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Anac Cuan (Annaghdown)

[Anthony Raftery]

The full text of this song both in the Irish and in English translation can be found in by Eibhlín Mhic Choisdealbha (Mrs Costello)'s book Amráin muige seóla: Traditional Folksongs from Galway and Mayo (Dublin: Talbot Press, 1923, p. 98). There appear to be several spellings of the title, Eanach Cuain, Anach Cuain, Anach Cuin, and Anac Cuan. The song describes a tragic boating accident. The lyrics are ascribed to the poet Anthony Raftery.

Gordon McIntyre and Danny Spooner sang Anac Cuan on their 1978 album Revived and Relieved!.

Lyrics

Anac Cuan Annaghdown (English translation)

Ma fhaighimse sláinte is fada a bheas trocht ar
an mhéid a báthadh as Anach Cuan.
Mo thrua amhrach gach athair is mathair
bean is páiste atá ag síleadh síl.
A RÌ na nGrásta, a cheap neamh is Páthas,
nár bheag an bhacht d™inn beirt nó triúr?
Ach chomh breá leis gan gaoth gan bí isteach
is lán an bháid acu a scuabadh ar shiúil.

If my health is spared I'll be long relating,
Of the boat that sailed out from Annaghdown,
And the keening after of mother and father,
As the laying out of each corpse was done.
Oh King of Graces, who died to save us,
It was a small affair but for one or two,
But a boat-load bravely on a calm sailing,
Without storm or rain to be swept to doom.

Nár mhór an t-íonadh os comhair na ndaoine
a bhfeiscint sínte ar chúl a gcinn?
Screadadh is caoineadh a scanradh daoine,
gruaig cíoradh is an chreach roinn.
Bhí buachaillí óga ann, tiocht an fhómhair,
Síneadh ar chróchar is tabhairt go cill.
Is gurbh é gléas a pósta a bhí turramh
Is, a Dhia na Glóire, nór mhór an feall?

The boat sprang a leak and left all those people,
And frightened sheep out adrift on the tide,
It beats all telling what fate befell them,
Eleven strong men and eight women died.
Men who could manage a plough or harrow,
For to break the fallow or scatter seed,
And the women whose fingers could move so nimbly,
To spin fine linen or cloth to weave.

Young boys they were lying where crops were ripening,
From the strength of youth they were borne away,
In their wedding clothes for their wake they robed them,
Oh King of Glory man's hope is vain.

Loscadh sléibhte agus scalladh cléibhe
ar an áit ar Éagadur is milleán crua,
mar is iomaí críatúr a d'fhág sé ag géar-ghol,
ag sileadh is ag Éagaoin gach maidin Luain.
Ní diabháil eolais a chuir i dtreoir iad
ach mí-ádh mór a bhí sa gCaisleán Nua.
Is é críochnú an amhráin gur báthadh mórán
is d'fhág ábhar dól is ag Anach Cuan

May burning mountains come tumbling downward,
On that place of drowning may curses fall,
Full many the soul it has left in mourning,
And left without hope of a bright day's dawn.
The cause of their fate was no fault of sailing ,
It was the boat that failed them the Caislean Nuadh,
And left me to make with a heart that's breaking,
This sad lamentation for Annaghdown.

Acknowledgements

I copied the lyrics from the Cape Breton website of Cranford Publications.