Album: Watermark, Translation

    English Translations of _The Celts_, _Watermark_, and _Shepherd Moons_.

                                 Revision 2.8

    The following is a compilation of translations taken primarily from
    USENET postings.  In the cases where multiple translations existed, I
    tried to pick the phrases that made the most (English) sense, and which
    flowed together the best.  The choice was often arbitrary, and not
    being a speaker of Irish (or Gaelic), Latin, or Welsh, I was not able
    to make my own judgements regarding the accuracy of translation.  Your
    comments, suggestions, and corrections are welcome.  Some of the songs
    have the lyrics compacted, where repeated phrases are only listed once.

    If anyone has editions of songs which were released on singles only,
    (i.e.  not translated here) then feel free to send me transcriptions
    and translations for those as well.


       PLEASE INCLUDE the Revision Number listed above when sending me
      correspondence!  That will tell me if you have the latest version.



           L Y L E
            C O R B I N   

    P.S.  If you happen to read this using a proportional font, the accents
           will not appear correct.  Use a fixed font instead.

    P.P.S  This file is also available in Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0
            format as translate.doc.

  ============================== THE CELTS ==================================

 The text for this album was taken from the liner on a Japanese release by
     Jagg Groeg (

 Translations for these songs were provided by Fidelma McGinn.  Thanks!

    The mystical incantations throughout the songs were not translated
    as they have no English equivalent.

  ------------------------------ THE CELTS ----------------------------------

 Hi-ri, Hi-ro, Hi-ri.
 Hoireann is O, ha hi, ra ha, ra ho ra.
 Hoireann is O, ha hi, ra ha, ra ha ra.
 Hi-ri, Hi-ra, Hi-ri.

 Saal na saol                               Life
  ,   ,
 Tus ga Deireadh                            Beginning without an end
 Ta muid Beo                                We are alive
 Da Deo.                                    Forever

 Saal na saol                               Life
  ,   ,
 Tus ga Deireadh                            Beginning without an end
 Ta muid Beo                                We are alive
 Da Deo.                                    Forever

 Hi-ri, Hi-ra, Hi-ri,
 Hoireann is O, ho hi, ra ha, ra ha ra.


  ------------------------------ ALDEBARAN ----------------------------------
                         (Dedicated to Ridley Scott)

 Codladh Fada                               Long Sleep

 Codladh Domhain                            Deep Sleep
 ,               ,
 Eirigh! Amharc sios                        Rise! Look down

 Aldebaran.                                 Aldebaran. (1)

   ,         ,     ,
 Siul liom tri an realta dearg.             Walk with me through the red stars

 Deireadh, deireadh an Turas                The end, end of the journey
  ,   ,    ,   ,
 Realtog, realtog dearg.                    Star, red star

 (1) The Red giant Star, Aldebaran, found in the constellation of
     Taurus, is the Eye of the bull.  From the Arabic, Al Dabaran,
     it means 'the follower' as it "follows" the Pleiades.
     (From the liner notes on the re-release of _The Celts_)

  ---------------------------- I WANT TOMORROW ------------------------------

 Dawn breaks; there is blue in the sky.
 Your face before me though I don't know why.
 Thoughts disappearing like tears from the moon.

 Waiting here; as I sit by the stone
 They came before me, those men from the sun.
 Signs from the heavens say I am the one.


 Now I know; I can see your light,
 this light that I must follow,
 You -- you could take my life away
                   -- so far away.
 Now I know; I must leave your spell
                   -- I want tomorrow.

 (The above lyrics for the chorus are taken from those printed in the
  sleeve of the Japanese pressing by Jimco Records: following are the
  words which are almost undoubtably those actually sung)


 Now you're here; I can see your light,
 this light that I must follow,
 You -- you may take my life away
                 -- so far away.
 Now I know; I must leave your spell
                 -- I want tomorrow.

