamut of human emotions from lost love to rage to remorseful necrophilia (or so I first thought). I normally keep my song introductions to less than 15 seconds, but this one probably requires a mini-series. Enjoy, John

PS - Joe, if I cock this one up please let me know and I'll re-send.

ÚNA BHÁN / FAIR UNA

A Úna bhán, is gránna an luighe sin ort
Ar leabaidh caol árd ameasc na mílte corp;
Muna dtagaidh d' fháidh orm, a stáid-bhean bhí riamh gan locht,
Ní thiocfaidh mé chum na h-áite seo go bráth acht aréir 's anocht.

2. A Úna bhán, a bhláth na ndlaoith ómra,
Tar éis do bháis de bhárr droch-chómhairle;
Féach, a ghrádh, cia aca b' fhearr de 'n dá chómhairle?
A éan i gcliabhán, is mé i nÁtha na Donóige.

3. A Úna bhán, d'fhágbhuidh tú mé i mbrón casta,
Agus cia b' áil leat bheith trácht air go deo feasta,
Cúilín fáinneach air ar fhás suas an t-ór leaghtha?
A's go mbfhearr liom air láimh leat 'na an ghlóir Flaithis.

4. A Úna bhán, ar seisean, na gcurachán cam,
'S an dá shúil agat ba chiuine d'á ndeachaidh i gceann,
A bhéilín an tsiúcra, mar leamhnacht, mar fhíon 's mar bheoir,
Agus a chos dheas lúthmhar is tú shiúbhalfadh gan phian i mbróig.

5. A Úna bhán, mar rós i ngáirdín thú,
'S ba choinnleoir óir ar bhórd na bainríoghna thú;
Ba cheileabhar 's ba cheolmhar ag gabháil an bhealaigh seo rómham thú,
'S é mo chreach maidne bhrónach nár pósadh liom thú.

6. A Úna bhán, is tú do mhearuigh mo chiall;
A Úna, is tú a chuaidh go dlúth idir mé 'gus Dia;
A Úna, a chraobh churtha, a lúibín casta na gciabh,
Nár bh'fearr damh-sa bheith gan súile ná d'fheiceál ariamh?

7. Is fliuch agus fuar mo chuairt-se chum an bhaile aréir,
Agus mé mo shuidhe suas ar bhruach na leapthan liom féin,
A ghile gan gruaim ag nár luadhadh an iomadamhlacht acht mé,
Cad as nach bhfuagruigheann tú fuacht na maidne dham féin?

8. Tá daoine annsan tsaoghal so chaitheas di-mheas ar dhúithche folamh
A lán de mhaoin shaoghalta, agus ni buan í aca;
Ceasacht maoine ni dheanfainn ná truagh fearainn,
Acht b'fhearr liom ná dá chaora da mbheidheadh Úna agam.

9. Seasaidh agus dearcaidh, bhfuil mo ró-ghrádh ag tigheacht?
Is mar chnap-sneachta í a's mar mhil bheacha do reoidheadh an ghrian;
Mar chnap-sneachta 's mar mhil bheacha do reoidheadh an ghrian,
Agus a chuid 's a charaid, is fada mé beo id' dhiaidh.

10. A Úna, a ainnir, a charaid, 's a dhéid órdha,
A bhéilín mealdha nár chan riamh éagcóra,
B'fhearr liom-sa bheith ar leabaidh léi 'ga síor-phógadh
'Ná mo shuidhe i bhFlaitheas i gcathaoir na Trionóide.

11. Ghluais mé tríd baile mo charad aréir,
A's ní bhfuair mé féin fuaradh ná fliuchadh mo bhéil;
'S é 'dubhairt an stuagh-chailín gruama a's madar as a méar,
"Mo thri truaighe ní n-uaigneas do casadh liom thu féin."

1. O fair Una, 'tis ugly, this lying upon you
On a high, narrow bed among a thousand corpses;
If your answering shout does not come to me,
- - - o stately woman who was always without fault - - -
I will not come to this town ever again, but for last night and tonight.

2. O fair Una, o blossom of the amber locks,
After your death because of bad advice;
Look, my love, which of the two counsels was better,
O bird in a cage, when I was in the Ford of the Donogue?

