Brian the Brave (3)

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BRIAN THE BRAVE. (Briain Buaideac). Irish, Air (4/4 time, "tenderly"). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. A variation of the hornpipe melodies in "Brian the Brave (1)" and "Brian the Brave (2)." Thomas Moore used a version of the air for his song "Remember the glories of Brian the Brave." In a 1906 letter to Alfred Percival Graves in 1906 (printed in "A Few Gossipy Notes" in the Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, London, O'Neill wrote: "John McFadden, a famous fiddler of this city, picked up the setting of No. 255 ("Brian the Brave") from Old Man Quinn, the great Mayo piper, who died here [Chicago] over twenty years ago at an advanced age. It possesses more character in my estimation than Moore's setting."

John McFadden

Source for notated version: "McFadden" [O'Neill]. Chicago fiddler John McFadden, originally from County Mayo, who had a large repertoire and whose playing O'Neill admired. In the same letter to A.P. Graves cited above, O'Neill wrote of him: "John McFadden, Sligo (!), an excellent traditional violinist, custodian of more of Quinn's music than (piper James) Early, played with him for many years."

Printed sources: O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1050 Melodies), 1903; No. 255, p. 44.

Recorded sources:




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