  -------------------------- MARCH OF THE CELTS -----------------------------

 Bea-Go-Deo.                                Alive for ever

 Marbh-Go-Deo.                              Dead for ever

  -------------------------- DEIREADH AN TUATH ------------------------------

 Si an Ghealach,                            It is the Moon

 Mall san oiche,                            Slow in the night

 Si an Ghrian                               It is the Sun
 Fan liom go Deo.                           Stay with me for ever

 Hoireann is O Hi O Ho ra Ha.
 Si na Samhna                               It is November    (1)

 Tus na Bliain Ur,                          The beginning of the New Year

 Si an Chrann Marbh                         It's the dead tree

 Deireadh an Tua.                           The end of the rainbow.

 Hoireann is O Ho O Ho ro Ho.
 Haireann is O Ho O Ho ro Ho.


 (1) Samhna is a version of Samhan which is the name given to the first day
     of November.  This day was a very large feast in pagan, esp. Celtic,
     tradition.  Indeed, the Irish word for November is Samhain.  It was
     one of the most important festivals of the year.  Oiche Samhna is the
     Irish for Halloween.  (Aidan Hollinshead)

  -------------------------- TRIAD : ST. PATRICK ----------------------------
      Lyrics Traditional


                           Give me your love,
                           The true Son of God.
                           Give me strength,
                           The clear bright sun.


  ------------------------------ DAN Y DWR ----------------------------------

    This is the Welsh language spoken in Wales in the British Isles.

                            (Beneath the Waters)

  Dan y dwr, tawelwch sydd             Beneath the waters, it is silent
  Dan y dwr, galwaf i                  Beneath the waters, I call you
  Nid yw'r swn gyda fi                 There is no company with me.

  Dan y dwr, taweluch an byth          Beneath the waters, silence for ever,
  Dan y dwr, galwaf i                  Beneath the waters, I call you.
  Nid yw'r swn ddim fwy gyda fi.       The sound is no longer with me.


   "Beneath the waters... the village Capel Celyn.  This village in
    Wales was submerged, against much protest and struggle by its
    inhabitants, in order to accomodate a resevoir.  This is a lament
    for the loss of Capel Celyn, memories now held beneath the water."
    (From the liner notes on the re-release of _The Celts_)

 - Some misspellings in the original posting have been corrected.

 Translation by Elizabeth Benning (

 Thanks to Phillip M.  Darlington ( for obtaining this

  ============================== WATERMARK ==================================

  --------------------------- CURSUM PERFICIO -------------------------------

 Cursum perficio.                I am making an end to my course.
 Verbum sapienti:                A word to the wise:
 quo plus habent,                the more [people] have
 eo plus cupiunt.                the more they want.
 Post nubila, Phoebus            After the clouds, Phoebus     (1)
 Iternum                         Over and over again           (2)


 (1) Phoebus was one of the names for the Sun god, which may be more famous as
     Apollo (Greek). It is notable that the Sun is a male.

 (2) The word 'iternum' does not exist; it could either be a misspelling for
     'eternum' (eternal), which is unlikely since it is very rare that an
     adjective be used as an adverb, or for 'iterum' (again and again) which is
     in fact an adverb and makes a little more sense (!!).

 The meaning of 'cursum perficio' is actually best explained by the
 footnote to the lyrics: Enya was inspired by these words she saw on
 Marylin Monroe's last house, where they were taken to mean "my journey
 ends here".  It is a rather "free" translation, but it's probably a very
 good way to convey the meaning of Latin, which has a way of saying things
 that is very distant from modern-day English.  The fact that those words
 turned out to be prophetical only adds to the power of the song.

       Translation by Konrad Schroder (
       Notes by Mauro Cicognini   (

  --------------------------- STORMS IN AFRICA ------------------------------

  ,      , ,
 Ca fhad e o                                How far is it from?
   ,    ,
 Siul trid na stoirmeacha.                  Walking through the storms
 Dul trid na stoirmeacha.                   Going through the storms

  ,      , ,
 Ca fhad e o                                How far is it from?
 An tus don stoirm.                         The beginning of the storm
 An tus go deiradh.                         The start to the end

  ,         ,
 Tog do Chroi.                              Take your heart
  ,         ,
 Tog do chroisa.                            Take your beloved

 Turas mor.                                 Long Journey
 Tor trid na Stoirmeacha.                   Heavy through the storm

 Turas fada.                                Long Journey
 Amharc trid na Stoirmeacha.                Look through the Storm

    Translation by Fidelma McGinn.

