Burning Bridget Cleary



Ah Tusa Shi (Are You the Wife of Michael Cleary?) /Killavil Jig

Burning Bridget Cleary
Rose Baldino and Genevieve Gillespie


We (Rose and Genna) wrote this song in 2008, riding in the back seat of Lou's station wagon, on the long ride home from the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC.  Inspired by our week at music camp we decided we needed a song to tell Bridget's story. We had captured the emotion of her tale in the tune, "Burning Bridget Cleary", written for our first CD, but we needed to tell the story in words. It's a difficult story to tell, and somehow it never came out quite right when we related the story from the stage . . . A special "thank-you" to Terry Kane, who we called and harrassed several times that day to help us with the Irish language translation!


An Tusa 'Sí

Hey my love, ho my love, where have you been? Selling your goods in the County?

You have been gone this evening long, Oh my love, do not betray me!

Hey man, ho man, what do you think? That I have been foolin’ away?

I have been faithful and true, my love, your dutiful wife to stay.


Hey my love, ho my love, step in the light, you are not looking so well,

Don’t be a messin’ with fairies me love; the devil will damn you to hell.

Hey man, ho man, I am but ill, Come my love, why do you frown?

Fetch me some milk from the farmer good man, to calm my fever down.


Hey my love, ho my love, look who is here; your father and your brother,

Quiet you fool, take this potion down, come on now drink up another!

Hey man, ho man, let me alone; I will not do as you say!

I am your wife, no demon, me Love, nor taken by the fae.


Hey devil, ho devil, I’ve got you now, no longer will you possess her!

Bridget, my wife, come back to me now, and he threw her down into the fire.

Bridget was set in a shallow grave, no headstone for to remember,

Michael was thrown in a madman’s cell, his suffering fate to avenge her.


Nach tusa bean Mhícheal Cleirigh?

Chan tú sa sí, a Bhríd Cleirigh.

Nach tusa bean Mhícheal Cleirigh?

Chan tú sa sí, a Bhríd Cleirigh.