Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady
X:1 T:Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air K:G B/A/|G>AB g2 g/a/|b/a/g/f/e/d/ g2 g/f/|e>fe/d/ efg/f/|e/d/c/B/A/G/ A2 B/A/| G>AB g2 g/a/|b/a/g/f/e/d/ g2 g/f/|ef/e/d/B/ de/d/B/A/|B3 g2 g/f/|ef/e/d/B/ de/d/B/A/|Bee e2|| g/a/|bgb b/a/g/f/e/d/|dfg a2 a/4/b/4c'/|b/a/g/f/e/d/ efg/f/|e/d/c/B/A/G/ A>cB/A/| G>AB g2 g/a/|b/a/g/f/e/d/ g2f|ef/e/d/B/ de/d/B/A/|B3 g2f|ef/e/d/B/ de/d/B/A/|Bee e2||
CAROLAN'S QUARREL WITH THE LANDLADY. Irish, Air (6/8 or 6/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning. AB (Complete Collection, O'Sullivan): AABB (Johnson). Composed by blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). The melody is contained in the Forde manuscript, where it is sourced to the volume by P(atrick) Carey, with the alternate title "The Bold Rover." No set of words has been found to accompany the tune, says O'Sullivan (1958), and so the nature of the quarrel with the Landlady (i.e. of a tavern) is unknown. It is possible, continues O'Sullivan, that the woman in question was one Bridget Waldron, described as a "niggardly ale-wife," upon whom O'Carolan composed the following "pungent" epitaph (translated from the Irish and printed by Hardiman in Irish Minstrelsy, 1831):
I prithee tombstone, let not Bridget come back whence she came,
For she would turn your liquor sour and put your house to shame.'
Full many a faultless poet has through her by drought been cursed,
Now she's buried, devil plague her-and thirst, thirst, thirst!
O'Carolan, it has been noted, was known to become short and irascible when the supply of drink was limited in any way.