A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow

A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow

"A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow" ("Cailin Deas ag Crúite na mBo" — Irish-Gaelic Title) is a traditional 18th Century Irish Ballad attributed to Thomas Moore (1770-1852), [ "Thomas Moore: Ireland's Minstrel", Linda Kelly, I.B. Tauris and Co. Ltd. , June 2006, ISBN 10-1845-1125-20] . Originally sung in Irish-Gaelic the song was popular through the early 20th century. It received a revival when an updated swing version sung by Irish-American singer/actress Judy Garland was featured in the 1940 film Little Nellie Kelly. The updated version is true to the original musical air and incorporated original lyrics by MGM Musical Director Roger Edens , [ "Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art & Anecdote", John Fricke, Bullfinch, 2003] and featured Garland singing the song to George Murphy using some of the original Gaelic lyrics in the first chorus which was true to the traditional air before moving into an up-tempo swing version typical of the era.

The song was released as the B side of the more popular Garland song It's A Great Day for the Irish by Decca records in 1940. It became a popular song for Irish-Americans during St Patrick's Day celebrations. It remained a popular number for Garland [ "Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art & Anecdote", John Fricke, Bullfinch, 2003] , throughout her career and most notably she sang it live in its original Irish language version in July 1951 at her Theatre Royal concerts in Dublin Ireland [Frank, Gerold, "Judy", ISBN 0-306-80894-3] . A Dublin review stated: "Remember the song she sang in "Nellie Kelly" - "The Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow." Judy is providing herself with the Irish version - "Cailin Deas Cruidte na mBo" while in Ireland" [http://users.deltacomm.com/rainbowz/con070151.html] .vague|Judy is providing herself with? Later in 1951, she included the song in her first record breaking appearance at New York's Palace Theatre although this time reverting to the new version that combined both English and Irish language lyrics. The song is also featured on "Garland at the Grove" on Capital Records recorded live in 1959 at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood. Singers and groups including Bing Crosby, Ruby Murray, Carmel Quinn, Clannad, The Fureys, Blackthorn Ceilidh Band and The Chieftains, among others have recorded the song in either its original or updated form or a combination of both.

Traditional Lyrics

:It was on a fine summers morning,:The birds sweetly tuned on each bough,:And as I walked out for my pleasure,:I saw a pretty girl milking her cow;:Her voice so enchanting, melodious,:Left me quite unable to go,:My heart it was loaded with sorrow,:For cailín deas crúite na mbó.

:Then to her I made my advances;:"Good morrow, most beautiful maid,:Your beauty my heart so entrances!--":"Pray sir, do not banter," she said;:"I'm not such a rare precious jewel,:That I should enamour you so,:I am but a poor little milk girl,":Says cailín deas crúite na mbó.

Irish-Gaelic Lyrics

:Tá blian nó níos mó 'gam ag éisteacht:Le cogar doilíosach mo mheoin,:Ó casadh liom grá geal mo chléibhe:Tráthnóna brea gréine san fhómhar.:Bhí an bhó bhainne chumhra ag géimneach:Is na h-éanlaith go meidhreach ag ceol,:Is ar bhruach an tsruthán ar leathaobh dhom:Bhí cailín deas crúite na mbó.

:Tá a súile mar lonradh na gréine,:Ag scaipeadh trí spéartha gan cheo,:'s is deirge a grua ná na caora:Ar lasadh measc craobha na gcnó,:Tá a béilin níos dílse na sméara,:'s is gile ná leamhnacht a snó,:Níl ógbhean níos deise san saol seo:Ná cailín deas crúite na mbó.


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