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VIDEO: How To Say “Óró, ‘sé do bheatha ‘bhaile” (Famous Irish Song)

NB Please note the following error in the video above:  at 01:29 the speaker incorrectly says ‘A bhuí le Dia na bhfeart’. The correct line is ‘A bhuí le Rí na bhfeart’. The error is not present in the on-screen text or in the lyrics displayed in this blog.

If you want to understand a country’s history, it’s a good idea to research the traditional music. For example, Irish traditional music is a genre of folk that has a strong connection to Irish Gaelic and Ireland’s history.

Irish traditional music is more complex than people might think. For example, a book from the 1900s (A History of Irish Music) tells us that there were at least 10 instruments used to create Irish music such as the cruit (small harp), clairseach (bigger harp), the timpan, the feadan, the buinne, the guthbuinne, the bennbuabhai and corn, the cuislenna, the stoc and sturgan, and the chamha.

This comes to show that Irish traditional music isn’t a simple genre of folk but it’s a vital part of Ireland’s culture and history. There are many songs that started by being used for special events in one’s life but ended up meaning more, being transformed into rebel songs.

This is also the case for Óró, ‘sé do bheatha ‘bhaile, a famous Irish song.

How To Say “Óró, ‘sé do bheatha ‘bhaile” (Famous Irish language Song)


’Sé do bheatha, a bhean ba léanmhar
/Shay du vaha, ah van bah layn-wur/
Hail, oh woman, who was so afflicted,

do bé ár gcreach tú bheith i ngéibhinn
/duh bay awr grakh too veh ih ngay-vin/
It was our ruin that you were in chains,

do dhúiche bhreá i seilbh meirleach
/Duh ghoo-kheh vraw ih shell-iv mer-lukh/
Our fine land in the possession of thieves…

‘s tú díolta leis na Gallaibh.
/stoo jeel-ta lesh nah Gawl-lee/
While you were sold to the foreigners!

Óró, ‘sé do bheatha ‘bhaile x3
/oh-roh shay duh vaha wol-ya/
anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh.
/an-ish air hyokht on tow-ree/
Oh-ro, welcome home x3
Now that summer’s coming!

Tá Gráinne Mhaol ag teacht thar sáile
/Taw Graw-nya Wayl egg chokht har sawl-ye/
Gráinne Mhaol is coming over the sea,

óglaigh armtha léi mar gharda,
/oh-glee orum-ha lay-he mor ghawr-da/
Armed warriors as her guard,

Gaeil iad féin is ní Francaigh ná Spáinnigh
/Gayl eed fayn snee Fron-kee naw Spaw-nee/
Only Gaels are they, not French nor Spanish…

‘s cuirfidh siad ruaig ar Ghallaibh.
/skwer-ee sheed roog air Ghawl-ee/
and they will rout the foreigners!


A bhuí le Rí na bhFeart go bhfeiceam
/Ah vwee leh Ree na vart go vek-em/
May it please the King of Prodigy that we might see,

muna mbeam beo ina dhiaidh ach seachtain
/mun-ah mem byoh inn-ah yee-ah okh shokht-en/
Although we may live but one week after,

Gráinne Mhaol agus míle gaiscíoch
/Graw-nya Wayl o-guss mee-la gosh-kee-ukh/
Gráinne Mhaol and a thousand warriors…

ag fógairt fáin ar Ghallaibh.
/egg foh-gertch fawn air Ghawl-ee/
Dispersing the foreigners!


See also

Lyrics credit: http://songsinirish.com/oro-se-do-bheatha-bhaile-lyrics/

Listen here:

Darach Ó Catháin
Seo Linn

Bitesize Irish members have access to the online course Sing a Song in Irish, featuring three traditional Irish songs. We bring you from saying the words, to understanding the song, to singing the song. And free Taster members get a taster Singing course. Sign up for Taster membership. Gaeilge Gach Lá!

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11 thoughts on “VIDEO: How To Say “Óró, ‘sé do bheatha ‘bhaile” (Famous Irish Song)”

  1. Dorothy López

    I would like to know if you hace a Spanish- Irish dictionary please. And the video is excelent. Thanks so much.

  2. Do you have a word-for-word translation of this or any other songs so I can learn the meaning of each word in a song? Translations of each phrase in English syntax leave me guessing what each Irish word means. With a word-for-word translation I can learn vocabulary. I know the syntax and grammar will not sound like that of English, but that is ok.

  3. Ryan Fitzgerald

    I see that you have the phrase “sé do bheatha” translated as “hail” in the verse and as “welcome” in the chorus. What does it mean literally?

    1. As I understand it, se do bheatha translates literally to “its your life” and is used in response to “thank you” much the same way we (american ) say “don’t mention it “