  ------------------------ STORMS IN AFRICA (Part II) -----------------------

                           Though I walk through
                           warm sands in Africa
                           winds will grow soon
                           to storms in Africa.

                           How far to go
                           I cannot say.
                           How many more
                           will journey this way?

                           Dark skies fall on
                           black earth and ivory.
                           Far from your sun
                           clouds now close over me.

                           How far to go
                           I cannot say.
                           How many more
                           will journey this way?

                           Storms have come!
                           rains wash the earth away
                           Dark skies fall down
                           into another day.
                           Rains have now come
                           from storms in Africa
                           Time will go on
                           through Storms in Africa

       Transcription by Jagg Groeg (

  ---------------------------- THE LONGSHIPS --------------------------------

 Hi-ri-u                                    (Incantations not translated)

 Hoireann is oro
 Ta muid beo                                 We are alive

 Him oro ho

 Go Deo na ndeor                             Always tears /crying

    Translation by Fidelma McGinn.

  ------------------------ NA LAETHA GEAL M'OIGE ----------------------------

 Na laetha geal m'oige                      The bright days of my youth
 ----------------------                     -----------------------------
     , ,
 (In omos do mo m'athair agus do m'atair)  (In honor of my father and mother)

             ,   ,
 Ag amharc tre m'oige                      Looking back over my youth
     ,   ,  ,
 Is me bhi samh                            I see I was contented

 Gan eolas marbh                           Without knowledge of death
   ,  , ,
 Bhi me og san am,                         I was young then

 Anois, taim buartha                       Now I am worried
              ,       ,
 's fad ar shiuil an la.                   During the course of the day.
    ,        ,  ,
 Ochon 's ochon o.                         (Oh sorrow!) [Alas and woe, oh.]

 Na laetha geal m'oige                     The bright days of my youth
   ,       ,       ,
 Bhi siad lan de dhochas                   Were full of hope
             ,      ,
 An bealach mor a bhi romham anonn         The big road that was before us then
   ,  ,     ,                    ,     ,
 Bhi se i ndan domh go mbeinn, slan, slan. Was what was destined to be,
                                           Bye bye...

 (Repeat refrain)

 Text taken from translations by:

    Anne-Marie Curtis, posted by
    Dennis Foley (

  ============================ SHEPHERD MOONS ===============================

    Comments on the inspiration and meaning of these songs can be found in
    the sheet music for this album.  These comments are available as the
    Enya Papers #22.

  ----------------------- HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING? ----------------------

 A verse is missing from the printed words on "How Can I Keep From Singing?"

 The lyrics are all correct except after the second verse ("Through all the
 tumult and the strife...") add this verse:

                  While though the tempest loudly roars,
                  I hear the truth it liveth.
                  And though the darkness 'round me close,
                  Songs in the night it giveth.

                  No storm can shake my in-most calm
                  While to that rock I'm clinging.
                  Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth,
                  How can I keep from singing?

     Transcription by Jagg Groeg (
     (But you can get the words just by listening carefully!)

 Note:  There are several words that are a bit difficult to determine
        exactly what they are, but Jagg points out (and I agree) that
        of the possibilities, the ones here make the most sense. - Lyle

  --------------------------------- EBUDAE ----------------------------------

           ,           ,             ,
 Amharc, mna ag obair la's mall san oich,  Look, women working by day and late
                                  ,               at night,
 Ceolann siad ar laetha geal, a bhi,       They sing of bright days that were,
 Bealach fada anonn 's anall a choich.     A long way back and forth forever.

 Translation by Dr. N. Stenson, posted by David Saranen


  "Ebudae" is a term that deals with sounds.

  The last line seems to contain a misprint [in the liner notes], since the
  phrase is definitely "anonn 's anall", not "annon ...".  (Aidan Hollinshead)

  ---------------------------- BOOK OF DAYS ---------------------------------

 ,  ,         ,
 O oiche go hoiche, mo thuras,        From night to night, my journey,

 An bealach fada romham.              The long pilgrimage before me.
 ,  ,     ,
 O la go la, mo thuras,               From day to day, my journey,
      ,                    ,
 na scealta na mbeidh a choich.       The stories that will be forever.

