Six Irish Songs

Song Cycle by Derek Healey (b. 1936)

Word count: 252

?. I hear an army charging [sung text not yet checked]

I hear an army charging upon the land,
  And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:
Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,
  Disdaining the reins, with flutt'ring whips, the charioteers.

They cry unto the night their battlename:
  I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter.
They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,
  Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.

They come shaking in triumph their long, green hair:
  They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.
My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?
  My love, my love, why have you left me alone?

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter Riemer) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Death may be [sung text not yet checked]

Death may be very gentle after all
 . . . . . . . . . .

— The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. —

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?. A cradle song [sung text not yet checked]

The angels are [stooping]1, above your bed;
They weary of trooping with the whimpering dead.
God's laughing in heaven to see you so good;
The [Shining]2 Seven are gay with His mood.
[I kiss you and kiss you, my pigeon my own.
Ah how I shall miss you when you have grown.]3

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Una ninna nanna", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Scots Observer, April 1890; revised 1901
1 Grill: "singing"
2 Ebel, Grill: "Sailing"
3 Ebel: "I sigh that kiss you, for I must own/ That I shall miss you when you have grown."; Grill: "I sigh that kiss you, for I must own/ That I shall miss you when you have gone."

Research team for this text: Ted Perry , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

?. Strings in the earth [sung text not yet checked]

Strings in the earth and air 
  Make music sweet; 
Strings by the river where 
  The willows meet. 

There's music along the river 
  [For Love wanders there,]1
Pale [flowers]1 on his mantle, 
  Dark leaves on his hair. 

All softly playing, 
  With head to [the]3 music bent, 
And fingers straying 
  Upon an instrument.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 not set by Berio.
2 Coulthard: "flow'rs"
3 omitted by Coulthard

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. A drinking song [sung text not yet checked]

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]