HISTORICAL NOTES for SOLOS FOR TREBLE INSTRUMENT
ESPECIALLY SOPRANO RECORDER
COLLECTION 3: IRISH MELODIES
Arranged/composed by Clark Kimberling
Arrangement titles begin with the letters A-Y.
Composition titles begin with the letter Z.
Most of the 240 solos in Collection 3 can be accessed by clicking SOLOS 3 - but first, read this: the 198 pages may take a minute to download, and your computer must have Acrobat or some other PDF reader. After viewing the solos, you may wish to print them and put them in a big notebook. However, before clicking SOLOS 3, you really should browse these Historical Notes, which include links to in-depth information. Many of the links are to Irish websites.
If you play recorder, flute, violin, clarinet, or other instrument, you’ll want to take a look at the music itself. Forty-six of the solos in Collection 3 are not included in SOLOS 3; they are published separately. For details, visit Flute or Recorder. When you get there, be sure to view the Table of Contents.
Most of the melodies in Collection 3 are classified as traditional Irish music, as sung by thousands of Irish musicians, fiddled by centuries of country fiddlers, and whistled by farmers. Also found in Collection 3 are distinctive melodies of the renowned harper, Turlough Carolan (1670-1738). The list begins with one of Carolan’s melodies.
There are 240 solos covered by Historical Notes 3, and 194 of them are in the SOLOS 3. That leaves 46 solos that are published separately, not in SOLOS 3. In the list below, the 46 solos are indicated by an asterisk (*).
ABIGAIL JUDGE, one of many melodies by the blind harper, Turlough Carolan, composed for a patron. Abigail Judge was the wife of Thomas Judge of Grangebeg, County Westmeath, to whom she was wed in 1707. The composition is one of three pieces by Carolan that Beethoven arranged and published in 1816. See Carolan’s Welcome, and visit a large website about Carolan.
AIR OF TIBROGHNEY, included with caption “Name Unknown” in Aloys Fleischmann’s Sources of Irish Traditional Music (1998). First noted by James Fogarty in Tibroghney, County Kilkenny, and published in George Petrie’s 1855 collection.
ALL ROUND MY HAT, #90 in Joyce, where the lyrics explain the title:
All round my hat I will wear the green willow:
All round my hat for a twelvemonth and a day;
And if anyone should ask me the reason that I wear it,
I’ll tell him that my true-love is gone far away.
AM I THE DOCTOR YOU WISHED FOR TO SEE(*), an air sung in County Donegal and included in Joyce’s Collection (1909) as #153. The word "air" means the tune, whereas "song" often means just the words. Here’s the whole song:
Am I the doctor you wished for to see?
Am I the young man you sent for to me?
‘O, yes, dearest Willie, you can kill or you can cure:
For the pain that I feel, my dear, is hard to endure.’
THE ANGLER, #10 in Joyce, to which a song once popular in Limerick was sung. The first verse:
As I roved out one morning down by a river side,
To catch some trout and salmon where the stream did gently glide;
Down by the brook my way I took and there by chance did spy
A lovely maid all in the shade, who smiled and passed me by."
APPLES IN WINTER(*), a reel in Rinnce Na Eirann (National Dances of Ireland), G. Schirmer, New York, 1929. Not to be confused with a jig of the same name.
ARDLAMON HORNPIPE, #39 in Joyce. Obtained from Davy Cleary, a piper and dance master in Kilfinane, 1842.
AS I WALKED ON THE ROAD TO SLIGO, #123 in Joyce. Sligo is a town on the northwest coast of Ireland. Click here to visit Sligo.
ATHLONE, named for the Irish city in which John Wesley preached in 1748. In 1781, Wesley published a tunebook, Sacred Harmony, for use with his brother’s (Charles) hymn texts. In 1786, Wesley designated seven of the texts in the first Methodist hymnal to be sung to Athlone. This tune was published several times in England and the U.S., but is probably not found in any hymnal published after 1900. Visit Athlone.
THE BANKS OF GLENOE, #78 in Joyce. The Glenoe is a scenic river in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
BARBARA NEEDHAM, #441 in Joyce, where it is described as “A rowing song heard on the passage to Clare Island.” For details on the song ("Clare Island Boat Song") and the island, visit Gráinne Hambly and Clare Island.
THE BEAUTIFUL LITTLE VALE OF ARAGLIN, #92 in Joyce, who notes that the Araglin is a small river in County Waterford. A nearby village is Kilbrien, about ten miles from Clonmel. Visit Kilbrien.
BELFAST HORNPIPE(*), a hornpipe, #852 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907. Also known as The Sweep’s Hornpipe. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland.
BILLY FROM BRUFF(*), #37 in Joyce, who collected it from a very old man named Jack Sheedy in 1849, in the town of Bruff, County Limerick. Visit Bruff.
BLACKSMITH’S HORNPIPE(*), #103 in Joyce. In the Preface of his book, Joyce reprints (pages xviii-xvi) an article he had published elsewhere, captioned “Irish and Danish Folk Music.” Joyce recalls the Danish influence in Irish history and music. “In order to hunt this matter up,” Joyce writes, “I procured from a well-known publisher in Copenhagen three fine collections…containing 294 Danish melodies…accompanied with elaborate notes…[but] I could not read one word of them; for they are all…in Danish.” Joyce’s efforts were rewarded by several pieces “startlingly like Irish and Scotch hornpipes…” He continues, “One, I know, is absolutely the same as one of our Irish hornpipes. I have known it all my life...The Blacksmith’s Hornpipe.”
BLARNEY CASTLE, #15a in Holden’s Book I (c.1805). The castle itself, located near Cork, is one of Ireland’s oldest and one of the few to have its own website.