          Translation by Dave Allum (

  --------------------- BOOK OF DAYS (English Version) ----------------------

                     One day, one night, one moment
                     My dreams could be tomorrow
                     One step, one fall, one falter
                     East or West,
                     Over earth or by ocean
                     One way to be my journey
                     This way could be my
                        Book of Days

                     No day, no night, no moment
                     Can hold me back from trying
                     One flag, one fall, one falter
                     I'll find my day maybe
                          Far and Away
                          Far and Away

                     One day, one night one moment
                     With a dream to be leaving
                     One step, one fall, one falter
                     Find a new world across a wide ocean
                     This way became my journey
                     This day brings together
                          Far and Away

                     This day brings together
                          Far and Away
                          Far and Away.

     Posted by Martin Falatic ( and possibly

 Notes:  This version was produced for and released with the soundtrack for
         the movie "Far and Away", starring Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman.

         This version of the song has been released in place of the original
         version in recent pressings of _Shepherd Moons_.

  ---------------------------- AFER VENTUS ----------------------------------

 Afer Ventus                      African Wind

 Mare nubium.   Umbriel.          Sea of clouds.   Umbriel.    (1)
 Mare imbrium.  Ariel.            Sea of showers.  Ariel.
 Et itur ad astra.                And we go to the stars.      (2)
 Et itur ad astra.                And we go to the stars.
 Mare undarum.   Io. Vela.        Sea of waves.  Io.  Vela.    (3)

 Mirabile dictu. Mirabilia.       Amazing to say.  Marvellous. (4)
 Mirabile visu.  Mirabilia.       Amazing to see.  Wonderful.
 Et itur ad astra.                And we go to the stars.
 Et itur ad astra.                And we go to the stars.
 Sempervirent. Rosetum.           Always fresh. Rosetum.       (5)  (6)

 Afer Ventus. Zephyrus.           African Wind.  Zephyrus.     (7)
 Volturnus. Africus.              Volturnus. Africus.          (8)  (9)
 Et itur ad astra.                And we go to the stars.
 Et itur ad astra.                And we go to the stars.
 Etesiarum. Eurus.                Etesians. Eurus.             (10) (11)

 Running verse:
 Suus cuique mos. Suum cuique.    Each has its own habits.  Each its own.
 Meus mihi, suus cuique carus.    Mine to me, its own to each is dear.  (12)
 Mememto, terrigena.              Remember, life is earth-born.         (13)
 Mememto, vita brevis.            Remember, it is brief.
 Meus mihi, suus cuique carus.    Mine to me, its own to each is dear.


 (1) Proper names I'm guessing--Umbriel, Ariel, Io, Vela.

     Ariel and Umbriel are two moons of Uranus (named after the characters
     in Shakespeare's "Tempest"). Io is a moon of Jupiter (one of Jupiter's
     lovers). Vela is a constellation (representing the sails of the ship
     Argo).  It should also be noted that all the different "maria" (Mare
     imbrium, mare undarum, etc) are not just poetic inventions, but actual
     geographical features of the moon. (Magnus)

     Note that many of these names originate from Greek Mythology.  This
     should provide a starting point for anyone wishing to do further
     research. (Giles)

     Mare Nubium, Mare Imbrium, Mare Undarum are lunar "seas" (Custodio)

     Io is one of the four inner Galilean moons of Jupiter.  She was the
     daughter of Inachus (whoever that is) and "looked like a heifer, but
     talked like a girl made mad with misery." She had a romantic interlude
     with Zeus, who changed her into a cow to avoid Hera's finding out about
     it.  Hera set the watchman Argus, of a hundred eyes, on Io to ensure
     she did not run away, but Hermes, in the guise of a mortal, talked
     Argus to sleep and killed him.  However, Io was not free, as Hera sent
     a gadfly to sting her, driving her insane, and she wandered thereafter.
     Story courtesy of Edith Hamilton. (Nate)

