lenanshee - dooreen

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Troncher, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Troncher New Member

    Madrid - Spain
    Spain - Castellano, Gallego, English(learning)
    hi, everybody. What's the meaning of lenanshee? and dooreen?
  2. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Hi Troncher,

    Welcome to the forums. We're glad to have you here.

    Can you please provide us with some context? I have never seen these words before (they look to be of Scots or Irish origins - maybe names of something?), so context would certainly be helpful.

  3. Troncher New Member

    Madrid - Spain
    Spain - Castellano, Gallego, English(learning)
    Hi again and thanks to reply so quick. Maybe you are right, because these words belong to a song of a Irish band (My Lagan Love). The context which they appear in is the following (although I am afraid that it is not very clarifying):

    "And like a lovesick lenanshee, she has my hearth in thrall"
    "I steal unto her shieling low, and through her dooreen peep"
  4. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    I don't know Irish, but for a full explanaition of lenanshee, google "leanan sidhe". Sorry I can't help much with dooreen.
  5. maxiogee Banned

    Sorry for your trouble se16teddy, but troncher hasn't been active since December 2005.

    Dooreen is, I would imagine, the English word "door" +the Irish diminutive suffix ~ín (pronounced een) —> her little door.
  6. Paul I New Member

    California, USA
    English USA
    I'm a singer and "My Lagan Love" is one of my favorites - almost my signature tune. My research of the text shows some differences and explanations from those posted on this site.

    Sheiling low should be sheiling lorn - sheiling, a little hut and lorn for forlorn.

    She has my hearth in thrall should be my HEART in thrall, i.e., she has enslaved my heart; she holds it in bondage.

    Dooreen should be dooring and, as another poster noted, is diminutive, so it's a little door.

    The lenanshee (leanan sidhe) are fairy lovers of humans. And when they get riled up, they can cause the human's death.

    The song, superficially a love song or lullaby, is filled with symbolism pertaining to the fight for Irish freedom from English domination. The full text, normally given as two verses, but sometimes with a third that was added at a later time and usually not considered "authentic", can be found on several websites by googling "My Lagan Love".
  7. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    I'm with Maxiogee on this one.
    Dooreen [not dooring] is little door with the Irish diminutive ending -in.

    This website gives it as dooreen http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/corrs/mylaganlove.html

    other examples:
    colleen - girl, young woman, from cailín
    poteen/potcheen - illicit alcohol [moonshine], from poitín = small pot.
    boreen - lane, from Bóithrín = small cow-path, = cow
  8. Paul I New Member

    California, USA
    English USA
    The lyrics given on azlyrics are suspect and are "odd man out" among those used by most Irish groups and singers as well as those printed in published music. In addition, this set shows the third verse - the one added later that I mentioned in my first post - and is, therefore, suspect as to legitimacy.
    I write program notes for several groups and am alert to spot this sort of thing and to search out multiple sources before accepting any single one as authoritative.

    Granted, "doreen" may indeed be grammatically correct, but every other version of the lyrics I've seen spells it "dooring", perhaps to provide some internal rhyme with "sheiling" in the previous line. There are also other differences in the azlyrics version that I have found nowhere else.

    Here's the version I've seen virtually everywhere else and the one I perform. Compare it to the azlyrics version to find the discrepencies. I give only the first two generally performed verses that are considered authentic:

    Where Lagan stream sings lullaby
    there blows a lily fair.
    The twilight gleam is in her eye,
    The night is on her hair.
    <<See WR Rules on quoting text>>
  9. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Well, dooreen = little door makes sense, and dooring doesn't!

    -een is commonly added to words (English as well as Gaelic) in Ireland to form diminutives.

    And "stirs the bog wood fire" also make more sense than "spares the bog wood fire".
  10. Paul I New Member

    California, USA
    English USA
    "-een", I will admit, does make more sense linguistically. However, a formation such as "dooring" is far from the only example of odd usages and formulations in folk and pop music.

    As for "stirs" vs. "spares", in terms of the imagery of the lyrics, "spares" here means "banks", i.e., conserves the fire for future use at the appropriate time, letting it burn low and longer. She's not stirring up trouble by singing out a revolutionary anthem here. She's quietly humming, biding her time and conserving her energies for the coming uprising.

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