Dúlamán

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This article is about the song. For the album, see Dúlamán (album).

Dúlamán (Irish for "channelled wrack", a type of edible seaweed), is an Irish folk song.

There are two versions of the melody that come from the Irish folk song tradition. The first of these was first recorded by Clannad on their album Dúlamán. The second melody was first recorded by Altan on their album Island Angel. An original musical setting of the traditional text of this song for choir was also made by Irish composer Michael McGlynn. This song is featured in Endless Ocean: Blue World (Adventures of the Deep in Europe).

The text of the song relates to the Irish practice of gathering seaweed for various purposes, dating from lean times when seaweed was valuable as a defence against famine.[1] It details the discussion between "dúlamán Gaelach" (a collector of seaweed for dyeing clothes) and "dúlamán maorach" (a collector of seaweed to be cooked and eaten). The latter wishes to marry the daughter of the former, and makes various arguments and entreaties for this purpose, finally declaring that he will simply take her away. The traditional refrain of the song is:

Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, b'fhearr a bhí in Éirinn

This translates as:

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, it's the best in all of Ireland
The full song reads:

Dúlaman

A 'níon mhín ó, sin anall na fir shúirí
A mháithairin mhín ó, cuir na roithléan go dtí mé

[Curfá:]

Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, b'fhearr a bhí in Éirinn
Tá ceann buí óir ar an dúlamán gaelach
Tá dhá chluais mhaol ar an dúlamán maorach
Bróga breaca dubha ar an dúlamán gaelach
Tá bearéad agus triús ar an dúlamán maorach

[Curfá 2x]

Góide a thug na tíre thú? arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Ag súirí le do níon, arsa an dúlamán maorach
Rachaimid chun Niúir leis an dúlamán gaelach
Ceannóimid bróga daora ar an dúlamán maorach

[Curfá]

Ó chuir mé scéala chuici, go gceannóinn cíor dí
'Sé'n scéal a chuir sí chugam, go raibh a ceann cíortha
Cha bhfaigheann tú mo 'níon, arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Bheul, fuadóidh mé liom í, arsa an dúlamán maorach
Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach

[Curfá]

Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, b'fhearr a bhí, b'fhearr a bhí
Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, b'fhearr a bhí, b'fhearr a bhí
B'fhearr a bhí in Éirinn
English translation:


Oh gentle daughter, here come the wooing men
Oh gentle mother, put the wheels in motion for me

[Chorus:]

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Ireland
There is a yellow gold head on the Gaelic seaweed
There are two blunt ears on the stately seaweed
The Irish seaweed has beautiful black shoes
The stately seaweed has a beret and trousers

[Chorus 2x]

"What are you doing here?" says the Irish seaweed
"At courting with your daughter," says the stately seaweed
I would go to Niúir with the Irish seaweed
"I would buy expensive shoes," said the Irish seaweed

[Chorus]

I spent time telling her the story that I would buy a comb for her
The story she told back to me, that she is well-groomed
"Oh where are you taking my daughter?" says the Irish seaweed
"Well, I'd take her with me," says the stately seaweed
Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed

[Chorus]

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best, the best
Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best, the best
The best in all of Ireland

Notable recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doreen McBride, When Hunger Stalked the North (1994).
  2. ^ Ian D. Biddle, Vanessa Knights, Music, National Identity and the Politics of Location (2007), p. 35.

External links[edit]