 (2) This is tough. "itur" is a poetic form, apparently.  The phrase
     may mean "without end" or "eternal". (Larry)

     'Et itur ad astra' means 'And we go to the stars'.  There is no way of
     putting into English the "impersonal" meaning of 'itur' which is
     actually the third person singular of the passive indicative present
     tense (sorry, but I do not really know how English scholars refer to
     tenses, hope it's clear enough) of the verb 'ire' which means 'to go'.
     Since 'to go' cannot possibly be passive (I am gone?) the passive mode
     is taken to sound as done by everybody and nobody in particular at the
     same time, really like something that gets done but without specifying
     by whom.  (Mauro)

     This phrase has been bothering me for some time - I was sure I'd seen
     it or something like it before.  Eventually I found it.  There is a
     phrase in Virgil's Aeniad which reads 'sic itur ad astra' which the
     translator noted as having the literal meaning 'thus you shall go to
     the stars' but the poetic, metaphorical meaning 'thus is immortality
     gained'.  So substituting 'et' (and, also) for 'sic' (thus, therefore)
     the translation might read along the lines of 'and you shall go to the
     stars' or, perhaps, 'and you shall live forever'.  (Unknown)

     "sic, puer, itur ad astra" is a FAMOUS Aeneid quotation, meaning
     basically "This, lad, is how you get to the stars."

 (3) 'Vela' refers to a boat's sail.  It may well be a proper name, though.

     In this context, I think 'Vela' refers to the constellation Vela.
     (see above).  (Magnus)

 (4) "mirabilia" (neuter plural) means literally "marvellous things";
     translated as the singular and differently--English likes to vary.

 (5) "sempervirent" == "evergreen".

 (6) I don't know how to translate "Rosetum"--a proper name or "rose garden",
         which seems unlikely.

     A rose garden, they are ever-fresh.  I assume that the things that are
     ever-fresh are (1) the stars; or (2) the roses---maybe they are one and
     the same. (Konrad)

 (7) Zephyrus is a warm west wind.

 (8) Volturnus is a "river(?) in Campania", according to Cassell's Latin
     dictionary.  I don't understand the reference.

     Volturnus is not only a Campagnian river but also the SE wind.

 (9) Africus is the south-west storm-rain wind.

 (10) The Etesians are winds that blow 40 days each year around
      the "dog days".

      "Etesiarum" is a general term for swirling winds "tease"ing each
      other.  Eurus is the East wind; hence "Europe." NOTE--In Carribean
      Blue, the wind "Boreas" is mentioned; it refers to the North Wind;
      hence the Aurora Borealis.  (Graham)

 (11) Eurus is the south-east wind.

 (12) This is almost impossible to translate into English without doing
      damage to word order.  "mine is dear to me, its/his/her own is
      dear to each."

      Latin likes to take the adjective that corresponds to a set and
      postpone it to go with the last member of that set (English puts
      it with the first member).  So a more idiomatic rendering in
      English might be:

      To each, his own custom is dear; to each, his own.
      To me, my own is dear.  To each his own.

      (Or its own, her own, depending on what she's talking
      about right here.  I can't tell....) (Konrad0

 (13) "terrigena" is literally "earth-born creature," formed from the word
      for land, "terra", and race or kind, "genus." (Graham)

  --  It is apparent that most of Enya's Latin lyrics have been influenced
      by Virgil's Aeneid, since many of her phrases are those used by Virgil.

  Notes without an author indicated are by Larry Jordan.

     Translation and notes by:

        Larry M. Jordan   (
        Magnus Olsson     (
        Mauro Cicognini   (
        Custodio          (
        Giles Armstrong   (
        Konrad Schroder   (
        Aidan Hollinshead
        Nate Scherer
        Graham at the University of Delaware (Address lost)
        An unknown poster.

    Due to the nearly exhaustive discussion (or so it seems) included
    above, submissions for additional comments on 'Afer Ventus' will most
    likely not be accepted.  The reader is encouraged to do his or her own
    research into Latin and Greek mythology if more information is desired.

