ERA’s first community newsletter

We have just produced our first community newsletter.  It will be delivered to your door in hard copy but is also posted here as a pdf Newsletter#1 .  We hope to produce it every three months.  If you would be happy to read the newsletters online then let us know by emailing, and include your house number – this way we can print and deliver fewer hard copies.  Otherwise, everyone will receive a quarterly newsletter through their door.  Special thanks to Cathrin Schofield for an excellent job on the layout and desktop publishing.  Thanks to the Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn, for photocopying the hard copies.

One comment

  1. Hi all great newsletter!

    The request for the words to My Lagan Love are;
    My Lagan Love
    (lyrics by Joseph Campbell, aka Seosamh MacCathmhaoil)

    1) Where Lagan stream sings lullaby
    There blows a lily fair
    The twilight gleam is in her eye
    The night is on her hair
    And like a love-sick lennan-shee
    She has my heart in thrall
    Nor life I owe nor liberty
    For love is lord of all.

    2) Her father sails a running-barge
    ‘Twixt Leamh-beag and The Druim;
    And on the lonely river-marge
    She clears his hearth for him.
    When she was only fairy-high
    Her gentle mother died;
    But dew-Love keeps her memory
    Green on the Lagan side.

    3) And often when the beetle’s horn
    Hath lulled the eve to sleep
    I steal unto her shieling lorn
    And thru the dooring peep.
    There on the cricket’s singing stone,
    She spares the bogwood fire,
    And hums in sad sweet undertone
    The songs of heart’s desire

    4) Her welcome, like her love for me,
    Is from her heart within:
    Her warm kiss is felicity
    That knows no taint of sin.
    And, when I stir my foot to go,
    ‘Tis leaving Love and light
    To feel the wind of longing blow
    From out the dark of night.

    5) Where Lagan stream sings lullaby
    There blows a lily fair
    The twilight gleam is in her eye
    The night is on her hair
    And like a love-sick lennan-shee
    She has my heart in thrall
    Nor life I owe nor liberty
    For love is lord of all.

    From Songs of Man, Luboff and Stracke, (NY: Bonanza, 1965)
    Note: According to Luboff & Stracke, the tune is from Ulster and the words early
    20th century. I would guess that it is a “parlour” song that has passed into
    tradition on the strength of the tune more than the words.

    In Scottish Gaelic a “leannan-sidhe” is a Faery Lover. This type of Faery Lover
    often takes a person’s love and then leaves. He or she goes back where they came
    from (Faery Land?) leaving the human pining for their lost love. The poor
    mortals in the tales of leannan sidhe often died of sorrow. DS,BG”

    You may be quite certain that it is the river that flows through Belfast. The
    song was first published in “Songs of Uladh” [Herbert Hughes and Joseph
    Campbell] published in Belfast by William Mullan and Sons, and in Dublin by MH
    Gill, 1904. Hughes’ preface says: “I made this collection while on holiday in
    North Dun-na-n Gall in August of last year.” My Lagan Love is on page 32. The
    note says, “I got this from Proinseas mac Suibhne who played it for meon the
    fidil. He had it from his father Seaghan mac Suibhne, who learned it from a
    sapper working on the Ordnance Survey in Tearmann about fifty years ago. It was
    sung to a ballad called the “Belfast Maid,” now forgotten in Cill-mac-nEnain.”
    [This pretension in spelling etc is typical of the Gaelic Revival flavour of
    this book – it is also embellished with “celtic knots” and fanciful derivations
    of half uncial script.]
    There are four stanzas but sung as five with the repetition of the first one….

    Lambeg is a village between Lisburn and Belfast and the Drum is the site of a
    bridge across the river and the canal that was made beside it, which eventually
    diverged from the river and entered Lough Neagh. There
    for the sake of scansion! ” – JM

    To quote from Mary O’Hara’s notes on this song, from her book “A Song For
    Ireland”, – “The leánan sídhe (fairy mistress) mentioned in the song is a
    malicious figure who frequently crops up in Gaelic love stories. One could call
    her the femme fatale of Gaelic folklore. She sought the love of men; if they
    refused, she became their slave, but if they consented, they became her slaves
    and could only escape by finding another to take their place. She fed off them
    so her lovers gradually wasted away – a common enough theme in Gaelic medieval
    poetry, which often saw love as a kind of sickness. Most Gaelic poets in the
    past had their leanán sídhe to give them inspiration. This malignant fairy was
    for them a sort of Gaelic muse. On the other hand, the crickets mentioned in the
    song are a sign of good luck and their sound on the hearth a good omen. It was
    the custom of newly-married couples about to set up home to bring crickets from
    the hearths of their parents’ house and place them

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