3. O fair Una, you left me twisted up in grief,
And why would there be in you a desire to make much of it forevermore,
O girl with pretty, ringleted hair, on whom the molten gold grew?
I would prefer being with you to the glory of the Kingdom [of Heaven].

4. O fair Una, said he of the crooked skiffs,
Your two eyes were the gentlest that were ever put in a head,
O little mouth of sugar, like new milk, like wine and like beoir,
O lovely, nimble foot, you would walk without pain in a shoe.

5. O fair Una, you were like a rose in a garden,
And you were a golden candlestick on the queen's table;
You were a melody, and musical, when you walked the road before me,
'Tis my sorrowful loss of the morning that you were not married to me.

6. O fair Una, it is you who deranged my senses;
O Una, it is you who came firmly between me and God;
O Una, o fragrant bough, o curly ringlet of hair,
Wouldn't it have been better for me to be without eyes, never seeing you?

7. My visit to the town last night was wet and cold,
And I was sitting up on the edge of the bed by myself;
O brightness without gloom, to whom many were not betrothed, but I was,
Why do you not proclaim to me the coldness of the morning?

8. There are people in this world who hurl contempt on an empty estate,
Full of worldly wealth themselves, although it does not last forever;
I would not complain of lack of wealth nor lament lack of land,
But I would rather have Una than two sheep.

9. Stand and look, is my great love coming?
She is like a snowball and bees' honey which would freeze the sun;
Like a snowball and bees' honey which would freeze the sun,
My treasure and my darling, 'tis a long time I've lived without you.

10. O Una, maiden, darling, and golden teeth,
O little honeyed mouth which never uttered an injustice,
I would have preferred to be in bed with her, kissing her continually,
Than to sit in the Kingdom of Heaven on the throne of the Trinity.

11. I passed through my friends' town last night,
Yet I found nothing with which to cool or wet my mouth;
The graceful girl, glum and with madder on her fingers, said,
"Thrice woe is me, that I did not meet you in solitude."

The text of Úna Bhán, taken from Douglas Hyde's "Love Songs of Connacht", 1895. The spelling of a few words is adjusted so as to conform with the spelling in Dinneen's Irish dictionary. One verse, which is a variation of the first, is omitted.

Text, literal English translation (which is very close to that of Hyde, but a little smoother) and summation of story supplied by J. Mark Sugars

Heinrich Möller, Keltische Volkslieder (1925) has an arrangement of Úna bhán done by Carl G. Hardebeck from "Gems of Melody" vol. 2. Möller provides metrical translations of the folksongs in his collection:

The following is a summary of the story of Úna nic Dhiarmada and Tomás Mac Coisteala as given by Douglas Hyde in "Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht or Love Songs of Connacht" (2nd ed., 1895), pp. 51-60:

The story begins with Tomás Láidir ("the Strong") Mac Coisteala who lived during the reign of Charles II of England. His family had once owned much land, but lost it after Cromwell came to Ireland.

Úna was the daughter of one Mac Diarmada (or MacDermott), the owner of Castle Carrick, which is located on an island in Lough Cé (Lough Key) in County Roscommon. Úna is the Irish version of the name "Agnes," which is derived from the Latin word for "lamb " (Agnus m. / Agna f.). She and Mac Coisteala fell in love with each other, but her father had already selected a much wealthier man for her to marry, and forbade her even to speak with Mac Coisteala. She grew so sick with grief that she became bedridden, at which point her father relented and allowed Mac Coisteala to visit her in her bedroom. Úna's joy and relief were so great that she fell asleep during Tomás' visit. The castle seemed deserted at the time, so, mindful of Úna's reputation, Tomás left the premises. As he rode slowly away, he kept expecting that someone from the MacDermott household would show up to invite him back, but no one did. Mac Coisteala's servant repeatedly suggested that MacDermott had been deceiving him about his apparent change of heart. This at last seemed plausible enough that Mac Coisteala vowed that he would never turn back or speak to Úna or any of MacDermott's people unless he were called back before he had crossed the Átha na Donóige ("the Ford of the river Donogue").