BRYAN O NEIL, #10c in Holden’s Book I (c.1805).
CAILIN DEAS, #105 in Joyce, who gives a fuller name as “An Cailín Deas Ruadh: The Pretty Red Girl.” Joyce writes, “I give this fine air as I learned it in early days from singers; but an instrumental setting, much ornamented, will be found in Bunting, 1840.” Actually, Bunting included this melody in his earliest collection, dated 1796. This melody is known in both major and minor keys.
CAPTAIN JOHN’S HORNPIPE, #51 in Joyce, who writes that he learned it in childhood from fiddlers. Also called Reel Du Goglu (Goblin’s Reel).
CAPTAIN MACGREAL OF CONNEMARA, #460 in Joyce. This tune is in the portion of Joyce’s book called The Forde Collection, after William Forde of Cork, whose collections were made in or about the period from 1840 to 1850. Joyce comments that there is a 6/8 time version of this tune elsewhere in Forde’s collection, where the tune is called Johnny Gibbon’s March. Visit an interactive map of Connemara.
CAROLAN’S QUARREL WITH THE LANDLADY(*), composed by Turlough Carolan (1670-1738). Published with commentary in O’Sullivan’s Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper. In O’Sullivan, the tune is marked “Con fuoco” and in the Notes section, it is stated that “The circumstances of Carolan’s quarrel with the landlady have not been recorded…his fondness for drink is well known, as is also his tendency to irascibility when kept in short supply.”
CAROLAN’S WELCOME(*), composed by Turlough Carolan, probably for a patron whose name has been lost. The tune is published in O’Sullivan at #171.
CASTLE KELLY, #359 in Joyce. Castle Kelly is located near Tallaght in County Dublin.
CASTLECONNELL LASSES, #233 in Joyce, a reel. Castleconnell is located near the city of Limerick. For details, visit The Fiddler's Companion.
CHALK SUNDAY, a jig, #19 in Joyce, who collected it from Davy Condon of Ballyorgan, Ireland, in 1844. Joyce explains that “Chalk Sunday was the Sunday after Shrove Tuesday, when those young men who should have been married, but were not, were marked with a heavy streak of chalk on the back of the Sunday coat, by boys who carried bits of chalk in their pockets for that purpose, and lay in wait for the bachelors. The marking was done while the congregation were assembling for Mass: and the young fellow ran for his life, always laughing, and often singing the concluding words of some suitable doggerel such as, ‘And you are not married though Lent has come!’ This custom prevailed in some parts of Limerick, where I saw it in full play, but I think it has died out.” See Pilgrimage to Skellig.
CLERGY’S LAMENTATION, a melody somewhat in the style of Turlough Carolan. Published as #207 with commentary in Donal O’Sullivan’s Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper (2001).
CLONMEL(*), found in several hymnals and also in Colm O Lochlainn’s Irish Street Ballads (Corinth Books, 1960), as a setting for R. D. Joyce’s poem “The Boys of Wexford.” Visit Joyce Brothers. As is the case with many well known Irish tunes, it seems likely that Clonmel became popular by carrying a particular poem. Visit Clonmel.
CLOSE YOUR EYES, #651 in Joyce, who obtained it as an eight-measure nurse song from Mrs. J. H. O’Brien of Cork.
COME FIGHT IN THE SNOW, published in 1850 by Richard Michael Levey (1811-1899; real name O’Shaughnessy) in The Dance Music of Ireland, as Who’ll Come Fight in the Snow. The Levey collection is particularly notable for distinctive melodies not found in other collections. Levey was the principal violinist at Dublin’s Theatre Royal. Among his violin students was Charles Villiers Stanford, whose anthems and hymns are still today widely sung in Anglican and Episcopal churches. Levey was also an important contributor to the promotion and preservation of Irish music. His work and that of two of his sons are recognized in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
CONNEMARA AIR, #471 in Joyce, as Get Up, My Darling, and Come with Me. Visit Connemara.
CONNOLLY’S ALE, #79 in Joyce, who learned it in mid-19th century County Limerick.
THE CONTRADICTION REEL, #724 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
COTTAGE IN THE GROVE, a reel, #188 in Joyce.
CRABS IN THE SKILLET(*), a double jig, #306 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
THE CROOKED WAY TO DUBLIN, a reel R. M. Levey’s Second Collection of The Dance Music of Ireland (mid-19th century).
THE CROWS ARE COMING HOME, #35 in Joyce, who obtained it from the whistling of Phil Gleeson of Coolfree, County Limerick, about 1851.
DAINTY DAVY WAS A LAD, #91 in Joyce. Visit The Fiddler's Companion for extensive details.
DENNY LANE’S AIR, #509 in Joyce, as an Air contributed by Denny Lane (1818-1895) of Cork. Lane was a politically active poet who was also deeply and professionally interested in science and art. See biographical sketch.
DOWN THROUGH THE BROOM, #66 in Joyce. A reel, also known as Down the Broom.
DUBLIN STREET BALLAD, included with caption “Name Unascertained” in Fleischmann’s Sources of Irish Traditional Music, 1998. Described as “Dublin street ballad c.1800,” and published in George Petrie’s 1855 collection.
DUBLIN STREETS, a slip jig, #438 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907. Dublin, on the east coast, is the capital of Ireland.
DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, #389 in Joyce, who writes, “This song was a favourite in the south of Ireland; and I picked up air and words by merely hearing the people all round me sing it.” He continues, “the song was also known in England [but] our version is shorter and rather more concentrated…” The song is also known as “The Dumb Wife.” The names derive from the hilarious five-verse poem about a wife who was “dumb, dumb, dumb.” The husband mournfully seeks a doctor, who “cut some little strings, and gave her tongue liberty to run, run, run…” The husband then begs the doctor to undo his work but learns that “It’s not in the power of man…to make a scolding wife hold her tongue, tongue, tongue.”
DWYER’S HORNPIPE, #40 in Joyce, who writes, “This was a great favourite as a dance tune, and I learned it in boyhood from pipers and fiddlers.”
EAGLE’S WHISTLE, #361 in Joyce, who had previously published it in 3/4 time and notes that other versions are known but that #361 “is no doubt the original proper form, inasmuch as this was the marching tune of the O’Donovans. Joyce mentions a legend that “with this tune the eagle whistles his young to rest.”
ERIN’S GROVES, #725 in Joyce. The name Erin is a poetic name for Ireland, derived from a name of one of the ancient tribes.
EVEN AND ODD, LIKE TOM WITH HIS HOD, #87 in Joyce, who writes, “Tom Curtin was a lame hodman whose lameness was accentuated when he was carrying his loaded hod.” A hodman is one who carries bricks and other supplies for masons and bricklayers.
THE FAIR GIRL MAKING HAY(*), #171 in Joyce.
THE FAIR OF DUNMORE, #220 in Joyce, who writes that the melody, also known as The Juice of the Barley, was taken down from Mr. Patrick Hynes, and native of County Mayo. Dunmore is located in County Galway.
THE FAIRY DANCE, #129 in Joyce, a reel.
FAREWELL FOR EVERMORE(*), #26 in Joyce, who collected it from Norry Dwane of Glenosheen in 1846.
FAREWELL TO KINSALE, #180 in Joyce, one of twelve tunes Joyce took down from the whistling of Joe Martin of Kilfinane, County Limerick, “a rambling working man with a great knowledge of Irish airs and songs, and much natural musical taste.”
FATE’S REEL, in R. M. Levey’ Second Collection.
FIELDS AND DAISIES, #30 in Joyce, who obtained it from Bill Sheedy, fife-player, Fanningstown, Country Limerick, 1844.
THE FLURRY REEL, #64 in Joyce.
THE FOGGY DEW, #58 in Joyce, who writes that he learned it as a child.
THE FROST IS ALL OVER, #83 in Joyce, a hornpipe learned by Joyce as a boy in Country Limerick.
GALWAY GIRLS, a precursor of Yankee Doodle published in James Aird’s A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Adapted for the Fife, Violin or German Flute, Glasgow, 1790-97 (six volumes).
THE GALTY HUNT, #510 in Joyce, who obtained it from Denny Lane. See Denny Lane’s Air. The Galty (also spelled Galtee) Mountains stretch across the adjacent counties of Limerick and Tipperary in southern Ireland.
GARRYOWEN(*), a double jig in Rinnce Na Eirann (National Dances of Ireland), G. Schirmer, New York, 1929, and many earlier publications. The name Garryowen is that of a suburb of Limerick, Ireland. Visit Montana town regarding the naming of a town for the song Garryowen.
THE GIPSIES CAME, #334 in Joyce, as The Gipsies Came to Lord M—‘s Gate. Joyce collected this melody from Newtownards, County Down.
GIPSY HORNPIPE, #229 in Joyce, who obtained it from J. O’Sullivan of Bruff, County Limerick, in 1873.
THE GIRL WHO BROKE MY HEART, a reel, #456 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
THE GOBBY(*), a jig published in James Aird’s A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Adapted for the Fife, Violin or German Flute, Glasgow, 1790-97 (six volumes).
THE GOLD-HAIRED MAID, #172 in Joyce. One of five tunes that Joyce collected from the singing of his aunt, Mrs. Mary MacSweeny, during 1844-1855.
GREEN FIELDS OF ERIN, a reel in Rinnce Na Eirann (National Dances of Ireland), G. Schirmer, New York, 1929, and many earlier publications. “Erin” is a poetic name for Ireland.
HEATH AND FURZE, a reel, #120 in Joyce. Heath is a low evergreen shrub having small bell-shaped pink or purple flowers, and furze is a very spiny and dense evergreen shrub with fragrant golden-yellow flowers; common throughout western Europe.
THE HOUSE OF CLONELPHIN, #193 in Joyce.
HOW SHALL I FIND HER ROOM? #576 in Joyce. This tune is part of the pre-1850 Forde collection included in Joyce.
HUMOURS OF BALLINARAHEEN, #520 in Joyce. The word ‘humours’ in a title denotes character, mood, whim, or fancy.
HUMOURS OF CASTLECOMER, in R. M. Levey’ Second Collection. Castlecomer is a town in County Kilkenny.
HUMOURS OF CURRAGEEN, #798 in Joyce.
HUMOURS OF TALLOW, in volume 4 of O’Farrell’s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes…adapted for the Pipes, Flute, Flageolet and Violin, London, 1804-1816. Tallow is located in County Waterford.
I ONCE HAD A TRUE LOVE, #10a in Holden’s Book II (c.1805).
I PREFER MY PEA-FLOWER, #716 in Joyce.
I RAMBLED ONCE, #76 in Joyce, recalled from his childhood.
IF YOU HAVE THAT, #508 in Joyce, contributed by Denny Lane. See Denny Lanes’ Air.
AN IRISH BIRTHDAY, #803 in Joyce, in the Pigot Collection (in Joyce). Pigot copied the melody from a manuscript lent by Miss O’Connell of Grena, near Killarney, in County Kerry.
