“The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby” lyrics

SONG: The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby
BY: Seosamh MacCathmhaoil

Sleep, my child, for the red bee hums
The silent twilight falls.
The Banshee from the Grey Rock comes
To wrap the world in thrall.
A leanbhan, O my child, my joy,
My love, my heart’s desire,
The cricket sings you lullaby,
Beside the dying fire.

Dusk is drawn, and the Green Man’s thorn
Is wreathed in rings of fog.
Siabhra sails his boat till morn,
Upon the Starry Bog.
A leanbhan, the pale half-moon,
Hath brimmed her cusp in dew,
And weeps to hear this sad sleep tune,
I sing, my love, to you.
To you.

When I was in Chamber Singers my senior year of high school (2002-2003), we sang this in the spring semester. I fell in love with it right then and there and have loved it ever since. It’s been a while, but every time I hear it, my heart still aches. Here’s a link to a performance of the choral arrangement we sang (though the choir singing is not my choir). The only difference is that, when we sang it, we used a violin instead of flute and piano instead of guitar. For more: “The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby“.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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