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Welcome to The Traditional Tune Archive
The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
The Fiddler's Companion.

August 20 2018  Featured tune:           PHIL THE FLUTER'S BALL

Patrick Kavanagh

AKA - "Dawn of Day." AKA and see "Bright Dawn of Day (The)," "Enchanted Glen," "Golden Star (1) (The)." Irish, Air (4/4 or cut time). G Major (Heymann/1988, O'Neill/Krassen & 1850): E Flat Major (Haverty): F Major (O'Neill/1915). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Haverty): AAB: AABB (Aird). "Fáine Geal an Lae" literally translates as 'the bright ring of day', referring to dawn. The air, one of a supposed seven or eight hundred, was reputed to have been composed by Thomas O'Connellan (see note for "Breach of Aughrim (The)"), a 17th century harper from County Sligo who spent considerable time in Scotland. O'Neill (1922) says: "O'Connellan flourished in a period when the renown of Irish harpers became a matter of history. After a sojourn of 20 years in Scotland, he returned to his native land in 1689, and died nine years later. As the above setting differs materially from that of Bunting in his second collection issued in 1809, and others much more recent, its introduction among Waifs and Strays may be not without interest to students of Irish musical history." In his 1840 collection Ancient Irish Music, the collector Edward Bunting aslo attributed it to Connellan (p. 70). Others, notably O'Neill in an earlier work, credit the composition of the tune to Turlough O'Carolan, though it is not known by what authority and thus is very much in doubt. However, Donal O'Sullivan notes that Carolan may have joined Connellan's "Dawning of the Day" music to his poem "The Morning Star," written for Dolly MacDonough.

It was one of the tunes played in competition by 95 year old Irish harper known variously as Denis O'Hansey, O'Hampsey, Henson or Hampson (Donnchadh a Haimpsuigh) at the last great meeting of the ancient Irish harpers in July, 1792, at the Belfast Harp Festival. O'Hampsey lived to the age of 110. Bunting also states that blind harper William Carr (1777-?), originally from County Armagh, played it at the same competition. Versions appear in both Stanford/Petrie and in Hugh Shields edition of the 19th century James Goodman's manuscripts (vol. 1) under the title "Bright Dawn of the Day"/Fáinne Geal an Lae). An early printing of the melody appears in James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3 (Glasgow, 1788).

In 1862 Bruce and Emmett's Drummers' and Fifers' Guide was published to help codify and train the hordes of new musicians in Union Army service early in the American Civil War. George Bruce was a drum major in the New York National Guard, 7th Regiment, and had served in the United States Army as principal drum instructor at the installation at Governor's Island in New York harbor. Emmett was none-other than Daniel Decatur Emmett, a principal figure in the mid-19th century minstrel craze and composer of "Dixie" (ironically turned into a Confederate anthem during the war) and "Old Dan Tucker," among other favorites. Emmett had been a fifer for the 6th U.S. Infantry in the mid-1850's. The authors include the melody in their section of tunes suggested for reviles, and say: "'The Dawning of the Day' and 'Dusky Night' must not be considered to belong to Reveills, at present; but the Author has placed them in their present position as that honor may become acquainted with them. In the U.S. Army they are omitted."


Source: https://www.revolvy.com/page/On-Raglan-Road
On Raglan Road is a well-known Irish song from a poem written by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh named after Raglan Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin
The poem was put to music when the poet met Luke Kelly of the well-known Irish band The Dubliners in a pub in Dublin called The Bailey.[7] It was set to the music of the traditional song "The Dawning of the Day" (Fáinne Geal an Lae). An Irish-language song with this name (Fáinne Geal an Lae) was published by Edward Walsh (1805–1850) in 1847 in Irish Popular Songs, and later translated into English as The Dawning of the Day, published by Patrick Weston Joyce in 1873.[8] Given the similarity in themes and the use of the phrase "dawning of the day" in both On Raglan Road and the traditional tune, it is quite likely that Kavanagh from the beginning imagined the pairing of verse and tune. Indeed, there is a broadcast recording of Kavanagh singing On Raglan Road to the tune on Irish television and in 1974 Benedict Kiely recalled in an interview for RTÉ Kavanagh trying out the paired verse and tune for him soon after its writing. Kelly himself acknowledges that song was gifted to him that evening at The Bailey.


THE DAWNING OF THE DAY full Score(s) and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes



%%scale 0.7 X:1 T:The dawning of the day O:”Irish” M:C L:1/8 Q:"Slow" R: Air B:James Aird – Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3 (Glasgow, 1788, No. 502, p. 193) N:”Humbly dedicated to the Volunteers and Defensive Bands of Great Britain and Ireland” Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G DE/F/|G>AGF TE2D2|dd g/f/e/d/ B2 c/B/A/G/|GFGA TB2 gfed|B>c {B}TA2 G4|

Why TTA Who builds the Archive

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.


This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.

Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni


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