Monday, March 15, 2010

Sinead O'Connor: " Óró 's é do bheatha 'bhaile."

"Oro, Se do Bheatha Bhaile" is a traditional Irish song originating in the 1700s. In the early 1900s, Padraic Pearse wrote new lyrics to the song, and it was adopted by Irish independence groups as a national hymn, sung in the native Irish language. It was sung by those fighting for Irish independence in the Easter 1916 uprising, and since that time has been a staple of Irish culture.

The lyrics refer to an Irish woman pirate (Grainne O'Malley) who fought along the Irish coast in the 1500s. In the song, she is coming across the sea armed with Irish warriors to fight against the foreigners who have invaded Ireland.

Here is the Padraic Pearse version of the lyrics to this song (in Irish), followed by the English translation:

Padraig Pearse Version

Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile,
Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile,
Óró, sé do bheatha abhaile
Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh.

'Sé do bheatha, a bhean ba léanmhar,
Do b' é ár gcreach tú bheith i ngéibheann,
Do dhúiche bhreá i seilbh méirleach,
Is tú díolta leis na Gallaibh.


Tá Gráinne Mhaol ag teacht thar sáile,
Óglaigh armtha léi mar gharda,
Gaeil iad féin is ní Gaill ná Spáinnigh,
Is cuirfidh siad ruaig ar Ghallaibh.


A bhuí le Rí na bhFeart go bhfeiceam,
Mura mbeam beo ina dhiaidh ach seachtain,
Gráinne Mhaol agus míle gaiscíoch,
Ag fógairt fáin ar Ghallaibh.


(English translation)

Oh-ro You're welcome home,
Oh-ro You're welcome home,
Oh-ro You're welcome home...
Now that summer's coming!

Welcome oh woman who was so afflicted,
It was our ruin that you were in bondage,
Our fine land in the possession of thieves...
And you sold to the foreigners!


Gráinne O'Malley is coming over the sea,
Armed warriors along with her as her guard,
They are Irishmen, not foreigners nor Spanish...
And they will rout the foreigners!


May it please the King of Miracles that I might see,
Although we may live for a week once after,
Gráinne Mhaol and a thousand warriors...
Dispersing the foreigners!



  1. Thanks so much for this. Ive been singing this song to myself in irish for forty years with no idea what Ive been singing about. I live in Australia but was born in dublin. It was only through seeing sinead oconnor with the chieftains on youtube that i was able to cut and paste the title to do a search. (I didnt even know how to spell the title). Thanks again. :-) Annie.

  2. Isn't this a wonderful song? I wish I could sing it, but unfortunately I do better at humming along (since I can't speak the language). My grandmother from Waterford probably knew this song, but she's been dead a long time now. I'm glad I stumbled on this, because it makes me happy to play it.

  3. Thanks a lot. I am catalan, so I feel and I say the same: Not foreigners nor Spanish. Irish are always welcome.