Rita Connolly: I Arise Today

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The video has Rita Connolly singing a Shaun Davey song at the inauguration of Michael Higgins, the ninth president of Ireland in November 2011. The words are from the early St Patrick’s Breastplate via Cecil Frances Alexander and the German linguist and Celtic philologist Kuno Meyer.

Many Irish versions exist:

Críost liom, Críost romham, Críost ‘mo dhiaidh,
Críost ionam, Críost fúm, Críost os mo chionn,
Críost ar mo dheis, Críost ar mo chlé,
Críost i gcroí gach aoinne smaoiníos orm,
Críost i mbéal gach aoinne labhraíos liom,
Críost i ngach súil a dhearcas orm,
Críost i ngach cluais a chluineas mé.


Críost liom, Críost romham,
Críost i mo dhiaidh, Críost istigh ionam,
Críost fúm, Críost os mo chionn,
Críost ar mo lámh dheas, Críost ar mo chlé,

Críost i mo lúi dom, Críost i mo sheasamh,
Críost i ngach gcrói ag cuimhneamh orm,
Críost i ngach mbéal, Críost i ngach súil,
Críost i ngach cluas, a éisteann liom.


Críost liom, Críost romham,
Críost im dhiadh,
Críost ar mo chion-sa, agus Críost fúm,
Críost ina chónai i mo chroí-se,
Críost fós ó dheas díom, Críost ó thuaidh.

An early version of the lyrics can be found at the University of California (Davis) website. A medieval Irish version can be found on Wikisource. The second video is unfortunately unaccredited and unattributed, but has interesting photos and lyrics.

Rita Connolly (singer): :
I arise today, through the strength of heaven;
light of sun, radiance of moon,
splendor of fire, speed of lightning,
swiftness of wind, depth of the sea,
stability of earth, firmness of rock.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s eye to look before me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
from all who shall wish me ill, afar and a-near
alone and in a multitude.

Against every cruel merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me.

Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,

I arise today…….