IRISH HORNPIPE, #832 in Joyce, obtained from Miss Griffin of Foynes in County Limerick.
IRISH MOLLY-O(*), #403 in Joyce. Not to be confused with the more widely known My Irish Molly-O. Joyce writes, “I learned it in childhood from the people all round me, with whom the song, both air and words, was in great favour.” The words describe a young Scot named MacDonald who fell in love with Irish Molly-O. “When Molly’s father heard of it a solemn oath he swore, That if she’d wed a foreigner he’d never see her more…”
AN IRISH SONG, published by John Abell in A Collection of Songs in Several Languages, London, 1701. A facsimile of this song is found in Nicolas Carolan’s The Most Celebrated Irish Tunes: The Publishing of Irish Music in the Eighteenth Century, published by the Irish Traditional Music Society, University College, Cork, 1990. The title of the facsimile is “An Irish Song as Sung by Mr. Abell at his…Consort at Stationers Hall” [London]. The song is printed in the key of E, and below it is printed a transposition to G, marked “for the FLUTE.” The first 16 measures of the arrangement in SOLOS 3 are identical to the Abell’s flute melody.
IRISH VIVACE(*), in Donal O’Sullivan’s Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper, Ossian Publications, Cork, new edition, 2001. In O’Sullivan, #180, the tune has no title but is marked “Vivace”. It is not known whether this tune was composed by Carolan.
IT WAS ON A FAIR CALM MORNING, #475 in Joyce.
JENNY’S BABEE(*), in volume 4 of O’Farrell’s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes…adapted for the Pipes, Flute, Flageolet and Violin, London, 1804-1816.
THE JOLLY PEDLAR, #720 in Joyce.
JOHN NUGENT, composed by Turlough Carolan, possibly in 1720 for the marriage of John Nugent to Lady Margaret Plunkett. The Nugent family owned Castle Nugent in Coolamber, County Westmeath.
JOHNNY FROM GANDSEY, #21 in Joyce, a reel that he recalled from childhood.
KATHLEEN TYRREL, probably first published in Cooke’s Selection of Twenty One Favorite Original Irish Airs, Dublin, c.1795.
THE KERRY JIG, #32 in Joyce, who recalled it from youth, as played by pipers and fiddlers.
KILDROUGHT FAIR(*), published in Smollet Holden’s A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes, Book II, Dublin, c. 1805. In Holden, the name is “Kildroughalt Fair” – probably a reference to Kildraught, now Celbridge, in County Kildare.
A KISS IN THE KITCHEN(*), #554 in Joyce, one of the tunes in the Forde Collection (in Joyce), obtained from renowned sculptor Patrick MacDowell (1799-1870).
KITTY ALONE, #660 in Joyce, obtained from George Sinclair of Cork.
KITTY O’NEILL, #503 in Joyce. Joyce traced the tune back to a manuscript written before 1770.
THE KNIGHT OF ST. PATRICK, #126 in Joyce, as simply Reel, in connection with “a small obscure publication, The Knight of St. Patrick, long since out of print.”
LADY CARBURY(*), a reel, #357 in Joyce, who writes that this is one of five tunes he got from Mr. M. Flanagan of the Hibernian Military School, Dublin, and that “Mr. Flanagan picked them up in North Kildare.” Also called Práiscín an Mhásúin: The Mason's Apron.
LAMENTATION OF O’REILLY’S BRIDE, #474 in Joyce, who notes that “O’Reilly was drowned when crossing the Shannon on the very day of his marriage.”
LARRY GROGAN, #3c in Holden’s Book I (c.1805).
LAST NIGHT’S FUN, a slip jig, #452 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
THE LEAVES SO GREEN, #650 in Joyce, from R. J. Mackintosh.
LEINSTER PRENTICE, #39b in Book II of Holden’s Collection (c.1805).
LEVEY’S HORNPIPE (1), published without title in 1850 by R. M. Levey (see Come Fight in the Snow).
LEVEY’S HORNPIPE (2), published without title in R. M. Levey’s Second Collection.
LEVEY’S JIG (1), published without title in 1850 by R. M. Levey (see Come Fight in the Snow).
LEVEY’S JIG (2), published without title in R. M. Levey’s Second Collection.
LEVEY’S SLIP JIG, published without title in 1850 by R. M. Levey; marked “Very Quick & with Spirit” (see Come Fight in the Snow).
LIGHTLY TRIPPING, #17 in Joyce, obtained from Ned Goggin, the professional fiddler of Glenosheen, County Limerick, about 1848.
LIMERICK LASSES, a reel, #684 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907. Visit County Limerick.
LITTLE HOUSE UNDER THE HILL, a reel in James Aird’s A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Adapted for the Fife, Violin or German Flute, Glasgow, 1790-97 (six volumes).
LITTLE STACK OF BARLEY, #462 in Joyce, from the Forde Collection (in Joyce); Ford obtained it from Paddy Conneely before 1850.
LONDONDERRY AIR(*), published as early as 1855, in The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland. The words, “O Danny Boy,” written by Frederick E. Weatherly, were set to Londonderry Air in 1913. With these words, the tune became one of the most popular tunes of all time. Several websites enlarge upon the notes that Petrie published along with the tune. One of these, The Origin of Danny Boy, tells that Petrie received the tune from Miss Jane Ross of Newtown, Limavady, in County Londonderry. Miss Ross, a collector, had taken the tune down from a fiddler, who may have been playing the traditional tune Aislean an Oigfear (copied at The Mystery Solved). However, that tune is in 3/4 time and lacks the famous phrase near the end. Given other differences between the 3/4 tune and the 4/4 masterpiece published by Petrie, one is inclined to wonder what other tunes Miss Ross may have collected.
