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The Dawn

[A 9th Century text purported to have been written by an Irish monk.]
This is traditionally the song sung by Anúna at the beginning of a performance. The sensuousness and femininity of the lyrics as they describe the dawn are echoed by the entrance of the cloaked women.


 

Is mo chen in maiten bán
Do-thét ar lár m’airiuclán
Is mo chen don tí rus-foí
In maiten buadach bithnaí
A ingen Aidche úaille
A shiúr na gréine glúaire     
It-chi agaid cach tige     
Soillsigi túath is fine     
Is mo chen, a muingel mass
Acainn, a órchain amnass
A ingen Aidche úaille
A shiúr na gréine glúaire
Is mo chen, a maiten bán     
Do-thét ar lár m’airiuclán
Is mo chen, a muingel mass
Acainn, a órchain amnass
A ingen Aidche úaille     
A shiúr na gréine glúaire
A ingen Aidche úaille
A shiúr na gréine glúaire

Welcome, bright morning
Enter my dark oratory
Blessed is he who sent you
Victorious morning, self-renewing
Maiden of a noble family
The sun’s dark sister
You touch the face of each house
And illuminate both land and people
Welcome to you of the white neck
Covered in jewels, enter
Maiden of a noble family
The sun’s dark sister
You are always welcome, bright dawn
Enter my dark oratory
Welcome to you of the white neck
Covered in jewels, enter
Maiden of a noble family
The sun’s dark sister
Maiden of a noble family
The sun’s dark sister

Trad. arr. Michael McGlynn