Best viewed in
Internet Explorer

Music (PDF)

Music (BMW)

Back to

Updated 04/24/2013


Ar EirinnNi Neosfainn CéhÌ
(For Ireland I'd Not Tell Her Name)

The title translates to ''For Ireland I'd Not Tell Her Name.  As one story goes, a young man fell secretly in love with a girl. Too poor to support her and too shy to propose, he went abroad to seek his fortune.  However, when he returned to claim his beloved, he was shattered to find her married to his brother. Still in love, he composed this song to her but, for obvious reasons, refused to reveal her name."

The haunting melody is a traditional Irish slow air that appears in O'Neill's Music of Ireland dated 1850.  O'NEILL'S MUSIC OF IRELAND (The 1850) was collected over the course of twenty -some -years by Daniel Francis O'Neill,  one-time Chief of Police of Chicago, and published in 1903 by Lyon & Healy as a special-interest volume sponsored by the Irish Music Club of Chicago.  It has endured over the years to it's Centenary as a useful record of the way Irish-Americans played and perceived the musical tradition of Ireland and of the tunes themselves.

Chief O'Neill actually hired Irish musicians onto the police force just so he could "pick their minds" and get more tunes for the club's repertoire... the great Uilleann piper, Patrick "Patsy" Touhey was a Chicago Police member for five years without once "hitting the pavement".



Ar éirinn Ní n-Eósainn
Cé h-í Aréir is mé téarnamh um' neoin
Ar an dtaobh thall den teóra 'na mbím,
Do théarnaig an spéir-bhean im' chómhair
D'fhág taomanach breóite lag sinn.
Do ghéilleas dá méin is dá cló,
Dá béal tanaí beó mhilis binn,
Do léimeas fé dhéin dul 'na cómhair,
Is ar Éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

Dá ngéilleadh an spéir-bhean dom' ghlór,
Siad ráidhte mo bheól a bheadh fíor;
Go deimhin duit go ndéanfainn a gnó
Do léirchur i gcóir is i gcrich.
Dó léighfinn go léir stair dom' stór,
'S ba mhéinn liom í thógaint dom chroí,
'S do bhearfainn an chraobh dhi ina dóid,
Is ar Éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

Tá spéir-bhruinneal mhaordha dheas óg
Ar an taobh thall de'n teóra 'na mbím.
Tá féile 'gus daonnacht is meóin
Is deise ro-mhór ins an mhnaoi,
Tá folt lei a' tuitim go feóir,
Go cocánach ómarach buí.
Tá lasadh 'na leacain mar rós,
Is ar Éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.


Last eve as I wandered quiet near,
To the border's of my little farm,
A beautiful maiden appeared,
Whose loveliness caused my heart's harm,
By her daring and love smitten sour,
And the words from her sweet lips that came,
To meet her I raced the field o're,
But for Ireland I'd not tell her name.

If this beauty but my words would heed
The words that I speak would be true,
I'd help her in every need,
And indeed all her work I would do,
To win one fond kiss from my love,
I'd read her romances of fame,
Her champion I daily would prove,
But for Ireland I'd not tell her name. 

There's a beautiful stately young maid,
At the nearing of my little farm,
She's welcoming kind unafraid,
Her smile is both childlike and warm,
Her gold hair in masses that grows
Like amber and sheen is that same,
And the bloom in her cheeks like the rose,
But for Ireland I'd not tell her name.