Mudcat Café message #3776690 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159372   Message #3776690
Posted By: GUEST
04-Mar-16 - 06:43 PM
Thread Name: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Subject: RE: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens'
I put this article with my version of 'The spinning wheel' some years ago, but failed to note the name of the author, I think the date is too late for Samuel Ferguson.

Dublin University Magazine July 1859 Page 134.
This is John Francis Waller's prefatory note to The Spinnig Wheel. It was published as above along with several other poems under the pseudonym of Jonathon Freke Slingsby. The lyric below is as Waller wrote it, although there are some differences in the words of the sung versions.

A summer's evening in the country brings with it many pleasant thoughts. Out of doors there is the dance, by the road-side or on the green, hurling and foot-ball, leaping and casting the stone, and all those man!y, rustic sports which were discontinued through many a weary year of famine, and sickness, and sorrow, but which, thank heaven, one again sees now-a-days - not, perhaps, with all the sprightliness of old times, or as thronged as before death and emigration thinned the numbers of our peasants, and robbed us of the flower and the beauty, as well as the muscle and tbe sinew of the people - our young men and our young maidens - leaving the old and the decrepid to languish and die away. Ah, well! the time will come again, I trust, when as strong arms and as light feet will assemble at the summer trysting; and may it be that they will be better still than the generation that preceded them - schooled by their trials - taught by their hard experiences - and fitter to fill that great place in the social polity of a nation which the people ever should fill. Meanwhile, let me recall one of the rustic recollections of a summer evening, when a fair girl contrived to elude thc vigilant ears of a purblind grandmother, and left her spinning-wheel, to ramble by moonlight with her sweetheart. I have thrown the incident into a song - it must be sung to one of those airs which young girls chant so sweetly to the hum of their spinning-wheels, but which you will now hear more rarely than when I was a boy, Anthony. Here, give the paper to Bishop, and Iet him sing the verses to the air of "The Little House under the HiII."

But stay a moment, Jack, until I 'insense' you as we say in the country, into the spirit of the song. Remember to what instrument you are supposed to be singing - a spinning-wheel. Now, don't look so dramaticaily indignant - I mean no offence to your manhood. The lever which you move with your foot is your metronome, and will keep you in time, and the humming wheel is your accomnpaniment. So then you will sing equably, but not monotonously, Jack; and your refrain must ring roundly, as it were, save the third verse, wherein you must in the last four lines so retard the time and "aggravate" your voice, as Bully Bottom says, that you shall demonstrate to your auditory how the girl is minding her spinning less and her lover more than... is good for her, mayhap; and then you will make your pauses in the refrain to mark how the wheel, when left to itself, goes round unsteadily, and with a chuck at each revolution, as the impulse given by the last pressure of the girl's foot is just able to drag up the crank to the highest point, and then the weight of the foot-lever brings it down again. So, now let's hear what you can do:-

Mellow the moonlight to shine is beginning;
Close by the window young Eileen is spinning;
Bent o'er the fire her blind grandmother sitting,
Crooning and moaning and drowsily knitting.
Eileen, a chara, I hear someone tapping
'Tis the ivy, dear mother, against the glass flapping.
Eileen, I surely hear somebody sighing.
'Tis the sound, mother dear of the summer wind dying.
Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel while the foot's stirring;
Sprightly and lightly and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.

2. What's the noise I hear at the window, I wonder?
'Tis the little birds chirping, the holly-bush under.
What makes you be shoving and moving your stool on,
And singing all wrong the old song of 'The Coolin'?
There's a form at the casement, the form of her true love
And he whispers with face bent, I'm waiting for you love;
Get up on the stool, through the lattice step lightly,
We'll rove in the grove while the moon's shining brightly.

3. The maid shakes her head, on her lips lays her fingers,
Steals up from the seat, longs to go, and yet lingers;
A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother,
Puts one foot on the stool, spins the wheel with the other.
Lazily, easily, now swings the wheel round;
Slowly and lowly is heard now the reel's sound;
Noiseless and light to the lattice above her
The maid steps, then leaps to the arms of her lover.
Slower... and slower... and slower the wheel swings;
Lower... and lower... and lower the reel rings;
Ere the reel and the wheel stop their ringing and moving,
Through the grove the young lovers by moonlight are roving.

An Tuirnín Lín: Trans. Diarmaid Ó Tuama.

Loinnir ón ngealach ag cur leis an niamh,
Taobh leis an bhfuinneog tá Eibhlín ag sníomh;
Mamó go suanmhar ag cniotáil cois tine,
Cromtha 'gus dall is ag crónán le binneas.

Callánach croíúil ceolmhar gan chliseadh
Castar an tuirne le fuinneamh na coise;
Álainn is aigeanta, aerach is aoibhinn
An bhruinneall ag canadh go caoin lena faí bhinn.

"Eibhlín, a stóirín, tá cnag ar an bhfuinneog."
"Sé 'n t-eidhneán, a Mhamó, á shéideadh mar dhuilleog."
"Eibhlín, ar m'anamsa, cloisimse osna.'
"Siod é siosarnach gaoithe, a Mhamó, sa bhrosna."

"Cén trup sin a chloisimse lasmuigh den fhuinneog?"
"Tá, éanlaith, a Mhamó, ag canadh i loinneog."
"Cén chúis 'tá led bhogadh 's led chorraí id' stóilín
'S led' rá bunoscionn an tseanamhráin, An Cúlfhionn?"

Tá 'n leannán cois comhla is labhrann go béalbhinn:
"Cogar, a chailín, is téana, a Eibhlín!
Éirigh den stóilín 's amach tríd an gcrannaíl
Amach linn sa gharrán ag siúl faoi na crannaibh."

Éiríonn an ainnir, a méar lena beoilín,
Éiríonn den stóilín, ach fanann go fóillín;
Amharcann faoi rún ar an tseanmháthair mhuirneach,
Cuireann cos leis an stóilín is cos leis an tuirne.

Go réidh is go liosta, go mall is go suaimhneach
Casann an tuirne go héasca 's go luaimneach;
Go ciúin is go héadrom 'sea léimeann an bhruinneall
An leannán ag feitheamh, gan corraí, ar tinneall.