1.150 Now "Officially"(?) WTTT & Stunting w/"Danny Boy"s
Sun Nov 2 21:07:57 EST 2003
<<On Sun, 2 Nov 2003 10:15:21 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org said:
> The lyrics were written in 1910; the melody is older than that, dating
> from sometime in the mid 1800's, and appears to have had other lyrics and
> been known by the name "Londonderry Air" (Or "Aire".)
According to my sources, this tune was first published in 1855 in a
book called /Ancient Music of Ireland/ with neither title nor words.
Several lyricists tried their hands at setting words to the tune, with
``Danny Boy'' being the most commercial.
Julian May writes:
The original melody in Petrie's collection came from a Miss
Jane Ross of Limvady int he Northern Irish county of
Londonderry. The lady arranged it for the piano herself and
simply commented to Dr. Petrie that it was ``very old''.
Unfortunately, later researchers were unable to find any trace
of its origins, nor were there any Gaelic words to it. The
fact that its meter was ``wrong'' for Irish folksong made it
even more suspect, and some denied that it was a traditional
melody at all.
The problem of the atypical meter suggests that Miss Ross
might have erroneously transcribed the tune in common (4/4)
time rather than the 3/4 or 6/8 rhythm of the majority of old
Gaelic songs. If the rhythm is thus changed, and certain
prolonged notes shortened, one does indeed get a typical Irish
ditty of rather appalling banality.
(Appendix to /The Many-Colored Land/, Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1981, reprinted as /The Many-Coloured Land/, London:
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