A Gartan Mother’s Lullaby
Arranged by D. Commins
(Irish Traditional)


Sleep, o babe, for the red bee hums the silent twilight’s fall
Sunlight from the grey rock comes to wrap the world in thrall.

A lyan van o, my child, my joy,
My love and heart’s desire.
The crickets sing you lullaby
Beside the dying fire.

Dusk is drawn and the Green Man’s thorn
Is wreathed in rings of fog;
The moon sails her boat till morn
Upon the starry bog.

A lyan van o, the palky moon
Hath brimmed her cusp in dew
And weeps to hear the sad sleeptune,
I sing, o love, to you . . .


A Gartan Mother’s Lullaby
Reference

This lullaby comes from the parish of Gartan in county Donegal, Ireland.
The text makes references to the misty hills, loughs and rocky places in the Irish countryside, as well as to the rich folklore and poetry of the Irish people.
“. . . There’s no homesickness in the world like an Irishman's passionate longing for home and kin.” From Kenny, by Leona Dalrymple (The Reilly & Britton Co., Chicago, 1917)
The original words were lost, so that mainly the English version is known today. However, it has been retranslated into Gaelic, still spoken in West Ireland.

(Source: Lullabies of the world by D.B. Commins)