The Chieftan’s Son…

~ Hanz Zimmerman & Lisa Gerrard . Symphoholic .   

(🔹 . The music – written by Hans Zimmerman for the King Arthur fim – beautifully compliments this centuries old Irish lamentation . The lamentation of a King for his son, his heir . ” The Chieftan’s pride, his heir is dead…”)

You Tube video We will Go Home .  Sorrow  ~ compilation .  Hans Zimmerman , Lisa  Gerrard . 


O raise the woeful Pillalu,

And let your tears in streams be shed

“Och, Oro , Oro , Ollalu “

The Master’s eldest hope is dead

… By strand and road, by field and fen,

The sorrowing clans come thronging all

From camp and den, from hill and glen,

They crowd around the castle  wall,

“Och, Oro, Oro, Ollalu “

… And far they spread the keening cry,

“Och, Orro,  Orro , Ollalu “

Then raise the woeful ” Pillalu “

And let your tears in streams be shed

“Och, Oro, Oro, Ollalu !”

The Chieftan’s pride, his heir, is dead .


Johann von Goethe   1749-1832

 Personal notes : I have loved this poem since the age of sixteen – and was allowed the particular privilege of writing it out on my father’s typewriter . From where I found it I no longer remember, but the evocative, keening chorus ” Och, Orro, Orro,Ollalu…” stays with me . I can still hear it’s sorrowing refrain . A lengthy search of the Internet gave no specific information on Goethe’s writing . A search of the old Irish kings made reference to Conn Bacach O’Neill (16th Century) a King whose son who was killed before he could ascend the throne . It remains though guesswork – and a sixteen year old’s memory .

Irish Post – traditional songs at Irish funerals. Mal Rogers


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