"Am I Blue" as Gaeilge

by Diane Duane

Which means “in Irish”.

Paul Dini is an old friend of ours. I first met him in the ’80s while working on some development stuff at Filmation in LA: my office was just down the hall from his and Robby London’s. We shared many strange adventures there, mostly having to do with creatively rearranging the action figures in the Castle Greyskull prototype that lived in the office of the late Art Nadel, our much-missed story editor.

Anyway, as usual, in due time everyone moved on to other work. Robby went here and there and wound up at DiC: so did I, when he hired me on to storyedit Dinosaucers. And Paul eventually found himself working on Batman: The Animated Series at Warner Animation, and later on he also did some work on Justice League Unlimited. Which is where this happy moment comes in.

In a script Paul did called “This Little Piggy”, Wonder Woman winds up getting turned into a pig by the vengeful Circe (who is taking out on WW some aggro Circe feels she owes the Amazon’s mother, Queen Hippolyta). Batman — who as we all know is a bit of an item with “Diana Prince” — goes off to try to save her, in company with the sorceress Zatanna (who is a bit of an item for Paul Dini, to the point of his having married someone who resembles her strongly. But that’s another story). 🙂

The expected fight breaks out as Circe sics her boys-cum-beasts on Bats and Zee, and matters go rapidly downhill from there. But as usual the World’s Greatest Detective sees what needs to be done, and (having grasped one of the basic truisms of magic, that everything comes at a price) stops the fight and asks Circe to specify the price of the spell she would have to work to turn Wonder Woman back. Circe tells Batman that it would require that he give up something precious, something that once gone, can never be replaced. “Something … so… shattering,” she purrs.

And the next thing you see is Batman paying that price… but not in the coin you might expect.

When I first saw this episode I chuckled for a good while afterwards, recognizing Paul’s famous quirkiness at work (not to mention his intention to get Kevin Conroy, the actor voicing Batman, a chance to show off his terrific singing voice). So when TG4, the national Irish-language TV station, showed “This Little Piggy” one afternoon, I hit the record button to see what it looked like as a dub.

And got a delightful surprise. Because besides the prosaic business of dubbing the episode as Gaeilge, TG4 had also taken the time to translate the song “Am I Blue” into Irish, and in appropriate rhyme… and had brought in a separate Irish-speaking singer to dub it.

Take a look at this, and enjoy. The clip starts with poor Wonder Woman being flung onto the conveyor belt at the meat processing plant to be turned into bacon. (It starts a little earlier than the English-language clip: I thought people might be interested in hearing Irish being spoken as well as sung.)

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