Caoineadh na dTrí Muire / Mhuire (Lament of the Three Marys)

This Irish-language hymn is an old lament in the style of a conversation between the three Marys, Jesus Christ and St. Peter during the events of the Crucifixion on Calvary. Many slightly different versions have been noted in use - and scholars do not appear to have identified any of them as the original or definitive version.

The identify of the three Mary's is unknown: obviously Mary the mother of Christ, likely Mary Magdalene, but the other is unidentified - perhaps even intended to be the listener. Some singers treat the song as the laments of Mary mother of Christ alone, despite the traditional title.



Downloads



Examples

Male singer, TV show performance:



Female singer with light accompaniment, professional recording:



Singer with pipe-drone accompaniment, professional recording from a contemporary Irish band:



Performance (recording?) by Cór Chúil Aodh, Seán Ó Riada's church-choir, with traditional instruments:



Female singer with light accompaniment, professional recording and effects:



Instrumental - ulliean pipes:


Lyrics

One Irish-language version:

A Pheadair, a Aspail, an bhfaca tú mo Ghrá geal?
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Chonaic mé ar ball é i lár a naimhde.
Ochón agus ochón ó!

Cuireadh tairní maola trína chosa ‘s trína chnámha.
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Agus cuireadh an tsleá ina bhrolach álainn.
Ochón agus ochón ó!

Gabhaigí ‘leith, a dhá Mhuire, go gcaoine sibh mo Ghrá liom.
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Céard tá le caoineadh againn mura gcaoinimid a chnámha?
Ochón agus ochón ó!

Cé hé an fear breá sin ar Chrann na Páise?
Ochón agus ochón ó!
An é nach n-aithnír do Mhac óg, a Mháithrín?
Ochón agus ochón ó!

An é sin an Maicín a d’iompair mé trí ráithe?
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Nó ‘n é sin an Maicín a rugadh insan stábla?
Ochón agus ochón ó!

Nó an é sin an Maicín a hoileadh in ucht Mháire?
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Éist a Mháthair is ná bí cráite…
Ochón agus ochón ó!

‘S an é sin an casúr a bhuail Tríot na tairní
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Nó ‘n í sin an tsleá a chuaigh trí Do lár geal
Ochón agus ochón ó!

A Linbh, is mór ‘n tualach é is leig cuid de ar do Mhathair.
Ochón agus ochón ó!
Iompróidh gach duine a chrosa, a Mháithrín.
Ochón agus ochón ó!

English translation - translator unknown

O Peter, apostle, have you seen my bright love?
Alas, and alas, o!
I saw not long ago surrounded by his enemies.
Alas, and alas, o!

Blunt nails were pushed through his feet and his bones.
Ochón agus ochón ó!
And a spear pierced through his beautiful chest.
Ochón agus ochón ó!

Accompany me two Marys, to lament my darling Love with me,
Alas, and alas, o!
What have we to mourne, if we do not lament his bones?
Alas, and alas, o!

Who is that good man upon the passion tree?
Alas, and alas, o!
It is your son, O Mother, don’t you recognize me?
Alas, and alas, o!

Is that the Son I carried for three quarters?
Alas, and alas, o!
Is that the Son that was born to me in the stable?
Alas, and alas, o!

Is that the wee Son that was nourished at Mary’s breast?
Alas, and alas, o!
Listen, mother, and do not be sorrowful.
Alas, and alas, o!

And is that the hammer that drove the nails through You?
Alas, and alas, o!
Or is that the spear that pierced Your pure heart through?
Alas, and alas, o!

My baby, great is your burden, let your mother help you carry it.
Alas, and alas, o!
Little mother, dearest, we each must carry our own cross.
Alas, and alas, o!

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