Saturday, March 17, 2018

Viva Los San Patricios!

On the day that is in it, that being St Patrick's day, here's to the "San Patricio Battalion" of Mexico! In 2010 I was part of a documentary film called Saol John Riley. My role was that of presenter-I followed the story of the leader of that bold Mexican brigade, John Riley, from famine torn Connemara to the Mexican American War of 1847. The song "Pa' Los del San Patricio" appeared on my first album "Songs From An Outpost" and was the spark which led to me being involved in the documentary, or indeed in film atall! An Irish language version of the same song will be on my latest endeavour in song "Hy Brazil, Songs of the Irish in Latin America." Go raibh míle maith agat Séan Ó Garbhí, as ucht an cabhair a thug tú dom chun aistriúchán breá bríomhar a dhéanamh air ón leagan Bhéarla! 

There's a version of the song from the film in English at the end of the blogpost. Heres a demo recording of the song in Irish that I did with Séan Garvey. Séan helped me out with the translation and is playing the guitar too, I'm singing. I must try my hand at a Spanish version of the song too, somewhere further down the road!


Na San Patricios

Daichead a seacht i bhfad ró dhian,
Cailleadh anso iad ‘s i bhfad i gcéin,
Cailleadh iad i ngleanntá glasa na hÉireann
is crochadar ar cláracha Mheicsiceo

Dhá scór fearaibh ag feitheamh le bás
Sínte ar chroch ba thrua a gcás,
Le teas millteanach an mhéan lae
Thugadar leo go bhflaitheas dé.

Daichead a seacht i bhfad ró chrua
Cos ar bholg gan stad, gan suan,
Ó Vera Cruz le brath in airde
Baileadar go cróga le céile.

Naomh Pádraig ‘s a cros
‘s iomaí fear a déag faoin bhreatach glas,
Lámh ar lámh le chéile,
Gach beachaint á réabadh.

Os cionn scamaill gan céilúir n-éan
General Lee lena airm féin
Cuireadh ruaig ar airm Valencia
Ach d-éalaímar go caithair Mheicsiceo.

I ngort arbhar bhí na poncán clúdaithe
Thit siad ar an dtalamh lenár gunaí morá,
Lámh ar lámh le chéile,
gach beachaint á reabadh.

Luascadh an bhreatach bán trí uaire
Fós gearr Riley é síos gan bac air,
Géill siad faraor in ísle brí
i lochán dá fhuil féinig.

An Cruit, Naomh Padraig, ‘s an cros
“Éireann go brách” ar bhreatach glas,
Go dilís le chéile ‘s gunaí a pléascadh,
Gach beachaint á reabadh.

Dhá scór fearaibh ag feitheamh le bás
Sínte ar chroch ba thrua a gcás,
Le teas millteanach an mhéan lae
Thugadar leo go bhflaitheas dé.

Here's the English language version of the song, an outake from Saol John Riley. The song was filmed in Clifden, Ireland in 2009.

Pa’ Los Del San Patricio

47 too long a year, men died in chains men died in fear
some were lost under Irish sky and some on Mexico’s fields were hung.
The gallows there 14 feet high two score men condemned to die
hung at noon in scorching heat, three hours they waited bound hand and feet. 

47 too dark a year, men shook their chains and fell in fear
from Vera Cruz a flag unfurled many men rallied round it.
A Mexican eagle and a Celtic cross under the green flag men were lost
shot down as soldiers, hung as slaves their cruel fate a shallow grave.

Birds wouldn’t cross the Pedragal through it General Lee he carved a path
Valencia’s army were routed there Churubusco’s fate was calling.
The Yankees tumbled through high corn at Churubusco we shot them down 
Mexican guns they soon gave out with bayonets we joined the slaughter.

Three times the white flag swung round three times O’Riley pulled it down 
when blood ran down into the sand only then did they surrender. 
The Mexican eagle and a Celtic cross under the green flag men were lost
Shot down as soldiers, hung as slaves their cruel fate a shallow grave. 

The gallows there 14 feet high two score men condemned to die
Hung at noon in scorching heat, three hours they waited bound hand and feet.

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