Seoithín, Seo Hó
Seoithín, seo hó is an old Irish Gaelic lullaby. Some people in the olden days believed that fairies would abduct babies. That's why there's the threat in this song that the baby must go to sleep before the fairies can lure him away.
Humming is often weaved between the verses in Irish lullabies.
Seoithín, Seo Hó
Seoithín, seo hó, mo stór é, mo leanbh
Mo sheoid gan cealg, mo chuid gan tsaoil mhór
Seothín seo ho, nach mór é an taitneamh
Mo stóirín na leaba, na chodladh gan brón.
A leanbh mo chléibh go n-eirí do chodhladh leat
Séan is sonas gach oíche do chóir
Tá mise le do thaobh ag guídhe ort na mbeannacht
Seothín a leanbh is codail go foill.
Ar mhullach an tí tá síodha geala
Faol chaoin re an Earra ag imirt is spoirt
Seo iad aniar iad le glaoch ar mo leanbh
Le mian é tharraingt isteach san lios mór.
Hush-a-bye, baby, my darling, my child
My flawless jewel, my piece of the world
Hush-a-bye, baby, isn't it a great joy
My little one in bed without any sorrows.
Child of my heart, sleep calmly
And well all night and be happy
I'm by your side praying for blessings on you,
Hush-a-bye, baby and sleep for now.
On top of the house there are white fairies
Playing and frolicking under the gentle moonlight
Here they come calling my baby
To draw him into their great fairy mound.
You can hear a recording of another version of Seoithín, seo hó here. In that version, which is sung by Joe Éinniú (Heaney), he talks about the song and how humming was weaved into it. He said, "I remember my grandmother singing this for my youngest sister, and she used to hum…after she sang the verse, she used to hum, too."
Thanks and Acknowledgements
The illustration comes from "The Lullaby : with original engravings" (c1851). It was graphically edited by Mama Lisa.