02. Cailleach an Airgid (song & jigs)

Cailleach an Airgid (dance-song)
Winnie Hayes’ Jig
The Morning Lark (jig)

An old Conamara dance-song in jig-tempo followed by two instrumental jigs. In Ireland a huge amount of dance tunes are set to song texts – both in Irish and English – and these are usually comical or nonsensical or sometimes bawdy. Cailleach an Airgid is supposedly about a real historical figure, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, who made a fortune in America and returned to run a coach business along the roads of Conamara. The great sean-nós singer Joe Éinniú (Joe Heaney) claimed that she was his great-grandmother and that she was so strong she could out-row the steamships heading out to the Aran Islands!

CAILLEACH AN AIRGID (THE HAG WITH THE MONEY)

Cúrfá:-
‘Sí do mhaimeo í, ‘sí do mhaimeo í
‘Sí do mhaimeo í, cailleach an airgid
‘Sí do mhaimeo í, ó Bhaile Inis Mhóir
‘S chuirfeadh sí cóistí ar bhóithre Cois Fharraige

Dá bhfeicfeá’ an “steam” ghabhail siar Tóin Uí Loin
‘S na rothaí ‘ghabhail timpeall siar ó na ceathrúnaí
Chaithfeadh sí ‘n stiúir naoi n-uair’ ar a cúl
‘S ní choinneodh sí siúl le cailleach an airgid

‘Measann tú bpósfa, ‘measann tú bpósfa
‘Measann tú bpósfa, cailleach an airgid
Tá’s a’m nach bpósfa, tá sé ró ólta
Tá sé ró-óg ‘gus d’ólfadh sé’n t-airgead

(Translation:-
Chorus:-
She is your grandmother, she is your grandmother,
She is your grandmother, the Hag with the Money
She is your grandmother, from Inish More
And she runs coaches along the roads of Cois Fharraige

If you’d see the “steam” going past Flynn’s Point
And the wheels churning around her hindquarters,
You could turn the steering wheel nine times at her stern
But she wouldn’t keep up with the Hag with Money.

Do you think she will marry, do you think she will marry,
Do you think she will marry, the Hag with the Money?
I know she won’t marry, for he is a drunk,
He is too young and will drink all her money.)

Winnie Hayes’ Jig
From the playing of Micho Russell. Here’s a YouTube clip of Kitty Hayes (no relation) playing this tune on concertina.

The Morning Lark (jig)
A jaunty jig learned from one of our favourite musicians, the wonderful accordion player Tony Mac Mahon.