Casadh an Tsugain

 Casadh an tSúgáin (pronounced: Casa n soo-gawn)
Twisting of the Rope

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I was reminded of this beautiful tune watching Iarla Ó Lionáird sing it in the film Brooklyn. It has often been recorded and performed, and usually with a lilting flow, but I was inspired by Iarla’s version to make a slow air of it and also add a Casadh an tSúgáin or ‘Twisitng of the Rope’ section.

Rope used in Ireland for tying down thatched cottages was made by twisting hay. This twisting refers to the story told in the lyrics. Casadh an tSúgáin is of intermediate to advanced level, with a fast passage which is not too difficult to master but very effective.

The story of the song is about a man who is in love with a young woman, but the woman’s mother is in love with him. When he asks the young woman to marry him the mother is angry but she has a plan and asks him to twist some hay into a long rope for her for the thatch roof that is flying up in the wind. He though she was coming around to the idea of him marrying her daughter. The rope got longer and longer so that he had to go out the door. Once he was far enough away she cut the rope and locked the door on him. In a country house you would never ask someone to leave unless they were totally out of hand, so this was her way to kick him out.

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