Bridget Cruise (1)

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BRIDGET CRUISE [1] (Brighid Cruis). Irish, Planxty (3/4 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. Composed by harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670–1738), noted down by Belfast collector Edward Bunting (1773–1843) from the playing of harper Daniel Black. Bridie Cruise, from Cruisetown, County Longford, was the object of O'Carolan's unrequited love affair thought he met her after he lost his sight. Unfortunately, Bridget did not return his affections, but even so, O'Carolan composed fifteen songs in her honor (O'Neill, 1913). The family was not adverse to harpers, however. Arthur O'Neill (1734–1818) mentions in his Memoirs that he stopped at the seat of Peter Cruise, "nephew to Carolan's favorite, Bridget Cruise," on his way home from the third and last Granard harp competition in the 1780's. Bunting says the air, “esteemed to be the earliest effort of his youth, and inspired by the ardour of a youthful passion, is almost his only attempt at the old style [of music composed for the harp].”

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 26, p. 39. O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958.

Recorded sources: Shanachie 79013, Derek Bell – "Carolan's Receipt" (1987).




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