Brighidín Ban Mo Stoir

Brighidín Ban Mo Stoir (My fair young bride) is by local poet Edward Walsh (1805-1850), sung by the late Scottish singer Andy M. Steward which appeared in his album Fire in the Store (1985). The song is a tribute to his wife Brigid Ó Súilleabháin.


Edward Walsh spent about thirty years of his life around Millstreet. His education was received in that most primitive of Irish primary schools, the ‘hedge school’. When little more than a boy he showed great intellectual gifts, and in 1830 was private tutor in County Cork. Additionally tutored children of an Irish member of parliament. He was for a time in the 1830’s teacher of a school at Millstreet.

He went to reside in Dublin in 1843, and was befriended by Charles Gavan Duffy, who got him appointed sub-editor of the Monitor. His Irish Jacobite Poetry (1844) and his Irish Popular Songs (1847) gave unmistakable evidence of a genuine poet. Yet he was forced to fight against poverty, and, in 1848, he accepted the post of schoolmaster to the junior convicts of Spike Island.

There he visited John Mitchel, on his way to penal servitude, who vividly describes in his Jail Journal his meeting with Walsh. He was fired for his meeting, and not long afterwards, he secured the schoolmastership of Cork work-house, but died within twelve months. A fine monument, with an epitaph in Irish and English, was erected to his memory in the Father Mathew Cemetery at Cork. Among his lyrics Mo Chragibhin Cno, Brighidin ban mo stor, and O’Donovan’s Daughter are in most Irish anthologies, while his translations from the Irish are both faithful and musical.

[read more …] “Brighidín Ban Mo Stoir”