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The King sits in Dunfermline town, Drinking the blood-red wine. "O! where shall I get a captain bold To sail this new ship of mine?" Then up and spake an eldern knight, Sat at the King's right knee: "Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor That ever sail'd the sea!" The King has written a broad letter, And seal'd it with his hand, And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens, Who was walking on the strand. "To Noraway, to Noraway, To Noraway, o'er the foam, The Princess fair of Noraway, 'Tis thou must bring her home." "O! who is it has done this deed, And told the King of me? To send us out at this time of the year, To sail upon the sea!" They had not sail'd a league, a league, A league but barely three, When the sky grew dark, and the wind blew loud, And gurly grew the sea. The anchors brake, the topmasts lap, 'Twas such a deadly storm. And the waves came o'er the broken ship, Till all her sides were torn. The ladies wrang their fingers white, The maidens tore their hair, All for the sake of their true loves, For them they'll see no more. O! forty miles from Aberdeen 'Tis fifty fathom deep. And there lies brave Sir Patrick Spens, With his comrades at his feet.
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , title 1: "Sir Patrick Spens", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Virginia Knight
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 36
Word count: 225
Is i nDùn Phàrlain atá an rí Is é ag ól an fhíon’: ‘Ó cá bhfaighinnse an captaen groí Chun mo bhárc a sheol’ thar toinn?’ Do sheas ansin an ridire críon, Shuigh in aice an rí: ‘Níl fear níos fearr ná Sir Patrick Spens Ag treabhadh na bhfarraigí!’ Tá litir scríofa aige lena lámh Is uirthi séala atá Á seoladh chuig Sir Patrick Spens A bhí ag siúl cois trá. ‘Chuig an Iorua, an Iorua An Iorua leat i gcéin! Banphrionsa bhreá na hIorua Is mian liom í faoim’ dhéin.’ ‘Ó! Cé a dhein an feall orm Nó cé labhair leis an Rí Chun sinn a chur ar an bhfarraige ghorm Tráth garbh seo sa bhliain!’ Ní rabhadar rófhada ón dtír Léig nó dhó nó trí Nuair ba dhubh an spéir is nuair b’ard an ghaoth Os cionn na bhfarraigí. Is bhris ansin na hancairí A leithéid sin de chreach Do scoilt an crann is do bhúir an mhuir Is níor spáráladh neach. Is d’fháisc na maighdeana a lámh’ Is stróiceadar a ngruaig Is sileadh deora bróin is grá Don dream a bádh ó thuaidh. As Obar Dheathain daichead míl’ Síos síos sa duibheagán Is ann atá Sir Patrick Spens Is a chriú ina gcodladh sámh.
- Singable translation from English to Irish (Gaelic) copyright © 2014 by Gabriel Rosenstock.
This author's work falls under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons license.
Gabriel Rosenstock.  Contact: grosenstock04 (AT) gmail (DOT) comIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
This text was added to the website: 2014-12-26
Line count: 36
Word count: 207