An Buinnean Bui barndance

Also known as An Bonnan Bui, The Yellow Bittern.

There are 18 recordings of a tune by this name.

An Buinnean Bui has been added to 15 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: An Buinnean Bui
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
ed || c4 G2 E2 | F4 E3F | G6 AB | c6 E2 | G4 E2 D2 | C4-CDED | C2 C6 | C4 e3d |
c4 G3E | F4 E3F | G4-GABG | c6 E2 | G6 E2 | C4-CDED | C6 C2 | C6 G2 ||
G6 AB | c6 d2 | e6-ef | e6- ed | c6-cB | G6-GA | G6 G2 | G6 ed |
c4 G2 E2 | F4 E2 F2 | G6 AB | c4 E3F | G6 E2 | C4-CDED | C2 C6 | C4 e3d ||
c4 G2 E2 | F4 E2 F2 | G4 A2 B2 | c6 E2 | G4 E2 D2 | C2-CD E2-ED | C4 C3B, | C4 e3d |
c4 G2 E2 | F4 E2 F2 | G4 A2 B2 | c6 E2 | G4 E2 D2 | C2-CD E2-ED | C6-CB, | C6 E2 |
G6 AB | c6 d2 | e6 f2 | e6 d2 | c6 B2 | G6-GF | G8- | G6 ed |
c4 G2 E2 | F4 E2 F2 | G4 A2 B2 | c6 EF | G4 E2 D2 | C2-CD E2-ED | C4 C2B,2 | C6 ||
# Added by hetty .
X: 2
T: An Buinnean Bui
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:F3G A<{B}(AA){B}A2 | {B}(3AGF G2 A<{B}(AA){B}A4 | {B}A B<c d4 c/2A/2 |
B3{c}B A<{B}(AA4) | AB2 {c}(3BAF TF2 E/2F/2D4 | E/2F/2 E<~E G A<(DD3) | A/2D/2 A/2(D/2HD4):|
A<{B}A B d3 e (fg/2f/2g/2f/2e/2d/2d3) | e/2f/2 e<Te {_e}d4 d<(dd4) | e/2f/2 Te<d c(AA2) (3BcA |
B4 A<{B}(AA) {B}A2 | {B}(3AGF G4 A<{B}(AA) {B}A2 | {B}(3AGF G4 A<{B}(AA){B}A4 |
{B}A B<c d4 c/2A/2 | B3{c}B A<{B}(AA4) | AB2 {c}(3BAF TF2 E/2F/2D4 | E/2F/2 E<~E G A<(DD3) | A/2D/2 A/2(D/2HD4)|
X: 3
T: An Buinnean Bui
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AA | {F}G2 FG AB | =c3 B A/2G/2F/2E/2 | D2 {F}E/2D/2E/2F/2 DD | D2 z2 AA |
{F}G2 FG AB | =c3 B A/2G/2F/2E/2 | D2 E/2D/2E/2F/2 DD | D2 z2 || ~AB/2c/2 |
~d3 d/2e/2 ff | e3 d/2e/2 fe | d2 c{d/2c/2}B/2A/2 {A/2c/2}B>A | A2 z2 AA |
{F}G2 ~FG AB | {=c/2e/2}c3B A/2G/2 F/2E/2 | D2 {F}E/2D/2E/2F/2 DD | D2 ||
# Added by myles .
X: 4
T: An Buinnean Bui
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:F3G A3A | {B}(3AGF G2 A<{B}(AA){B}A4 | {B}A B<c d4 c/2A/2 |
B3{c}B A<{B}(AA4) | AB2 {c}(3BAF TF>G E/2F/2D4 | E/2F/2 E<~E F<(DD3) | A/2D/2 A/2(D/2HD4):|
A<{B}A B d3 e |f3e d2 e/2f/2 e<Te {_e}d4 d<(^dd4) | e/2f/2 Te<d c(AA2) (3BcA |
B4 A<{B}(AA) {B}A2 | {B}(3AGF G4 A<{B}(AA) {B}A2 | {B}(3AGF G4 A<{B}(AA){B}A4 |
{B}A B<c d4 c/2A/2 | B3{c}B A<{B}(AA4) | AB2 {c}(3BAF TF2 E/2F/2D4 | E/2F/2 E<~E G A<(DD3) | A/2D/2 A/2(D/2HD4)|
# Added by JACKB .

Nine comments

An Buinnean Bui

Transcribed by myself from the CD "Water from the Well" by the Chieftains. Track 13.
I’m sure the label ‘barndance’ will be ignored. It is a slow air. Derek Bell opens on harp. His playing slow a little in bar 24 & 27/28 with a ralentando in bars 31/32. Paddy Malone joins in with bar 33 and slows the pace down a fair bit. There are rals in bars 36, 39/40, 44 & 48. A considerable ralentando in bars 54 to 56. Ral in bar 60 and of course at the end, bars 63/64.

