Irish Songs

Heroic & Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction Character created by Kevin L. O'Brien

Bride of Lucifer, © by Hong Kuang

Lorelei, by Eduard Jakob von Steinle

s described elsewhere, the Irish bardic tradition has had a strong affect on the evolution of Western music. Its clearest influence has been in folk music, especially Irish/Celtic bands, and rock, popular, and New Age fusion music. Many tunes and lyrics that are now well known have been handed down for at least 200–300 years, with some going back 500, 1000, even 1500 years. A few may even come from the Iron Age itself. Medb hErenn loves music and to modern ears is an accomplished singer and player (though to her people she would sound mediocre). She remembers and sings many songs from earlier in her life, including those we would consider modern.

What follows is a list of traditional Irish songs. Though the melody is often modern, and most have been played by modern groups or singers, the lyrics themselves are in the public domain. Just click on a link to open a hidden panel, and click on it again to close it.

Caidé Sin D'on Té Sin


This could be considered Medb's signature song. Loosely translated, the title can mean "it ain't no one's business but my own". The song describes a man who has no riches, no goods to speak of, no cattle, no fine clothes, only a hovel to live in, who spends his days in idle pleasure, but who is happy with his lot and asks why anyone else should care. Though Medb prefers to be rich and to live well, she still lives her life as she sees fit, and will not tolerate criticism from those who believe it is wrong.


Chuaigh mé chun aonaigh is dhíol mé mo bhó
Ar chúig phunta airgid is ar ghiní bhuí óir
Má ólaim an t-airgead is má bhronnaim an t-ór
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó
Má ólaim an t-airgead is má bhronnaim an t-ór
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Má théim na choille chraobhaigh cruinniú sméara nó cnó
A bhaint úllaí de ghéaga nó a bhuachailleacht bó
Má shíním seal uaire faoi chrann a dhéanamh só
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó
Má shíním seal uaire faoi chrann a dhéanamh só
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Má théimse chuig airnéal is rince is spórt
Chuig aonach is rásaí 's gach cruinniú den tsórt
Má chím daoine súgach is má bhím súgach leo
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó
Má chím daoine súgach is má bhím súgach leo
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Deir daoine go bhfuil mé gan rath 's gan dóigh
Gan earra gan éadach gan bólacht ná stór
Má tá mise sásta mo chónaí i gcró
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó
Má tá mise sásta mo chónaí i gcró
Ó caidé sin d'on té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

Dúlamán


Dúlamán is Irish for seaweed, but this song is not about seaweed. It is in fact a love song, about a boy wooing a girl over the objections of her mother. But the girl is no pushover herself.


A'níon mhín ó
Sin anall na fir shúirí
A mháithair mhín ó
Cuir na roithléan go dtí mé

(Chorus, after each verse)
Dúlamán na binne buí
Dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na binne buí
Dúlamán Gaelach

Tá ceann buí óir
Ar an dúlamán gaelach
Tá dhá chluais mhaol
Ar an dúlamán gaelach

Rachaimid 'un an Iúr
Leis an dúlamán gaelach
Ceannóimid bróga daora
Ar an dúlamán gaelach

Bróga breaca dubha
Ar an dúlamán gaelach
Tá bearéad agus triús
Ar an dúlamán gaelach

Ó chuir mé scéala chuici
Go gceannóinn cíor dí
'Sé an scéal a chuir sí chugam
Go raibh a ceann cíortha

Caidé thug tú 'na tíre?
Arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Ag súirí le do níon
Arsa an dúlamán maorach

Chan fhaigheann tú mo 'níon
Arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Bheul, fuadóidh mé liom í
Arsa an dúlamán maorach

Dúlamán na binne buí
Dúlamán a' tsleibhe
Dúlamán na farraige
Is dúlamán a' deididh