Dilín ó Deamhas Nursery Rhyme

“Dilín ó Deamhas” is a traditional Irish nursery rhyme for kids. Our elders sang an English version of this sing-along song to us when we were children. It was called “She Didn't Dance”. We have combined parts of both the Irish and English versions into one song with a Celtic theme.

We call this song “Dilín” and our chant creates a Clannad/Anúna type effect. Drums are added in the second round to emphasise the Celtic theme further. We also transpose to a higher key at this point to symbolise the child being thrown “up so high!”

Sit on a couch and hold your baby facing you in your lap. Gently bounce her on your knee and sing along to “She didn’t dance at all…” While singing “Throw her uppity up…” lift her up to your face and bring her back to your lap three times. On the third time gently lower her to the floor in time for “she will come down nearby…”

Lyrics for Dilín

Note: traditional lyrics for Dilín ó Deamhas are in the next section below!

Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas ó deamhas ó
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí

She didn’t dance at all
She didn’t dance today
She didn’t dance at all at all no
She didn’t dance today

Caithfimid suas is suas
Caithfimid suas an páiste
Caithfimid suas í suas is suas í
'S tiocfaidh sí 'nuas amárach

Throw her uppity up
Throw her up so high
Throw her uppity up up up
And she will come down nearby

Traditional Lyrics for Dilín ó Deamhas

Chorus:
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí
Dilín ó deamhas ó deamhas ó deamhas ó
Dilín ó deamhas ó dí

Cuirfead mo rún chun suain,
Cuirfead mo rún ‘na luí,
Cuirfead mo rún chun suain go ciúin,
Le dilín ó deamhas ó dí.

Chorus

Is buachaill maith súiste súist’
Is buachaill maith súiste Páid,
Is buachaill maith súiste súiste súist’
Is cailín deas túirn’ í Cáit.

Chorus

Is buachaill aniar aniar,
Is buachaill aniar an fear,
Is buachaill aniar aniar aniar,
‘S is cailín ón sliabh a bhean.

Chorus

Caithimis suas is suas é,
Caithimis suas an páiste,
Caithimis suas is suas is suas é,
‘S tiocfaidh sé ‘nuas amárach.

Music Video Clip of Dilín ó Deamhas

The traditional Irish version of “Dilín ó Deamhas” has been included in a number of albums over the years. Our favourite recording of “Dilín ó Deamhas” is on the debut album entitled “Unleashed” by an award winning band from Co. Sligo in Ireland called The Border Collies. Here is a youtube music video clip of The Border Collies singing “Dilín ó Deamhas” on Irish television:

Translation of Dilín ó Deamhas from Irish to English

The chorus of “Dilín ó Deamhas” is gibberish and can not be translated into English! However, the verses do mean something and Naymon has kindly translated them from Irish to English for us.

I will put my Dear to sleep
I will lay my Dear down
I will quietly put my Dear to sleep
With dilín ó deamhas ó dí.

The boy is good at thrashing (corn)
Pat is a good boy at thrashing
The boy is good at thrashing
Kate is good with the spinning wheel.

The boy is from the west side
The boy is from the west side
The boy is from the west side
His wife is the girl from the mountain.

Throw him up and up
Throw the child up
Throw him up and up and up
And he will come down tomorrow.

Classroom Ideas for Dilín

Physical Education: Perform star jumps in time to the Irish words. Throw a football into the air in time to “Throw her uppity up…” Arrange children into pairs and get them to throw the ball back and forth to each other in time to this part of the song. Circle the children and get them to throw the ball clockwise to their neighbour. Repeat with a tennis ball but get them to only throw with their right hand. Repeat with their left. Use bean bags for smaller children.