1. Beautiful Churchill
2. The Gartan Mother's Lullaby
3. Lacnacoo
4. The Little Rose of Gartan
5. Unknown Title/Author (Finnia Fail)


Beautiful Churchill


This song was received in the office and we thought it might be of interest to people from Churchill.
It was composed many years ago by Seamus McLaughlin of Glendowan and Mick Duggan, a blacksmith from Gartan.
 
There is one spot in Donegal thatís ever full of cheer,
Where I oftimes walked, and had a talk, with my companions dear,
And oftimes with my comrade boys I sat and drank my fill,
And sang the praise of bygone days, in beautiful Churchill.
 
All around this town there lies green fields, the springtime seems almost gay,
Where the laurel and all its bliss and blooms, in the pleasant month of May,
Where the lovely thrush and the blackbirds do sing their notes to thrill,
Dear are to me and all the earth is beautiful Churchill.
 
This little town I boast of now is erected on high land,
Itís decorated with green fields, all around it seems most grand,
In the centre stands a shirt factory, where lovely girls do sew,
Their beauty shines clear in my mind no matter where I go.
 
O Gartan is a lovely spot, I long to view its scenes,
Its lovely groves, where lovers rove, and its fertile fields so green,
There come strangers here from everywhere and every sort of swell,
They come down and spend their months in Wilkinís Grand Hotel.
 
Now Bavel, it lies to the left, as you are passing through,
Plantations grand, around it stand, most pleasant for to view,
Where the laurel and all its blossoms blooms, in the pleasant month of May,
That fine estate, it lies quite near, to the banks of Lough Veigh.
 
There is an island in this lake in my memory I will keep,
Where snowy white seagull builds her nest, in the centres of the deep,
Where oft I rowed my little boat, with my true lovers so gay,
But alas, sheís gone and left me now, to the shores of America.
 
Ah Derryveagh with its lonely brae on the other side doth lie,
Where four and forty families did dwell in days gone by,
But the evictions fierce and cruel, they were forced to leave their land,
On a winterís day tis a lonely shore, a residence for swan.
 
Although I am a farmerís boy, my years being twenty-two,
Iíve got hardships in Donegal, no one has ever knew.
But I aftimes walked with pretty maids to the top of Leifein Hill,
And I spent some happy nights at balls, in beautiful Churchill.
 
Itís now to end these simple lines, Iíd like to let you hear,
There is one little girl and to me sheís ever dear.
If I could only win her, my heart with joy would fill,
Iíd live peacefully and contented in beautiful Churchill.

[This is from an old newspaper cutting, given to Bernadette by Gerald Doherty of Trentagh]


The Gartan Mother's Lullaby

Sleep, O babe, for the red-be hums
The silent twilight's fall:
Aibheall from the Grey Rock comes
To wrap the world in thrall.
A leanbhan O, my child, my joy,
My love and heart's-desire,
The crickets sing you lullaby
Beside the dying fire.

Dusk is drawn, and the Green Man's Thorn
Is wreathed in rings of fog:
Siabhra sails his boat till morn
Upon the Starry Bog.
A leanbhan O, the paly moon
Hath brimmed her cusp in dew,
And weeps to hear the sad sleep-tune
I sing, O love, to you.

Faintly sweet doth the chapel bell
Ring o'er the valley dim:
Tearmann's peasant-voices swell
In fragrant evening hymn.
A leanbhan O, the low bell rings
My little lamb to rest
And angel-dreams, till morning sings
Its music in your breast.

Sleep, O babe, for the red-bee hums
The silent twighlight's fall,
Aoibheall from the Grey Rock comes
To wrap the world in thrall.
A leanbhan O, my child, my joy,
My love and heart's-desire,
The crickets sing you lullaby
Beside the dying fire.

NOTE: Aoibheall of Carraig-Leath - Commonly known as "Aoibhinn the Beautiful" - is queen of the Northern Fairies, as Cliodhna of Tonn-Cliodhna is queen of the southern.

The Green Man - Fear-Glas - is own brother to the Scottish Bodaoh-Glas, or Fetch. They say if you see him in the morning, "no ill follows"; but if at night, death or some other terrible misfortune will surely overtake you. He is sometimes called Fear-Liath, or the Grey Man.
Siabhra - Is a generic term for an Irish fairy of any kind. In ancient writings the Tuatha de Danann, or little magicians of the Pagan Irish, were called "siabhra" without distinction.

(Quoted from "Songs of Uladh," by Padraig Mac Aodha O'Neill (Herbert Hughes) and Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil. Published by William Mullan, Belfast, 1904)




Lacnacoo (Gartan)

Reproduced from The Donegal Independent

[Lacnacoo and its environs, commonly styled Gartan by antiquarians, historians, poets,
tourists, pilgrims and 'trippers,' is situated in the centre of 'Dark Tyrconnell,' and is
noted for being the birthplace of St. Columba (7th December, A.D. 521). In the following
verses the Author attempts to describe it as it appeared to him on the 7th day of December,
1914 - the one thousand three hundred and ninty-third anniversary of the Saint's birthday.]