In Sources of Irish Traditional Music, Aloys Fleischmann devotes most of a page (XXIII in vol. 1) to this air. He refers to “the strength of emotion which folk singers are capable of arousing in their audiences” (thus echoing others, such as Charles Villiers Stanford, who have written on the emotive force of Irish music). Fleischmann continues, “In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it seems that the singers themselves were often carried away, becoming even ecstatic in delivering their songs. But perhaps as a result of the famine [1845-50] and its protracted after-effects, toward the end of the century the authentic style became more impersonal.” As Londonderry Air is an especially “emotional” air, Fleischmann concludes that it is “closer to art music than to folk music proper, and for that very reason its vivid eloquence has made it attractive to people who would not be moved by a less demonstrative type of folk song.”
LOUGH SHEELING, 9b in Book II of Holden’s Collection (c.1805). Lough Sheeling is an early spelling of Lough Sheelin, a lake of about 4500 acres in County Cavan.
MADAM MAXWELL, composed by Turlough Carolan. O’Sullivan writes that the subject was probably Judith Maxwell, who married John Maxwell in County Cavan, June, 1719.
MAGIC RING, in Elizabeth L. Gallagher’s Irish Songs and Airs Arranged for Children to Play and Sing, 1936.
MARCH OF THE MONTHS, #183 in Joyce, obtained from the whistling of Joe Martin. See Farewell to Kinsale.
MARY FROM BACKWATER SIDE, #187 in Joyce, obtained from the whistling of Joe Martin. See Farewell to Kinsale.
MERRY MARY, a double jig, #365 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
MISS CORBET’S REEL(*), in James Aird’s A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Adapted for the Fife, Violin or German Flute, Glasgow, 1790-97 (six volumes).
MOLL HALFPENNY, #134 in Joyce.
MOLLY BAWN, #409 in Joyce, who writes, “In the [19th] century this song was very popular in the midland and southern counties…a ballad that obviously commemorates a tragedy in real life.” The tragedy was the accidental shooting of Molly by her lover. The ballad became quite popular in North America, and much research has been devoted to its history. Molly Bawn is also the title of a novel by Irish author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (1855?-1878), in which originates the insightful phrase, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”
MONEY IN BOTH POCKETS(*), in volume 2 of O’Farrell’s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes…adapted for the Pipes, Flute, Flageolet and Violin, London, 1804-1816.
THE MOREEN(*), an ancient Irish melody made famous by its use with Thomas Moore’s poem, The Minstrel Boy. The name “Moreen,” according to Fleischmann’s Sources of Irish Traditional Music, is a translation from Gaelic of “An Móirín”, meaning “The Connor-fish”. One might ask why someone would compose a song named for a fish. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that “connor” is a variant of “cunner”, and Google finds that popular names for the cunner are Golden Maid and gilthead, meaning golden-head. Alfred Moffat, in Minstrelsy of Ireland, states that “Moreen” is diminuitive of “Moirin”, a girl’s name. It seems plausible, therefore, that the tune name, The Moreen refers to a golden-haired maid. Perhaps someday the original words for this song will be found, and from them, the name The Moreen can be further clarified.
MORNING STAR, #472 in Joyce, obtained from the Galway piper, Paddy Conneely.
MOTHER GOOSE, a slip jig in Edward Light’s A Collection of Songs, Airs, etc., vol. 2, London, c.1800.
MUNSTER HOP JIG, #479 in Joyce, a favourite Munster dance-tune, also known as Bogadh Faoi Shúsa and Bugga Fee Hoosa. The terms hop jig and slip jig are synonymous.
MY DARLING IS ON HIS WAY HOME(*), #34 in Joyce, who collected it in his young days from Norry Dwane of Glenosheen, in County Limerick.
MY EVELEEN GAVE ME A SECRET TO KEEP, #151 in Joyce, who obtained it from Mick Dinneen of Coolfree, County Limerick, 1853.
MY FIDDLE, a hornpipe, #72 in Joyce, who learned it as a child in County Limerick.
MY JOURNEY TO LONDON, #487 in Joyce, from the Forde Collection (in Joyce), obtained by Forde from “FitzGerald, Cork” before 1850.
MY LOVE IS IN THE HOUSE, #230 in Joyce, who copied it from “very old well-written manuscripts” lent to him in 1873 by Mr. J. O’Sullivan of Bruff, County Limerick.
MY SORROW IS GREAT, #14 in Joyce, as My Sorrow Is Greater Than I Can Tell, obtained from James Keane of Kilkee, County Clare, 1876.
NARRY THE PIPER, #800 in Joyce, from the Pigot Collection (in Joyce). John Edward Pigot (1822-1871) obtained the tune from Miss O’Connell of Grena, near Killarney, County Kerry.
NEW-MOWN MEADOWS, #61 in Joyce.
THE NIGHT’S PAST AND GONE, #50 in Joyce, who obtained it from Joe Martin about 1852.
NONE CAN LOVE LIKE AN IRISHMAN(*), in [Maurice] Hime’s Pocket Book for the German Flute or Violin (6 vols.) Dublin, c.1810.
O DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE?(*), a double jig, in A Collection of Quick and Slow Marches, Troops, etc. for the Piano-Forte or Harpsichord composed by Smollet Holden. Dublin, c.1805. Holden was a highly regarded composer of military music and keeper of a music shop in Dublin.
O’DRISCOLL OF CLONAKILTY, #746 in Joyce, as simply Air, collected from “O’Driscoll of Clonakilty.” Clonakilty, sometimes called the tidiest town in Ireland, has an extensive website.
