You may not think of the Irish when we're talking about lessons in love. But trust me, there are plenty of old Irish sayings dealing with the topic of love and romance.
In recent years "World's Sexiest Accent" polls have drawn a lot of media attention. The Irish accent has been faring pretty well, even topping one poll in 2011.
Table of Contents
Are Irish Accents Romantic?
How an Irish man's lilt beat out the sweet, amorous tones of the French amazes me. But truth be told, American girls love a man with an Irish accent.
But are these Irish men romantic?
Let's take a look at some vintage Irish sayings and wise old words all about love.
We previously took a look at old Irish sayings about marriage, which I hope you enjoy.
To help these girls seeking the attentions of an Irish suitor, I thought a few "wise old words" on love from our Irish ancestors might help them better understand the Gaelic men of their dreams.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, there couldn't be a more perfect time to examine some Irish sayings on romance.
Irish Sayings About Men
This saying doesn't say much about how Irish men understand women.
"There are only three kinds of Irish men
who can't understand women -
young men, old men and men of middle age."
I really like this one - it's all about love and forgiveness.
"Love him when he least deserves it,
that's when he most needs it."
Here's one that means love makes the world go around, but once again our Irish sayings use farming symbols to convey their message.
"Capall na beatha an grá."
Phonetic pronunciation: Kop-ull nah bah-ha on graw.
The horse of life is love.
Porridge or stirabout was the traditional Irish breakfast for farmers in years gone by. Oatmeal got the day off to the right start. Trust the Irish to link oatmeal to love.
"Love is like stirabout - it must be made fresh every day"
(stirabout is an old term for porridge).
Here's an old saying that advises us not to look for perfection - it simply does not exist.
"Má bhíonn tú ag lorg cara gan locht,
beidh tú gan chara go deo."
Phonetic Pronunciation = maw veen too egg lur-ig car-ah gone luck-th
beg too gone car-ah guh jeo.
"If you're searching for a friend without faults,
you will be without a friend forever."
Irish Sayings About Rejection
Here's some advise about rejection. Be prepared, because it's not easy.
"There is no pain greater than the pain of rejection."
However, there's also the risk that if you don't take any risks you'll end up alone.
Maeve Binch, the late Irish novelist, sums up this conundrum perfectly.
It's like if you don't go to a dance
you can never be rejected
but you'll never get to dance either.“
Our next saying is the Irish version of "faint heart never won fair lady." It's advising lovers to be brave, and seek what you want in a partner.
"Ní dheachaigh fear meata chun bantiarna."
Phonetic pronunciation: Nee yock-ig far math-ah kun ban-teer-nah.
"The cowardly man did not go to the lady."
Irish Sayings About Women and Marriage
Our next saying is not very flattering to women. I'm afraid some of our old Irish sayings are a little sexist. However, I think it's important to look back at the past without trying to change our ancestors' words to suit today's way of looking at life.
This old saying is from the Triads of Ireland.
"There are three creatures beyond ruling
- a mule, a pig and a woman."
The next one is one of my favorites. Here, our predecessors are warning us that you cannot live on love alone.
Only hard work and dedication will provide us with the money for food and sustenance. Soft words and romantic thoughts are not enough for survival.
"Soft words butter no turnips."
Here's a saying about marriage, and how to cure love.
"The only cure for love is marriage."
This old saying tells us that it is better to be alone, than to be with the wrong person, something not everyone considers in the first stages of love.
"Long loneliness is better than bad company."
Here's one my granny loved to say. Every time she heard of an engagement she would say..
"Every old sock, finds an old shoe."
I think it's a compliment, but not sure.
Here's one that tells us love makes the world go round.
"Grá inneall na beatha
agus tiománaí an tsaoil."
Phonetic pronunciation: Graw in-al nah bah-hah ah-gus tim-awn-ee on theel.
"Love is the engine of life
and it drives the world."
Irish Sayings Warning About Falling For Beauty Only
These sayings warn the men of old about falling for a beautiful woman for beauty's sake.
When living in rural Ireland, it was more important to find a woman who was willing to work hard, than a woman who would only be concerned with her looks.
It was simply a matter of survival.
"It's not the most beautiful woman has the most sense!"
A woman needed to be able to cook and run her kitchen well.
"Beauty won't make the kettle boil!"
Here's one telling us that a sense of humor is far more important than looks.
"Is minic a bhí gránna greannmhar
agus daoi dathúil."
Phonetic pronunciation: Iss min-ick ah vee graw-nah gran-oor ah-gus dee dah-hool.
"It is often that ugly was fun
and handsome was glum."
Here's a saying about how there is no cure for love.
"Galar an grá nach leigheasann luibheanna"
Phonetic pronunciation = gal-ir on graw nock ly-ss-un loo-iv-an-ah.
"Love is a sickness that no herb can cure."
Hope you enjoyed these little love sayings from olden times. Over the next few days come back and visit, as we delve further into the Irish concept of love.
Here are some other posts featuring wise old words from Ireland which you might enjoy.
Irish Wisdom And Sayings About Horses
Irish Sayings And Blessings For Troubled Times
Inspirational Irish Words And Sayings
Lessons In Life From Wise Old Irish Hens
Wise Old Words From Ireland For Mother’s Day
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
Here are some more recipes and ramblings you might enjoy...
How To Make A Saint Brigid's Cross Using Pipe Cleaners
I love the 1st quote the best. Funny. I like your blog. I tagged you in my blog today as a site I like. If you hate awards, don't feel obligated to accept. I just thought I'd put you out there in case other people like Ireland like me...so they can find you.
Irish American Mom
Thanks so much Charissa for visiting my blog, and for recommending it on yours. I really appreciate your support and kind words. I'll make sure to check your blog out too.
It was a tonic and a delight!
Irish American Mom
So glad you enjoyed these quotations, Tom. The Irish have a way with words, that simply cuts to the chase. Thanks for stopping by.
I have enjoyed my visit to your delightful site!
This one below....I love
TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME.
by Robert Herrick
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
Irish American Mom
Thomas - Thanks so much for visiting my site and for sharing Robert Herrick's poem. I never heard it before so it was lovely to read it. Always and forever "old time is still a-flying."