The biting blast was howling past
With weirdly crooning wail,
I stood beside St. Columb's Cross
And gazed along the vale.
I looked with awe on all I saw -
A shiver crept me through -
The little cairn where he was born,
In ancient Lacnacoo.

The lowlands green, the waters sheen,
All stormy round me lay;
The waves loud roared upon the shores
Of surly, dark Lough Veigh.
With sound so course, 'mid fern and gorse,
The wind swept sharply through,
And with its roar the rain dashed o'er
The fields of Lacnacoo.

I gazed around on dell and mound,
On olden structures grey -
The shining rills, the glooming hills,
Of lonely Derryveigh;
I heaved a sigh, a tear was nigh,
Imperfect was my view,
While night crept o'er each glen and moor
Of sacred Lacnacoo.

Oh! Many years of smiles and tears
Have slowly passed away,
Since last St. Columb gazed upon
The waters of Lough Veigh.
Ere he was nabb'd from native land,
And ordered not to view,
For ever more, its sandy shore
And lovely Lacnacoo.

The people still there treasure well,
His mem'ry and his name,
And pray to him who won for them
A great undying fame;
That God may guard their native sward
And bless a people true,
That wars might cease, and holy peace
Still dwell in Lacnacoo.


 

The Little Rose of Gartan


As I came o'er the Glaise head
I spied a little peasant maid;
She tripped the heath as light as down
Towards pleasant Cill-Mac-nEanain town.

Her hair was red, her eye was blue,
And brighter than the morning dew;
Her cheek a bunch of browning sloes,
Her mouth a budding bramble-rose.

To see so fair and free a child
A-foot upon the mountain wild,
It was a joy, a very joy -
And O, I wished myself a boy!

She was the fairy-flower and pride
Of all that highland Gartan side;
And peasant-poets called her, so.
The "Little rose in like to blow."

On, on she danced as light as down
Towards pleasant Cill-Mac-nEanian town;
And while she danced she sang a song
That lingered in my memory long.

I mind it yet, tho' nine good yeare
It is since I was fishing there,
And spied that little peasant maid
Above the babbling Gaise head.

NOTE: The Glaise is a tributary of the Lennon. Cill-Mac-nEanain - Irish form of Kilmacrenan.



"Unknown Title/Author" (Finnia Fail)

This is a old song that my grandfather had written down. I do not know it's origin but it must have been a local song. Joe Dougherty/USA

One pleasant summer's evening on the third day of July
Men with band and banners they proudly passed me by
Their flutes did hum and they beat their drums by the pleasant evening gale
For the gallant men from Swilly Glen that voted Finnia Fail.

The women of Glen Swilly they done thier duty too
They gave McGrenera and Blaney No. 1 and No. 2
They walked beneath the Banner, the Gold, the White and Green
Where Duffy and his blue shirts was no place to be seen.

O Duffy guides were filled with pride
They thought the game was won
For well they knew the shirt of blue that hung on Pashies son
They went on scout all round about from Roughan to Lough Dale
And with the rest they did their best to beat out Finnia Fail.

With a lovely tone from o're Glendowan with band and banners came
The band did play St. Patrick's day for the victory they had won
Through Breenagh town they marched it round joined by Glen Swilly men
To let the Crossans see they will not be the rulers of the Glen.

When passing by the village they call Drimenan Town
There was a flag in every window just waving to the ground
When gallant Dan took out his men and put them in parade
And shouted up De Valera and they played the White Cockade.

They marched along ten thousand strong beneath the Gold, the White and Green
They came at last, they had to pass where danger might be seen
Through Oakfield Street they marched ten deep, the Boys of Finnia Fail
Through Barrack Square they marched it rare and played old Grainne Wail.

That traitor to his country his blinds he did pull down
And off he threw his shirt of Blue and tramped it on the ground
He tore it up in ribbons and sent it with the gale
Saying at the next election I will vote Finnia Fail.

When passing by Rashedoge where danger there might be
Bold Kelly he was on the front, all danger to defy
And at the rear he gave three cheers "Come on my gallant men"
And the band played no surrender that night to Hannagh Den.

When they reached their destination in lovely green Foxhall
Mrs Kelly she was ready to entertain them all
And everyone was welcome, the truth I must reveal
For she was no pretender she voted Finnia Fail.

The election is all over the battle fought and won
McGrenera is elected a true Tir Conniall son
He lives near Killmaracen on the banks of Lennon Stream
And he is true on to his colors, the Gold, the White and Green.

Now to conclude and finish this pleasent Summer night
You people of Donegal should gather and unite
One flag would do the 32 and let it gently sail
Unite and stand together and stick to Finnia Fail

 


 

BACK to Gartan

 

Lindel Buckley

© 1998/2008 Donegal Genealogy Resources