Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Dilín ó deamhas
(Irish Children's Lap Game Song)

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This is a song to sing with a little kid in your lap. The chorus seems to be nonsense and most people don't even try to translate it. You can find a rough translation in the notes below.

Dilín ó deamhas
Forever Oh
Children's Lap Game Song
(Irish Gaelic)
Children's Lap Game Song
(English)

(Curfá)
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas ó deamhas ó
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí

Chuiread* mo rún chun suain,
Chuiread mo rún 'na luí,
Chuiread mo rún chun suain go ciúin,
Le dilín ó deamhas ó dí.

(Curfá)

Is buachaill aniar aniar,
Is buachaill aniar an fear,
Is buachaill aniar aniar aniar,
'S is cailín ón sliabh a bhean.

(Curfá)

Caithimis suas is suas é,
Caithimis suas an páiste,
Caithimis suas is suas is suas é,
'S tiocfaidh sé 'nuas amárach.

(Curfá)

(Chorus)
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas ó deamhas ó
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí.

I lulled my darling to sleep
I put my darling to bed
I lulled my darling to sleep to sleep,
With dilín o deamhas o dí.

(Chorus)

The boy is from the West, the West,
The boy is from the West, a man,
The boy is from the West, West, West,
And the girl from the mountain his lady.

(Chorus)

Throw him upwards and up,
Throw the child up,
Throw him upwards and up and up,
And he will come down tomorrow.
 
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Notes

About the Chorus

Derek wrote the following:

"My understanding of the word's are Dilin, derived from 2 words, Díl/Dí- meaning "beloved" and Ín, or een (anglicised version)- meaning "young" or "little".

Deamhas means "angel"and Ó just means "oh".

So I have always believed that the translation was:

Little beloved/darling, oh angel oh angel,
little beloved/darling, oh angel, oh darling
little beloved/darling, oh angel oh angel, oh angel
little beloved/darling, oh angel, oh darling.

I hope this makes sense to you.

Yours sincerely,

Derek Heffernan (Darach Ó hÉifearnaín)"

*****

In anyone has more info about the meaning of the words in the chorus, please email me. Thanks! -Mama Lisa

Comments

You can listen to this song here.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Derek Heffernan for writing about the chorus.

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