Mac Coisteala waited for more than half an hour in the middle of the ford. Finally, his servant said, "I think it is a great wonder for a gentleman like you to be cooling in this water for any woman at all in the great world; is your pride not small, to endure a disgrace like that?" "This is true," replied Mac Coisteala, and crossed the ford. Just then a messenger from Úna came running up to invite him back to the castle, but Mac Coisteala would not break his vow. He did, however, kill his servant, with a single blow of his fist.

Úna fell into deep despair when Tomás did not return, and eventually her sadness grew so profound that she died. The night after she was buried on an island in Lough Key, Tomás swam across the lough and spent the night lying on her grave, weeping. He did the same thing the next night. On the night after that, he came to her grave and spoke the first verse of the song, the one that begins "A Úna bhán, is gránna an luighe sin ort..."; at once he felt something like Úna's hand lightly strike his cheek, and heard a voice like Úna's say, "na tarraigh!" ("do not come!"). He departed satisfied, and never went back after that while he was alive. When he died, he was buried in the same graveyard as Úna.

MIDI file: unabhan.mid

Timebase: 120

TimeSig: 1/8 12 8
Key: C
Tempo: 065 (909091 microsec/crotchet)
Name: Fair Una/Una Bhan
Start
0270 1 60 080 0024 0 60 000 0006 1 62 080 0072 0 62 000 0018 1 62 080 0024 0 62 000 0006 1 67 080 0192 0 67 000 0018 1 65 080 0012 0 65 000 0003 1 62 080 0012 0 62 000 0003 1 60 080 0192 0 60 000 0138 1 64 080 0024 0 64 000 0006 1 62 080 0192 0 62 000 0018 1 60 080 0024 0 60 000 0006 1 60 080 0024 0 60 000 0006 1 64 080 0072 0 64 000 0018 1 62 080 0408 0 62 000 0042 1 60 080 0012 0 60 000 0003 1 59 080 0012 0 59 000 0003 1 60 080 0096 0 60 000 0114 1 60 080 0024 0 60 000 0006 1 62 080 0072 0 62 000 0018 1 62 080 0024 0 62 000 0006 1 67 080 0048 0 67 000 0042 1 67 080 0024 0 67 000 0006 1 67 080 0048 0 67 000 0012 1 69 080 0024 0 69 000 0006 1 71 080 0024 0 71 000 0006 1 72 080 0024 0 72 000 0006 1 72 080 0186 0 72 000 0144 1 72 080 0048 0 72 000 0042 1 74 080 0024 0 74 000 0006 1 76 080 0192 0 76 000 0048 1 74 080 0168 0 74 000 0042 1 72 080 0012 0 72 000 0003 1 71 080 0012 0 71 000 0003 1 72 080 0168 0 72 000 0042 1 71 080 0024 0 71 000 0006 1 67 080 0168 0 67 000 0042 1 67 080 0024 0 67 000 0006 1 67 080 0048 0 67 000 0012 1 67 080 0048 0 67 000 0012 1 67 080 0048 0 67 000 0012 1 67 080 0048 0 67 000 0012 1 69 080 0048 0 69 000 0012 1 71 080 0048 0 71 000 0012 1 72 080 0024 0 72 000 0006 1 72 080 0138 0 72 000 0042 1 72 080 0012 0 72 000 0003 1 74 080 0012 0 74 000 0003 1 76 080 0192 0 76 000 0048 1 74 080 0168 0 74 000 0042 1 72 080 0012 0 72 000 0003 1 74 080 0012 0 74 000 0003 1 72 080 0168 0 72 000 0042 1 71 080 0024 0 71 000 0006 1 67 080 0288 0 67 000 0012 1 65 080 0048 0 65 000 0012 1 64 080 0048 0 64 000 0012 1 65 080 0048 0 65 000 0012 1 67 080 0168 0 67 000 0042 1 65 080 0024 0 65 000 0006 1 64 080 0048 0 64 000 0072 1 64 080 0032 0 64 000 0008 1 64 080 0032 0 64 000 0008 1 64 080 0032 0 64 000 0008 1 62 080 0408 0 62 000 0042 1 60 080 0012 0 60 000 0003 1 59 080 0012 0 59 000 0003 1 60 080 0048 0 60 000 0012 1 60 080 0048 0 60 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Fair Una/Una Bhan
M:3/4
Q:1/4=65
K:C
C5D|-D/2D/2G7/2F/4D/4C|-C9/2E/2D|-D5/2C/2C/2E3/2D|
-D6|D/2C11/2|-C3/4B,/4C7/2C/2D|-D/2D/2G3/2G/2GA/2B/2c/2c/2|
-c5c|-c/2d/2e4d|-d5/2c/4B/4c3|-c/2B/2G7/2G/2G|
GGGABc/2c/2|-c5/2c/4d/4e3|-ed7/2c/4d/4c|-c5/2B/2G3|
-G2FEFG|-G5/2F/2E2E3/4E/4|-E/4E3/4D5|-D5/2C/4B,/4CC3/4||