Not knowing the English meaning for the title I consulted ‘Dictionary.com Translator’ and it gives ‘The Yellow Sapling’. The CD gives the title as "the Yellow Bittern" The dictionary gives the Irish as "Bunan Bui"
Can anyone clarify the situation?

Posted by .

An Buinnean Bui

Hi, I know the song, an buinnean bui, a great old sean nos song (joe heaney sings it, among others surely), and it talks about a poet finding a bird dead by a frozen lake, and vowing to never give up the drink lest he meet the same fate. There’s a well-known English-language version, maybe translated by Lady Gregory, called as you say The Yellow Bittern. The bittern is a nice bird that used to migrate to Ireland, but had disappeared for a good few years. It was seen again a year or two ago, as I read in the paper. Al O Donnell, Sean Cannon and Liam Clancy all have versions. It really is an amazing song in the Irish though, and the English translation does it no great justice, I advise you to check out a direct translation of the Irish.
All the best,
Brian

Thanks Brian for that enlightenment. I look forward to seeing a translation.

Posted by .

An Bonnán Buí, X:2

This is the sean-nós song tune that Kelloggs mentioned above, as was taught to me by Brian McNamara. Brian took it from the singing of Seosamh Ó hÉanaí (Joe Heaney). A completely different tune than the Chieftains one above, but I thought it better to post it here anyway. Brian spells it "An Bonnán Buí", same as the original poem the words are from. The poem was written by Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, who lived from 1680 – 1756.

The timing and length of notes is approximate, and no attempt was made to make 4 beats fit in any measure; it is a sean-nós song after all.


An Bonnán Buí, by Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna

A bhonnán bhuí, is é mo léan do luí,
Is do chnámha sínte tar éis do ghrinn,
Is chan easba bidh ach díobháil dí
a d’fhág i do luí thú ar chúl do chinn.
Is measa liom féin ná scrios na Traoi
Tú bheith i do luí ar leaca lom’,
Is nach ndearna tú díth ná dolaidh sa tír,
Is nárbh fhearra leat fíon ná uisce poll.

A bhonnáin álainn, is é mo mhíle crá thú,
Do chúl ar lár amuigh romham sa tslí,
Is gurbh iomaí lá a chluininn do ghrág
Ar an láib is tú ag ól na dí.
Is é an ní a deir cách le do dheartháir Cáthal,
Go bhfaighidh sé bás mar siúd, más fíor,
Ach ní hamhlaidh atá, siúd an préachán breá
Chuaigh in éag ar ball le díth na dí.

A bhonnáin óig, is é mo mhíle brón
Thú bheith sínte fuar i measc na dtom,
Is na luchaí móra ag triall chun do thórraimh,
Ag déanamh spóirt agus pléisiúir ann;
Is dá gcuirfeá scéala in am faoi mo dhéinse
Go raibh tú i ngéibhinn, nó i mbroid fá dheoch,
Do bhrisfinn béim duit ar an loch úd Bhéasaigh
A fhliuchfadh do bhéal is do chorp isteach.

Ní hiad bhur n-éanlaith atá mé ag éagnach,
An lon, an smaolach, nó an chorr ghlas,
Ach mo bhonnán buí, bhí lán de chroí,
Is gur chosúil liom féin é ina ghné is ina dhath.
Bhíodh sé go síoraí ag ól na dí,
Is deir na daoine go mbímse mar sin seal;
Níl aon deor dá bhfaighinn nach ligfinn síos,
Ar eagla go bhfaighinnse bás den tart.

Is é a d’iarr mo stór orm ligint den ól,
Nó nach mbeinnse beo ach seal beag gearr;
Ach dúirt mé léithi go dtug sí an bhréag,
Is gurbh fhaide mo shaolsa an deoch úd a fháil.
Nach bhfaiceann sibh éan an phíobáin réidh
A chuaigh in éag den tart ar ball;
Is a chomharsain chléibh, fliuchaíg bhur mbéal
Óir chan fhaigheann sibh braon i ndiaidh bhur mbáis.

An Buinnean Bui, X:3

This is the Stanford / Petrie version, titled (perhaps as a result of a translation error?) ‘The Yellow Bustard’, but transposed up to D.

This is a nice setting as it’s a sort of half way house, in evolutionary terms, between versions X1 and 2 above and shows how one is actually related to the other, despite them appearing quite different at first glance.

It is also very similar to the settings of ‘Yellow Bittern’ printed by Bunting and Joyce, so probably represents a common 19th c. interpretation of the tune.

Posted by .

Re: An Buinnean Bui

Sean Potts on CD Lament is a beautiful version.