Óró sé do bheatha abhaile

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Óró 'Sé Do Bheatha Abhaile
Folk song
EnglishOh, welcome home
GenreTraditional Irish music

Óró, sé do bheatha 'bhaile (Irish pronunciation: [ˈoːɾˠoː ʃeː d̪ˠə ˈvʲahə walʲə]) is a traditional Irish song, that came to be known as a rebel song in the early 20th century. Óró is a cheer, while sé do bheatha 'bhaile means "welcome home."


Like many folk songs, the origins of this song are obscure, but several different uses of the tune and chorus can be identified.

In 1884 Mr. Francis Hogan of Brenormore, near Carrick-on-Suir, then “well over seventy years of age”, reported that “this song used to be played at the ‘Hauling Home,’ or the bringing home of a wife”. The "hauling home" was a ceremony that took place a month after a wedding when a bride was brought to live in her new husband's home. This version consists only of the chorus.[1]

Énrí Ó Muirġeasa also records a similar refrain in 1915 from the Barony of Farney, “but the song to which it belonged was lost before my time”. There is no mention of “hauling home” and the line that P. W. Joyce gives as thá tu maith le rátha (“’tis you are happy with prosperity [in store for you]”) is instead Tá tú amuiġ le ráiṫċe (“You’ve been gone three months”).[2]

This song has also been associated with the Jacobite cause as the traditional version mentions Séarlas Óg ("Young Charles" in Irish), referring to Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and dating the song to the third Jacobite rising of 1745-6.[2][3]

The tune appears as number 1425 in George Petrie's The Complete Collection of Irish Music (1855) under the title Ó ro! ’sé do ḃeaṫa a ḃaile (modern script: Ó ro! ’sé do bheatha a bhaile) and is marked “Ancient clan march.” It can also be found at number 983 (also marked “Ancient Clan March”) and as a fragment at number 1056, titled Welcome home Prince Charley.[4]

In the early 20th century it received new verses by the nationalist poet Padraig Pearse and was often sung by members of the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising. It was also sung as a fast march during the Irish War of Independence.[5]

Since 1916 it has also been known under various other titles, notably Dord na bhFiann (Call of the Fighters) or An Dord Féinne. The latter title is associated with Pearse in particular. This version features the pirate or "Great Sea Warrior" Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O'Malley), a formidable power on the west coast of Ireland in the late 16th century. Pearse shows his knowledge of the Jacobite version in the way he adapts it to the new independence cause. He emphasises the Irishness of the fighters by substituting native Gráinne for foreign Prince Charlie and changing Béidh siad leis-sean Franncaigh is Spáinnigh (“They’ll be with him, French and Spanish”) to Gaeil féin 's ní Francaigh ná Spáinnigh (“Gaels they, and neither French nor Spaniard”).


Performances and inspiration[edit]

The song has been sung widely by ballad performers such as The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, The Cassidys, The Irish House Party, Noel McLoughlin, The McPeake Family, Thomas Loefke & Norland Wind, and the Wolfe Tones. “Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile” was also sung by sean-nós singers Darach Ó Catháin and Dónall Ó Dúil (on the album Faoin bhFód) and by Nioclás Tóibín. The song has received more modern treatments from Sinéad O'Connor, Seo Linn, John Spillane, Cruachan, Tom Donovan, Alan Burke, Paul Brady and The Twilight Lords. There is also a classical orchestral version by The Irish Tenors.

In the 2006 film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, "Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile" is sung by a group of IRA volunteers, led by Máirtín de Cógáin. Boxer Steve Collins used the song as his ring entrance music for all seven of his WBO supermiddleweight title defences in the mid nineties.[citation needed] The song also features in Celtic Woman's album and concert film, Destiny, along with their 2016 and 17 concert tours.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joyce, Patrick Weston (1909). Old Irish Folk Music and Songs. London (Dublin): Longmans, Green and Co. (Hodges, Figgis & Co.). pp. 121, 130. "The following 34 airs (to “She’s the dear Maid to me”) were sent to me from time to time during 1884 by Mr. Francis Hogan of South Lodge, Brenormore, near Carrick-on-Suir, a good musician and a great enthusiast in Irish music and songs. He must have been then well over seventy years of age. Some of these he wrote from memory, and others he copied from MSS."
    p. 130 "275. ORO, ’SE DO BHEATHA A BHAILE: ORO, WELCOME HOME! A Hauling-home Song. The “Hauling home” was bringing home the bride to her husband’s house after marriage. It was usually a month or so after the wedding, and was celebrated as an occasion next only in importance to the wedding itself. The bridegroom brought home his bride at the head of a triumphal procession—all on cars or on horseback. I well remember one where the bride rode on a pillion behind her husband. As they enter the house the bridegroom is supposed to speak or sing:—
    "Oro, sé do bheatha a bhaile, is fearr liom tu ná céad bo bainne
    Oro, sé do bheatha a bhaile, thá tu maith le rátha.
    Oro, welcome home, I would rather have you than a hundred milch cows:
    Oro, welcome home, ’tis you are happy with prosperity [in store for you]."
    "Here is Mr. Hogan’s note on this air:---“This song used to be played at the ‘Hauling Home,’ or the bringing home of a wife. The piper, seated outside the house at the arrival of the party, playing hard [i.e. with great spirit]: nearly all who were at the wedding a month previous being in the procession. Oh, for the good old times!” This tune is called in Stanford-Petrie an “ancient clan march”: and it is set in the Major, with many accidentals, but another setting is given in the Minor. I give it here as Mr. Hogan wrote it, in its proper Minor form. In several particulars this setting differs from Dr. Petrie’s two versions. It was a march tune, as he calls it: but the March was home to the husband’s house. Dr. Petrie does not state where he procured his two versions."
  2. ^ a b Ó Muirġeasa, Énrí (1915). Céad de Ċeoltaiḃ Ulaḋ. Baile Áṫa Cliaṫ: M. H. Mac Giolla agus a Ṁac. pp. 151, 303. p. 303 87. Óró, ’sé do ḃeaṫa aḃaile (See page 151.) "This little Jacobite relic I got from Nancy Tracey, Co. Tyrone, and also from Cáit Ní Ċeallaċáin, an old woman 90 years of age in Ballor, Fanad, Co. Donegal. It has a catchy, popular air. A refrain somewhat similar to this one was common in Farney, but the song to which it belonged was lost before my time.
    "Hó, ró, ró, ’sé do ḃeaṫa un a’ ḃaile,
    Hó, ró, ró, ós cionn duine eile ;
    Hó, ró, ró, ’sé do ḃeaṫa un a’ ḃaile,
    Tá tú amuiġ le ráiṫċe."
  3. ^ Souchon, Christian (24 July 2010). "Oro! Se Do Bheatha Bhaile". Jacobite Songs. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  4. ^ Petrie, George (1903) [1855]. Stanford, Charles Villiers (ed.). The Complete Collection of Irish Music. London: Boosey & Co. pp. 251, 268, 356. p. 251, No. 983 Ancient Clan March, p. 268, No. 1056 Welcome home Prince Charley, p. 356, No. 1425 Ó ro! ’sé do ḃeaṫa a ḃaile.
  5. ^ Pearse, Pádraic H. (2010) [1998]. The Dord Feinne. CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. University College, Cork. Retrieved 15 December 2012.

External links[edit]