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Méiltí Cheann Dubhrann (Am)

“Méiltí Cheann Dubhrann” is an air.  The English translation is, as best as I can figure, “Cerulean Head Dunes.”  This is based on the following: “Méile” means “sandy dune” and “Méilti” is the plural; “Ceann Dubhrann” is a place name, “Ceann” means “head” as in a narrow peninsula jutting out to the sea; and “dubh” means “black” or “dark,” so I’m guessing that “dubhrann” is some close color like blue-grey, so cerulean seems like a nice pick.   Anyway, the poet Séamus O’Grianna wrote a poem with the Irish name, which is probably the origin of the tune’s name.  He lived in western Donegal, so the reference might be to somewhere in northern Ireland.  There is a song using the same melody entitled “The Blue Hills of Antrim.”  This tune is on Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy’s Ceol Aduaidh (1983) — which means “Northern Music” or “Music of the North.”  Here’s a rough translation of part of the O’Grianna poem:

I am saddened by you, O Dubhrann Head Dunes

At sunset on a summer evening

You’re beaches are always so fine

A hundred goodbyes forever, you Dunes of Dubhrann Head

Méiltí Cheann Dubhrann, slow tempo (fiddle, Dave Agee)





One Comment

  • Alan Johnston
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I believe Ceann Dubhrann is an alternative name for Rann na Feirste (Rannafast) in the Rosses, Donegal. Na Maoilte Finne are the dunes on Carrickfinn, just across the water from Rannafast.

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