> Danny Spooner > Songs > Seán Ó Duibhir an Ghleanna (Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen)

Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen

[ Roud - ; Ballad Index OLoc081 ; trad.]

Danny Spooner, accompanied by Mick Farrell, sang and played the air and song Seán Ó Duibhir an Ghleanna (Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen) in 1978 on their album Limbo. He noted:

These two marvellous pieces of Irish musical and lyric brilliance were inspired by a guerrilla leader in Ireland at the time of Oliver Cromwell's attempted conquest. Seán Ó Duinhr carried on a fierce resistance against the “New Model Army” and its protestant allies, until his beloved forest was put to the torch by the invaders. No-one listening can help being moved by such wanton destruction and blood-letting in the name of God, that is symbolised by that invasion.

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen

How oft at sunny morning
Sunlight all adorning
I hear the horn give warning
'Mid the birds mellow call.
Badgers flee before us
Woodcocks startle o'er us
And guns give ringing chorus
'Mid the echoes all.

The fox runs higher and higher
Huntsmen shouting nigh her
A maiden lying by her fowl
Left wounded in his gore.
Now they fell the wildwood
Farewell home of childhood
Seán Ó Duibhir an Gleanna
Your day it is o'er.

'Tis my sorrow sorest
Sad the falling forest
The north wind brings me no rest
And death is in the sky.
My noble hounds tied tightly
Never sporting brightly
Would make a child laugh lightly
With a tear in its eye.

The antlered noble-hearted
Stags are never started
Never chased nor parted
From the furzy field.
If peace comes but a small way
I'll journey down to Galway
I'll leave, but not for always
My Erin of ills.

Land of streams and valleys
Has no head nor rallies
In city, camp or palace
They never toast her name.
Where the warrior column
From Clyne to peaks of Collum
All wasted hills and solemn
The wild hare grows tame.

When will come the routing
Shocks of churls and flouting?
I hear no joyful shouting
From the blackbird brave.
Ne'er warlike is the yeoman
Justice comes to no man
And priests must flee the foeman
To the mountain cave.

'Tis my woe and ruin
Sinless death's undoing
Came not to the strewing
Of all my bright hopes.
How oft of sunny morning
I watched the sun returning
The autumn maples burning
And dew on the woodland slopes.

But now my lands are plundered
Far my friends are sundered
And I must hide me under
The branch and bramble screen.
If soon I cannot save me
From flights of foes who crave me
Oh death at last I'll brave thee
My bitter foes between.

For now they fell the wildwood
Farewell home of childhood
Seán Ó Duibhir an Ghleanna
Your day it is o'er.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: Sean O Duibhir an Gleanna / Sean O'Dwyer.