O’HARA’S CUP, #685 in Joyce, obtained from distinguished Cork archaeologist John Windele (1801-1865).
OFF SHE GOES, a jig in Rinnce Na Eirann (National Dances of Ireland), G. Schirmer, New York, 1929. The melody is also known as Humpty-Dumpty.
OH! WHACK, a jig in R. M. Levey’s Second Collection.
OLD PHILIP ARMOUR, #143 in Joyce, obtained from James Buckley, a piper in Limerick, about 1852.
ONE EVENING FAIR, #53 in Joyce, who writes that “I learned both the air and the words of this song at home in early youth. The first verse:
One evening fair as I roved out down by a river side,
I heard a lovely maid complain – the tears rolled from her eyes:
– ‘It was a cold and stormy night’ – those sad words she did say –
‘When my love went on the raging main, bound for Amerikay.'
ORO, WELCOME HOME, #275 in Joyce, a hauling-home song. Joyce explains that "hauling home" was bringing the bride to her husband’s house after marriage. It was usually a month or so after the wedding, and was celebrated as an occasion next only in importance to the wedding itself. Joyce obtained this tune in 1884 from Francis Hogan of South Lodge, Brenormore, near Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. Mr. Hogan wrote that “the piper, seated outside the house at the arrival of the party, playing hard [i.e., with great spirit]...”
PADDY GET UP, a jig in R. M. Levey’s Second Collection.
PADDY’S WALTZ, #669 in Joyce, who obtained the tune, described as “Spirited: time well marked,” from the Rev. Mr. Strangway, Ballinamore, County Leitrim.
PEGGY’S WEDDING, #674 in Joyce, who obtained the melody from Michael Walsh, “a good professional fiddler” from Strokestown, County Roscommon.
PILGRIMAGE TO SKELLIG, #110 in Joyce. The name Skillig refers to an island off the coast of Kerry, and in particular to Skillig Michael, also called Great Skellig. Regarding the pilgrimage, Joyce wrote, before 1910:
It is well within my memory that – in the south of Ireland – young persons who should have been married before Ash-Wednesday, but were not, were supposed to set out on pilgrimage to Skellig on Shrove-Tuesday night… It was usual for a local bard to compose what was called a “Skellig List” – a jocose rhyming catalogue of the unmarried men and women of the neighbourhood who went on the sorrowful journey – which was circulated on Shrove-Tuesday and for some time after.
THE PINING MAID, #351 in Joyce, a reel which Joyce obtained from an anonymous manuscript.
PIPER IN THE MEADOWS STRAYING, #131 in Joyce, remembered from his boyhood in County Limerick. Also known as Piper Through the Meadows Straying. The similarity to the Christmas carol, Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly is noted at The Fiddler's Companion, which traces the tune back to 1808.
THE PIPER’S WIFE, #22 in Joyce, who obtained it from the singing of Mary MacSweeny of Glenosheen, County Limerick, about 1848.
PLANXTY, #536 in Joyce, as Planxty by Carolan – that is, composed by Turlough Carolan. The word “planxty” seems not to have appeared before Carolan himself used it. The meaning of the word is open to discussion – which it receives at length in O’Sullivan (pages 92-94).
PLANXTY BURKE(*), composed by Turlough Carolan. Planxty Burke honors one of Carolan’s patrons, The Honourable Thomas Burke, who died in 1763. See Planxty.
PLOUGH WHISTLE, #810 in Joyce. For a discussion of tunes whistled by Irish ploughmen while working with horses, see David Cooper’s recent edition of The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland. There is considerable evidence that tunes were “vocally whistled” – that is, whistled without an instrument – in Ireland prior to the spread of tin whistles. However, very little has been written about Irish vocal whistling.
THE POOR WOMAN, #244 in Joyce, copied by Joyce from a manuscript lent to him in 1873.
PREP YOUR PISTOL, CHARLIE, a jig, #73 in Joyce, as Cock Your Pistol, Charlie. Learned by Joyce as a child in County Limerick, probably before 1850.
THE PRIEST AND THE RAKE, #411 in Joyce. The six verses are an interesting dialogue between a priest and a rake. As Joyce writes, "At the end the rake is converted and promises reform. The priest’s words are truly typical of the earnest affectionate Irish soggarth." The last verse is quoted here:
Now I’ll be advised by my pastor, henceforward his counsel I’ll take;
No longer I’ll follow the life of an insolent turbulent rake;
My own lovely sweetheart I’ll marry, as bright as the blossoms of May,
And give up my drinking completely before the first dawn of day.
PRIME’S HORNPIPE, #63 in Joyce.
THE PULLET, a hornpipe in R. M. Levey’s 1850 collection. A pullet is a young hen, or “spring chicken.”
THE RAKES OF CLONMEL (1)(*), a double jig, #149 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907. A rake is a “dissolute young man in fashionable society.” Visit Clonmel.
THE RAKES OF CLONMEL (2), as in the previous paragraph. Arrangement (2), however, is based on the version published in O’Farrell’s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes..., London, 1804-1816.
THE RAKES OF KILDARE, a jig in R. M. Levey’s 1850 collection. Visit Country Kildare.
THE RAKES OF KINSALE, #232 in Joyce.
THE RAKES OF MALLOW, #14 in Book I of Holden’s Collection (c.1805). Mallow is a city in County Cork. Visit Mallow: Crossroads of Munster.
THE REBEL’S FAREWELL, #540 in Joyce, from the Forde Collection (in Joyce), obtained from the sculptor Patrick MacDowell (see A Kiss in the Kitchen).
