Black Haired Lass (2) (The)
X:1 T:Darkhaired girl, The M:C L:1/8 S:James Goodman music manuscript collection (mid-19th cent., County Cork, vol. 3, p. 77) R:Reel Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion F:http://goodman.itma.ie/volume-three#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=81&z=1801.7111%2C988.4351%2C6145.2395%2C3722.2222 K:Amix cBAB cded|d2 ed cA G2|cAGA cdef|gd ed A2A2:| cdef g2 eg|f2 df gfed|cdef g2 eg|fd ec A2A2| cdef g2 eg|f2 df e2z2|af ge f2 ed|cded A2A2||
BLACK HAIRED LASS , THE (Cailín na Gruaige Duibhe). AKA and see "Blackhaired Lass," "Dark Gate Girl (The)," "Dark Haired Girl (2) (The)," "Dark Haired Lass (1)," "Cailín Donn (An)" (The Brown Girl). Irish, Reel. Ireland, Counties Donegal, Armagh. A Mixolydian (Breathnach, Feldman & O'Doherty, Goodman, Treoir): A Dorian (O'Neill/Krassen, 1001 & 1850): G Dorian (O'Neill/1915). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Neill/1850 & 1001): AAB (Goodman, O'Neill/Krassen & 1915}): ABB (Breathnach). A popular reel in County Donegal. "The Blackhaired Lass" was recorded on a Brunswick 78 RPM record in New York in March, 1928, by the fiddle duet of Michael Coleman (1891–1945) originally from Knockgrania, Killavil, County Sligo) and Packie Dolan (1904–1932, originally from Aughadowry, Ballinamuck, County Longford). Dolan tragically died at age 28 one week before he was due to return to Ireland to live.
The reel was apparently collected in the Slieve Gullion region of south County Armagh by the Rev. Luke Donnellan, a rector at Dromintee, who published a collection of over 100 tunes, mostly reels, in 1909 in The Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society (vol. II, No. 2). Donnellan was enthusiastic about P.W. Joyce's then recently published Old Irish Music and Songs (1909), but found Irish music rather rare in his area.
The old people of Dromintee will tell you of the number and the skill of musicians who used to come to [nearby] Forkhill fair. I was told there used to be as many as thirty playing at it. They display an extensive knowledge of the names of songs and dance tunes, but cannot sing them. The reel known as “The Black-haired Lass” No. 66 inf., seems to have been a great favourite with everyone. These facts point to a vanishing and disappearing musical culture.
Forkhill Fair, held on Michaelmas Day (Sept. 29th) was once the great horse and cattle fair, and festival of the area (St. Michael is the patron saint of horsemen).
County Cork cleric, musician and collector James Goodman included the tune in his large mid-19th century music manuscript collection under the title "Darkhaired girl (The), while County Leitrim piper and fiddler Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894) entered it as an untitled reel in Book 2 of his large c. 1883 music manuscript collection.