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  1. Sisceal

From the album The Twilight Realm

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(Fairy Story) Brief translation: “Myself and Maire were on our way to the ‘ceilidh’ when who should we meet but one of the fairies of Chill Sleibh. He and Maire sing their way up the hill, hugging and having a great time. The fairy leads them both to the lois [fort] on the summit of a mountain, beside a loch. They arrived to find an ogbhean [small woman] sitting beside the lake, crying because she had dropped her gold ring into the bottom of the lake. The narrator retrieves the ring for the ogbhean. They arrive back to the fairy fort where there was a wedding feast prepared for them and he married his love.”

A happy outcome on this one, where the fairies reward the young man by preparing his wedding feast and helping him fulfill his wish. Not all encounters with the otherworld worked out so well. The acts of the fairies are random, much as life is – they’ll give you a feast one day; they might very well deprive you of your sight on another. There’s a childlike, almost amoral quality about them in the old stories. There are no morals to these tales and they remain totally open to self interpretation. This is perhaps why they seemed to co-exist so peacefully with other religions and philosophies. If there is a lesson in any of the old stories, it is the idea that too much contact with the other world often results in dire consequences and staying away from reality for too long rarely has a good result. One must come back to the real world in which we live.

Lyrics

Mise is Mairin ag dul ar an cheili
O ró grá mo chroí
Ce casadh sa rod linn ach siogaí Chill Shleibhe
Cúach mo londubh buí

Cúach inniu agust cúach amarach
O ró grá mo chroí
Is cúach ag cantain I rith na raite
Cúach mo londubh buí

Thuas ar an sliabh sa lios cois an locha
O ró grá mo chroí
Beidh rince ag siogaí, piobaireacht is siamsa
Cúach mo londubh buí

Chuamar ag triall ann le siogaí
O ró grá mo chroí
Is chonaic muid ogbhean cois locha ‘na haonar
Cúach mo londubh buí

Ar mhullach an tsleibhe ‘na sui cois an locha
O ró grá mo chroí
Bhi an ogbheanag caoineadh no thit fainne ori lei
Go toin an locha sios

Thug me an fainne anios as an locha di
O ró grá mo chroí
‘S bhi bainis duinn reidh sa lios cois an locha
Is phós me grá mo chroí