THE RIGHTS OF MAN(*), #221 in Joyce, who obtained it from Mr. Matthew Archdeacon, National School, Banteer, County Cork, in 1875.
RISING SUN, a reel, #608 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
THE ROAD TO KILMALLOCK, #74 in Joyce. Visit Kilmallock.
ROCKMILLS HORNPIPE, #157 in Joyce. Rockmills is located near Mitchelstown in County Cork.
THE ROSE THAT THE WIND BLEW DOWN, #104 in Joyce.
SADDLE THE PONY, #44 in Joyce, written down from the whistling of Joe Martin of Kilfinane, County Limerick, about 1850.
SAILOR’S HORNPIPE(*), a hornpipe, #608 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
ST. COLUMBA(*), collected by George Petrie about 1855. A leading composer of Anglican church music, Charles Villiers Stanford, as editor of the Irish Literary Society’s Complete Collection of Irish Music as noted by George Petrie (London, 1902-05), included St. Columba as #1043. Stanford describes the melody as an “Irish hymn sung at the dedication of a chapel” in the County of Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Ralph Vaughan Williams included St. Columba in The English Hymnal, 1906, where it was, for the first time, published with the paraphrase of the 23rd Psalm beginning with “The King of love my shepherd is.” The name, St. Columba, honors the Celtic saint who lived from 521 to 597.
ST. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE(*), a melody collected by George Petrie and published in the collection described above in connection with St. Columba. The ancient text from which the tune draws its name was attributed to St. Patrick as early as 690. In English, the text begins thus: “Today I put on a terrible strength invoking the Trinity confessing the Three with faith in the One as I face my Maker.” For the complete text, visit John Mark Ministries. St. Patrick’s Breastplate is often sung on Trinity Sunday and during ordination services. A metrical paraphrase of ancient text, the modern one begins thus: “I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity,” as written by Cecil Frances Alexander, perhaps the greatest of Irish hymn-poets, and wife of the (Anglican) Primate of the Church of Ireland. For more on Alexander and her poetry, visit Cyberhymnal and Alexander.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY, collected by Patrick Quinn, 1792, and published in Edward Bunting’s The Ancient Music of Ireland, Dublin, 1840.
THE SHAMROCK REEL, #125 in Joyce. Visit The Shamrock.
THE SILVERMINES, #27 in Joyce. Silvermines is a village near Nenagh in County Tipperary. The mines were active from 1300 into the 19th century, chiefly for lead and tin, but not silver. Visit Silvermines.
THE SIXPENCE, #7a in Book II of Holden’s Collection (c.1805).
SLANE(*), #323 (as With My Love on the Road) in Joyce’s A Collection of 842 Irish Airs and Songs hitherto Unpublished, 1909. For the complete text (“Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart”) to which Slane is wed, click Be Thou My Vision. The name possibly refers to Slane Hill and a legend about St. Patrick; see Irish History and Culture.
SLIEVE ELVA, #59 in Joyce, who obtained it in 1876 from the singing of 83-year-old James Keane of Kilkee, County Clare. Slieve Elva is a mountain. Visit a satellite view of County Clare – and be sure to use the zoom option, both ways.
SMITH’S FAVOURITE(*), in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
SPEAK NOT OF FLOWERS, in R. A. Smith’s The Irish Minstrel, Edinburgh, 1825. In Smith, the full title is “O Speak Not of the Flowers.” The air, presumably not previously published, was also known as Scornful Sally.
STACK OF BARLEY, a reel in Rinnce Na Eirann (National Dances of Ireland), G. Schirmer, New York, 1929. Not to be confused with the hornpipe of the same name.
STACK THE RAGS, a jig in R. M. Levey’s 1850 collection. Levey marks this highly distinctive piece [did he composed it?] as “Very Quick.” See Come Fight in the Snow.
THE STAR OF MUNSTER, #780 in Joyce, obtained from Miss Mary Eva Kelly of Portumna, County Galway. Miss Kelly was known as Eva of The Nation, as she had published effective political poetry in The Nation, a newspaper. Joyce writes that she “seems to have had as cultivated a taste for Irish music as for literature.” Visit Eva of The Nation.
THE STRAWBERRY BANKS, a reel, #234 in Joyce.
SUNNY BANK, in The Citizen or Dublin Monthly Magazine, vol, IV, 1841.
SWIFT SWORD OF ERIN, in Thomas Moore’s A Selection of Irish Melodies, vol. 4, London, 1811. In Fleischmann, the song is entitled "Avenging and Bright" with an indication that the air is Crooghan a venéét. The song begins with the words, “Avenging and bright fall the swift sword of Erin.” Visit Avenging and Bright.
THADY’S WATTLE, a hornpipe in R. M. Levey’s 1850 collection.
THERE’S A CHICKEN IN THE POT, #116 in Joyce.
THE THIRD OF AUGUST, #557 in Joyce. Collected by William Forde from Partick MacDowell, sculptor. See A Kiss in the Kitchen.
THOU FAIR PULSE OF MY HEART, #419 in Joyce, who learned it as a child.
THREE JOLLY TOPERS, #276 in Joyce, received from Francis Hogan during 1884.
THROUGH THE WILD WOODS ALONE, #158 in Joyce, who obtained the tune from Phil Gleeson, who lived in Coolfree near Ballyorgan in County Limerick. Joyce recalls that Gleeson was a noted singer, and “such an inimitable whistler that at some distance he was able to puzzle the best ear as to what sort of musical instrument he played.”
TIPP, a slip jig in William Manwaring’s The Sixth Book of Country Dances...now in vogue at Court and at the Public Assemblies in Dublin,...c 1750.
