Star of County Down; Music “Monday”.

Seeing how few entries got posted between last Figure Friday and the next one (hopefully today’s), which was the same thing last week, I decided to write this short post, and not to let the fact that it’s not, well, Monday, stop me.
I actually have quite a few posts planned, but with the combination of the onset of winter (and before that scalding heat), and the return of school, it’ll take me a bit of time to find the energy to get back to rolling out more entries.

The Star of County Down is an irish folk ballad, written somewhere in the 19th century, which I like quite a lot. I came across this song one day while surfing irish and celtic music on YouTube (I have quite an ecclectic taste in music, and a penchant for irish and celtic music), and it had struck me as quite… familiar. I’ll let you listen to my favourite version of the song, by the Irish Rovers, who have some very nice renditions of Irish classic songs (and some others, such as “Farewell to Nova Scotia“).

So, I searched my memory, and tried to find out why this song was so familiar to me, until I hit on it. Ehud Banai, a renowned Israeli singer (and one of my favourites) had translated the song to Hebrew, and had also localized it to Israel. I know most of you do not speak Hebrew, but I trust you could enjoy the sound. For the curious, many sentences were translated quite verbatim, such as, “From her two feet to the sheen of her nut-brown hair” to what is relevant. The song is titled “The Star of Dan County”.
And no, at the time I don’t think the Wikipedia page had that tidbit of information.

One of the things that bummed me when I shared this with my Israeli friends when I found out about this, is that they had kept asking me about plagiarism, as if that were my point and the cause for my excitement. It’s not plagiarism as it’s an acknowledged rendition (of an older folk-song), I just wanted to share my geek-gasm, you know?

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and I’ll now give you another, slightely weird version, by the Serbian Orthodox Celts. Sung in English, interesting to listen to the accent of the singer, and the violin and hand-drum accompnying the singer(s).

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this less than otaku-oriented music post.

Lyrics:

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One morning in July
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so sweet from her two white feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair
Such a coaxing elf, I'd to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.
Chorus
From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.

As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling rare
And I said, says I, to a passerby
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
He smiled at me, and with pride says he,
"That's the gem of Ireland's crown.
She's young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann
She's the star of the County Down."

Chorus

I've travelled a bit, but never was hit
Since my roving career began
But fair and square I surrendered there
To the charms of young Rose McCann.
I'd a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I meet with in shawl or gown
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the star of the County Down.

Chorus

At the crossroads fair I'll be surely there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
And I'll try sheep's eyes, and deludhering lies
On the heart of the nut-brown rose.
No pipe I'll smoke, no horse I'll yoke
Though with rust my plow turns brown
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the star of the County Down.

Chorus
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10 comments on “Star of County Down; Music “Monday”.

  1. Reltair says:

    I liked the one in Hebrew the most. Guess it was a bit more appealing since I just listened to the sounds because I don’t understand the language.

    • Guy says:

      I only sometimes feel this way, but I still like knowing the lyrics of songs.

      That means you’re going to avoid learning languages so you could enjoy their songs? :D

  2. Yi says:

    Kind of a fun and nice song. Btw. non-otakuish posts are always welcomed imo. I read too much otaku blogs anyway.

  3. mikiwank says:

    Here is a group that I advise “Dropkick Murphys”. It can also be heard in episode 8 season 1 of “Sons of Anarchy”

  4. Snark says:

    Oi shit, the Hebrew version is the coolest shit I’ve ever heard.

    • Guy says:

      I can find you some great songs in Hebrew if you want. Ehud Banai’s first album was one of the most important Israeli rock albums, and it was released 20 years ago.

  5. Mememo says:

    Nice Star of County Down is my second favorite Irish song my first is the cross on spancil hill but i prefer the wolftones version still you have great taste in music Guy and im not just saying that because im Irish ;)

    • Guy says:

      :)

      I like your site BTW, it brings to my attention more sales.

      I think my next post will be about Rocky Road to Dublin, Luke Kelly’s solo version on one hand, and The High Kings’ grandiose rendition on the other.

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