fáinne geal an lae

This yarn from Markree Wool Craft reminds me of the dusky pinks and purples in the twinkling light just before dawn so I named this cropped cardigan pattern, for a famous Irish traditional folk ballad, Fáinne Geal an Lae, the dawning of the day.003 - Copy

The song, Fáinne Geal an Lae, is one of the first tunes I learnt to play on the tin whistle as a child and is typically learnt by all national school children. The air was originally composed by the seventeenth century Irish composer and harpist, Thomas Connellan but might be more familiar as the air used in the infamous song On Raglan Road sung by Luke Kelly of The Dubliners and written by the  poet Patrick Kavanagh.005

Fáinne Geal an lae was originally written as ghaeilge:

Maidin moch do ghabhas amach,
Ar bruach Locha Léin;
An Samhradh teacht’s an chraobh len’ais,
Is ionrach te ón ngréin,
Ar thaisteal dom trí bhailte
poirt is bánta mine réidhe,
Cé a gheobhainn le máis ach an chúileann deas,
Le fáinne geal an lae.
Ní raibh bróg ná stoca, caidhp ná clóc;
Ar mo stóirin óg ón spéir,
Ach folt fionn órga sios go troigh,
Ag fás go barr an théir.
Bhí calán crúite aici ina glaic,
‘S ar dhrúcht ba dheas a scéimh,
Do rug barr gean ar Bhéineas deas,
Le fáinne geal an lae.
Do shuigh an bhrideog sios le m’ais,
Ar bhrinse glas den fhéar,
Ag magadh léi bhios dá maiomh go pras,
Mar mhnaoi nach scarfainn léi.
‘S é dúirt í liomsa, “imigh uaim,
Is scaoil ar siúl mé a réic”,
Sin iad aneas na soilse ag teacht,
Le fáinne geal an lae.
and latter translated into English
One morning early I went out
On the shore of Lough Leinn
The leafy trees of summertime,
And the warm rays of the sun,
As I wandered through the townlands,
And the luscious grassy plains,
Who should I meet but a beautiful maid,
At the dawning of the day.
No cap or cloak this maiden wore
Her neck and feet were bare
Down to the grass in ringlets fell
Her glossy golden hair
A milking pail was in her hand
She was lovely, young and gay
Her beauty excelled even Helen of Troy
At the dawning of the day.
On a mossy bank I sat me down
With the maiden by my side
With gentle words I courted her
And asked her to be my bride
She turned and said, “Please go away,”
Then went on down the way
And the morning light was shining bright
At the dawning of the day.
For more information on the history of this song and its connection to On Raglan Road visit  Martin Dardis‘ website, where you can find the lyrics and music to both songs!

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