Back to Brian Maguire
BRIAN MAGUIRE. Irish, Air or Planxty. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Composed by blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). According to Donal O'Sullivan (1958, citing Hardiman as his source), the tune was composed for Brian Maguire of the Maguires of Tempo, County Fermanagh, who married Bridget Nugent of Coolamber, County Westmeath. Carolan also composed several pieces for Bridget's siblings. The Maguires of Tempo had earlier had their property confiscated by the crown due to Brian's father (also named Brian Maguire) taking arms in the cause of King James II. The elder Brian had mortgaged his estates to raise a regiment in support of the Jacobite cause, but was slain by grapeshot at the Pass of Aughrim in 1691, while engaged with a British regiment they almost succeeded in destroying. A comrade named Durnien, seeing his commander had expired, drew his sword and detached Brian's head from his body, which he put into a bag. Durnien then hastened to the Island of Devnish, the burying ground of the family, and deposited the head among the remains of Brian's ancestors.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 95, p. 74. O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 95, p. 152
Recorded sources: Green Linnet GLCD 1128, Brendan Mulvihill & Donna Long - "The Morning Dew" (1993).