  ------------------------------- SMAOINTE ----------------------------------

 Smaointe                              Thoughts
                   ,     ,   ,
 (D'Aodh Agus Do Mhaire Ui Dhugain)    (To my maternal grandparents)
                                       Literally: "For Hugh and Mary Duggan"

 ,              ,
 Eist le mo chroi,                     Listen to my heart,
      ,          ,
 Go bronach a choich                   Forever sad
  ,  ,             ,
 Ta me cailte gan tu                   I'm lost without you

 's do bhean cheile.                   and your wife.
      ,  ,
 An gra mor i do shaoil              * The Great Love in your life    (1)
        ,  ,
 Threorai si me.                       Will guide me.
  , ,              ,
 Bigi liomsa i gconai                  Be (plural) with me always
  ,     ,
 La 's oich.                           Day and night. **

 Curfa:                                Chorus:
 Ag caoineadh ar an uaigneas mor       Weeping in great loneliness
 Na deora, go bronach                  The tears, sorrowfully
 Na gcodladh ins an uaigh ghlas chiuin Asleep in the quiet green grave

 Faoi shuaimhneas, go domhain          In a deep peace.

 Aoibhneas a bhi                       There was blissfulness

 Ach d'imigh sin                       But that is gone
  ,       ,
 Se lean tu                            You followed
 Do fhear cheile.                      Your husband.

                                       [Repeat * -> ** and Chorus]

 Smaointe, ar an la                    Thoughts of the day.

 Raibh sibh ar mo thaobh               You were (both) at my side
    ,      ,
 Ag inse sceil                         Telling tales
        ,        ,
 Ar an doigh a bhi                     Of how things were.
 Is cuimhin liom an la                 I remember the day

 Gan gha'sgan ghruaim                  Without sting and without gloom
  , ,               ,
 Bigi liomsa i gconai                  Be (plural) with me always
  ,     ,
 La 's oich.                           Day and night.

 (1) The meaning of this phrase in this context is "the love that was
      shown by the two of you". (Aidan Hollinshead)

 Text taken from translations by:

      Steve Hopper (
      Dr. N. Stenson, posted by David Saranen (

  ================================ SINGLES ==================================

                                 ,       ,
  ----------------------------- OICHE CHIUN ---------------------------------
                               (Silent Night)

  ,       ,     ,          ,
 Oiche chiuin, oiche Mhic De,        Silent night, night of God's son.
  ,             ,
 Cach 'na suan dis araon,            Soundly in slumber, the pair together
  ,      ,                ,
 Dis is dilse 'faire le speis        The pair and love, watching with affection
 Naoin beag gnaoigheal               The small bright beautiful child,
   ceananntais caomh                   darling little one.

     ,                       ,
   Criost, 'na chodhladh go seimh.    Christ, calmly asleep.
     ,                       ,
   Criost, 'na chodhladh go seimh.    Christ, calmly asleep.

  ,       ,     ,          ,
 Oiche chiuin, oiche Mhic De,        Silent night, night of God's son.
     ,      ,              ,
 Aoiri ar dtus chuala 'n sceal;      Shepherds first heard the tale
 Alleluia aingeal ag glaoch.         The angels crying out Alleluia.
 Cantain suairc i ngar is i gcein    Lovely chanting near and far.

     ,         ,           ,
   Criost an Slanaitheoir Fein        Christ, the saviour himself.
     ,         ,           ,
   Criost an Slanaitheoir Fein        Christ, the saviour himself.

    Translation by Aidan Hollinshead

 Notes:  This song was featured on several singles releases.  See the
         discography for specifics. (Lyle)

         I'm not too happy with the translation of the third line,
         but it's as good as I'm going to get.  'dilse' has quite a
         few meanings.  (Aidan)


    Special thanks to the following people who provided corrections
    and/or comments that I could integrate into this document:

        Aidan Hollinshead
        Jagg Groeg (aka Richard Crow) (
        Magnus Olsson                 (
        Custodio                      (
        Giles Armstrong               (
        Nate Scherer                  (
        Konrad Schroder               (
        Phillip M. Darlington         (

         (Wouldn't you like to see your name here? Hint, hint!)

  Please send comments, suggestions, corrections, additional translations to:

                L Y L E
                 C O R B I N   

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