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This is a poem by the peasant poet John McCambridge who was born in 1793 in Mullarts, near Glendun Co. Antrim and died in 1873
I know this song from the singing of the great Irish Harpist and Soprano Mary O'Hara. There is a wonderful video of her performing the song on youtube.
It was her performance of this song in particular that inspired me to play and record a lot of the music in this collection.
The townland of Ard ui chuain ( ardicoan ) is near the beach at Cushendal Ballymena Co.Antrim in Northern Ireland.From the beach here the coastline of Ayyshore in Scotalnd can plainly be seen.The peasant poet John McCambridge (1793-1873) was born here.. It is said that at the time of the famine he was offered a job in Scotland. From his standpoint on the beach he looked across the sea at the opposite shore and imagined a life there, unable to return home. The sadness of such thoughts he captured in verse and as a result he never left the land he loved.
ARD ui chuain ( O’Cowans Hill )
Dá mbeinn féin in Airdí Cuan
in aice an tsléibhe úd 'tá i bhfad uaim
b'annamh liom gan dul ar cuairt
go Gleann na gCuach Dé Domhnaigh.
By myself I'd be in Ard Ti Chuain*
Where the mountains stand away
And 'tis there I'd let the Sundays pass
In a quiet glen above the bay
agus och, och Éire 'lig is ó
Éire lonndubh agus ó
is é mo chroí 'tá trom is é brónach.
Is iomaí Nollaig 'bhí mé féin
i mbun abhann Doinne is mé gan chéill
ag iomáin ar an trá bhán
is mo chamán bán i mo dhorn liom.
my heart is weary all alone
And it sends a longing cry
To the land that sings beyond my dreams
And the lonely Sundays pass me by.
I would ravel back the twisted years
Through the wicked wasted winds
If the Gods above would let me lie
In that quiet place above the wind.