We filmed this air on the fifth day of our journey. We wanted to film it near the river Erne, but finding a suitable spot was tricky. On our way down from Northern Ireland the day before, we found a most glorious pier jutting onto part of Lough Erne off Boa Island, but there was too much background noise of a nearby road. We also stopped at what looked like a public footpath and met a lovely couple who lived on the river. We had a cup of tea with them and they said we were welcome to film in their backyard which looked across the river. But a steady misty rain set in, and there was no chance to do the filming that afternoon. The next day, when we came back, the rain had not abated. Luckily the house had wide eaves which Ilse sat under to play, but Maarten had to invent some tricks and frame the images such that it would not show!
The River Erne (Irish: An Éirne), is in the northwest of Ireland and flows through several Ulster counties, and ends up in the sea at Ballyshannon, County Donegal. The Erne is full of ancient ruins both Christian and Pagan.
During our visit to Lilis Ó Laoire at the University of Galway, that morning, Ilse asked him about this air and he translated some of the lyrics from Irish to English:
“I am a young man from the Erne and I would entice a fair young girl. I wouldn’t ask for any cattle for a dowry. I’m rich enough myself. I own Cork, regardless of it’s size, it’s all mine. Both sides of the Glen and Tyrone, and if I haven’t changed my manners, I am the heir to County Mayo. I go tomorrow to make beer in the forest. With no canoe, no grain of malt, but the leaves of the trees for shelter and you looking toward me from the distance.”