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Subject: Úna Bhán
From: Philippa
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 04:45 PM

The lyrics and background notes to Úna Bhán as provided above by John are also at ingeb.org
That site also includes verses in poetic German translation by Heinrich Möller and a midi/sound file. The oldest known transcription of the song had 45 verses so it's no wonder that different singers have a different selection.

Máire Áine Ní Dhonnachadha's version with translation and notes are at Áine Cooke's webpages Máire Áine recorded Úna Bhán both on Claddagh records (Ireland) and on folkways (USA)

A shorter version and abc are at Liam Hart's archives

For sheet music you have to go off line for publications such as 'Cuisle Cheoil' (Dublin:an Roinn Oideachais [Dept of Education],1976); Fleur Roberts, ed. 'Irish Ballads',Dublin: Gill and MacMillan, 1996); Seán Óg Ó Baoill and Manus Ó Baoill, 'Ceolta Gael', Cork: Mercier, first ed. 1975.


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Subject: RE: Úna Bhán
From: Philippa
Date: 17 Sep 99 - 11:26 AM

also, available from Cló Iar-Chonnachta (look under book catalogue, songbooks. I quote:
Title: 'Úna Bhán'
Author: An Br. M.F. Ó Conchúir
ISBN: 1 874700 72 9
Price: IR£5
Chomh maith le leaganacha éagsúla de 'Úna Bhán', idir fhocail agus cheol, tá an leabhar fíorluachmhar seo bog-lán le stair, le scéalaíocht agus le dinnseanchas. - 'Lá'
An analysis of the famous song 'Úna Bhán' which deals with a tragic 18th century love affair in Roscommon. The geography and history of the area are also investigated


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Subject: RE: Úna Bhán , Una Bhan
From: Philippa
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 01:34 PM

More published sources for Úna Bhán:

Thomas Kinsella translation (7 verses) in A. Norman Jeffares, ed. "Irish Love Poems", Dublin: O'Brien Press; Boulder, Colorado: Irish American Book Co., 1997

11+ verses in Irish with English translation and pages of background info. in both Irish and English in Douglas Hyde, "Love Songs of Connacht", Shannon: Irish University Press, 1969 (first edition, 1893)
Hyde writes of his collecting the song and stories about it in County Roscommon.


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Subject: RE: NEW LYR/MUS: Una Bhan/Fair Una
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 02:45 PM

John, how about checking your ABCs before posting, or use MIDI2ABC to do the conversion? This is another that ABC2WIN can't understand, and ABCMUS only gets through if you ignore the error warning.


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Subject: RE: NEW LYR/MUS: Una Bhan/Fair Una
From: alison
Date: 04 Dec 99 - 11:19 PM

MIDI is at Mudcat MIDIs

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: NEW LYR/MUS: Una Bhan/Fair Una
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 08:15 AM

Bruce, I don't know what the current thinking is on posting Midis (text) and ABC's to this forum. The minor problems that I have had with ABCMUS I put down to endemic design. I must admit that I use MIDI as my preferred medium these days. Does the availabilities of MIDIs at MUDI satisfy your needs?

I have a couple of dozen to post to MUDI, but haven;t had the time to get organised. These have come from fairly common sources such as Penguin English Folksongs, Peter Kenneddy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland plus Songs of the North, Vol1 (presumably printed during the reign of Queen Victoria). Do you know its more precise publication date please?

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: NEW LYR/MUS: Una Bhan/Fair Una
From: alison
Date: 06 Dec 99 - 12:04 AM

send me some John,

I'll help out,......

slainte

alison


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