Amhrán na bPrátaí Dubha
The Song of the Black Potatoes



Amhrán na bPrátaí Dubha

Na prátaí dubha do dhein ár gcomharsana a scaipeadh orainn,
Do chuir sa phoorhouse iad is anonn thar farraige;
I Reilig an tSléibhe tá na céadta acu treascartha
Is uaisle na bFflaitheas go ngabhaid a bpáirt.

A Dhia na Glóire fóir agus freagair sinn,
Scaoil ár nglasa agus réidh ár gcás,
Is an bheatha arís ó Do Chroí go gcasair orainn,
Is an poorhouse go leagair anuas ar lár.

Más mar gheall ar ár bpeacaí claona tháinig an chéim seo eadrainn,
Oscail ár gcroí is díbir an ghangaid as;
Lig braon beag de Do fhíorspiorad arís chun ár gcneasaithe,
Is uaisle na bhFlaitheas go ré ár gcás.

Níl aon chuimhne againne oíche nó maidin Ort
Ach ar ainnise an tsaoil ag déanamh marbhna,
Is, a Íosa Críost, go dtógair dínn an scamall so
Go mbeimis dod amharcadh gach am den lá.

Tá na bochta so Éireann ag plé leis an ainnise,
Buairt is anacair is pianta báis,
Leanaí bochta ag béiceadh is ag screadadh gach maidin,
Ocras fada orthu is gan dada le fáil.

Ní hé Dia a cheap riamh an obair seo,
Daoine bochta a chur le fuacht is le fán,
Iad a chur sa phoorhouse go dubhach is glas orthu,
Lánúineacha pósta is iad scartha go bás.

Na leanaí óga thógfaidís suas le macnas
Sciobtaí uathu iad gan trua gan taise dhóibh:
Ar bheagán lóin ach súp na hainnise
Gan máthair le freagairt díbh dá bhfaighidís bás.

A Rí na Trua is a Uain Ghil Bheannaithe,
Féach an ainnise atá dár gcrá
Is ná lig ar strae Uait Féin an t-anam bocht
Is a fheabhas a cheannaigh Tú é féin sa Pháis.

Nach trua móruaisle go bhfuil mórán coda acu
Ag íoc as an obair seo le Rí na nGrás;
Fearaibh bochta an tsaoil seo ná fuair riamh aon saibhreas
Ach ag síorobair dóibh ó aois go bás.

Bíonn siad ar siúl ar maidin, ar an dóigh sin dóibh,
Is as sin go tráthnóna ag cur cuiríní allais díobh,
Níl aon mhaith ina ndícheall mura mbíd cuíosach, seasmhach,
Ach téigi abhaile is beidh bhúr dtithe ar lár.

The Song of the Black Potatoes

The black potatoes did our neighbours scatter from us,
Did put them in the poorhouse and away over the sea;
In the Graveyard of the Mountain hundreds of them are laid low
And the nobility of Heaven may they take their part.

O God of Glory shield and answer us,
Loosen our bonds and banish our grief,
And from Your Heart may You restore life again to us,
And the poorhouse may You bring down to the ground.

If it is on account of our perverse sins that we have come to this pass,
Open our hearts and drive the venom out of them;
Send a little drop of Your true spirit to heal us once again,
And the nobility of Heaven may they end our distress.

By morning or night we do not remember You
As we lament the wretchedness of life,
And, O Jesus Christ, may You take this cloud from us
That we may look on You at all times of the day.

These poor people of Ireland are facing misery,
Sorrow and hardship and the pains of death,
Poor children are bawling and screeching each morning,
A long hunger is on them and there’s nothing to get.

It was not God who ever planned this business,
To expose poor people to cold and wandering;
To put them in the poorhouse to mourn in captivity,
Where married couples are kept apart till they die.

The young children they would have raised in gladness,
Were snatched from them without pity or regard:
Their meagre fare just the soup of sadness
With no mother to answer them when they died.

O King of Pity, O Bright Blessed Lamb,
Look at the misery that afflicts us
And do not permit the poor soul to stray from You
That You bought so dearly on the Cross.

Pity the grandees who have everything
When they pay the King of Graces for this;
The poor people of this world never had anything
But work without end till they died.

So they are on their feet in the morning,
They pour out their sweat until dusk,
Their best is no use unless quiet and unflagging,
Just knock off and your homes will get bust.



’Amhrán na bPrátaí Dubha’ was composed by Máire Ní Dhroma, who lived in Ring, near Dungarvan, during the Great Famine (1845 – 1849). Now widely known and sung it was driven underground for many years because the writer dared to challenge the convenient contemporary view that the famine was God’s will, an act of Providence.

Translation: Wales Famine Forum.

Sa Bhreatnais / In Welsh / Yn y Gymraeg

Published in The Green Dragon No 3, Summer, 1997.

Baile / Home.