Béal Beo

Recordings from the National Folklore Collection

Scéal an bhádóra

Speaker:
Padhraic Mac Meanaman (aged 83 [1856-1946]) of An Cloigeann, Ballycroy, Co. Mayo
Collector:
Proinnsias de Búrca, Irish Folklore Commission, 9 November 1937
Duration:
0.02" to 1.48"
References:
Ediphone_089, NFC 523: 204-5, NFC 500:119.

A curious tale of how a man diminished in size once his fortune was spent. Recorded from Padhraic Mac Meanaman of An Cloigeann, Ballycroy, Co. Mayo, in 1937.

Transcription

'Séard a bhí in m'athair mór bádóir a bhíodh ag imeacht. Bhí bád mór aige dó féin agus bhíodh sé ag imeacht ag tráchtáil ó bhaile mór go baile mór agus ó áit go háit. Agus bhí eolas ar gach caladh agus ar gach cuan aige ó Cheann Léime na Gaillimhe go Cill Ala. [Ah, I won't be very long now, but mm!]

Ach bhí sé oíche i gCuan Mó, an áit a dtugtar Cuan Mó air, agus chaith sé ancaire i gcaladh ag ceann d'oileáin Inse Mó, agus bhí aithne ar na daoine aige a bhí ina gcónaí ar na hoileáin. Agus chuaigh sé isteach go teach a bhí ann. Agus bean an tí, bhíodh sé go minic aici an tráth a bhíodh sé ar ancaire ag an chaladh a bhí ag an teach...aige [aici]. Agus nuair a chuaigh sé isteach chonaic sé toirt mar a bheadh toirt duine ná páiste i gcoirnéal le hais na tine, ná i gcúinne. Agus d'fhiafraigh sé den bhean go dtéard [céard] a bhí sa choirnéal sin nach bhfaca sé in am ar bith eile.

'Bhuel, sin é m'athair,' ar sise. Agus d'inis sí dhó ansin ó thús go deireadh an chaoi a ndeachaigh sé ar aghaidh agus ar chaill sé a bhfuair sé [s]na Státaí, agus a bhfuair sé an t-airgead agus an chaoi ar chaill sé arís iad. Agus tá sé ansin anois agus níl méid coiligh ann, agus níl pingin ná bonn ná ní dá maireann aige de chuid an tsaoil seo ach mar a fheiceanns tú é.

Translation: The boatman's tale

My grandfather was a boatman who sailed in his time. He had a big boat for himself and he travelled trading from town to town and from place to place. And he knew every harbour and every bay from Slyne Head in Galway to Killala.

But he was one night in Clew Bay, and he cast anchor in a harbour at one of the islands in Clew Bay, and the people who lived on the island knew him. And he went to the home of a woman with whom he lodged whenever he was at anchor in the harbour nearby. And when he went in he saw a shape that was like the shape of a person or child in a corner beside the fire. And he asked the woman who it was in the corner that he had never noticed before.

'Well, that is my father,' she said. And she told him then from beginning to end about how he had gone on and lost everything he had got in the States and the money he had got and the way he had lost them again. And he is there now and he isn't the size of a cockerel, and he hasn't a penny or a coin or anything living of this life but the way you see him there.

Clew Bay and Clare Island, Co. Mayo.

Clew Bay and Clare Island, Co. Mayo.