The Well Below The Valley

By Planxty

Nineteen comments

Tune after Planxty`s version of Bean Ph

Hello does anybody know the name of the tune Planxty play together with the song Bean Ph

Posted by .

Re: Tune after Planxty`s version of Bean Ph

Rakish Paddy (reel)

Comment\Questions…I’m new

1-Comment: On "the Well Below the Valley," Planxy plays the lilting fisherman as a hornpipe…not a jig.

2-Does anybody know what the song Cunla is about?

3-does anybody know what Phaidin is about?

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

!) Uh, okay.

2) Cunla: a guy who’s trying to get sleep and Cunla keeps pulling pranks on him. Although there’s another

3) No.

Welcome to The Session. 🙂

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

Oops, didn’t finish #2:

There’s a school of thought that it’s a girl who wakes up to find a pesky suitor in her bed every night. Unlikely, though.

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

hmmmmm. "Who is that there a’ticklin’ the thighs of me?" I think that would have been a bit much back in the day if it was a male/male interaction.

We learned this "as Gaeilge" in the Gaeltacht about 30 years ago (o God was it that long ago?) Somewhat risque things seemed to be OK so long as they promoted the Irish language cause. But to be gay still meant you were extremely cheerful.

Posted by .

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

Bean Paidin chorus. Roughly:

"It’s a pity that I’m not, that I’m not, that I’m not …
It’s a pity that I’m not Paidin’s wife
It’s a pity that I’m not, that I’m not…
and the woman he has to get lost"

Also learned that in the Connemara Gaeltacht… What a Peyton Place it was!

Posted by .

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

Well, actually, the Irish person I just asked about it was more shocked at the thought of the narrator of Cunla being a girl than of the first way — but I think that Cunla is supposed to be some kind of mischievious sprite of some sort. At least, if you’re of the first school of thought.

*MY* first reaction was the same as yours, Greg. Dirty minds must think alike or something.

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

Bean Phaidin is about a woman who’s stalking Paidin and his wife cause she wants him for herself. She watches them through the window and follows Paddy around and fantasizes about breaking his wife’s legs and bones.

Scary, huh?


Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

Why Justine, is that what he’s doing to his wife when she watches them through the window?

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

No…. Bean Pháidín is about a wife who want’s revenge on her wnadering husband and his new woman. 😛

Re: CommentQuestions…I’m new

If you’re new - welcome aboard.

Ok … Here’s the full translation from the booklet accompanying the Seoltai Seidte collection (see

And I went west to Clifden and round by Beal Atha na Baighe
And I looked in through the windows to see if I could get a look at the wife of Paidin

And it’s a sharp pity that I’m not, that I’m not, and it’s a sharp pity that I’m not the wife of Paidin
And it’s a sharp pity that I’m not, that I’m not and that the wife he has isn’t dead

I went west to Toin an Roisin and I came back by Barr an tSailin
I went into the house of Maitias O Cathasaigh to see if I could get a look at the wife of Paidin


Oh I’d go to Galway, to Galway, and I’d go to Galway with Paidin
Oh I’d go to Galway and come back with him in the boat


May your legs be broken, your legs, may your legs be broken, wife of Paidin
May your legs be broken, your legs, may your legs be broken and your bones

"As I roved out"

On the album these are two very different songs, one sung by Chrisy Moore, the other by Andy Irvine. Moore’s song has a polka rhythm, and has been entered into your system as a polka tune with various names; Andy’s has been entered erroneously as identical.

I associate this album with an after-folk club session when my whistles got eaten by a dog.

I also think Andy’s singing of the song "As I Roved Out" (not to be confused with the one Christy sings, with the same title) has got to be one of the most beautiful renderings of a sad traditional song recorded by a modern singer or group.

Wrong Tune

The link for "Fisherman’s Lilt" brings you to the reel of the same name, not the hornpipe which O Floinn plays on this recording. For those interested, I have submitted a near-enough ABC of the hornpipe in the comments to "Fisher’s Hornpipe".