January 05, 2005

Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers I'm Irish and love my cats but this just does not seem good...
  • I'm mostly Scottish with a smidgen of Irish, & I love cats too, so you're alright by me. Unless you're a fuckin' commie. I don't want no commies in my car. No christians either. Good post.
  • Or worse yet those christian, commie, cat hatin' SOB's.
  • Oh, Marc, Marc. What a disturbing set of lyrics. I worked with Marc at a Rennaissance Festival and he was a good guy and a great promoter of celtic music, but I never thought he was capable of this. Celtic music fans know, of course, that Celtic songs about cats involve turning them into road pizza (see Bogle and Kanefsky). Even american folk music (see Henry Miller's The Cat Came Back) follows this storied tradition...
  • I doubt even Pagliacci could make those lyrics sound good ... I'm thinking the album should be titled "Songs about cats sung by a drunk Irishman" or even "It was funny at 3 am after 15 pints of Old Stout".
  • "I'm thinking the album should be titled "Songs about cats sung by a drunk Irishman" or even "It was funny at 3 am after 15 pints of Old Stout"." or even "MmmmmmmmF waas???? My mother was a saint!!!!!!!!!! yu feckin assssss.. zzzzz waaa i you doon no fuck yoo stupid... my catz didn zzzzzzzzzzzzzz ull so you you you fecccc... Fuck..."
  • Gimme what arse_hat had, but make it a double ...
  • I believe we have finally found a CD by someone we know that MCroft will not feel obliged to buy. *is relieved*
  • Pangur Ban I and Pangur Ban, my cat, 'Tis a like task we are at: Hunting mice is his delight, Hunting words I sit all night. Better far than praise of men 'Tis to sit with book and pen: Pangur bears me no ill-will, He too plies his simple skill. "Tis a merry thing to see At our tasks how glad are we, When at home we sit and find Entertainment to our mind. Oftentimes a mouse will stray In the hero Pangur's way; Oftentimes my keen thought set Takes a meaning in its net. 'Gainst the wall he sets his eye, Full and fierce and sharp and sly; 'Gainst the wall of knowledge I All my little wisdom try. When a mouse darts from its den, O how glad is Pangur then! O what gladness do I prove When I solve the doubts I love! So i peace our tasks we ply, Pangur Ban, my cat, and I; In our arts we find our bliss, I have mine and he has his. Practice every day has made Pangur perfect in his trade; I get wisdom day and night Turning darkness into light. -- Anon., translated from 9th century Irish by Kuno Meyer
  • Messe ocus Pangur Bán, cechtar nathar fria saindan: bíth a menmasam fri seilgg, mu memna céin im saincheirdd. Caraimse fos (ferr cach clu) oc mu lebran, leir ingnu; ni foirmtech frimm Pangur Bán: caraid cesin a maccdán. O ru biam (scél cen scís) innar tegdais, ar n-oendís, taithiunn, dichrichide clius, ni fris tarddam ar n-áthius. Gnáth, huaraib, ar gressaib gal glenaid luch inna línsam; os mé, du-fuit im lín chéin dliged ndoraid cu ndronchéill. Fuachaidsem fri frega fál a rosc, a nglése comlán; fuachimm chein fri fegi fis mu rosc reil, cesu imdis. Faelidsem cu ndene dul hi nglen luch inna gerchrub; hi tucu cheist ndoraid ndil os me chene am faelid. Cia beimmi a-min nach ré ni derban cách a chele: maith la cechtar nár a dán; subaigthius a óenurán. He fesin as choimsid dáu in muid du-ngni cach oenláu; du thabairt doraid du glé for mu mud cein am messe. bees, every site I can find credits that translation to Robin Flower; are you sure about Kuno? There's a literal translation (with facing original) here. I've loved the poem ever since Old Irish class... almost thirty years ago now!
  • The composer Samuel Barber wrote a wonderful setting for voice and piano of the "Pangur" poem (albeit a slightly different translation). It's included in the song cycle Hermit Songs. Check it out; it's a beautiful song, and the whole cycle is exemplary.
  • Languagehat, my apologies, you are quite correct, that is by Flowers' and not Meyer. Looked for the author in the table of content of Kathleen Hoagland's 1000 Years of Irish Poetry wherein "Pangur Ban" is immediately followed by Meyer's "The Hermit" and so mistook the correct author. By way of amends, here are a couple of stanzas from Paul Muldoon's contemporary translation, "Myself and Pangur": Myself and Pangur, my white cat, have much the same calling, in that much as Pangur goes after mice I go hunting for the precise word. He and I are much the same in that I'm gladly "lost to fame" when on the Georgics, say, I'm bent while he seems perfectly content... [Though comparisons are odiuos, and though I am a great Muldoon admirer, I nonetheless think Flowers takes the honours in this case, but maybe that's due to my knowing Flowers' version from childhood.]
  • Ach! Should read: Meyer's "The Hermit Thrush"
  • /heart beats strongly for Irish poesy
  • With deep affection And recollection I often think of Those Shandon bells, Whose sounds so wild would, In the days of childhood, Fling round my cradle Their magic spells. On this I ponder Where'er I wander, And thus grow fonder, Sweet Cork, of thee, With thy bells of Shandon That sound so grand on The pleasant waters Of the river Lee. I've heard bells chiming Full many a clime in, Tolling sublime in Cathedral shrine. While at a glib rate Brass tongues would vibrate -- But all their music Spoke not like thine; For memory dwelling On each proud swelling Of the belfry knelling In bold notes free, Made the bells of Shandon Sound far more grand on The pleasnat waters Of the river Lee.... -- Father Prout [Francis S. Mahony], from "The Bells of Shandon"
  • And I never think of that one without remembering Brendan Behan.
  • CAUTION: If ye are low in spirit today, ye may wish to give this folk song from the Gaelic a miss: The Little White Cat The little grey cat was walking prettily, When she found her little son stretched dead, And 'twas only a year since her family Were cast out and drowned in a trench. The little white cat, white, white, white, The little white cat, Breed's cat, The little white cat, snowy white, That was drowned in a trench. The little mother stood upright, When she found her little son dead; She brought him in and made a bed for him, And then began to lament him. The little white cat, white, white etc. Andrew, the blind, has some of her family, And they came together to lament him. I am sure if Barry hears it, He will regret the death of Breed's cat. The little white cat, white, white etc. He broke no chest, no lock of the neighbors, Nor did he destroy the cows' butter. And you never heard such discourse As the mice had in telling it. The little white cat, white, white etc. His eye was grey, his walk was pretty, His step was light and active; And I'd rather far be going to the clay Than that the province of Munster should hear of it. The little white cat, white. white etc. Then little white cat would hump his back As big as a three pint jug. Wasn't he a fine show for the gentry to see, Poll, Breed's pretty little cat? The little white cat, white, white etc. Walter's Martin will put a wooden coffin on him, And it's he that is able. And were it not for the time at which he died We should have every cause for lamenting. The little white cat, white, white etc. --trans by Mrs. Costello of Tuam