A set of three variants of this famous tune. Composed by Irish harper Miles O’Reilly, it was taken to Scotland by Thomas Connellan. Celebrating (or lamenting) the defeat of the Jacobites in Ireland in 1691-2, the first section (King James March to Irland) is from a Scottish viol manuscript of 1693. The middle section (Lochaber, or Limerick’s Lamentation) and the third section (the Wild Geese, or Ireland’s lamentation) are from Edward Bunting’s field notebook, c. 1800 (ms33(1)), noted down from the performance of Partick Quin in South Armagh.
On Sunday I was at the Fife Traditional Singing Weekend, in a fine, airy windowed building in the Fife countryside by Collessie. It was very interesting to see and hear so many different traditional singers, many from the East of Scotland but a number from further afield. So many different styles of vocal delivery, and types of song.
There was little really ancient, to connect with my work here (in a direct form anyway), but I have a lot to think about and it was great to see people like Sheila Stewart there.
My favourite moment was an anecdote from Phyllis Martin, of visiting an old lady in Galloway to collect songs. The lady said “I’ll get some tea”, and came back with a tray with 2 cups of tea and a large sponge cake, cut neatly in 2 down the middle. Phyllis said, she asked if they should have a knife. The lady replied, no, this half is for you, and this half is for me.
It was also a lovely day, sunny and quite warm.
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