CAROLAN

THE LIFE TIMES AND MUSIC OF AN IRISH HARPER

Remains of Carolan

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The original verse was written by Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) in Gaelic. The translation appearing in Irish Minstrelsy by James Hardiman, M.R.I.A. was done by Thomas Furlong. He found it a difficult task, "in the translation of this song, to preserve the peculiarity of the measure, and at the same time convey an idea of the inimitable spirit of the original" page 127 of notes. My objective is from the genealogy approach and have had the verse literally translated from Irish to English. Hardiman states that this song was "composed for one of the predecessors of Sir William John Brabazon, of Brabazon Park, in the County of Mayo, baronet, descended, with the Earls of Meath, from Sir William Brabazon, Lord Treasurer and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, in the reign of Henry VIII"
It would be reasonable to assume that he did not know of George from William Brabazon's 1st marriage to Mary Browne. Logically the song is attributed to his co-heir George Brabazon from his 2nd marriage to Catherine Fitzmaurice. This is probably not correct. This younger George was born in 1720 and Carolan died in 1738. He would have been 18 years old and hardly the toast of Gallon at that time. It is more likely that it is the older George from his 1st marriage who I have estimated would have been about 42 years old at the time of Carolan's death and probably in charge of his father's estate's. Capt. William died about 1741. The younger George would have been about 10 year's old, the older George about 34 years old.
Bernard J. Brabazon, June 5, 2003

Planxty George Brabazon
Translated from Irish to English by
Fr. Sean McMahon
of Dingle, Co. Kerry
June 5, 2003

Oh! George Brabazon that you may live, brightly and safe,
The love of everybody and their child is happy fame;
The hand that made it easy for us to get wine-
The cause of laughter in company where your love is.
High ho! he is gleeful,
Hi ho! he is the flower of the witty:
In sport, in celebrating.
Meat, beer, music and on the harp, the fiddler, the center of his land
He is the top branch of Gallen, the love of my heart is with him
He is a handsome son, charitable and truthful
I would prefer than the herds and the gold of the King of Spain
Than Rome where the steeds and the coaches abound and the Popes as well,
Than Dunmore McCeoruis and Norrall McRaghnaill
to be looking at George giving your gold and bounty around.
Hi ho! He is the lively youth
Horn Go! The challenge of a person to him.
Him Ham! Planxty merriment,
Sing, dance, drink, to his health.
He is content, he is kind, he is affable
He is the flower of his race, I would travel his area with him.
May every blessing and luck be on him and may every good fall on him.
High Ho !