Boys from Mullingar (The)

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BOYS FROM MULLINGAR (Na Buacaillide as Muileann-Cearr). AKA and see: "Drumdelgie," "If ever you marry, "Soldier's Cloak (The)." Irish, Air (6/8 time, "spirited"). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. R.M. Levey first published the tune in 1858 as an untitled jig in his First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland. It also appears as an untitled "Irish Air" in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork uilleann piper and Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman [1]. Irish researcher Conor Ward remarks:

O'Neill (1903) published this air entitled "The Boys from Mullingar," while it was published by editor William Bradbury Ryan (Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883) as "Soldier's Cloak'' ''(The)". The air was used for numerous songs such as "The Irish Jaunting Car". In the Alex Sutherland manuscript (c. 1930's, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim) he includes the air with the words of a song "My Dear Irish Home Far Away". Collectors R.M. Levey (1858) and P.W. Joyce (1909) published the tune without titles. Another song [Scottish] that was written to this air was "Drumdelgie". Frank Quinn (1893-1964) of Drumlish, Co. Longford recorded this air as the second tune in a set entitled "The Emerald Medley - (Medley of Old Irish Airs)" in July 1926.

Conor also finds cognate melodies in the jig "Humors of Limerick (4) (The)," the slide "Port na gCaipíní," and the American march "Eden Quickstep."

Source for notated version: credited to Chicago Police Sergeant James O'Neill, a fiddler originally from County Down and Francis O'Neill's collaborator [O'Neill].

Printed sources: David Glen (Irish Tunes for the Scottish and Irish War Pipes), 1911; No. 55, p. 19. Levey (First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland), 1858; No. 12, p. 6 (appears as an untitled "Jig"). O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 589, p. 103.

Recorded sources:




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