"Gartan Mother's Lullaby" is an old Irish song and poem
written by Herbert Hughes and Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil,
first published in Songs of Uladh [Ulster] in 1904.
Hughes collected the traditional melody in Donegal the
previous year and Campbell wrote the lyrics. The song
is a lullaby by a mother, from the parish of Gartan in
County Donegal, to her child. The song refers to a
number of figures in Irish mythology, places in Ireland
and words in the Irish language.
It is interesting on a personal note that both Hughes &
Campbell were from Belfast, Hughes being a Protestant
(Methodist) and Campbell a Catholic. Hughes collected
the trad melody in Donegal the previous year, and
Campbell wrote the lyrics. In the second line, there is
a word that sounds something like Eeval, but it refers
to "Aoibheal", the fairy or bean sidhe who guards the
Grey Rock. According 'True Irish Ghost Stories', "The
most famous [sķdhe] of ancient times was that attached
to the kingly house of O'Brien, Aibhill [Aoibheall],
who haunted the rock of Craglea above Killaloe, near
the old palace of Kincora. In A.D. 1014 was fought the
battle of Clontarf, from which the aged king, Brian
Boru, knew that he would never come away alive, for the
previous night Aibhill had appeared to him to tell him
of his impending fate."
Jenne Van Antwerpen (http://musescore.com/user/53615)
and I created this arrangement for 2 Flutes and Harp
with emphasis on the quite solace of a bedtime lullaby.