Gates of the Yellow Town

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GATES OF THE YELLOW TOWN, THE (Geaftai Bhaile Buí). Irish, Slow Air (4/4 time). Ireland, Northern Ireland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. According to Ó Canainn (1978) this is one of the great songs of the northern Irish tradition. It is in the sean-nos repertoire and is in the form one of a complaint about women and the trouble they give to men. Interestingly, Harry O'Prey points out that one line of the song goes:

Focal ar bith mná, ní chreidfidh mé go bráth,
Mur' bhfá' mise scríobhtha 'mBéarla é

Meaning: "I will never again believe any promise from a woman unless I get it written in English." He says: "The reference to English is, of course, due to its being the only language acceptable to officialdom in Ireland, thus carrying with it all the power and influence of the State. The same promises in Irish would not have been worth the paper they were written on." O'Boyle/Ó Baoill (Ceolta Gael/Songs of the Gael), Mercier Press, Dublin, 1975; p.56.



Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Ó Canainn (Traditional Slow Airs), 1995; p. 15.

Recorded sources:




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