TOM JONES(*), a jig in James Aird’s A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Adapted for the Fife, Violin or German Flute, Glasgow, 1790-97 (six volumes).
TOM’S HORNPIPE, #11 in Joyce, as Tom Is Gone to the Fair.
TRIUMPH(*), possibly first published in the Gaelic-language hymnal, Dánte Dé (Dublin, 1928), where no name for the tune is given. The name Triumph is given here on the basis of the opening line of the hymn, translated as “In the name of the Father who triumphs...” Elsewhere, an American name, St. Mark’s, Berkeley, has been used.
THE TROUBLED CHILD, #562 in Joyce.
THE UNFORTUNATE CUP OF TEA, a jig in R. M. Levey’s 1850 collection.
THE UNFORTUNATE RAKE, 9c in Book II of Holden’s Collection (c.1805). A rake is a “dissolute young man in fashionable society.”
UNTO THE EAST INDIES WE WERE BOUND(*), #115 in Joyce. The first verse:
Unto the East Indies we were bound our gallant ship to steer,
And all the time that we sailed on, I thought on my Polly dear:
‘Tis pressed I was from my truelove the girl whom I adore,
And sent unto the raging seas where stormy billows roar.
To fit the words to the tune, you have to add a note or two, and slur a few – but it works.
VALENTINE O’HARA, #318 in Joyce, who received the tune from J. M’Kenzie of Newtownards. O’Hara was a highwayman, perhaps the same as commemorated in another Irish song entitled Bold Val O’Hara.
WEDDING RING, #23 in Joyce, collected from Lewis O’Brien of Coolfree in County Limerick.
WEXFORD REEL, #156 in Joyce, received from Grattan Flood of County Wexford.
WILLIE WINKIE, #714 in Joyce.
WHEN THE SNOW AND THE FROST ARE ALL OVER, #113 in Joyce.
WHISTLE AND I’LL COME, a double jig in Reels, Minuets, Hornpipes, Marches, manuscript 3346, National Library of Scotland, c.1765. Published as #1689, Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad, in Fleischmann (1998), page 318.
THE WHITE COCKADE, a reel in Rinnce Na Eirann (National Dances of Ireland), G. Schirmer, New York, 1929. The White Cockade has been, since American colonial times, a popular dance in Ireland, Scotland, England, and the U.S. Possibly the earliest publication of this tune was in [John] Rutherford’s Compleat Collection of the Most Celebrated Country Dances...(3 vols.), London, c.1756. A cockade is an ornament, such as a rosette or knot of ribbon, usually worn on the hat as a badge; a white cockade is also a kind of rose.
THE YELLOW HORSE, #237 in Joyce, copied from manuscripts lent to him by J. O’Sullivan in 1873.
YOU ROGUE YOU DAR’N’T MEDDLE ME(*), a reel, #632 in Francis O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland, 1907.
YOUNG JENNY THE PRIDE OF OUR TOWN(*), a jig, #56 in Joyce, who obtained it from Davy Cleary, piper and dancing-master, Kilfinane, County Limerick, 1844. Visit Kilfinane.
Z SOLOS (Zackery Zick to Zyrone), many of which use characteristic of Irish melody, were composed for this collection in 2004 and 2005. Following is a list of all the Z-solos:
Zackery Zick, Zallaghee, Zallasheen, Zamelda, Zanagan Bluff, Zarrick, Zeel Reel, Zeltica, Zenda Glen, Zerrigan, Zerry Derry, Zestmeath, Zibba Zolee, Zickery Zack, Zig Jig, Ziggle Jiggle, Zimmerick, Ziola, Zipperary, Zolataire, Zolliver, Zolly Pop, Zollymolly, Zololoquy, Zonnegal, Zorrey, Zosco Jig, Zyrone
Aloys Fleischmann, Sources of Irish Traditional Music, c.1600-1855, 2 vols. Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London, 1998.
Raymond F. Glover, The Hymnal 1982 Companion (four volumes), The Church Hymnal Corporation, New York, 1990-1994.
Smollet Holden, A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes, Books I and II, Dublin, c.1805.
Patrick Weston Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs: a Collection of 842 Irish Airs and Songs Hitherto Unpublished, Cooper Square Publishers, New York, 1965. Originally published in 1909.
Francis O'Neill, The Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems, compiled and edited by Captain Francis O’Neill, arranged by James O’Neill, Lyon & Healy, Chicago, 1907.
Donal O’Sullivan, Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper, Ossian Publications, Cork, new edition, 2001.
George Petrie, The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland, edited by David Cooper, Cork University Press, 2002.
George Petrie, Petrie’s Complete Irish Music: 1,582 Traditional Melodies, prepared from the original manuscripts by Charles Villiers Stanford, Dover Publications, 2003.
Melodies with historical notes
The Fiddler's Companion
Ireland's Music Collectors
Biography, Music, Links
American Recorder Society
The Society of Recorder Players (British)
The Society of Recorder Players - Irish Branch
National Flute Association (American)
British Flute Society
Recorder Home Page
FiddleFork, an online fiddle community
Clicking will take you to Historical Notes, and from there you can download solos as PDFs (except for Collection 2, for which all the solos are published commercially).
Historical Notes for Collection 2: Christmas Carols; click here for access to the carols.
From Collection 3
Belfast Hornpipe, soprano recorder
Garryowen, soprano recorder
Larry Grogan, tenor recorder
Levey's Jig 2, tenor recorder
My Darling Is on His Way Home, alto recorder
None Can Love Like an Irishman, alto recorder
St. Patrick's Breastplate, tenor recorder
Young Jenny the Pride of Our Town, soprano recorder
Zurreel, alto recorder