Fear an Bháta (The Boatman)

Fhir an bháta 'sna hóró éile
Fhir an bháta 'sna hóró éile
Fhir an bháta 'sna hóró éile
Mo shoraid slán leat gach áit a dtéid thú

Théid mé suas ar an chnoic is airde
Feach an bhfeic mé fear an bháta,
An tdig thú anoch nó an dtig thú amárach
No muna dtig thú idir is trua atá mé

Ta mo chroíse briste brúite
Is trick na deora a rith bho mo shúileann.
An dtig thú inniu nó am bidh mé dúil leat
Nó an druid mé an doras le osna thuirseach?

Thúg mé gael duit is chan fhéad mé 'athrú
Cha gaol bliana is cha gaol raithe
Ach gaol ó thoiseacht nuair bha mé 'mo pháiste
Is nach seasc a choíche me gus clóigh' am bás mé

Translation from Irish Gaelic to English

O, Boatman, and another, "horo"
My safe blessing with you everywhere you go

I went up on the highest hill
To see if I could see the boatman
Will you come tonight or will you come tomorrow?
If you do not come, I will be wretched

My heart is broken and crushed
Frequent are the tears that run from my eyes
Will you come today or when I'm longing for you
Or shall I close the door with a tired sigh?

I gave you my love, and I cannot change that
Not love for a year, and not just words of love
But love from the beginning, when I was a child
And I will never cease, even when my death bell tolls

Words: traditional Irish; Music: Connie Dover
From the CD, If Ever I Return, by Connie Dover © Taylor Park Music/Connie Dover

The words to this song of unrequited love come from the north of Ireland. "Fear an Bhata" is also widely sung throughout Scotland, where its original music and lyrics were first published in Henry Whyte's collection, The Celtic Lyre (Edinburgh, 1898).

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